God and the conjunction of confused bloods, history and the bullying of this tough continent to heel, did something to the American people--worked up in their blood a species of restiveness unlike any that any race before has known, a restiveness describable only in negatives. Not to eat, not for love, nor even for money, nor for fear, nor really for adventure, nor truly out of any known necessity is this desire to move upon even the most docile of us. We are restive entirely for the sake of restiveness. Whatever we may think, we move for no better reason than for the plain unvarnished hell of it. And there is no better reason.
So God made the American restive. The American in turn and in due time got into the automobile and found it good. The War exasperated his restiveness and the twenties made him rich and more restive still and he found the automobile not merely good but better and better. It was good because continually it satisfied and at the same time greatly sharpened his hunger for movement: which is very probably the profoundest and most compelling of American racial hungers. The fact is that the automobile became a hypnosis. The automobile became the opium of the American people.
After the autoist had driven round and round for awhile, it became high time that people should catch on to the fact that as he rides there are a thousand and ten thousand little ways you can cash in on him en route. Within the past few years, the time ripened and burst. And along the Great American Road, the Great American Roadside sprang up prodigally as morning mushrooms, and completed a circle which will whirl for pleasure and for profit as long as the American blood and the American car are so happily married.
If you wish to assure yourself, consider Exhibit A: the tourist cabin camp. Like the automobile, it is here to stay.