What’s the difference between ‘history’ and ‘legacy’? This thought came across my mind as I did a site survey recently in Amboy, CA along ‘historic’ Route 66.
‘History’ is merely the past. History requires no foresight or purpose. Everything you do today will be history tomorrow. It’s no achievement or honor to “make history”.
‘Legacy’, on the other hand, is what predecessors have handed down for the present. Legacy is received. There are obviously legal definitions for legacy, but basically, in my words, legacy is consciously left by the past for the present.
The reason I thought of this difference is because there’s *nothing* along Route 66, at least where I was. Who goes on Route 66?
Even though Route 66 is called ‘historic’, I’d like to believe that nobody in their right mind nowadays will drive along Route 66 if their purpose for transportation is to go from Point A to Point B. Rather, they’ll drive on it for curiosity or for a very specific purpose, which, in Amboy, appears to be the following:
2. throwing their shoes on fallen trees
3. painting or arranging rocks along the side of the road
4. graffiti or defacement of abandoned buildings
5. Roy’s Gas Station
6. The Amboy Crater
I think #7 was my primary goal. Driving along Route 66 in Amboy truly allowed me to exploit and practice good time management. There was no dilly-dallying during this trip – I was in and I was out. I have a deep fear of rural towns where the population is less than my shoe size. I can’t believe Amboy has a working Post Office. US Government, do you want to tackle the fiscal cliff? Let me tell you where to start…
Anyway, Route 66 was important in the early 20th century for Americans who migrated West…and it was one of the original highways that linked places together before the US Interstate Highway System was established. Route 66 is officially no longer Route 66, but has many names and designations for the portions of highway that still exist.
Did it leave a legacy? No. I don’t think so. The road is just a road, and a crumbling one that tested the limits of my Honda Civic’s suspension, if anything. If there was a legacy, it was one of freedom and migration, which can be attributed to more than just Route 66.
Anyway, some more pictures:
Abandoned Building Graffiti
Roy’s Has Vacancy