I squalled into the world as the youngest of three kids in central Florida - land of oranges, gators, and Spanish moss. I was nowhere near the Mother Road, but 2-lane vacations were an annual ritual, and when the television show route 66 began its run in 1960, I was soon hooked. By then our family was living in Oklahoma. A few decades later, nostalgic impulses and the revival of the route put me on a fast track of rediscovery. Living only a few blocks from the highway, and with refreshed adolescent memories of Tod and Buz in their snazzy Corvette, I began my own exploration.
It didnt take long to realize that there was room for improvement with the early guide books, so in 1992 I wrote my own: Oklahoma Route 66: The Cruisers Companion. I published this little book under the imprint Ghost Town Press, a name I chose to symbolize all of the towns that withered and died in the aftermath of interstate bypasses.
Soon after, having formed a collaborative partnership with highway historian Jerry McClanahan, Ghost Town Press published Here It Is! The Route 66 Map Series, which quickly became the most popular guide to the old road in print. About the same time I began writing for both Route 66 Magazine and the National Historic Route 66 Federation's Federation News.
My home, designed in part after a vintage Phillips 66 service station, is on an original stretch of Route 66 near Arcadia, Oklahoma. I have lived there since 1997 and continue to enhance the property. In 1998, Ghost Town Press partnered with Jerry McClanahan and Anderson Productions to produce the documentary film, Bones of the Old Road, and in 2001, Oklahoma Route 66, the replacement book to The Cruisers Companion, was published.
The next year I joined Thomas and Rebecca Repp as a co-founder of American Road magazine. In 2006, I partnered with photographer Shellee Graham to launch www.route66photographs.com, which continues to expand. We joined forces again in 2009 to create a book of color postcards called Roadside USA, and again in 2011 to publish Route 66 Sightings (along with Jerry McClanahan), our most ambitious project to date.
Plans for the future include additional publishing projects and a greater focus on lecturing and photography. Wherever the path leads, it is safe to say that I will never wander far from the two-lane highways of yesteryear.