It's..... The happiest blog on earth

I discovered there's a "last episode" of Route 66. Tod gets married -- his bride is played by Barbara Eden -- but in the last scene, her scheming relatives immediately have him murdered in order to claim his inheritance. The episode actually ends with them throwing his body off a high bridge, while his bride weeps.
It turns out that's just part one of a two-part episode -- but unfortunately, my DVR didn't record part two. That's a real downer, because the show always meant a lot to me. In this episode, thieves even stole Tod's precious Corvette. And in a stunning speech, in a bar in Tampa Florida on March 6, 1964, Tod's buddy Linc even tells him he's giving up their carefree life together out on the road.

"We weren't getting anywhere, just batting around from coast to coast. Like you said, 'Birds fly south for the winter, so did we.' Well, I'm smarter than a bird. A vida nueva -- 'A new life.' See? I'm already picking up a little Spanish. You see, Tod, you've got to find a thing that turns you on.

Okay, we tried. We drove around and we looked. But now I know it's not following the sun or even your nose. And it's not staying in one place, either and just doing a lot of busy work. The only way you can get turned on is to find something to do for people. People who need you.

Like the people needed us in Vietnam..."

But Linc was only conned into leaving the country by the bride's scheming family. He later returns to try to stop the wedding, and in part two reportedly helps Todd get revenge.

UPDATE: I finally saw the last episode. Tod gets his Corvette back, and at the end of the episode, Linc announces that he's returning to Texas. Tod, touched with emotion, says that he and his bride are headed that way, and they can give him a lift. A very significant exchange of glances follows, as Linc says what became the last line of the series.

"That's a two-seater you got there, old buddy."


Surprisingly, there's a true story that's even more interesting. The actor who played Tod's other friend Buz was George Maharis, who'd done some actual real-life drifting as a young man, according to a 2008 interview, and even hitch-hiked to Cuba! (At the end of the Florida Keys, you could catch a ferry boat to pre-Castro Cuba, and back!) The show's creators "kind of wrote this guy with me in mind," he tells the interviewer, remembering about the show that "trying to find out where you were, where you belonged and everything is a great adventure.

"I don't know that people do that anymore..."

Q: Did you ever hear from people who were inspired to take similar road trips?

A: Oh, yeah, a lot of them. Still do. Still do. [Thoughtfully.] Still do...

And click here for an image from the first episode of Route 66