The official introduction for my latest book, Ghost Towns of Route 66, will be at the festival in Amarillo but next week review copies will be made available to the press. So, I felt this would be a good time to provide the egroup with a preview of what to expect.
|Endee, New Mexico|
My goal in writing this book was to add a bit of depth to the Route 66 experience by providing some historical context. I also felt that the important role towns like Lawndale, Endee, and Goffs played in the evolution of Route 66 was being overlooked and was in danger of being lost.
There are only a handfull of true ghost towns found along Route 66. These would be places like Endee.
However, there are a multitude of towns that are now less than a shadow of what they once were and this played a key role in why I chose them for inclusion. The purist as well as the fine folks who reside in some of these communities may take offense for my use of artistic license but many of these communities have a most fascinating history and felt their story needed to be told.
McLean in Texas is not a ghost town in the traditional sense of the word. After all, they still have a sizable population, two fine museums, and an excellent time capsule motel.
However, when standing in front of the Avalon Theater it is difficult not to think ghost town. Likewise with viewing Afton from Afton Station or Galena from 4 Women ont he Route.
As with any book, the final product is always an unfinished work as research turns up new details. When writing this book my information on Wildorado in Texas was a little thin.
However, the reasearch for my next book, a Route 66 encyclopedia,has led to the discovery of a newspaper archive. It was here that I learned this dustly little town had a repuation during the 1920s that propelled it into national headlines. Did you know the bank there was robbed eight times in three years?
Some of the towns I chose to include had a very brief association with Route 66. However, their history was so rich and colorful I felt it had to be shared.
Romeroville in New Mexico, where presidents Grant and Hayes, as well other celebrities of the era visisted with Don Trinidad Romero, would be an example.
So, I hope you find the book will be a welcome addition to your Route 66 library. I also hope it enhances your next Route 66 adventure.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts and memories about the ghost towns found along Route 66, and hope you will be in Amarillo to share them.