‘I was standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona. Such a fine sight to see…’
Winslow is a small city, east of Flagstaff on I 40 and makes up part of Historic Route 66. I wasn’t quite as interested in that as I was in the fact that Winslow is mentioned in the classic Eagles track, ‘Take it Easy’.
I *love* The Eagles, and the chance to drive to Winslow was too good to pass up. The opportunity to stand on an actual corner in town was almost more excitement than this little heart could take. I’ve been listening to The Eagles since I was a little girl and that was, well…rather a long time ago.
Anyway, just know that I am very fond of them and have had Winslow on my bucket list for no other reason than that I expect an Eagle (or 4) may once have visited. If it’s good enough for Don Henley, it’s good enough for me.
So we departed Las Vegas and drove through the beautiful desert into Arizona. And then we drove some more. And then a little more. Before we knew it, 4 hours had passed and we were fast approaching Winslow and I was fast approaching having to breathe into a paper bag with simultaneous bouts of glee and panic. Please don’t let it be crap…please don’t let it be crap.
It could hardly have been better.
I Was Running Down the Road…
As we entered Winslow, we spotted a brown tourist sign informing us that Standin’ on the Corner Park was literally…well, just round the corner, and so we started off, turned the bend and immediately spotted the iconic Flat Bed Ford from the song, shining brightly in the Arizona sun.
Standin’ on the Corner Park was set up specifically to commemorate the famous rock song and was opened in 1999. Back in the late seventies, a highway was built which led traffic away from the city. This hurt the area immensely, with new stores opening up along the route and shifting visitors from Winslow.
A Musical Idea
The idea to create Standin’ on the Corner park was to bring visitors back to the city and build on the tourism they once enjoyed. With a resurgence in interest in Route 66 and the ever popular musical links, it was the perfect way to promote the beautiful downtown area.
When Disney Pixar released their massive animated hit ‘Cars’ more than a decade ago, it featured a hotel from the city, as well as a souvenir shop at the park, and this also helped to renew interest.
The Park has seen many developments over the year, including the commission of sculptures and a wonderful mural. Most notably, theres a new bronze statue of Glen Frey, installed in September 2016, to commemorate the passing of founding Eagle.
Memorials and Memories
Today, it’s petty much perfect. It’s a compact area at the crossroads of two streets, with a couple of little diners, bars and souvenir stores. These happily sell keep sakes to the tourists and road trippers and blasting out Eagles music across the area.
As well as the individual features of the park, the pavement walkway at the front is full of memorial stones. These are dedicated to people who were either from the area, or visitors who’d called in love with Winslow. It is a fantastic touch and I spent a bit of time reading through quotes and memories. It is this that helps to fund the continued revitalisation of the Winslow and the building of the Eagle Pavilion.
John Pugh Mural
Artist John Pugh created a two-storey mural and it’s one of the finest things about the park. This proudly depicts the name of the city, as well as detailing the iconic scene from ‘Take it Easy’. The mural is painted on the wall of the outside of a building to look like, well…the outside of a building. And it does it really well, including birds perched on window sills and rather pretty orange brickwork.
As well as the popular visitor attraction, the park hosts many events throughout the calendar year. The park is location off Interstate 40, close to the border of New Mexico and Arizona.
It really is such a fine sight to see.