Journey along historic Route 66 with Marshall Shore on Monday, November 7, at 1:30 p.m. at the Church of the Nazarene, 55 Rojo Drive in the Village of Oak Creek. During this Arizona Humanities program, “Arizona Kicks on Route 66,” the speaker will share the history of Route 66 and tell about the impact it had on the state during its prime. He will also share what happened when the interstate ultimately bypassed some of the towns that drew life from the road. This multi-media presentation includes music, video clips, still photos, and Shore’s storytelling magic. The program, generously funded by Arizona Humanities and Friends of the Sedona Library, is free and open to the public. Donations are always welcome.
Route 66, one of the original U.S. highways, was established November 11, 1926. During the Great Depression, it became the major path by which people migrated west seeking work, warm weather, and new opportunities. Over the years it has earned many nicknames: “The Great Diagonal Way” because the Chicago to Oklahoma City stretch ran northeast to southwest, “The Main Street of America,” and “The Will Rogers Highway.” Today, portions of the road that passed through Illinois, Missouri, New Mexico, and Arizona are designated as Historic Route 66 National Scenic Byways.
How long has it been since you read the American classic “The Grapes of Wrath” by John Steinbeck? Steinbeck referred to Route 66 as “the Mother Road,” a name that has endured. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1940, this epic of the Great Depression chronicles the Dust Bowl migrations of the 1930s. Steinbeck tells the story of the Joads, an Oklahoma farm family, driven from their homestead and forced to travel west to the promised land of California.
In his book “Route 66: The Mother Road 75 th Anniversary Edition,” Michael Wallis hits the road revisiting people and places that made the Mother Road an American icon. This book is a tribute to Route 66 that takes readers on an unforgettable journey on America’s most famous and beloved highway.
To get a little closer to home, consider watching “Route 66 Arizona.” This DVD features stories and interviews with those who make Route 66 what it is.
The Yavapai Library Network also offers a few cookbooks about Route 66: “The Route 66 Cookbook,” “Main Street of America Cookbook: A Culinary Journey down Route 66,” and “Dine in Route 66: Flavors of Route 66 in the Comfort of Your Own Home!”
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Village News appears monthly in The Villager and is also presented on Sedona Biz.
By Cheryl Yeatts
Cheryl Yeatts is Manager of Sedona Public Library in the Village.