In this America, and in the countries in which I traveled, the policy followed by the government is far from representing the best sides of the citizens’ character.
We see them through false ‘cliché’, in the same way as the French are pictured abroad with their beret and baguette under their arm.
It would be wrong to refuse a trend, such as our “friendly” way to welcome tourists, foreigners as our fellow countrymen. And by this, I mean the swindles of the storekeepers, the unfriendly remarks of the table's neighbors in restaurants, and that's the least of it!
So what about the American way of welcoming foreigners? Well, we experienced the welcome, the hospitality, the spontaneous help; the kindness expressed by young or elderly people of all races, social classes and the States that we crossed. Well there were of course some exceptions ... moody or tired people.
During this Roadtrip, we received numerous presents and kindness but never as felt as today. Imagine a village lined with shops, Temples of 66 where aficionados rush about, on our way out of one of these shops where motorcycles and prestigious cars are lined up (among them a sparkling hot rod ZZ Top style), for no special reason, the women offers us a flag.
We started a conversation; Debbie is a native of 66. A real one, who saw this road die and reborn, whose relatives witnessed an America made of joys and sorrows.
I didn’t miss the opportunity to take a picture with her of course!
Then, in spite of the customers, now Debbie took us to the back shop, had us discover her husband’s magnificent Harley Davidson, and a Royal Enfield, the same model that I rode for my travel in Radjasthan.
Then, she asked us to follow her and offered me a Tshirt with the unique logo which we can find only in her shop, Route 66 Motoporium, and then a mug for Denise with writings wishing a safe trip !
So I wouldn’t call that a trend anymore, just human relationships. This flag, this Tshirt, this mug are objects reflecting the humanity of Debbie, it is the image that I keep of this unforgettable moment. The Road has neither religion, nor nationality and no political orientation. In conclusion the words of Jack Kerouac seem perfect : the Road is life!
I hope to enjoy this Road forever.
I wish to anyone, people that I like as to those that I don’t , to experience a similar moment of happiness; such an enrichment that makes us happy.
Debbie's shop stands by the one of Angel Delgadillo, the founder of the association of the preserving of 66. He still runs the lounge/ museum / souvenir shop / library there.
Travelers, please don’t hesitate just to exchange a few words with Debbie.
If we were able to communicate so easily with her, it’s also thanks to our lessons in Wall Street English.
It gave us the opportunity to enjoy the experience even more, to understand each other better than just with gestures or looks. Anyway, it takes more than words to express the satisfaction to speak the same language !!!