“New businesses to serve travelers grew rapidly (and provided) jobs and economic booms to local communities,” Heisch said. “The development of the interstate system subsequently drew these same businesses away from Route 66.
“The result of visitors seeking this special American experience makes it possible to preserve and adapt for new uses of many of the icons that motorists of the mid-20th century saw on family vacations and business trips.”
That includes my memory of a 1947 trip from Oklahoma City to Los Angeles on Route 66 in my family's 1939 Chevrolet. It was the only extended vacation my parents were able to take while I was growing up in Oklahoma City.
“For the ultimate Route 66 experience, visitors can enjoy the Route 66 Museum in Clinton,” said Pat Smith, director of the OHS museum.
“Visitors can learn about the dreams and labor needed to make the road a reality. They can experience the Dust Bowl as thousands streamed along the road to the ‘land of promise.' They can listen to sounds of the Big Band Era, the roar of trucks and the ‘welcome home' cries for soldiers returning home. They can touch the counter and sit in the booth of a 1950s diner. The museum also offers changing special exhibits, focusing on the Route 66 experience.”
To access the mobile tour, call 415-0626 and listen to the brief introduction and instructions. Route 66 sites, numbered 1 through 72, can be accessed by using a telephone keypad. The recording will discuss the name, location and a brief narrative for that particular stop. To move to another stop, enter the next number when prompted.
The list and a map of stops can be found at www.okhistory.org/route66mobiletour. Visitors with smartphones can link to more information about each stop and about Historic Route 66 in general. The tour is made available through the services of OnCell Systems Inc.