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British photographer to open Route 66 show October 20, 2014

Posted by Ron Warnick in Art, Events, Photographs, Road trips.
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If you’re a reader who lives in the United Kingdom (and my host reports there is a substantial number) and are itching to experience Route 66, an upcoming photography exhibition might whet your appetite even more.

Martin Smith, a British fine-arts photographer, will open a show Tuesday at the Hertford Theatre in Hertford, England, featuring images from his trip on Route 66 last year.

The show opens Oct. 21 and ends Nov. 15. Hertford less than an hour north of London.

More about the show:

Route 66 once epitomised the American dream. The route took in eight states and 2500 miles as it linked Chicago in the east to Los Angeles in the west. Christened the “Mother Road” it has legendary status in popular music and film.

As interstate highways became established the road fell into decay as the towns it linked were bypassed. But today the spirit of Route 66 lives on. The people and places encountered along the journey make this the greatest road trip of them all.

Through a series of captivating images photographed over ten years Martin Smith has documented Route 66 during several journeys covering its length and breadth. A series of these images depicting the road, its old diners, gas stations and restored neon signs will be shown in this exhibition in Hertford, 20 miles north of London.

Martin will be available at selected times to meet visitors and discuss the stories behind the exhibits.

Those selected times where the photographer will be around are from 6:45 pm to 9:15 p.m. Oct. 24 (before a Fairport Convention concert at the theater), from 4 to 7 p.m. Nov. 5 and from 4 to 7 p.m. Nov. 13.

The theater’s hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday except for performance days, when hours are extended to 7:45 p.m.

If you can’t make it to the show, you can see many of Smith’s Route 66 photographs here.

(Images courtesy of Martin Smith)

“Stranded” October 5, 2014

Posted by Ron Warnick in Music, Road trips.
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North of Nashville, which calls itself “America’s Two-Man Outlaw Country Band,” stopped on old Route 66 in Depew, Oklahoma, a few days ago and videotaped this performance of one of its songs.

North of Nashville decided to get off the interstate to take Route 66 from the Oklahoma City area to Tulsa, on the way to Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Here are a few tweets from the group during its mini-trip:

Route 66 photo exhibit opens in Tulsa on Friday September 30, 2014

Posted by Ron Warnick in Art, Events, Photographs, Road trips.
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An exhibit by photographer Jessica Harvey, “Mother Road,” opens Friday at the Hardesty Arts Center in downtown Tulsa, with noted “Route 66: The Mother Road” author and Route 66 Alliance co-founder Michael Wallis speaking during the exhibition’s opening.

According to a news release from the Arts & Humanities Council of Tulsa, Wallis mentored Harvey for her two-month solo journey on Route 66. “Mother Road” will be on display at the Hardesty Arts Center through Nov. 23. “Mother Road” also includes artifacts and stories.

More photos from the exhibit:

More about the event:

Mother Road is a project derived from the history and myths that come from traveling Route 66, which illustrates journeys – both personal and shared – through road trips, driving and discovery.  Harvey displays artifacts and photographs from her own Route 66 odyssey, and invites the public to explore her studio at AHHA where they may offer their own personal artifacts and record individual stories and memories.  This shared project aims to reveal how a diverse group of people collectively feel about travel, Americana, and the culture of the great American road trip. Harvey’s solo road trip along Route 66 began in early September and will conclude at the end of the month, when she returns to Tulsa.

Wallis’ remarks will be at 7 p.m. Friday. The opening reception runs from 6 to 9 p.m. that day.

Harvey also will host a slide show at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 6.

You also can see many of Harvey’s images at her tumblr account.

On a related note, the Hardesty Arts Center and the Woody Guthrie Center are hosting the Mother Road Film Festival during October. Matinee films will be screened at the Woody Guthrie Center, 102 E. Mathew B. Brady St. Screenings are curated by artist Harvey and include:

  • “No More Road Trips” by Rick Prelinger, 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 5. It will be narrarated by Wallis.
  • “Tulsa: Finding 66″ by Ed Taylor, 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 25. Panel discussion will follow with Ed Taylor and Tulsa Community College broadcast journalism students.

Screenings are free with admission to the Woody Guthrie Center.

(Images courtesy of the Arts & Humanities Council of Tulsa)

Trailer for “Route 66 Revisited” September 26, 2014

Posted by Ron Warnick in Motorcycles, Movies, Road trips, Route 66 Associations.
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In recent days, the Czech Route 66 Association posted this trailer for its upcoming “Route 66 Revisited” documentary.

The film premieres in the Czech Republic on Oct. 22 2014 in Zlin and on Oct. 24 in Prague.

Another couple’s view of the Mother Road September 25, 2014

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This video was created by a YouTube account called Around the World in a Lifetime, which links to a website that wasn’t up yet.

The account holder said Route 66 was “one of the best rides of my life and well worth the trip.”

Music is by Iggy Pop, called “The Passenger.” Download is here.

London combines charity road trip with TV production September 19, 2014

Posted by Ron Warnick in Road trips, Television, Vehicles.
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Here’s something you don’t see every day — a British television company aims to raise more than $400,000 for a cancer support group and gain a television series at the same time by using a journey on Route 66 in an electric car as the backdrop.

It’s called “Route 66 — The Ultimate Challenge,” and it’s scheduled to begin from the Santa Monica Pier on Sunday.

From the news release:

Jamie Branson, Chairman of View TV Group, is joining forces with his colleagues at Only Motors – a production company within the Group – to drive from LA to New York via the famous Route 66. The idea is to make 12 TV programmes in just 12 days.

The event, which was dreamt up by Branson, kicks off with a flight from London on 21st September 2014. Once in the States, the crew will steer across the star spangled continent, stopping off to make various TV features every day. [...]

“We’ll be covering 4,000 miles of tarmac in not just any car – it’ll be an electrically powered motor. But the real test is completing more than 100 scenes of film shoots while we’re out on the road and at our pit-stops.”

The itinerary — with stops at landmarks — is here.

Teen with rare aging disease is touring Route 66 September 18, 2014

Posted by Ron Warnick in People, Road trips, Television.
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Sammy Basso, an 18-year-old Italian boy afflicted with progeria, a rare genetic disease that ages him prematurely, is traveling Route 66, and a subsidiary with the National Geographic Channel is documenting the journey, according to the Bloomington Pantagraph.

The folks in Pontiac, Illinois, in typical fashion, rolled out the red carpet for him:

Basso, his family, best friend and film crew arrived in Pontiac Monday evening and had dinner with Mayor Bob Russell, said Pontiac Tourism Director Ellie Alexander. The mayor allowed Basso, who understands and speaks English, to gavel that night’s City Council meeting to order.

After the meeting, Basso, his crew and city officials went to Chautauqua Park where Russell presented Basso with a key to the city and proclaimed Monday as Sammy Basso Day. After Basso received other gifts, the Vermilion Players presented their Route 66 musical review.

“Sammy said ‘Pontiac is such a beautiful country,'” Alexander said.

According to the African-American Holy Angels Catholic Church in Chicago that hosted Basso a few days ago, the Standbyme.tv documentary will air on Christmas Day in Italy, then later in English in the United States. Basso also is scheduled to meet Amish people in Illinois, an authentic Native American chief and members of various other American cultures during his journey.

Progeria typically causes death through heart attack or stroke from hardening of the arteries. It’s uncertain how much time Basso has left, but progeria patients often die by their early 20s.

UPDATE 9/18/2014: Basso was in St. Louis to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at a Cardinals baseball game. According to KTVI-TV’s report, his Route 66 journey will end at Santa Monica on Sept. 30, when he will receive “a special surprise.”

(Image of Sammy Basso and his mother Laura by Tatiana Zaghet via Flickr)

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