In 1939, nearly a decade into the depression, author John Steinbeck immortalized the now famed Route 66 in his famous novel “The Grapes of Wrath.” Today, the stretch of road looks as condemned now as the rest of the country did back in the 30’s. The gas stations, drive-thrus, and motels that struggling families like the Joads relied on to keep them going to their desired destinations that promised hope in a time of hopelessness are now run down and abandoned. Among these include The Riviera Courts motel in Miami, Oklahoma and the Chelsea Motel about 45 miles down the road. The owners of these motels and several other run down businesses along the highway wish they could sell their often inherited properties if they could get any money from them. The nonprofit National Historic Route 66 Federation in Lake Arrowhead, California estimates at least 3,000 motels along the route need repaired.

The beginning of the end came in the 1980’s when the new interstate road was completed. After that, people didn’t want to and didn’t have to travel down a road that contained old, cheap motels lacking in modern accommodations. Even the owners aren’t interested in maintaining a historical landmark or spending the thousands of dollars needed to restore it, proving how worthless sentimental value is today. Of course, who can blame them for wanting to dispose of something that’s now useless. Perhaps sentimentality is naïve, though the state of Oklahoma has recently added Route 66 motels to a list of most endangered historic places, hoping that it will raise the awareness to the outside public that in time, the historic landmark will disappear. Modernizing it will defeat the purpose of saving it in the first place, and restoring it is too costly for the cheap road of salvation that it once was and presently is not needed in this country, despite our constant complaining about how bad things are now. Route 66 reminds us that this country has had it worse.The beginning of the end came in the 1980’s when the new interstate road was completed. After that, people didn’t want to and didn’t have to travel down a road that contained old, cheap motels lacking in modern accommodations. Even the owners aren’t interested in maintaining a historical landmark or spending the thousands of dollars needed to restore it, proving how worthless sentimental value is today. Of course, who can blame them for wanting to dispose of something that’s now useless. Perhaps sentimentality is naïve, though the state of Oklahoma has recently added Route 66 motels to a list of most endangered historic places, hoping that it will raise the awareness to the outside public that in time, the historic landmark will disappear. Modernizing it will defeat the purpose of saving it in the first place, and restoring it is too costly for the cheap road of salvation that it once was and presently is not needed in this country, despite our constant complaining about how bad things are now. Route 66 reminds us that this country has had it worse.For a related story, visit www.news.yahoo.com.

The beginning of the end came in the 1980’s when the new interstate road was completed. After that, people didn’t want to and didn’t have to travel down a road that contained old, cheap motels lacking in modern accommodations. Even the owners aren’t interested in maintaining a historical landmark or spending the thousands of dollars needed to restore it, proving how worthless sentimental value is today. Of course, who can blame them for wanting to dispose of something that’s now useless. Perhaps sentimentality is naïve, though the state of Oklahoma has recently added Route 66 motels to a list of most endangered historic places, hoping that it will raise the awareness to the outside public that in time, the historic landmark will disappear. Modernizing it will defeat the purpose of saving it in the first place, and restoring it is too costly for the cheap road of salvation that it once was and presently is not needed in this country, despite our constant complaining about how bad things are now. Route 66 reminds us that this country has had it worse.For a related story, visit .

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