Finding Your Kitsch—and America—on 66
Picture this. Several tour buses are gathered on the street. Their deep engines are grumbling. They are lined up not to see the Grand Canyon, but a humble
Angel is famous along Route 66. His town of Seligman was bypassed with the completion of Highway 40 in 1978. This small-town barber refused to let his town die. He formed the Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona and became its President. Now Arizona has preserved the longest stretch of Route 66.
I’m led to Angel’s office. Hundreds of aging business cards cover a mirror. His barber certificate, many awards, and foreign posters of Route 66 adorn the walls. He tells us to have some coffee as he takes a seat in his barber chair.
Angel speaks philosophically about Route 66. He gestures to punctuate his points like a conductor conjuring emotions of Americana. This raw passion for Route 66 is exactly what I saw at every stop along this ribbon of America. I was glad to have a Polaroid Snap Touch instant digital camera to document its history and architecture.
Note: Polaroid is a sponsor of the National Trust's Route 66 National Treasure campaign.