Friday, April 4, 2008


All hail the Great American Highway! The Nat King Cole Trio plays "Route 66" in this wonderful clip. I used to sing this one standing on the shoulders of interstates and country roads -- making up the words in the middle -- while I tried to flag a ride.

Did you ever hit the road, Jack? Did you ever hitch-hike? I don't mean short stints -- did you ever thumb a cross country trip? I wouldn't do it now, but I had some great trips back in the day. I thumbed from Seattle to Mexico, up and down the West Coast a few times, around upstate New York when the leaves were changing, even did a run from Portland to Phoenix one hot July, which I don't recommend. I had great rides, and some bad ones. I slept under a bridge in Salt Lake City, got robbed, even got thrown in jail. In the hot Arizona desert, I was a tiny sunburned speck in a landscape out of a western movie, standing for hours in the booming sun, finally getting rescued by Navajos in a tricked-out Camaro on their way to an all-Indian rodeo in Tuba City.

Thumbing was a thrill, a journey, a way to see the country from the ground up. Maybe it was a little dangerous. Still, I wouldn't trade those adventures for anything in the world.

Did you ever get your kicks on Route 66?

To see my drawing of the trio, click here.

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