a while back i hooked up with a navajo man, maybe forty years old, shivering cold on a late-winter afternoon in Flagstaff, Arizona. He’d left the nearby Navajo Rez a couple of days before, hitchhiking down notorious Highway 89, a concussive mix of two-lane curves, gawking Grand Canyon tourists, late-for-the-weekend Lake Powell junkies jerking big ski boats along behind overpowered SUVs, and Rez residents driving old pickups back and forth to Flagstaff. As a result, Highway 89 is known for something else too: all those white roadside crosses, here marking one of the highway’s countless head-on collisions, there pinning down some deadly moment when a car cartwheeled off 89 and out into the surrounding sandstone.
KeywordsDust Bowler Rural Highway Popular Video Game Pedestrian Death Bike Messenger
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- 1.See, for example, Andy Steiner, “Highway to Heaven,” Utne Reader, 99, May–June 2000, 28–29; Laura Trujillo, “Place of Tragedy, Place of Rest,” Arizona Republic, March 12, 2000, F1, F4.Google Scholar
- 3.Carl Sandburg, “Grass,” The Complete Poems of Carl Sandburg (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1969), 136.Google Scholar
- 5.Gary Genosko, “Dispatched,” Borderlines, 44, 1997, 13–15. See Howard Williams, “Bike Messengers Struggle for Union,” Bike Summer, 1999, 15.Google Scholar
- 7.Chris Ziegler, “Death in Texas,” Punk Planet, 36, March/April 2000, 68–81. Quotation p71. See Pamela Colloff, “The Outsiders,” Texas Monthly, November 1999, 118–122, 144–153, who likewise quotes a local Amarillo mother: “Teenagers here pay a lot of attention to … what kind of car you drive. If you can’t compete, you’re an outcast” (122). For more information on this case, see also www.briandeneke.org.Google Scholar