Most of us have heard of the old Route 66. Some of us may have even traveled on it. There’s actually still some small piece of the original sections scattered here and there running alongside the newer highways. That’s the thing, the newer highways. Route 66 isn’t the only old highway that has gone in the same direction, into oblivion. The newer roads may even carry the name of the old route, but it isn’t the same.
A lot of you may ask what’s the big deal. Well here’s the big deal. Just like Old Route 66 went the way of history so did a lot of businesses. It didn’t stop there either. You can bet people lost their homes and land if they were sitting in the way of that new highway. It’s called immanent domain and the people who were sitting in the way when someone in the government decided they wanted their property lost their homes.
Why am I bringing this up now? Yesterday I traveled down one of those roads. Highway 64 that runs along the southern part of the state of Tennessee. I’ve made that trip many times. At one time one of the most interesting trips across this state. There were all these neat old places scattered along its sides that made that trip an adventure. It wasn’t just the businesses either. It was the beautiful little homes that sat along the sides of parts of the highway. You see a lot of that road ran between two little ridges, so people had built these little homes, many sitting along a small stream that was just great to see.
The businesses are slowly disappearing, most have already given up the ghost. One in particular broke my heart.
Oh well progress is, what it is, and I guess running along an up and down rock wall lined, four-lane, highway at 80 or 90 miles an hour is far more important. Don’t get me wrong, the speed limit on that highway is 65 but finding people running along it at that speed is pretty much a rarity, even in hurricane strength winds and sheets of rain that totally blind you. Yes, it was that bad yesterday.
Anyway, to the history of that great old road, I salute you and for a while there will be a few of us still left who will remember what you once were. Now you’re just another big ribbon of asphalt.