OTM Hosts Journey Stories Speaker at La Posada

Join the Old Trails Museum at La Posada Hotel this Thursday, June 27, at 7 pm for the inaugural presentation in its Journeys to Winslow Speaker Series. Dr. John Craft will present “Along Old Route 66,” a 30-minute documentary that he produced, followed by questions and discussion. The free speaker series is part of Winslow’s tour stop for the Smithsonian’s Journey Stories exhibition, on display at La Posada through August 4, 2013. The Winslow Harvey Girls will serve as greeters, and the Old Trails Museum’s companion exhibit, Journeys to Winslow, is also on display.

The presentation will explore the history of US Route 66, which passes through downtown Winslow on Second Street. The “mother road” was established in 1926, saw refugees from the Great Depression and the Dustbowl in the 1930s, and became a major highway for convoys of military vehicles heading West during World War II. Many families traveled the iconic highway to see the sights of the western United States in the 1950s and 60s, but by the mid-1980s, much of Route 66 had been bypassed by the Interstate Highway System. Once-popular restaurants, motels, and tourist attractions in the smaller towns were suddenly without business. In the documentary, longtime residents of Northern Arizona recount tales of the impact of “America’s Main Street” on their communities, which are illuminated by scenes of roadside attractions and historic landmarks.

Dr. Craft has taught at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University since 1973. Prior to coming to Arizona, he worked as a producer, director, and manager in public and educational television. He has produced television documentaries, published articles and textbooks on the media, and served as a media consultant for business and educational institutions. His award-winning documentaries on Route 66 have been broadcast nationally and internationally on public, commercial, and cable television stations such as the History Channel.

Also happening this week in conjunction with Journey Stories is the Just Cruis’n Car Club’s Show-and-Shine and Talent Show. Come to the Standin’ on the Corner Park this Saturday, June 29, from 7 to 10 pm to see vintage cars on display. In addition, acts of all kinds – singers, musicians, magicians, jugglers, acrobats, dramatists, comedians, drummers – are invited to perform in the Talent Show in the Route 66 Plaza, just on the other side of the wall from the car show. There is no entrance fee, but there will be cash awards of $200, $100, and $50 for First, Second, and Third Places! Call Richard at 928-587-7066 or Todd at 928-587-8047 to enter.

Follow this “News” feed  and “like” the Old Trails Museum on Facebook for the latest details on all Journeys to Winslow exhibits and programs. Journey Stories has been made possible in Winslow by the Arizona Humanities Council. Journey Stories is part of Museum on Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and State Humanities Councils nationwide. Support for Museum on Main Street has been provided by the United States Congress.