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America on the Move
Collection Exhibition Themes
Transportation in America before 1876 Community Dreams: Santa Cruz, California, 1876 Delivering the Goods: Watsonville, California, 1895 A Streetcar City: Washington, D.C., 1900 People on the Move The Connected City: New York, New York, 1920s Crossing the Country: Somewhere in Wyoming, 1903 Americans Adopt the Auto Lives on the Railroad: Salisbury, North Carolina, 1927 Roadside Communities: Ring's Rest, Muirkirk, Maryland, 1930s Family Camping: York Beach, Maine, 1930s On the School Bus: Martinsburg, Indiana, 1939 Suburban Strip: Sandy Boulevard, Portland, Oregon, 1949 City and Suburb: Chicago and Park Forest, Illinois, 1950s On the Interstate: I-10, 1956-1990 Transforming the Waterfront: San Francisco and Oakland, California, 1960-1970 Going Global: Los Angeles Introduction The People's Highway Cyrus Avery: 'The most direct road to the Pacific coast' Lucille Hamons: 'I was alone here to run this place.' The Haggard family: 'Headed west toward California' Caroline Millbank, Janet McDonnel, Ethel May Krockenberger, and Mary Jane Pecora: 'Our rest stops were lots of fun' Bobby and Cynthia Troup: 'Get your kicks on Route 66' The Delgadillo family: 'Playing with bands up and down Route 66' Pete Koltnow: 'Bumpy seats and the open road' Indian Trading Posts
10: The People's Highway: Route 66, 1930s–1940s

Pete Koltnow: “Bumpy seats and the open road”

A civil engineering student at Antioch College in Ohio, Pete Koltnow spent several weeks hitchhiking and riding buses on Route 66 for pleasure in the summer of 1948. “The main hazards of hitchhiking in those days,” he remembered later, “were sleeplessness and sunburn. Hitching was an acceptable activity, an effective way for someone without money to get around the country.” Two years later he repeated the trip before starting a summer job in Arizona. During the second trip, he wrote postcards to Dot Witter, his classmate and future wife.

Postcard from Villa Ridge, Missouri

Thursday, June 29 - 4:30 p.m. Villa Ridge, Missouri "Dear Dot - Back to bumpy seats and the open road. Rides are fair-but the weather is fairer. Trucks are kindest to me. Would like to get through Missouri by early A.M. about 300 miles to go. I miss you already-I'll say hello again in some few hours. love, Pete"

Postcard from Villa Ridge, Missouri
Postcard, Philtower Building, Tulsa, Okla.
Postcard from Tulsa, Oklahoma
Postcard from Tulsa, Oklahoma
Friday, June 30 - 2 a.m. Tulsa, Oklahoma. "Dottie - Got a ride of about . mi. to Tulsa. 80 mph thru the Ozarks, and I'm bushed. Am taking a bus from here @ 4.00 A.M to El Reno-about 150 mi I'll get some sleep enroute. This fast driving scares me, but 900 miles in 21 hours is good. Hi to the folks. Petey"
Postcard from Tucumcari, N.M.

Friday, June 30 - 6:45 p.m. Tucumcari, New Mexico. "Dear - Across another state line and a time zone, too. This is the start of the
desert country, and when I wasn't dozing I was enjoying the view. I start hitching now. Wish me luck. I'm still wearing my lucky green shirt.
Don't smile. Pete"

Postcard from Tucumcari, N.M.
Oak Creek Canyon, Arizona
Postcard from Flagstaff, Arizona
Postcard from Flagstaff, Arizona
Saturday, July 1 - 6:30 a.m. Flagstaff, Arizona. "Dear Dot - Pulled in here 15 min. ago and will pull out as soon as breakfast is done. This is one of the most beautiful parts of Arizona. The view on the other side (Oak Creek Canyon) is what I hope to see within the half hour. Hope luck holds out-the shirt is-and the socks-etc. My love, Pete"
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