|Kumar Patel (Judy Hinckley)|
As with Chinatown, Greek Town, or Little Italy, it seems there is always something of interest going on in the neighborhoods of the Route 66 community.
Just a short distance from where the unofficial western end of Route 66 provides travelers with views of the Pacific Ocean and a little salt air, in Rialto, California, Kumar Patel, the proprietor of the now iconic Wigwam Motel has sparked a bit of healthy discourse about the culture and future of Route 66 with a recent interview in a published feature by the Los Angeles Times.
Kumar and Laurel may be separated in their business endeavors by a thousand miles or so, and a time zone or two but they share a commonality in their passion for the community of Route 66. And that is the secret of the old roads addictive allure.
It is the people who greet travelers with a warm and sincere smile. It is the people who celebrate its history and toil in obscurity to preserve its tarnished relics. It is the people who put pen to paper to extoll its virtues or record its history. It is the people who travel the road and record for posterity the stories of those who were there when this was the Main Street of America.
It is the travelers who come from far and wide to support the people who earn their livelihood as stewards of a time capsule. It is the people who share tales of their adventure on the double six with photos posted on Facebook.
|Members of the Czech Route 66 Association
with author Jim Hinckley in Kingman, Arizona.
To say that the appeal of the old road and what it has become is international in nature would be an understatement akin to saying Amboy Crater gets a bit warm on the Fourth of July.
Just today, in the neighborhood of Kingman, Arizona, my day started with a business meeting to plan a forthcoming tour for a group of Chinese journalists. Then on our way to breakfast with our friends from the Czech Republic and their traveling companions, we honked and waved at friends from Holland heading east on Route 66 with their tour group.
This evening there was a bit of correspondence with a New Zealand tour company owner and the addressing of questions pertaining to the forthcoming Route 66 International Festival from Italy and Brazil. On Thursday dinner reservations will be made as friends from the Netherlands will be here soon.
Meanwhile, somewhere on Route 66, something interesting is happening.