I couldn't go to Afton today, but I'm sitting here at home thinking about how sad it can be when something disappears, even if it's something almost totally inconsequential. For many years there was a sign on a fence on old Route 66 (East 11th St.) east of Tulsa, where there is still enough pasture land unspoiled by housing additions to makes you feel like you are a lot further out in the country than you really are. The tall buildings of downtown Tulsa are clearly visible in the distance, and yet there are still open fields, vaguely working farms, and even some animals. The country has not yet retreated from the grabby fingers of the spreading city, but you know it won't be long until the retreat will begin. Anyway, about the sign..... On a fenced pasture hung a sign which suggested "RENT A HORSE TO RIDE". I really don't know why I loved that sign so much. Maybe it was the rather odd wording. But I remember the sign from first trips on that part of Route 66 well over 10 years ago, and I made a point to look at it each time I drove back and forth to Afton. I'm sure you know the ending to this story. It's gone. In it's place is a realtor's sign indicating that the field has been sold. I never got to rent a horse to ride, and now I'm sure that suburbia is not far in the future of that horse pasture. I really don't know why this is such a big deal to me. The sign was just another remembrance of my early Route 66 discoveries. I guess that's why.
Sigh...... I just found out that Paul McCartney, who is on a Route 66 road trip with his new girlfriend, has already passed Afton and was last sighted in Oklahoma City. Drat! If there was the slightest chance that he'd stop at Afton Station, I'd have found a way to rearrange things and be there. But, it's not to be.....
I felt EXACTLY the same way about that sign. I felt that way about the ridiculous "Iron Horse Motors" sign outside that old gas station at the east end of Bristow, too -- the one with the horrible cartoon horse that for some inexplicable reason always reminded me of Fabio. I don't know why I never photographed them. I guess they didn't seem important or historical enough to warrant a frame or two of film (or a few ones and zeros). Sad.
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