In each of the previous three years that we
have driven to Arizona to spend our last full day in the southwest at the Grand
Canyon, we stayed in a motel in Flagstaff. In each of those years, we flew
home out of Phoenix, a quick two hours to the south.
This year, though, because we were able to get
a cheaper airfare, we flew in and out of Albuquerque, but that meant that we had to get back to
Albuquerque, which is considerably farther from Flagstaff, on Saturday in time to catch our 2 p.m. flight. To make this a
little easier, we decided to make Winslow, Arizona our stopping point for our
Grand Canyon visit. Even though this put us about 45 minutes farther from
the canyon itself, it meant that we had less of a drive to make from
Las Cruces and less of a drive back to
Albuquerque than we would otherwise have had.
Well, Winslow, of course, was, by some
estimations, put on the map (or back on the map) by the rock group The Eagles
with their 1972 hit "Take it Easy." The lyrics to this song are below.
Note in particular the highlighted section in the center.
Well, I'm running down the road
tryin' to loosen my load
I've got seven women on
Four that wanna own me,
Two that wanna stone me,
One says she's a friend of mine
Take It easy, take it easy
Don't let the sound of your own wheels
drive you crazy
Lighten up while you still can
don't even try to understand
Just find a place to make your stand
and take it easy
Well, I'm a standing on a corner
in Winslow, Arizona
and such a fine sight to see
It's a girl, my Lord, in a flatbed
Ford slowin' down to take a look at me
Come on, baby, don't say maybe
I gotta know if your sweet love is
gonna save me
We may lose and we may win though
we will never be here again
so open up, I'm climbin' in,
so take it easy
Well I'm running down the road trying to loosen
my load, got a world of trouble on my mind
lookin' for a lover who won't blow my
cover, she's so hard to find
Take it easy, take it easy
don't let the sound of your own
wheels make you crazy
come on baby, don't say maybe
I gotta know if your sweet love is
gonna save me, oh oh oh
Oh we got it easy
We oughta take it easy
To commemorate this song and its mention of
Winslow, a park was
created in the downtown area in 1994, and it contains a statue of a "'70s era
rock musician" standing on a corner. Really. It does.
Given that we happened to find ourselves in
Winslow, we simply had to stop for a quick visit, and we did this as we drove
out of town early Saturday morning.
|Here's the Standin' on the Corner park. Note
that it's fenced off. See the close-up of the warning sign below.
In my opinion, they need to add a statue of a flatbed Ford with a girl
in it looking at the guy. To be fully accurate, the Ford needs to
be slowing down. How do you show that in a statue? Have the girl's foot on the brake?
Put skid marks behind the tires? I don't know.
|Until the repairs are made, you can get pretty close
to the Standin' guy, but not right next to him. We got pretty
close. (Update: as of September 2007, repairs have been
made, the fence is gone, and the park is fully open again.)
|Closer view of the Standin' guy. He's supposed
to resemble a typical 70s-era rocker. Was there such a thing?
|Winslow was, of course, well-known as a stop along Route 66 well before the Eagles sang about it, and it was once
the largest city in northern Arizona. With the loss of Route 66
after the interstate highway came through, Winslow, like many of the
towns along the old U.S. highway, fell on somewhat harder times.
Many are now capitalizing on nostalgia for the old highway and their old
Route 66 connections.