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Steinbeck Center follows footsteps of 'Grapes of Wrath'
the horizon.(Photo: Gannett/The (Salinas) Californian)Welden Smith said the team seeks answers to three critical questions inspired by Steinbeck's book: What keeps you going? What do you turn to in hard times? What brings you joy when times are tough?"In our own way, we really want to take America's economic and social temperature," Welden Smith said. "This road trip also allows us to let people know about us and what we do. For us, it's a completely new way for the center to engage folks. I'm excited to be a part of it."Steinbeck hoopla is expected to reach a fever pitch next year. Not only is director Steven Spielberg expected to release a remake of Wrath, equally talented filmmaker Ron Howard is said to be busy with a remake of another of Steinbeck's most famous novels, East of Eden."We're seeing a wave of renewed interest in John's works. It's only natural and appropriate that we take advantage of that," Welden Smith said.
National Steinbeck Center has taken this sentiment to heart by embarking on a 10 day road trip, stretching from Oklahoma to California along historic Route 66. It's part of the commemoration Saucony Velcro Shoes of next year's 75th anniversary of John Steinbeck's master work, The Grapes of Wrath.On Oct. 4, a team of the center's artists and curators headed west from Sallisaw, Okla., planning to stop every day to conduct interviews with folks encountered out on the road. They'll also give historical lectures and organize forums focusing on the parallels between Steinbeck's novel and modern day real life."Very few works of American literature have inspired social change to the degree that The Grapes of Wrath did," said Colleen Bailey, the center's executive director. "The National Steinbeck Center hopes to inspire a new generation to read John Steinbeck's work, to understand its relevance, and to take social action to improve the lives of others."The novel, published in April 1939, details the tragic and gritty lives of the fictional Joad family as they travel from Dust Bowl era Oklahoma to the verdant fields of California. The family's search for prosperity during the Great Depression all too easily resonates today, in the economic hardships many Americans continue to suffer in the wake of 2008's Great Recession.According to curator Elizabeth Welden Smith, the team should arrive in Arvin, Calif. aka "Weed Patch Camp" in 10 days, having traveled some 1,700 miles in the process.Route 66, the "Mother Road," heading west in Arizona with California on Reebok Supreme 2.0
A black blizzard in Prowers County, Colo., in 1937 illustrates Dust Bowl history as depicted in John Steinbeck "The Grapes of Wrath."(Photo: Gannett/The (Salinas) Californian)Story HighlightsSteinbeck team left Oklahoma on FridayThey interview people along Route 66Resulting works of art, writing will be displayed at the center in AprilThey say to really know someone or something, you have to go out there and walk in their shoes and live in Reebok Fury Adapt Sneaker
their environment for a while.Only then can you truly understand.The eager staff at the Saucony Hurricane Iso Womens
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