These were among the first of the images I took with the Rollei. I sort of love the idea of photographing old things with my old camera. Established in 1926, Route 66 was one of the original highways in the US Highway System (Wiki). As a photographer, the dilapidated remains are interesting and beautiful in their varying stages of decay, but as an observer – a passer-through – it feels like the ghost of what America used to be. The spectres of Americana’s past are still on full display and still begging for the attention and admiration they once recieved.
Old cars provide the perfect decoration to many of the hotels that line the route. I could hardly believe it when I came across this old Edsel – I think this is the 1959 Edsel Corsair 4-Door Sedan. Growing up, I’d heard about the Edsel and what a failure it had been, but I’d never actually seen one. So cool. Also – the junkyard pickup truck – lots of character.
The town of Tucumcari boasted 2000 motels during the heyday of the famous Route. Most of those have been abandoned and left to rot – or, more nephariously, burned down (some say) to collect insurance. There’s no shortage of motels to photograph, but the ominous energy enveloping them sends a message of sorts to stay away.