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Grapes Of Wrath Road Trip Will Collect Modern Stories


The trip starts Friday in Oklahoma, retracing the path the Joad family took along Route 66 in "The Grapes of Wrath" with stops in New Mexico, Arizona and Texas.

"We are as much as possible trying to follow the original Route 66, it's a little complicated, there are parts of the route that don't exist anymore."

Elizabeth Welden-Smith is helping to organize the road trip. She's with the National Steinbeck Center in Salinas. Smith says they're taking three artists along.

"A filmmaker, a visual artist and a playwright, they're going to be stopping in different communities and talking to people and collecting everyday American stories of how they get through hard times."

Smith says many of the challenges people faced 75 years ago during the Dust Bowl era still ring true for people today.

"The Joad family had this incredible struggle in the book but they kept going despite really challenging setbacks. So we want to get contemporary stories of what it is that keeps people going through challenging times."

Those stories will be showcased at the Steinbeck Festival in Salinas next May. The road trip ends at a migrant labor camp in Arvin, California near Bakersfield on October 14th.


Steve Milne

Morning Edition Anchor & Reporter

Steve is the Morning Edition anchor for Capital Public Radio. He covers stories on a wide range of topics including: business, education, real estate, agriculture and music.  Read Full Bio 

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