Wednesday, February 06, 2013

A Valentine to Valentine, Arizona

February 6, 2013
Dan The Man Harshberger and I are scheming on a project that will celebrate our hometown, and more specifically, the crazy kids we grew up with on the Mother Road. Dan found this image recently which features a lonely stretch of Route 66 where his family had a gas station back behind the trees:

A Valentine to Valentine, Arizona

So many stories about the people who lived on this road and that's the story we want to tell. Many years ago at an early Route 66 Fun Run, in Seligman, my father and I were going into the Copper Cart for breakfast before the run started and this guy was standing outside selling very large prints of a famous Life magazine cover. I think I paid $20 for it. Forgot about it until two weekends ago when I was cleaning in the garage and found it and decided to get it framed. Michael Feldman of the Frame & Art Center does all my framing and he and Josh did their usual stellar job:

Need to find some wall space for this big sucker. Very inspiring to me. The photo was taken on Route 66, in Seligman, in 1953. There is a hitchhiker with a car approaching, and, of course, the bevy of flat-bottomed clouds marching across the sky is just divine to me.

My French publisher has licensed my Billy the Kid book to follow up with my first book in French, "The Illustrated Life & Time of Wyatt Earp". Looks like another trip to Paris is in the works.

Meanwhile, I'm trying to immerse myself in all the road classics. Finished the second reading of "On The Road" (the 1957 version and the Scroll version) and I'm now on to this guy:

"And it came about in the camps along the roads, on the ditch banks beside the streams, under the sycamores, that the story teller grew into being, so that the people gathered in the low firelight to hear the gifted ones. And they listened while the tales were told and their participation made the stories great."
—John Steinbeck, "The Grapes of Wrath"