Get your kicks

En route to Southern California to spend time with my kids and their friends, I passed through Nevada and a slice of Arizona before stopping in Barstow, hard by the Mojave Desert. One of the reasons for my spending a night and part of the next day there is a song by Bill Morrissey, who grew up in a New Hampshire mill town and lived for a spell in California. He wrote poignantly about people on the edge with empty pockets and faded dreams, and only someone who had experienced Barstow for a while could have captured the grit and lost luster of the city that still serves as a hub for the Santa Fe rail line. Much to my pleasant surprise, Barstow also happens to be home to sections of an historic piece of Americana — Route 66, which was completed in 1937 and passed through eight states, while covering some 2,400 miles. Today, most of Route 66 has been replaced by more modern roadways and pockets of development, but you can still get a sense of why that road achieved the colorful reputation it did at the wonderfully kitschy Route 66 Museum, just a few miles from downtown Barstow. The popular Route 66 tv show, which ran from 1960-64, romanticized the road and people whose lives were touched by it. If you recall the names of its co-stars ( answer follows below), polish the chrome trim on your ’57 Chevy and head to Barstow!

Answer: George Maharis and Martin Milner.

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