I met noted poet Andrei Codrescu in the early 90s, as he drove his high-finned Cadillac convertible onto the lot of Ray Kroc’s first McDonald’s drive-in restaurant, now a company museum, in Des Plaines, IL. I guessed he was properly impressed, because he was to write in his book, “Road Scholar — coast to coast late in the century”, a commentary on his visit, including the conclusion, “Next to rock “n” roll, McDonald’s is the most enduring American creation of the second half of the twentieth century.”

Of course, being the cultural critic he continues to be today, nearly two decades after releasing the Peabody Award-winning filmed version of his book both in theaters and on PBS, as he interviews me ( I was then heading corporate communications for McDonald’s) wearing our vintage paper McDonald’s “crew” hats,  Codrescu observes that the immensity of the Midwest plains, “allows imperial daydreams to roll unimpeded.”  Was he trans-mutating the agricultural abundance of middle America with  Ray Kroc’s hopes and vision for the growth of McDonald’s? I suppose so. Sort of thing a displaced Transylvanian might do.

The following is from the poet’s website, http://www.codrescu.com:

Road Scholar: coast to coast late in the centuryHyperion, 1993Andrei Codrescu describes his coast-to-coast journey across the United States, discussing the beatniks, ex-hippies, and poets in New York’s East Village, a drive-through wedding in Las Vegas and other oddities. Inspired by Kerouac’s legendary paean to American wanderlust, On the Road, Codrescu sets out to discover for himself the wonders of the USA. Published to tie in with its companion PBS-TV special, the book sparkles with the author’s wit and sardonic humor. 60 photos.
Click here to order this Hardcover from Amazon.com Signed editions available from the author. Please email Andrei for more information.
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