Route 66

A recommendation for your viewing pleasure: “Hey now! With this dreary chilly February weather maybe it’s a good idea to set the old Gearhart Way Back Machine to the summer of 1962,” Jim Furnish posted on the “A Million Friends Of Gearhart” Facebook page.

“Why, you ask? Because that was the summer when the popular TV show, ‘Route 66‘ came to Clatsop County to film an episode of the show. Filmed mostly in and around Astoria, it’s a video time capsule of way back when.”

The episode he’s referring to is “One Tiger to a Hill” starring Martin Milner and George Maharis, with guest star David Janssen playing a drunken bully on the Astoria docks.

The action starts with the two stars cruising along the beach in a Corvette past the wreck of the “Peter Iridale,” as they’re heading to Astoria. Here’s the link to that 1960s nostalgia: bit.ly/66tiger. A screen shot is shown of (from left) Maharis, Milner and Janssen.

“One of the Corvette on the beach shots was right in front of the Gearhart Hotel,” Jim recalled, “and being as there weren’t any decent hotels or motels in Astoria or Warrenton, the TV production people were housed at the Gearhart Hotel, which really ramped up the excitement factor here, thinking all you had to do was stroll through the lobby or by the pool to see some genuine TV stars.

“Didn’t work for me, though, because they wouldn’t be there in the daytime, they were out making their show — but at night, they probably relaxed and mingled with the locals at the Driftwood Lounge and the Sandtrap, which weren’t on this 11-year-old’s haunts.”

There appear to be a lot of locals used as extras in the show, so you might want to keep your eyes open for familiar faces … and places.

“Maybe you’ll see someone you know,” Jim added. “I saw one old fisherman in there I used to visit with … OK, start the cool music and enjoy.”

Elleda Wilson is an editorial assistant for The Daily Astorian and author of the award-winning In One Ear community column. Contact her at 971-704-1718 or ewilson@dailyastorian.com.

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