Somewhere in Time


Old restrooms at Seaba Station on Route 66 near Warwick, Okla.

You know what I love best about Joy? Her timelessness. Feed her a roll of black-and-white film, point her at something old and maybe a bit dilapidated, and somehow her soft focus and lens distortion take away all sense of time, leaving you with the impression that you’re looking at some long-ago child’s collection of Brownie images tucked into a scrapbook and left resting 50 years in someone’s attic.

If I could, I’d take Joy out for a two-month road trip down Route 66 and let her capture all the ruins and remnants along the way.


Just for fun, I spent part of Saturday on 66, exploiting the Holga’s legendary capacity for creating trippy double-exposure shots.

This juxtaposition of tree and bridge comes from the old Ozark Trail alignment of 66 at the west end of Sapulpa.

Speaking of 66, the Oklahoma Route 66 Association‘s preservation committee — which I chair — is holding a work day tomorrow at the Blue Whale in Catoosa. The recent ice storm damaged some tree limbs above the picnic area next to the pond, so we’re going to meet out there at 9 a.m. with chainsaws and pickup trucks and do a little cleanup work. If you’re looking for a fun way to ring in 2008, the Blue Whale is the place to be tomorrow morning. We’ll provide cookies, soda, and good humor; you provide elbow grease and a pair of work gloves to protect your hands.

If you need firewood, come early and call dibs on whatever we chop up. If you happen to own a chainsaw, pole saw, or other tools that might be handy for this project, please bring them.

All participants will be entered into a drawing for a copy of Jim Ross’ Oklahoma Route 66 book and a set of HERE IT IS! maps. (NOTE: Jim’s Web site has a lot of sound effects.) Jim has agreed to autograph the book and maps and personally mail them to the lucky winner.

Come on out and enjoy a morning of camaraderie, exercise, fresh air, and free homemade chocolate-chip cookies at one of the Mother Road’s most famous landmarks!

The Blue Whale is located on the north side of State Highway 66 at the east end of Catoosa, just east of Reasor’s and across the road from the Arrowood Trading Post.

Hope to see you there!



Attention, Larry Goudeau:

I have no idea who you are, but since you apparently took the liberty of giving U-Haul my cell phone number when you rented something from them, I am now taking the liberty of issuing a public request for you to return whatever it was, as I have now received a phone call and four text messages from the company, informing me that you have an overdue rental.

If anybody out there knows this person, please ask him to call U-Haul and sort it out, because I really don’t have time to play secretary for him.

Thank you.

Afternoon on 66


This afternoon was bright and sunny — perfect conditions for shooting low-speed film with a fixed-focus camera — so I took Joy the Holga out for a spin on Route 66. I loaded her with some expired 100-speed Agfa film and concentrated primarily on tight closeups and a few double-exposure experiments.

Of course I also used my digital Rebel for a few shots, including the one you see above. I liked the way the light was coming through the insulators, which are on a downed telephone pole next to Southwest Boulevard between Red Fork and Oakhurst.

Just past the Tepee Drive-In on the old alignment of 66 west of Sapulpa, I’d stopped to dink around with Joy when I met James and Nathan, two Route 66 travelers from Illinois who are celebrating James’ recent graduation from SIU — my alma mater — with a trip to California.

Nathan used to attend SIU but is now studying at Southwestern Illinois College in Belleville, where Ron and I lived for several years before we moved to Tulsa.

Six degrees….
Go check out their MySpace page, where they’re keeping a journal of their trip, along with plenty of pictures. (NOTE: Music starts playing automatically, so if you’re trying to look busy, turn your speakers down before you click.)

Back to my own Route 66 adventures: I bagged this pretty sunset east of Stroud. It looked way better in real life, as sunsets have a way of doing … but I do like the trees silhouetted against the light.


On the way back home, I passed through Bristow and wound up turning around to get a shot of the lovely Christmas light display on the walkway leading to the old depot. I may use this on next year’s Christmas cards:


Hope you’re enjoying your weekend as much as I’m enjoying mine.



I had some good intentions about making some tie-dyed sock monkeys and finishing some other projects this evening, but by the time I ran some errands, cleaned the kitchen, took down the Christmas tree, put away the decorations, and made myself a plate of pasta, I was pretty much wiped out, so now I’m just sitting here in front of the computer, daydreaming and killing time and trying to convince myself to do something useful before I crash.

Ron is going to teach me to use our new chainsaw tomorrow. We’re going to spend part of the day busting up fallen limbs in the backyard. You know how I love power tools, so I am obviously very excited about this. If I have time, I think I’ll follow it up by building the screen door for the hens’ super-insulated winter home.

It cracks me up to think about how much I’ve changed since high school. Back then, I was interested in things like Volvos and Broadway showtunes and trying to be “deep,” whatever that meant. These days, I’m happiest listening to Johnny Cash on my way to the hardware store in my pickup truck, and I must say, I like me a whole lot better like this.

I’d ruminate on that some more, except I’m busy trying to come up with a strategy for convincing Ron to get up early and take me to that good doughnut shop on north Yale for breakfast tomorrow, and I have to think fast, because I’m about to fall asleep right on my keyboa0-=][p’;/.1324qwer[];’?,/zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz …


Blogging is a weird thing. It’s one of the only ways I can think of to be an anonymous (or at least pseudonymous) celebrity.

On the one hand, I’ve had strangers stop me on two separate occasions to ask if I’m the Red Fork Hippie Chick. (I think one of them recognized me because I was with Ron, whom he’d met somewhere along the way. The other one saw me at a race and identified me by the number on my bib and the inappropriately Bohemian outfit I was wearing.)

On the other hand, there was this little incident, which added a bit of levity to a dull afternoon:

I got an e-mail today from a newspaper reporter who had run across my blog and wanted to interview me for a story about New Year’s resolutions.

I sent him a polite reply, explaining that I’d love to help, but I was afraid our executive editor would fire both of us if I did….

Pseudonyms, man. You can’t beat ’em. 😉


10 on Tuesday: Gifts


Today’s 10 on Tuesday topic is “10 Best Presents Ever Given to You.”

1. My little sister. And she turned out to be the gift that keeps on givin’: Not to be one-upped by Mom, Grace proceeded to give me a nephew for Christmas last year. (He actually showed up on the 15th, but you can’t really demand a precise shipment date on a rugrat — they always just tell you to allow 38 to 40 weeks for delivery. Still a pretty great present, though … and the new definitely hadn’t worn off by the 25th….)


After those two, the rest are just anticlimactic. 🙂


Merry Christmas to me

I’m going to give myself some Christmas presents this year — no shopping required:

1. A clean, efficiently organized office
2. Updates on all my Web sites. I need to do a better job of maintaining and updating Indie Tulsa and House of the Lifted Lorax regularly. I finally got the bugs worked out of Spring Break 66 and Route 66 Food; I just need to make sure I update them regularly to keep their traffic up.

I’m tired of feeling so far behind on so many things. I just want to get caught up and organized so I’ve got a better chance of staying ahead of all my projects. Organizing my office better would make a huge difference. I think this will be another work-fast-and-clear-the-plate kind of evening.