Silver tongued wordsmith Ned Jordan of the Jordan Motor Car Company was well known for his prose and ability to create evocative, emotion stirring advertisement. In its time his Somewhere West of Laramie piece was as well known as Dinah Shore encouraging folks to see the U.S.A. in their Chevrolet. 
Several days ago I was contemplating the current state of Route 66, its future, and its fast approaching centennial. As I waited to flip the garlic and onion filled burgers my thoughts began to wander as they often do at such times and soon I was contemplating what Ned Jordan would do to promote this road. How would he attract a younger, more diverse audience? 
In 1927, the road was promoted as the Main Street of America. In 1946 people were encouraged to get their kicks on Route 66. 
While both slogans remain relevant and popular, they are also sepia toned with a bit of fraying around the edges. What new slogan or promotion inspires adventure on the double six today? What slogan, as with the road itself, aptly bridges the gap between the past and future today? 
Professor Nick Gerlich, a fellow Route 66 enthusiast with a devotion to unraveling the mystery of successful marketing may wish to chime in here. My thinking seems to be rooted in the type of marketing that pushed poor Dobbins from the streets and filled them with clanking, smoking Fords and Buick’s, Jordan’s and Studebaker’s. 
Scattered here and there among the international legion of Route 66 enthusiasts are fresh young faces not yet creased by the passing of the years. They are the ghost of Christmas future on the legendary double six. They hold the key to successfully marketing this iconic old highway and keeping it alive for the second century.

Zdnek and Eva Jurasek of the Czech Route 66

Watch this clip of Kumar Patel with Harry Smith of NBC News on Route 66. Listen to the honest reverence for this storied old two lane highway; that is the future of Route 66, that is the voice of the next generation of stewards.
Watch a few of these videos that chronicle the adventures of “Roamin'” Rich Dinkela. This is how to lure a younger generation through the promise of adventure, this is another steward that will ensure the road is as popular in its second century as it was in the first.
Take the time to visit with Chris and Katie Robleski, examine with a critical eye their innovative photographic work at Fading Nostalgia, bask in their enthusiasm for the road less traveled and legendary Route 66, and imagine the scores of future adventurers that they will inspire. Here too we see the ghost of Christmas future.   
Route 66 may be an American treasure but the passion it inspires is international in nature. The army of enthusiasts from France and New Zealand, Australia and the Netherlands, Norway and the Czech Republic who seek an authentic American experience on this old road that has become America’s longest attraction are also the ghost of Christmas future. 
Their infectious passion and enthusiasm challenges Americans to be caretakers and stewards, adventurers and historians. It also inspires a hunger to ignite a passion in a new generation of caretakers for the treasures of Route 66. 
I am not sure what the slogan for the new century will be. I only know that the old road is in good hands for another century as long as folks like Kumar and Rich, Kevin and Rick, Chris and Katie, Karel and Hanneke, Jeroen and Maggie, Oscar and Daniel share their enthusiasm and passion for the legendary double six.    

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