The old Hiway 66 ran all the way from Chicago to Santa Monica, California. It was America’s Hiway made famous by the TV show, “Route 66” and the song, “Get your kicks on Route 66.” I’m told it was built in 1926, before the crash of the great depression, and covered almost 2500 miles. There was no interstate system back then. In fact, I remember riding in the back seat of our 1949 Plymouth from Gainesville, Texas all the way to Dover, New Jersey which was about 850 miles. We traveled over the Pennsylvania Turnpike built in 1940 and it was only about 160 miles long. All of the other roads were two lanes. It took forever, seemed like. The interstate hiway plan was introduced by President Eisenhower in the 1950s. He was our main leader-general stationed in Germany during the Second World War and was really impressed by what the Germans called the Reichsautobahnen. Our politicians had been arguing about highways for a long time and when Eisenhower was elected he provided the leadership to get it done. Of course America was preoccupied with the war so no one even got involved in highway building.
At barely 18 years of age I stood on the curb of Route 66 that wound its way through Oklahoma City watching as my parents waved from their aqua green and white ’56 Plymouth, the kind that had buttons to change gears. Their eyes filled with tears as they drove away. Life would never be the same for them – and for me. Continue reading “SINKING SAND/SOLID ROCK: Preface #1”