Route 66 Lost & Found: Ruins and Relics Revisited

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9780760318546: Route 66 Lost & Found: Ruins and Relics Revisited
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Route 66: Lost and Found conveys the spirit and the times, not quite like any other book. Arizona Daily SunFor several decades, Route 66 was the nation's main east-west thoroughfare, pointing Middle America toward all the promise California seemed to hold at various times, whether permanent refuge from the Dust Bowl or a temporary escape from the drudgery of everyday suburban life in prosperous postwar America. As such, America's Main Street once teemed with activity . . . bustling centers of commerce that evaporated into the vast American landscape like the jet contrails overhead and the heat rising from the Interstate asphalt. This engaging look at the "Mother Road" takes 75 locations along its 2,297 mile route from Chicago to Santa Monica and shows them first during their halcyon heydays through black-and-white photographs and period postcards, then on the facing page as they appear today, from the exact same angle and also through vivid black-and-white photographs.

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About the Author:

Russell Olsen began exploring and photographing Route 66 in 1995. On his first trip down the Mother Road he unexpectedly shot 27 rolls of film. Annual trips followed and in 1998 Olsen set out on his “Lost & Found” project, collecting vintage postcards, photographing Route 66, and publishing the first volume of Route 66 Lost & Found in 2004, and the second volume in 2006. Born and raised in South Chicago, Olsen today lives in North Hollywood, California. His work can be viewed at www.route66lostandfound.com.

From Publishers Weekly:

For half a century, Route 66 was the main thoroughfare from Chicago to Los Angeles. Built largely from portions of old wagon trails, the 2-lane highway zigzagged through eight states: south from Illinois and slicing southwest through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and finally, into California. Going town by town, Olsen revisits the mid-century road side cafes, motels and service stations that thrived along the old route, juxtaposing his own photographs with vintage postcards or archival photos of each building in its heyday. The result is an illustrated catalogue of 75 buildings in various states of renovation, expansion, desolation and decay. For example, the Painted Desert Trading Post in Navajo, Ariz., pictured with busy motorists filling up on gas in 1942, is today windowless and surrounded by sagebrush, its painted stucco exterior scoured by decades of desert sand and wind. Meanwhile, the Riviera tavern in Gardner, Ill., still sits open, its white clapboard exterior and Schlitz beer sign remarkably unchanged. Olsen intertwines the highway’s history with the personal stories of the owners and patrons who recall vividly when the new 4-lane interstate system put the old road on the path to obsolescence. But before its decline, it served as "The Mother Road" for those fleeing the Dust Bowl, a main artery for WWII military transport and arms production and later, a sunny vacation route for hordes of post-war tourists. For those unable to get their kicks in person, this virtual road trip preserves the memory and adventure of Route 66.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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