We started off on Carefree Highway, got some kicks on Route 66, spent some time standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona, and ended up at a Motel 6 in Albuquerque.
That last one isn’t a song, though the price of a room was — only $29.99.
Day one of the trip back home — which will be slightly more rushed than our earlier travels — saw us cover 450 miles, even with repeated pee and sniff stops, as recommended by the animal communicator Ace recently spoke with.
We took time, too, to exit Interstate 40 and roll through Winslow on Route 66, stopping on a street corner of our on own choosing to relive a line from the classic Eagles song, “Take it Easy.”
When no “girl, my lord, in a flatbed Ford” came by, we moved on to Winslow’s officially designated place to stand on the corner, where a mural of a girl, my lord, in a flatbed Ford, is provided.
“Standin’ on the Corner Park, opened in 1999, and it also features a statue that some people think is Jackson Browne, but it’s not. Glenn Frey is credited with co-writing the song, which was released by the Eagles in 1972.
Until the 1960’s, Winslow was the largest town in northern Arizona. But, like Tucumcari, New Mexico, and other towns, the prominence they enjoyed by virtue of their location on Route 66 faded when Interstate 40 bypassed the community in the late 1970’s. Tourism suffered and some downtown business closed their doors. “For the next twenty years, downtown Winslow was frozen in time,” the park website says.
The park was part of a downtown restoration effort that included the reopening of the historic La Posado Hotel. That effort required some re-restoration after a fire damaged the corner. Statue and mural are back in place now.
The statue, despite what some on the Internet claim, is not that of Jackson Browne. According to the official website of Standin’ on the Corner Park, it’s a generic “1970’s man,” wearing jeans, with a guitar resting on the toe of his boot.
While the song brought Brown, the Eagles and Winslow some much-wanted notoriety, the corner referred to in the song was actually in Flagstaff. But Winslow sounded better. (That leads me to question whether seven women were actually on Browne’s mind, or if maybe it was just three, and seven sounded better.)
Browne was still working on the song when Frey, his friend and neighbor, heard it. Browne had written the opening part of the second verse, then ran into writer’s block.
Here’s how Frey explained the collaboration in the liner notes to the 2003 album, The Very Best of the Eagles:
“I told him that I really liked it. ‘What was that, man? What a cool tune that is.’ He started playing it for me and said, ‘Yeah, but I don’t know — I’m stuck.’ So he played the second unfinished verse and I said, ‘It’s a girl, my lord, in a flatbed Ford, slowin’ down to take a look at me.’ That was my contribution to ‘Take It Easy,’ really, just finishing the second verse. Jackson was so thrilled. He said, ‘Okay! We cowrote this.’ But it’s certainly more of him.”
The real corner that the song was about was next to the “Dog Haus,” a hot dog drive-thru on Route 66 and Switzer Canyon in Flagstaff.
Ace probably would have preferred that corner, given it has food, but he settled for two stops in Winslow before we pressed on and stopped for the night in Albuquerque. On Wednesday we pushed on to Oklahoma City, hoping to stay ahead of a winter storm that, along with some appointments we have back east, is preventing us from fully taking it easy.
But we promise this much: We won’t let the sound of our own wheels drive us crazy.