ROUTE 66 – ODE TO THE JOADS (For Karen “Foto Fiddler” Roberts)

Uploaded 8 Oct 2010 — 35 favorites
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© Richard Knight
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More of Richard Knight’s Photos

  • ROUTE 66 – OATMAN, ARIZONA [For Susan Littlefield]
  • ROUTE 66 – ODE TO THE JOADS (For Karen “Foto Fiddler” Roberts)
  • A WEDDING IN MAINE – Down the Aisle

Photo license: © All rights reserved

[On U.S. Highway 66 east of Oatman, west of Kingman, Arizona]

Having made the decision to continue west on Route 66 from Kingman, Arizona all the way to California, I was still unprepared for what was essentially a step back in time.

I grew up in a family of readers, and by the time I was in junior high school, I was reading John Steinbeck. Steinbeck was the author of a number of novels that are today considered American classics. Among them are “East of Eden,” “Of Mice and Men,” “Cannery Row,” “Tortilla Flat,” and “The Grapes of Wrath.” Many of you are familiar with these titles.

I read the “Grapes of Wrath” in 9th grade (1962), and I would have to say that no book has ever influenced me more.

This was the novel that captured the American Experience during the Great Depression (1930s), chronicling the lives of the Joad Family, as they made their way from Oklahoma to California with all of their possessions lashed to the back of a truck.

As I made my way west on this tortuous segment of Route 66, I consciously thought of Ma and Pa Joad, and of Tom Joad, the anti-hero of the novel. And, I thought of Steinbeck’s detailed descriptions of the “camps,” the waysides where tired and hungry migrants might stop for a night despite the attendant danger.

So, when I saw a camp dead ahead, I stopped. Shown are a roadside view of the camp and a look back at the road just travelled (to the right side of the landscape).

Request: If you have not seen the movie, “The Grapes of Wrath,” please add it to your Netflix queue. The movie has been covered in honors and, like the novel, is considered one of the greatest examples of its genre.

I am adding some excellent links. They are informative and provide some outstanding video. Please give them a try.

I hope you enjoyed this. Thanks for stopping by.

44 responses

  • elfriede fulda

    elfriede fulda (Deleted) gave props (8 Oct 2010):

    Love what you did with this in B&W, awesome countryside,,so different from here, I shall look at the links now,,it is all so interesting as always

  • Carol Holmes

    Carol Holmes gave props (8 Oct 2010):

    I love the way you stacked these's been a long time since I've read 'Grapes of Wrath' but I believe I still own the book. May have to re-read it.

  • Chris Sanford

    Chris Sanford (Deleted) gave props (8 Oct 2010):

    Excellent commentary, and gorgeous photos, Dick!

  • Bruce Miller

    Bruce Miller (Deleted) gave props (8 Oct 2010):

    I remember the book well. I'm curious about the tribute. Have you been in contact with Karen? How is she?

  • Richard Knight

    Richard Knight gave props (8 Oct 2010):

    Thank you, Elfie, Cookie, and Chris. Chris, I had never heard of Springsteen's song until now. Wow!

  • Betty Maxey

    Betty Maxey   gave props (8 Oct 2010):

    Fantastic tribute Cuz !! Love the pics too!!! And the history!!

  • Gail Anderson

    Gail Anderson gave props (8 Oct 2010):

    oh my... your narrative, the images and the "Ghost of Tom Joad" playing in the background is so moving.

  • Debbie Smartt

    Debbie Smartt said (8 Oct 2010):

    Love it!

  • Andrea Petersen

    Andrea Petersen gave props (8 Oct 2010):

    My favorite also of all John Steinbeck's novels is the Grapes of Wrath...Henry Fonda did a superb job of acting the part of Tom Joad....A wonderful tribute to Karen and she brought a lot of goodness and decency to JPG...I hope she returns, but I understand her decision.

  • Regenia Brabham

    Regenia Brabham gave props (8 Oct 2010):

    Would you believe I had the pleasure of a surprise call from Karen today!! I was so happy to hear from her. This is a beautiful tribute! I love John Steinbeck.

  • Sonia Adam Murray

    Sonia Adam Murray gave props (8 Oct 2010):

    Very informative and a wonderful tribute, I am glad that Regenia knows where she is.

  • Linda Houghton

    Linda Houghton   gave props (8 Oct 2010):

    love this shot, perfect in B/W Is there gold in those hills?

  • Richard Knight

    Richard Knight said (8 Oct 2010):

    Chris, thank you for the spotlight! And thank you Bruce, Deb, Andrea, Gail, Cousin Betty, Sonia, and Linda. Karen is doing fine. She is missed by all. Linda, you are a "gold bug" for sure!

  • david ong

    david ong said (8 Oct 2010):

    what a beautiful shot. Route 66 is not far from where i'm, maybe one day i'll take that road and experience it myself. (Say hi to Karen for me please)

  • Ronnie Ginnever

    Ronnie Ginnever gave props (8 Oct 2010):

    Extra nice with the commentary!

  • Judy and Wayne Wanamaker

    Judy and Wayne Wanamaker gave props (8 Oct 2010):

    That is rough country. I loved "The Grapes of Wrath". The camp is a great find, Dick! Black and white emphasizes the rough textures and terrain perfectly. It portrays the mood of Steinbeck's famous novel.

  • Litz Go

    Litz Go gave props (8 Oct 2010):

    You made me want to read all these wonderful books. I hope you been to Monterey,Ca. to see Steinbeck museum. You passed by California without telling me? This images are awesome, RV.

  • Alexis - Now on Flickr

    Alexis - Now on Flickr gave props (8 Oct 2010):

    Great diptych from two excellent images

  • daniele castellucchio

    daniele castellucchio gave props (8 Oct 2010):


  • Heather Mellon

    Heather Mellon gave props (9 Oct 2010):

    Wonderful photos and narrative, these views are amazing!

  • Eric Sayah

    Eric Sayah gave props (9 Oct 2010):

    Rad! Thanks for the commentary.

  • dp *

    dp * gave props (9 Oct 2010):

    Wonderful tych and tribute, nice one.

  • John Linton

    John Linton gave props (9 Oct 2010):

    M A G N I F I C E N T r i b u t e !

  • Sonia Adam Murray

    Sonia Adam Murray gave props (9 Oct 2010):

    Say "hi" to Karen for me too please!

  • Jyri Vissak

    Jyri Vissak gave props (9 Oct 2010):

    Nice composition and tones!

  • Nelson Campbell

    Nelson Campbell (Deleted) gave props (9 Oct 2010):

    Boy if black and white ever fit a landscape this is it...excellent.

  • Suzanne McGeady

    Suzanne McGeady said (9 Oct 2010):

    Such a historical piece of desolate landscape...very apt in B&W. the camp looks so lonely way out in the wop wops (Local idion for The Back of Beyond!) A fine tribute. Went through all your extra links.....thank you so much for filling me in of The Joad family and route 66.

  • Lise Utne

    Lise Utne gave props (10 Oct 2010):

    A different world: thanks for sharing!

  • peggy maguire

    peggy maguire said (10 Oct 2010):

    Wonderful history lesson Dick,also the photography.....Peggy

  • Donald Garrett

    Donald Garrett gave props (10 Oct 2010):

    Great stuff, Dick!!

  • Loree McComb

    Loree McComb   said (11 Oct 2010):

    We used to go to Oatman all the time - were out in Bullhead City area anyway so would run to Oatman for something to do - You have a fantastic Rt 66 shot here Dick. Well done

  • Susan Littlefield

    Susan Littlefield gave props (11 Oct 2010):

    A fabulous diptych! It looks so desolate, yet so inviting....a wonderful place to explore! The books you mentioned are among my favorites, and of course I always love the links you provide. I wonder how the fare was at the Kactus Kafe?!?!? Great work as always, my friend!!

  • Rhio9 (Rhio9)

    Rhio9 (Rhio9) (Deleted) said (11 Oct 2010):


  • dana io

    dana io gave props (11 Oct 2010):

    Pretty amazing!

  • eithne mythen

    eithne mythen gave props (11 Oct 2010):

    You know you have made me want to re-read all those wonderful books... love these B/W views...

  • Warren ~Mangione~

    Warren ~Mangione~ gave props (11 Oct 2010):

    Nice tribute and bw diptich! Where is our Karen? I miss her.

  • Steven Schutz

    Steven Schutz gave props (12 Oct 2010):

    Facinating images and history....seriously....

  • Kathleen Mercado

    Kathleen Mercado (Deleted) said (16 Oct 2010):

    Love the photo and of course, the story! Terrific:)

  • Sarah Dudley

    Sarah Dudley gave props (24 Oct 2010):

    Nice one!

  • Gail Anderson

    Gail Anderson gave props (15 Nov 2010):

    thought i would let you know, we took a day trip driving across the new bridge at the dam and then over to Bullhead thru Golden Valley... from Bullhead we make a turn east and went thru Oatman. This time we stopped and we really enjoyed our time. Your photo with the oasis water tank.... by coincidence, i shot the same house. :D then left headed east again. When i saw this place along the road i was so excited! I told Bob... Dick took a pic of this and posted at JPG! we continued on to Kingman and enjoyed the remainder of the day having supper and getting a few night shots of the neon motel signs.

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