Michael Wallis, one of the foremost authorities on Route 66 today, has given Jim Ross the title "Pathfinder of the Mother Road" in his introduction to Ross' "Oklahoma Route 66." The title is well-deserved, as proven by Ross's careful exploration of Route 66 in his home state for this 75th anniversary year of the Road.
The photos are a wonderful sampling from all the decades of the Road's life, right up to the year 2000. Ross writes with nicely-turned phrases that are both colorful and descriptive, but clear and to the point. But as Wallis' title promises, it appears that the maps and Ross's detailed tracing of the route and its many changes in Oklahoma will be a contribution to the history of Route 66 that will long be remembered.
As a long-time enthusiast of the Mother Road, I have read many books and articles on the subject but have yet to see a book on 66 that offers such detail and documentation of the road itself. Those who read about and travel the Oklahoma portion of the Road in the future will be greatly indebted to Ross for this study and documentation of its pathway through the Sooner State.
The book is far more than the tracing of a roadway. Ross pays tribute to the many persons and places who have made Oklahoma unique among the states through which it passes: Cyrus Avery, the "Father of the Mother Road," Jack "Mr. 66" Cuthbert, who worked hard to promote 66 when the interstates threatened it, Lucille Hamons, the "Mother of the Mother Road" and icon of the roadside businessperson, and many others. His closing paragraphs express a genuine love for the Road and a true appreciation for its continuing place in our culture.
To say the least, it is an absolute must for anyone who has a serious interest in the Mother Road.