Behind the Wheel.on Route 66

Suttle, Howard; Johnson, Linda; MacNeish, Joan, M.

Published by Data Plus Printing & Pub
ISBN 10: 1889915009 / ISBN 13: 9781889915005
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Synopsis: In 1951, Howard went to Greyhound Driver School in Dallas, and drove from 1951 until 1979. His driving was largely done in Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico along "old 66." He has traveled literally over two and a half million miles over the length and breadth of the Southwest during his twenty-eight years of Greyhound service. Observing the land and its people, studying its colorful history, and putting to canvas the realism of everyday lives of the cowboy, Indian, the good times and the bad times, hardship and triumph of life in this often harsh and brutal environment. Enjoy these nostalgic, true-life accounts of Main Street USA.

From the Author: As I write these true stories, I tried to remember when certain things happened, but to no avail. As these accounts were unfolding, writing a book about them was the farthest thing from my mind. Consequently, the exact dates of these events were not recorded.

I can't recall either, the exact time that every town along Route 66 was by-passed by the interstates, because not all sections were completed at the same time. There was a period of time that both old Route 66 and the new interstate were used. In fact, back then, we were relieved to get the privilege of using the new road. In more recent years, as Greyhound obtained more modern equipment and more of the interstate was completed, we started more express schedules and the smaller places were by-passed. Times were a'changin' indeed!! As we traveled the new road in more modern buses (with restrooms, etc.), we could see the smaller places like Glen Rio, Quervo, Newkirk, and numerous other places slowly deteriorate and start to look like ghost towns.

After retirement, my wife and I made a trip to California by auto. As we left Amarillo, heading west, I was reminded of old Route 66 since that, old road is still used in some places. While continuing west into New Mexico, you can see the old road in several places, if you know where to look. In fact, all the way through New Mexico, I was constantly reminded of its presence. From the central part of the state to Albuquerque, there are still a lot of reminders of times past. Through Arizona, its presence is felt and seen in many places.

After spending the night in Arizona, we continued west on the interstate. After leaving Needles, en route to Barstow, I couldn't help but wonder how those old, crude cars with poor tires, no air conditioning, and bad roads with little water and lots of dust and heat ever made it. I often wondered how many dreams that old desert crushed. As we traveled on through the San Bernardino Mountains and into Los Angeles, the thought of an entire family working its way out here in an old jalopy must have been frightening, to say the least.

Leaving LA, we continued up the coast to Carmel, Monterey, Salinas, then back to Bakersfield and east toward Amarillo. I couldn't help but wonder just how many of the prosperous farmers and vineyard operators could trace the routes of their ancestors back down old Route 66. About that time, I could see jet trails crisscrossing the sky. Times, indeed, are still a' changin'.

As far as the times being better, I don't know...but one thing I know for sure: as long as man is alive and kickin', he will continue to push ahead full-speed into future realms unknown, for this is the nature of man. But just as old Route 66 will fade into the past, along with the wagon ruts and the stagecoach, so some day, the jet airliner will give way to some other form of transportation.

But, at least for a while, we can still look over at the old road, (and in some cases, actually drive on it) and remember how it once was...for someday, not too far into the future, these tracks will also fade into history.-Howard Suttle

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Title: Behind the Wheel.on Route 66
Publisher: Data Plus Printing & Pub
Binding: MASS MARKET PAPERBACK
Book Condition: Very Good

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Howard Suttle, Linda Johnson, Joan MacNeish
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