Yes, We’ll Gather at the River - the sadness of the Route 66 towns | Street Jazz

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Yes, We’ll Gather at the River - the sadness of the Route 66 towns

Posted By on Tue, Oct 21, 2008 at 11:11 AM

Back in the 1970s, I read a story by Ray Bradbury. “Yes, We’ll Gather at the River,” about the impact on a small-town when a major highway is built, and the old highway that goes through the town will no longer ne used as much. I was pretty young when I read it, so it didn’t have much impact on me.

But in the last few years, traveling around Texas and Oklahoma, Tracy and I have come upon a large number of “Route 66" museums; almost every town or county seem to have one in western Oklahoma. In some towns they may the only real income the town has, I suppose.

I’ve been in a couple. More often than not they are sad little affairs, celebrating a town that once thrived but is now close to being a ghost town. Shamrock, Texas, is a prime example of this.

http://www.legendsofamerica.com/TX-Shamrock.html

At one time, thousands of people came from around the world to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day in the small community.  Now, the main street is largely bare, and on the outskirts of town - at least on our last visit - there were a number of abandoned motels.

The town is not exactly open to new business. When I spoke to DJs at the local radio station, they told me that some local businesses did not want advertise on the radio, because they didn’t want “outsiders” coming to Shamrock.

******

I wish Arkansas was a battleground state

Maybe it’s just because I want to attend a Sarah Palin rally, so I could mingle with the crowd and get a sense of what might be going through their heads. Or maybe it’s because I wish - despite the lunatic letters in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - that the winds of change might actually blow in our state.

*****

The strategy at the Northwest Arkansas Times - vote for Dan Coody out of pity?

Some odd editorials coming out of the NWA Times lately. One almost gets the feeling that they are saying we should vote for Dan because everybody else is picking on him . . .

****

Quote of the Day

"Comics are just a sort of pumpkin patch growing franchises that might be profitable for the ailing movie industry." - - Alan Moore. LA Times interview on Watchmen. September 19,
2008.

rsdrake@nwark.com

 

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