When I came across this poem my father wrote, I decided to get interested in Route 60 and found that it runs from Virginia Beach right on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, launching westward for 2,655 miles by way of Kentucky, Missouri, Oklahoma, and landing somewhere around Brenda, Arizona (pop. 676). Los Angeles is about four-and-a-half-hours due west while San Francisco—where my father would always end up—is a good 10½ hours further north of that.
Highway 60 would have been like an old familiar friend to him, traversed both ways numerous times by car, 18-wheeler, and motorcycle as well as with thumb or “palm a-waving” many a time, in all kinds of weather--trying to get east of somewhere he’d rather not be.
It is “here” I allow myself to be in the moment with Daddy, to grant him human being-ness outside of being our father, and just let him be who he knew himself to be for a moment. Let him be Neal Cassady, living with wild abandon on the road with nothing to tie him down and no one to answer to and no responsibilities to anyone. Just the call of the highway, warm smell of colitas rising up through the air in dingy rooms with mamacitas to drink and lay with and never see again. - Excerpt from Letters from East of Nowhere