Sunday, April 5, 2015

Winslow And Easter Sunday

It is Easter Sunday a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus.  We wish everyone a very happy and somewhat thoughtful Easter Sunday.  My trip to the Chapel of the Holy Cross yesterday gave me pause as I sat in front of the altar.

We have been resurrected and are enjoying the climate here in northern Arizona much more than what we had in the central area.   In fact, we seem to need the heater more than the AC and so far the heater is working.  Honey is doing much better showing much more energy and just all around doing better than she was in the heat.  The same goes for Mia and I.  Attitudes have changed dramatically now that the heat is off.

Saturday we were up early and off to Winslow, Arizona.  Now before you get all upset and start throwing clichés, you need some historical background.  According to the agent at the Visitor Center the construction of Interstate 40 that bypassed the town caused an economic downturn that sent the population spiraling downward.   Some of the folks in town were not willing to accept their fate and while enjoying a community barbeque in 1991, they formed a foundation and began to plan for the revitalization of the city.  Ways to get folks off the interstate while traveling from or to New Mexico.  An eight-phase program was developed and the town is now in the fifth phase.

In the early seventies Jackson Browne took a road trip through New Mexico and Arizona and started a song that he didn’t finish.  During his travels he introduced the unfinished piece of work to Glenn Frey one of the newly formed group, The Eagles.  Frey was searching for songs for the band and Jackson Browne gave him the incomplete work and said, “Finish it.”  Frey finished the song and the Eagles released it on their debut album.  It became one of their most famous tunes and while the unfinished work was somewhat dismal, Frey changed it enough to lift up the message to “take it easy.”  The town adopted the lines from the song where the narrator claims to be “standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona” and used it to build a park, opened in 1999, to showcase the interlude between the narrator and “a girl in flat bed Ford slowing down to take a look at me.”

Winslow has long been associated with the now defunct highway, Route 66, than ran from the east to the west coast in the early days of our U.S. Highway system.  The iconic highway has since been left for dead as Interstate Highways have bi-passed it but pieces of it still exist in various states across the country.  There is a short section that goes thru and out of town a couple of miles until it ends at a barrier marking the end of the road.  Route 66 ran between several small towns that had some economic booms before the interstate was built.  Unfortunately, many of them, Winslow included, suffer massive economic downturns and population depletion that was substantial enough that some of the towns were never able to recover. 

In 2004 the mural painted on the wall at the “Standing on the Counter Park” was damaged by fire.  The Eagles donated a signed guitar that was auctioned off to help pay for the repairs.  It seems the Eagles have no issues with Winslow, Arizona using their trademark song to benefit them, after all, as the narrators says, “take it easy.”

Folks from all over now stop to visit the park as well as the chunk of Route 66 that is still left.  There is economic transformation and the population has risen from dismal numbers to ten thousand, plus.  And being a huge Eagles fan I could not resist a visit to Winslow no matter how silly that may seem.  So ‘take it easy” and save the clichés.

Hope all is well and thanks for stopping by.

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