Counter Culture Waitress Blog

The first town I visited…
May 11, 2009, 3:30 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized
Angel and his wife Vilma

Angel and his wife Vilma

The first town I visited was Seligman, Arizona, a small town west of Kingman on Route 66. It looked like it had been preserved in time. I met Angel Delgadillo, the town barber and his wife Vilma in their Route 66 memorabilia shop. Their warm welcome challenged all of my cynical assumptions about urban people visiting small towns. The people of Seligman opened up their homes, their histories, and their memories for me to record. They restored my belief in the goodness that can be found in regular people leading less complicated lives. The negative experiences I would encounter down the road would always be in the shadow of this yesteryear town.

It was 2 weeks after 9/11 and the country was desperate to remember the past. When I asked Angel about the role nostalgia plays in these old Route 66 towns, he said that “Seligman is the real thing, it just rubs off  [on]to the people who walk in here. It looks like yesterday and it feels like a part of yesterday and we are yesterday.  It just sort of packages itself. What’s still America is the small towns and hometown cafes and hometown filling stations.”

Has anyone been to Seliman or met Angel? He’s fairly well known. He’s been written about in magazines all over the world. If anyone knows how he’s doing please let us know.


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