Kicks on 66 – Litchfield

I knew it was going to be a rough business trip this week when I awoke on Tuesday morning, threw back the drapes on my hotel room window, and saw this …

Rural King

If I can see a Rural King out my hotel window, I must be in Litchfield, Ilinois, a town so friendly that everyone who visits feels like a Rural King. Hey, what a great location for the first installment of my Kicks on 66 series.

66 refers to Route 66, the legendary road that traveled from the shores of Lake Michigan in Chicago to the beach in Santa Monica, California. Here’s a map showing the route and if you squint, you may be able to see Litchfield in red. Oh yeah, there’s also a big red arrow pointing it out.

Litchfield Route 66 Map

The original Route 66 still exists in fits and starts, superseded for long stretches by interstate highways, but still alive in spirit in small towns like Litchfield.

Litchfield Route 66

Just how much does Litchfield love their Route 66 connection? This much …

Litchfield Drive in 66

Yep, Litchfield residents spent minutes getting their cars into formation at their local drive-in movie theater to take this pic. And when they’re not making numbers out of cars, they are fondly remembering Chicago White Sox Hall of Fame baseball player Ray Schalk who grew up in Litchfield.

Litchfield Sox

That’s one of the many pics I took while visiting the Litchfield Route 66 Museum, and one of the few I did not immediately delete.

Arriving at the museum, the plaza out front is comprised of sponsored bricks.

Litchfield Bricks

Anyone can sponsor a brick. For as little as $66 (hey, that’s a coincidental price), I could sponsor a brick out front with 3 lines of text. My mind hummed like the folding machines at the old Litchfield Envelope Company at the possibilities. I went to the information desk and asked Charlotte there if I could order a brick. She eyed me suspiciously since I was not wearing overalls, but gave me an affirmative reply. I told her I would like to run 2 brick options by her and get her reaction.

The first option was this …

  • Jim Flanigan says
  • about Hillary Clinton
  • Lock Her Up!

That played well with Charlotte. She tittered like a schoolgirl who was getting her pigtails dipped into an inkwell by her beau. I use that analogy to give you an idea of how old Charlotte is.

Then I offered up this one for her consideration …

  • Jim Flanigan wants
  • Impeachment Now for
  • Donald Trump

I was surprised to get more tittering. Perhaps Charlotte is non-partisan, or perhaps she just found me hilarious and irresistible. I wasn’t sure. Before I took the next logical step and told her that I had a room in town with a view of the Rural King, I moved on to the map showing the origins of Litchfield Route 66 Museum visitors as represented by push pins.

Litchfield Map

Back to Charlotte I went for more info and possibly more titters. Charlotte told me that they do a new map every year to track their visitors. I asked about the dearth of visitors from Mexico and Central America.

Litchfield Map Mexico

She couldn’t explain it, but confirmed that visitors from Mexico and Central America have dropped precipitously in 2018. Hmmm, what/who could possibly be the cause of that? For no reason other than to coax another titter from Charlotte, I told her I was Mexican and gave her an “Olé!” for the road.

On my way out, I stopped to look at the Litchfield Fire Department truck. Litchfield Fire

To be honest, I wasn’t sure if that was a historical piece or their current fire truck. Back to Charlotte. Titters ensued.