Standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona, was a forelorn experience after Interstate 40 bypassed the Route 66 town in 1979. Winslow's renaissance was sparked by Allan Affeldt and artist Tina Mion in 1997 when they started restoring La Posada, an elegant railroad hotel designed by famed Southwestern architect Mary Jane Colter.
The Standin' on the Corner Park with a sculpture of a generic troubadour honors Jackson Browne and Glenn Frey for writing the song "Take it Easy" with its lyrics that put Winslow on the rock n' roll map:
"Well I'm standing on the corner of Winslow, Arizona, it's such a fine sight to see. It's a girl, my Lord, in a flatbed Ford slowing down to get a look at me."
Last September, Winslow added a sculpture of Eagles founder Glenn Frey during the 17th annual Standin' on the Corner Festival. Frey died in January 2016 at age 67.
A story has surfaced in recent years that Browne used poetic license to shape the song. The inspiration for the famous lyric, as the story goes, is that Browne was hitchhiking in front of Der Weinerschnitzel hot dog stand in Flagstaff when a girl in a Datsun cruised him.
The hot dog stand, now called the Dog Haus, claims the story is authentic and celebrates its place in the rock pantheon of the Eagles and Jackson Browne.
I don't know what to believe about these conflicting stories. I do know that Winslow has the Standin' on the Corner Park and it needs it far more than Flagstaff does. Attracting nostalgic Baby Boomers with this monument to a song lyric from their youth is one of the best things that Winslow has going for it.
That and La Posada. The hotel serves as the depot for Amtrak, which stops twice per day in Winslow, at 5:35 a.m. eastbound, and 7:50 p.m. for westbound.
Just north of the La Posada, is the whitewashed El Gran Garage, which used to be the garage for the Fred Harvey Co. touring cars
that took visitors from Winslow to the Navajo and Hopi villages. It's now a residence and artist studio.
Winslow’s Old Trails Museum, just north of Standin' on the Corner Park, is well worth a visit.
I'd also recommend at stop at he Winslow Visitor Center, 523 W. Second St. It's in the historic Lorenzo Hubbell Trading Post and Museum with a collection of artifacts from an era when Winslow was a hub of trading post commerce.
At one time, the trading post was home to the World's Largest Navajo Rug. Lorenzo Hubbell Jr. commissioned the 26-by-36 foot rug in 1932. It took two years to spin the yarn and three years to weave the rug.
The Winslow Arts Trust acquired the Navajo rug in 2012 with plans to display it in the train depot next to La Posada when the depot is renovated as a gallery.