Grapes of Wrath & echos of today’s america…

So i’ve been reading a bit further along into the book, and can’t help reflecting on parallels with the current period in US history…

Reading through the chapter where he shows how the families are removed from their homes. How the people come to kick them off the land and say there is nothing they can do about it, “it’s the bank”… and the way he describes the bank as this faceless entity that is destroying people’s lives. How the people get angry and want to confront “the bank”… but there is no one to confront… just this anonymous corporate entity… “so sorry, but it’s not our fault, there’s nothing we can do about it, it’s the bank…” (see this article about bank foreclosures on farmers in the 1930s)

no wonder bank robbers became “heros” of the popular culture back then…

the banks represented the anonymous uncaring inhuman power who would listen to no reason… just moved forward crushing people, the way they used the tractors to crush their houses…

makes me think also about all the foreclosures today (see this article that just came out yesterday)… how working people have been losing their homes because of “the bank”… being pushed from the lower rung of the middle class ladder down into poverty… and today there isn’t even the hope of California (that “promised land” is, itself  tottering on the brink)…

posted by Blue Coyote in Grapes of Wrath and have Comment (1)

Grapes of Wrath

5134YKWWE0L._SS500_In preparation for the journey, we are doing some reading, and first on the list is GRAPES OF WRATH, by John Steinbeck (1939).

For more info here are some general links:

posted by Blue Coyote in Grapes of Wrath and have Comments (2)

how many route 66’s are there?

Route 66 Highway SignsSo i got some more maps yesterday (individual state maps from AAA)… and started doing the route plan more precisely… and that’s when i realized that Route 66 is, in some cases, a multiple choice menu…

The historical re-alignments of the road over time have left us with choices… do we take the older version thru the smaller towns, or do we take the later (and presumably faster) one.

Looking at the great documentation provided by previous travelers (a great town by town history with descriptions of american road icons not to be missed,  turn-by-turn directions with explanations about various alignment choices) we will have some hard choices…

Personally, i would really like to take the older, more rural segments. According to other travellers’ notes, those are the parts of the road where all that great imagery is located. And where all those really bizarre bits of Americana exist. Though i know there are times when we might really want to just keep moving faster so that we can have more time in the next place rather than be still driving…

Even freedom’s road has compromises!!!

But i do hope we will be able to take the oldest part of the road in places… even if it is a bit more complicated to navigate…

And hopefully we won’t get LOST!

But even if we do, I really feel like we will be traveling through not only American geography, but also American history! …And so a few detours here and there for the sake of a good story, or a rare image, will never really be time lost…  rather history found!

(btw, remind me i said that, when i start stressing out on the drive when the maps and the streets in front of us don’t match!!!!)

posted by Blue Coyote in Anticipation and have No Comments

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