For the most part I have found folks along the route to be more then friendly and welcoming. Always ready to share their love and knowledge of Route 66, with adults and kids. My last posting on McClean for instance mentions the museum staff at the Devils Rope Museum, and how welcoming they where. There not the only place where we have gotten an awesome reception, I could mention many others and I have in some of my past postings.
Like anything else though you do find some soarheads (sorry for the old timey term). There are some out there who seem to believe that only older folks, and adults from oversea's should be traveling the route. These range from business owners to fellow travelers.
My family and I had and incident in Holbrook, AZ in which a restaurant staff didn't seem to want families in there. The main reason we choose this restaurant was because they we suggested by the Route 66 Federation which had given is some really good suggestions before, and even after. The staff seemed annoyed to have a child in their restaurant, and just kind of sat us down and forgot about us well they openly welcomed senior's in the restaurant and served them cordially.
Keep in mind my son is very well behaved but being a little kid trapped in a car all day he was a little squirmy. Even though he wasn't moving that much, one of this lovely restaurants lovely favored customers felt the need to come up to our table and say "Well since he's going to move around so much, we're going to move to a new table. We have been in our car all day and would like a quiet meal thank you!", I hope this lady doesn't have grandkids to scare. Yeah really great place no wonder why it was nearly empty on a Sunday night at dinner time.
But this is an example of only a few of the incidents we had, only a few. Here is this steak house that has its name in the Route 66 Federation guidebook, that should be welcoming to everyone especially families instead picking and choosing who gets good service who doesn't. To say the least when I got home I e-mailed the Route 66 Federation on this terrible restaurant (the food was awful too).
My issue is that if those living and working on Route 66 want the route and its history to survive they are going to have to learn that families are the future. Those looking for a bit of that retro and historic travel, by traveling as a family in the steps of many other families in the routes past are a major part of the routes future. Welcoming only seniors and foreign travelers potentially endangers the route since your talking about an older generation, and overseas travelers mainly coming here since the dollar is down compared to their own currency. Families are not only the routes past but its future, kind of a strange circular way that works.
Continued in part 2.