Legendary Route 66  
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Shirley Mills Hanson as Ruthie Joad
The Grapes of Wrath and Shirley Mills Hanson

 
 

Legendary 66: A Journey Through Time Along America’s Mother Road is more than a history of the road.  Each chapter features engaging profiles of historical figures, both familiar and obscure—interviews that paint the reader a vivid picture of what life was like along the Mother Road.  By way of personal recollection and insight, readers will gain a new appreciation for what it took to build this route, operate a business there, and make the long trek across the continent by car.

From the pages of time, historical figures come alive to tell their story—visionaries like Cyrus “Father of Route 66” Avery, who single-handedly spearheaded the creation and promotion of the route.  Shake hands with highway boosters like Judge J.M. Lowe and learn first hand how difficult it was to get good roads established in America.  Then, compare notes with intrepid explorers like Francois Xavier Aubrey, a pioneering man of courage and fortitude who blazed the early trails and forged a path for the legions of travelers in automobiles who followed.

Legendary Route 66 also profiles some of the more recent, colorful characters of Route 66 fame, the people who imbue the road with character and give it heart.  Say “howdy” to individuals the likes of Lucille Hamons, the “The Mother of the Mother Road” who owned Lucille’s gas station near Hydro, Oklahoma.  Next, haggle with roadside traders like Frank Yellowhorse of the Yellowhorse Trading Post in Arizona and learn what its like to sell souvenirs on 66.  Then, sleep in an Indian Teepee and meet motel owner John Lewis, operator of the iconic tepee-shaped Wigwam Motel.

There are many more personalities to meet along this magical mystery tour of the old road, including Hugh Davis, the visionary who created the Blue Whale of Catoosa, Oklahoma; Shirley Mills Hanson (Ruthie Joad), one of the last living cast members from movie “The Grapes of Wrath”; and barber-turned road activist Angel Delgadillo, an important leader in the resurrection of Highway 66.  It was Will Rogers who said “I never met a man I didn’t like” and there’s no doubt that you will say the same after you make the acquaintance of the personalities that populate the pages of Legendary Route 66.

 
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