Sunday, February 11, 2018

A Highway Angel

Angel Delgadillo was recently featured in The Arizona Republic.  Route 66 News picked up his story
You can read the Route 66 News discussion and allocades for Angel here:

We first met Angel in October 1980 when we visited his brother Juan's legendary Snow Cap Drive-In. Juan's been gone since 2004 but Angel lives on as fresh and smiling as ever. We got to know Angel very well from August through early November 1986 when we ran in our first election for the Arizona Legislature. Angel's Barber Shop was like a refuge for me there in Seligman. The electoral district included Kingman so I'd stop often in Angel's Place and he would always ask for my help in getting Route 66 designated as a historic route. Believe it or not, that was not a popular idea back then. I always promised I would help, win or lose in the election. Well, not long afterwards, I got my chance to pay back Angel's Friendship during the election. The topic of designating Route 66 as a historic road came up in early 1987 at an advisory committee meeting. As most of you know, the top of the highway food chain only takes action on things that have been green-lighted by various and sundry advisory committees. I will never forget that meeting. There was outright negativity to the idea from one blow hard oversize male on the committee. He was the type of blow hard who made people cower with his loud, obnoxious, grating voice. He had a "Back East" accent and waved his arms a lot and really tried to dominate the meeting with his ridiculous ideas about how Route 66 was just a washed up piece of asphalt rotting under the desert sun. Angel was (and I presume he still is) a very polite, soft spoken gentleman who undoubtedly was born with a perpetual smile that lights up the Seligman World. Angel was no match for this reprehensible nattering naboob of negativity. But that blow hard met his match when I stood up to speak. Running in that election had really supercharged my public speaking confidence. By then I had logged several months as a registered lobbyist; had sheparded a successful bill bill to the Governor's desk and had been appointed to the Arizona Outdoor Recreation Coordinating Commission, a group with considerably more clout than this piss ant advisory committee. Plus, I had promised Angel I would come through for him. So it was time to "Stand & Deliver" and I really let 'er rip. I gave one of my best all time speeches. I'd give anything to have a transcript of that speech but, alas, public testimony wasn't being recorded at state advisory committees back then. Man, I paced back in forth in front of that committee; I pointed a finger at each of them; I made expansive gestures and I really, really conjured up the essence of what Route 66 would eventually become. I talked about untold numbers of people from around the world who would flock to Route 66 and, yes, I even invoked the concept of Highway Pilgrims going to the altar of the cathedral of The Mother Highway there in Seligman and beyond. Oh, my, my, it was the kind of speech you simply didn't hear in those days and rarely hear even today. I blew right through my three minute time limit and nobody except the blowhard seemed to care. No matter how he frowned at the chairwoman, she didn't shut me down. She let me go to my inevitable Cross Of Gold finale. As I finished I looked over at Angel and his eyes were welled with tears but he was smiling Big Time. The committee voted 6-1 to approve the nomination for historic status. Only the blowhard voted "no". The big bag of hot air didn't have anything to say during the rest of the meeting. He pouted in his seat and left in a huff. Angel and I hugged each and held our handshake much longer than normal. I will be forever proud of that day. I haven't seen Angel in many years but it is so gratifying to read about him this morning. Angel never faltered in his devotion to The Mother Road. He never gave up. He never gave in. He stood tall when he was the only one standing. Today he stands tall as a Patron Angel of Route 66, a man among men who made a difference. VIVA & BRAVO, Angel! May Your Spirit Soar Strong Forever!

Friday, February 2, 2018

Ground Hog Perpectives

A quirky romantic comedy and a gimmicky sci-fi premise, “Groundhog Day” managed to tap into universal, spiritual, larger than life questions. What kind of person do I want to be? What would I do with eternity? Do I have the capacity to change?
But the creators of the classic film, released a quarter century ago, say that the Bill  Murray comedy’s deeper themes and success feel almost accidental.
“I was not trying to write a spiritual piece, but I was trying to write a story about a human life,” screenwriter Danny Rubin told TheWrap. “You sort of go through these periods of time where it’s not quite right, and you feel like you want to move on, and you feel like you’ve tried everything and it’s just not changing. Yeah, of course. I think that’s a very common, human experience. I don’t know many people who haven’t experienced something like that.”
If you were immortal and could live long enough, would you change? That was the question Rubin started with in imagining “Groundhog Day.” Suddenly he had an idea about something more than a man caught repeating the same day.
“For some of these arrested development types, maybe one lifetime isn’t long enough,” Rubin said. “Now it seemed really promising, because it wasn’t just a comedy premise. It was the story of a human life, a very long human life. I thought of it like Siddhartha, a man’s journey through life all on the same day.”
When Rubin first met with director and co-screenwriter Harold Ramis, Ramis was fascinated by the film’s references to reincarnation and resurrection. It all came as a surprise to Rubin, and he looked to Ramis to help the script’s final draft find the warmth and humanistic qualities that have made it a classic.
“Groundhog Day” producer Trevor Albert recalled getting a call from a Buddhist leader applauding them for making a film that embodied ideologies of regeneration. Some time later, he got a call from a Jewish organization that had embraced it as a perfect depiction of “mitzvah.” And these were hardly the only theories that have followed the film in the last 25 years.
“Why is it 5:59 and then 6:01? Is that because how old Moses was when the flood happened? Oh…might be,” Rubin joked. “Did you know that Nietzsche was trying to figure out how to dramatize his theory of eternal recurrence? Is that what you were trying to do? Yes? Because I thought that’s just what Hollywood needed!”
“Wouldn’t it be great if we had that kind of experience and learn something from it? We go through life and are not always conscious of it,” Murray’s co-star Andie MacDowell told TheWrap. “Whatever religion you want to base yourself in, that’s ultimately why we’re here.”
MacDowell said for a movie about kindness, it was Ramis’ spirit that influenced “Groundhog Day’s” charm. She described him as “the nicest man” she’s ever worked with, always in a good mood and never grumpy. And she hopes that kindness rubs off on anyone who watches “Groundhog Day,” even 25 years later.
“Hopefully we do become more conscious of how we treat others and the affect we have every day, down to the point do we let the car go in, do we let a car pass us in Los Angeles, do we pick a fight, do we help an old lady cross the street? Are we conscious enough to make those decisions,” Macdowell said.
“It is about imbuing and hoping that irredeemable people can be redeemed. That’s the great human aspiration,” Albert said. “I’d like Donald Trump to watch the movie and see if it affects his behavior a little bit. You want people whose views you don’t agree with or who are unkind and selfish to be better human beings, or at least I do.”
MacDowell’s character Rita has a line as Phil has spent the day trying to woo her off her feet. “It’s perfect. You couldn’t have planned a day like this.” “Groundhog Day” too feels equally effortless in its charm and the spiritual legacy it has left on so many. “Well, you could,” Phil says. “It just takes a lot of work.”

If you absolutely MUST read the bove story in its ridiculously ad-infested context, here is the link: