A few weeks ago, I was driving down to Bloomington with my friend Joe to see the Flaming Lips. On the way out of town, Joe told me that he and our friend Mark referred to the stretch of Interstate 65 that runs through Indianapolis as “the Babyface.”
As I’m sure you know, this is the Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds Highway, so named to honor the uber-successful and influential musician, songwriter, and producer–not to mention Indianapolis native and North Central High School graduate. The route is marked clearly with signage at either end, inside the I-465 beltway.
Why do we not call this highway “the Babyface?”
Chicago has the Dan Ryan, the Kennedy, the Borman. Cities across America have names for their highways. We already have a name for our highway. We should use it.
Why? First, it would be more fun. Wouldn’t you rather hear our traffic reporters refer to “traffic moving steadily inbound on the Babyface?” Wouldn’t it add a bit of brightness to your day to say, “Man, the Babyface was a parking lot south of Raymond?”
Second, it’s a grand marketing opportunity. Lots of cities–Louisville, Nashville, Birmingham, Lebanon–have I-65. No other city has the Babyface. It adds to our uniqueness, our artistic and cultural heritage, our sense of fun.
Third: it’s already the Babyface! There are signs! We don’t have to do erect any monuments or pass any proclamations. We just have to start calling it the Babyface.
Will you help us, friends? Let’s call I-65 the Babyface. It is already the smoothest, hippest 25 miles of highway in America. Let’s start treating it that way.
Love & New Jack Swing,