McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

March 8, 2013

‘Get Your Reading Kicks on Route 66’ Starts Thursday

From submitted reports
Submitted report

McALESTER — Route 66 spans from Chicago, Ill., to Los Angeles, Calif., and reflects the dreams and memories of people traveling or living on it during the Great Depression. It was the road to adventure for treasure-seekers, displaced farmers and Hollywood hopefuls. Route 66 conjures up memories of two-lane highways, family vacations, picnic lunches at roadside tables, souvenir shops, reptile pits, cozy motor courts and an Orange Crush with a two-cent deposit. It has traveled through mountains and deserts, plains and forests.

Today it is known as the world’s most famous highway, even though it officially no longer exists.

It’s history was captured in the book “Route 66: The Mother Road,” by Tulsan Michael Wallis, the first book in the Spring, 2013 Let’s Talk About It, Oklahoma (LTAIO) reading and discussion series at McAlester Public Library.

Dr. Lewis Parkhill will give a scholarly presentation about the book at 6 p.m. tonight in the library’s Whiteacre Room. Dr. Parkhill is Professor Emeritus of English and past chair of the Department of English and Languages at East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma. His Ph.D. in American Literature is from the University of Texas at Austin.

Books are still available for the series, and may be signed out at the library. Special door prizes — tin Route 66 signs and license plates — will be given away at each discussion. Following the scholar’s talk, the group enjoys a refreshment table, then reconvenes for book discussion. The event is free and open to the public.

Books, services and other materials are provided by LTAIO, a project of the Oklahoma Humanities Council, with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Local funding is provided by the J.G. Puterbaugh Foundation.