The Route 66 encyclopedia is on the fast track toward completion. As is always the case, in the last weeks before deadline I begin to obsess over accuracy, rewrite sections to ensure relevance, and find new things to add even though the text is now in excess of 150,000 words.
There is also a certain degree of excitement as at this stage of the books development I know when the book will be released (next October). It also means that I will soon be free to develop a new project.
Enhancing the excitement with this book is the almost certain knowledge it will be of benefit to the Route 66 community. In addition, there is a certainty that it will add depth and context to the overall Route 66 experience, and as a result, spark a great deal of conversation that I hope will manifest into road trips of discovery.
The extensive research that went into this project is but a small portion of what will make this book a valuable asset for fans of the double six. The real treasure will be in the historic images made possible through the generous contributions made by collectors Steve Rider, Mike Ward, and Joe Sonderman.
|Chain of Rocks Bridge|
As with the highway itself, this work does not fit within the traditional confines of generalities or terminology. Yes, this is an encyclopedia, a reference book for all things Route 66. However, it is also a time capsule, a travel guide, a history book, a memorial, a testimonial, and a chronicle of almost a century of societal evolution.
The shortcomings of an encyclopedia have always been its relevance. The Route 66 Encyclopedia & Atlas is no different.
The primary subject matter within these pages is the history of this road, the communities along its course, and the people who played a role in its transformation from highway to icon between the periods of 1926 to 2011. However, this highway is as a chameleon. Its significance and meaning have been different for each generation and all indications are that this will continue for years to come.
As a result, there are countless chapters, yet unwritten, to be chronicled. Judging by the rising popularity of this iconic highway, these will be as colorful, as exciting, and as inspirational as the ones documented in the Route 66 Encyclopedia & Atlas.”