“ I think the prime reason for existence, for living in this world is discovery. “ (James Dean)
I’ve never really thought of myself as a risk taker like James Dean of “Rebel Without a Cause” fame For I’m a methodical planner who rarely takes actions of an impulsive nature. Yet on a recent drive east along a barren stretch of State Highway 46 heading for Bakersfield , California, I experienced some heavy” James Dean moments reminiscent of his daring legacy at Blackwell’s Corner along this country road.
Know then that this celebrated young actor who loved to race cars in his spare time tragically died at age 24 in a high speed auto accident along this road on September 30,1955. James Dean’s last stop here before his crash remains standing today at a place called Blackwell’s Corner. So I’m patiently standing in line there at a lunch counter aptly called “Forever Young Cafe. Immediately I sense that very little seems to have changed in the interior look of this cafe from nearly seventy years ago in Dean’s, youth rebellious times.
Suddenly, I notice strong visions of Dean’s brash persona appears to influence my mind. Don’t think about why you came here or where you are heading now. For you feel really good about being a rebel in the “middle of nowhere” right now. So go ahead and order that fattening fudge or a thick fountain milkshake. Blast away that Elvis tune that you love on the cafe jukebox. Know that you’re going to look really “cool” when you buy that black racing jacket in the shop window. You might even dare to press the “pedal to the metal” as you resume your travels on this dusty road if you want to today.