Article Archive – Rt. 66 Federation News

Fed News Cover Photo by Dave Clark, Autumn 2003 issue

Fed News Cover Photo by Dave Clark, Autumn 2003 issue

Since the Summer 2002 issue, I have been a steady contributor to the Federation News, the quarterly publication of the National Historic Route 66 Federation. The Federation is dedicated to promoting and preserving the “Main Street of America.” Its mission statement:

The National Historic Route 66 Federation is the worldwide, nonprofit organization committed to directing the public’s attention to the importance of U.S. Highway Route 66 in America’s cultural heritage and acquiring the federal, state and private support necessary to preserve the historic landmarks and revitalize the economies of communities along the 2,400 mile stretch of road. The Federation accomplishes these goals through public education and advocacy. Public outreach strategies include a quarterly magazine, public relations, a worldwide web site, the EZ66 GUIDE for Travelers and the Route 66 Dining & Lodging Guide.

The Federation is a membership organization. If you enjoy the articles below, please consider becoming a member of the Federation.

Click here to jump down to the story of how I came to start writing for the Route 66 Federation News

Click these links to jump down to the article of your choice:

  1. Links of History: 66 and Early Chicago–The Waterway Years Summer 2002 — Volume 8 Number 3
  2. Links of History: 66 and Chicago’s Railroads Autumn 2002 — Volume 8 Number 4
  3. Links of History: Chicago’s Roads Before 66 Winter 2003 — Volume 9 Number 1
  4. Links of History: 66 and the Urban Expressway Spring 2003 — Volume 9 Number 2
  5. Synchronicity on 66 Summer 2003 — Volume 9 Number 3
  6. Driving US 66 in Chicagoland: Jackson Boulevard (Part One) Autumn 2003 — Volume 9 Number 4
  7. Driving US 66 in Chicagoland: Jackson Boulevard (Part Two) Winter 2004 — Volume 10 Number 1
  8. Driving US 66 in Chicagoland: Adams Street (Part One) Spring 2004 — Volume 10 Number 2
  9. Driving US 66 in Chicagoland: Adams Street (Part Two) Summer 2004 — Volume 10 Number 3
  10. Driving US 66 in Chicagoland: Ogden Avenue Autumn 2004 — Volume 10 Number 4
  11. A Picture Worth 2000 Words Winter 2005 — Volume 11 Number 1
  12. Another Picture, Another 2000 Words Spring 2005 — Volume 11 Number 2
  13. Of Romance and Finance; of Marriage and McCook Spring 2006 — Volume 12 Number 2

In the Beginning…

The End was just the Beginning

The End was just the Beginning

While at Indiana University in the late 1970s, I expected that my career would be centered on creative writing. However, as John Lennon wrote, “Life is what happens while you are making other plans.” I left college without a degree and drifted through life as a car dealership porter, a parking garage manager, a car salesmen, a door-to-door canvasser, and a postal worker. Then, in March 2000, I took a trip down old Route 66 from Chicago to St. Louis with my wife, Carol, and our canine family member, Jolie. That trip began an obsession with the old roads that has not abated.

After that first trip, I began voraciously reading everything I could find about Route 66. I was impressed by the high quality of writing by such wordsmiths as Michael Wallis, Tom Teague, Bob Moore, and Jim Ross. However, a few of the articles I saw in periodicals were of significantly lesser quality. With the Mother Road as my inspiration, I decided that I could certainly do a better job of writing than some of what I was reading. I set to work on my opus–a 5000-word article which I called “Links of History.”

With naive chutzpah, I sent my prose concerto off to David Knudson at the National Historic Route 66 Federation. To my delight, David told me that he thought it was a wonderful article. To my horror, he also said, “too bad I can’t use it.” It was about 3000 words too long.

I re-worked the article with additional content and turned it into three shorter pieces, each about 2000 words long. I sent the first of these back to David, and he decided to publish it in the Summer 2002 issue of the Federation News. He then published the others in the Fall 2002 and Winter 2003 issues, and over the following years I have been lucky enough to have an article published in every subsequent issue of the Fed News.

David Knudson’s kindness in giving me this forum has now been compounded, since he has agreed to allow me to reproduce those articles here, scanned from the Fed News as originally laid out and edited by David. I will add the articles in the order they were originally published as time allows. If you enjoy what you see here, please take the time to visit the website of the National Historic Route 66 Federation, please consider becoming a member of the Federation, and finally please consider buying the back issues of this fine publication.

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