Letters: George Maharis And 'Route 66'

Melissa Block and Robert Siegel read emails from listeners about George Maharis and the classic TV show, Route 66.

Copyright © 2012 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

I'm Robert Siegel. And it's time now for your letters.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIEGEL: Last week, we celebrated a TV program from the early 1960s: "Route 66." It aired on CBS and was filmed entirely on the road, a rarity then and now. I talked to actor George Maharis, who played Buzz Murdock.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

GEORGE MAHARIS: I can't tell you how many people wrote to me and told me that they - that's what they want to do after seeing the show and, you know, they wanted to buy a car and toot around.

BLOCK: Well, Linda Walsh of Cedar Falls, Iowa, says that when she learned the show would be shooting in her hometown of Chicago, she asked, as president of the local Maharis Fan Club, if they could watch. Ms. Walsh writes: I'll never forget receiving the phone call from the "Route 66" staffer saying we were scheduled for a fan club meet and greet with George Maharis on their set at a motel near O'Hare Airport. George was oh-so-gracious to our group of giggling 12-year-olds, even allowing photos to be taken with my old Brownie camera. We also met the horror flick stars featured in that episode: Peter Lorre, Boris Karloff and Lon Chaney Jr. And Lon was inspired to sign my forehead.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SIEGEL: Peter Stamelman of Santa Monica, California, was inspired in a slightly different way. He writes: Watching that iconic series and reading Kerouac's "On the Road" fed and nurtured my wanderlust until I reached 18 and traveled across the country - by car - to begin my freshman year at UCLA. If only there had been CDs then, I would have played Nelson Riddle's theme music from West Orange to Westwood. In a further irony, after graduating from UCLA, my first job was in the William Morris Agency mail room, and one of the first deliveries I made was to George Maharis' home.

BLOCK: Thanks to all who wrote in. And please keep your letters coming.

SIEGEL: Just go to npr.org and click on Contact Us at the bottom of the page.

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