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Monday, September 12, 2016

Time Travel by Joyce Faulkner

Does anyone remember what it was like to travel fifty years ago? I had just graduated from high school and my grandmother bought me a nice three-piece set of baby blue Samsonite Streamline luggage that I couldn't lift when fully packed. In fact, I could barely lift them empty. The cosmetic case alone was big enough and hard enough to use as a murder weapon.

We drove more than we flew in those days -- and when we flew, it cost a lot. Of course, our ticket included a nice seat and a nice dinner -- served on real china and with real silverware. The biggest baddest passenger jet was the Boeing 707 and we thought it was luxurious and roomy. Passenger trains were losing ground but lots of us still traveled by bus.

Samsonite also had a hat box -- and some folks actually used it for hats
However, most of us traveled in private automobiles. Cars were big and comfortable with big back seats and cavernous trunks to accommodate our rugged Samsonite cases. Gas was cheap. And there were lots of places to go. The route from Chicago to Santa Monica, the infamous Route 66, rated a popular television show about two handsome dudes in a Corvette who traveled constantly, it seemed. Motels and restaurants and other businesses catering to the busy mostly east/west highway had a distinctive Art Deco flair. There was even a song, Get Your Kicks on Route 66 written by Bobby Troup of MASH fame. For those of us who took that route back in the day, the memories are rich with rock n roll music, really cool cars, and lots of beautiful landscapes. We knew that just around the next curve a neon sign would welcome us with offers of ice cream or fudge or jazzy-looking maps.

For many of us, those trips along Route 66 are cherished memories. As times have changed, alternate routes are faster but to old-timers like me, they lack the charm of the old highway that snaked through eight states on its way to the ocean. However, there's still a lot going on...and Route 66 has its own website of places to go and see. If you are headed to or from California by car, check out what's going on these days.

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