Sunday, July 29, 2012

Photo-of-the-Week #65 – Standing on the Corner, Winslow Arizona, June 2010

This is for my readers who are Eagles fans. That’s a statue of Glenn Frey, founder of the 70’s band. He’s literally “Standing on the corner in Winslow, Arizona”  - and in the window behind him you can see the reflection of the girl in the flatbed Ford slowing down to take a look at him. If you look in the window above him you’ll see a small part of an eagle – and to the right are a guy and a gal, but I won’t describe what I believe is about to happen.

Actually, this is a trompe-l'oeil style mural painted on a wall that is constructed like a Hollywood back lot set. It’s actually a remaining wall from a building that was torn down. There is no actual building behind the wall, just the wall. The mural was painted by John Pugh. And the foreground where the Ron Adamson statue of Glenn stands is the “Standing on the Corner” Park in the center of Winslow. The street you can see a small part of to the left of the mural is the iconic Rt. 66 of “Get Your Kicks on Rt. 66” fame. The famous highway between Chicago and Los Angeles ran through Winslow until Interstate 40 was completed and bypassed Winslow.

Unfortunately, once the traffic was diverted from Rt. 66 to I-40, Winslow suffered a serious downturn in commerce. As I traveled through Winslow (and spent one night there), I spoke with a young server at the local Denny’s restaurant located at the I-40 intersection. It was the only restaurant I could find open that evening. The young man was part Native American, part Italian and part Spanish. He was pleasant, but not very talkative. He had been born and raised in the Winslow area and said that, in reality, Winslow never fully recovered from the Great Depression.

The railroad yard that had been a major reason for Winslow to exist was still a major part of the small town. However, downtown Winslow was very depressed and only extended one block east and west from this point. There is a huge U.S. highway sign painted on the road covering most of the intersection by the “Standing on the Corner” park indicating Rt. 66. This spot is pretty much the high point of Winslow, at least from my personal experience.   

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