For quite some time I have touted Afton Station for its eclectic charm, amiable host, and cast of colorful characters that encapsulate the Route 66 experience. Well it appears as though the station, and aforementioned host, have had a well deserved brush with fame in the form of a phone call from Jay Leno.
I would like to believe that this is another indication that celebrities are starting to discover what we already know – Route 66 is a most amazing community. Another indicator would be the increasing number of celebrity sightings along the road in recent years.
While American celebrity sightings are eagerly noted, dignitaries from foreign shores often travel the road unnoticed. I suppose in part this is due to the condition of myopia that plagues many Americans (me included).
A case in point is a dinner we had with Dries Bessels, his charming wife, Marion, and a tour group from Holland at Redneck’s a couple of years ago. As is always the case when we meet with groups from distant lands, it was a most delightful and fascinating evening. Even though language barriers presented a few interesting issues, we had Route 66 in common and that bridges that widest of chasms.
It was during the second visit of what became an annual dinner get together that we learned the tour company director, Karel Kuperus,and his companion, Hanneke Wiersma, were also film stars in Europe.
Even though we may not know who they are here in America, or their name may be but vaguely familiar, there a few celebrities found along Route 66 that can’t hide the celebrity status. Nor do they try as sharing the adventure with folks back home is the catalyst for their journey.
Who along the old double six hasn’t met Mark Fletcher? Grant Denyer? Billy Connolly?
All of this provides clear evidence that Route 66, America’s most famous highway long ago transcended its original purpose. It is now an internationally acclaimed celebrity, a living, breathing legend of near epic proportions.