Duarte residents Alan and Claudia Heller are the guest speakers for the Arcadia Community Coordinating Council’s upcoming meeting on Monday, Oct. 7 at 11:30 a.m. at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Arcadia (400 W. Duarte Road). They will be sharing their experiences about Life on Route 66.
Alan and Claudia made a life-changing decision in the year of their 66th birthdays. Retiring from their professional jobs, they bought a small trailer and set out to rediscover the celebrated nostalgia along Route 66. Traveling from the Santa Monica Pier to Chicago, the Hellers wrote articles for a local paper and took photos along the way, documenting their experiences.
Alan, immediate past president of Duarte’s Public Access Channel (DCTV), and Claudia, president of the Duarte Historical Society, moved to Duarte in 1980. Their book, published by History Press, is entitled “Life on Route 66, personal accounts along the Mother Road to California.”
“Those who traveled Route 66 during its heyday love to recall their experiences whether they were adults or children traveling with parents or grandparents. Our book tells many of these stories and sets forth cherished memories of their adventures,” says Claudia. Some people even provided the Heller’s with journals and photos they had inherited from family members. Their poignant recollections make this book more than a guide book.
A professional photographer, Alan constantly took photos on their trip, and many times they have returned to historical spots along California’s section of the Road to add to the collection. The couple documented their adventure including a few “off road” detours such as the UFO Convention in Roswell, N. M. and touring the Missouri home of Laura Ingalls Wilder, where she authored the Little House on the Prairie series.
“We especially enjoyed the creative roadside attractions which sprung up in the heyday of Route 66. They are an example of American ingenuity. These pieces of outrageous art along with refurbished gas stations, persevering diners and neon-clad motels make for joyous stops along the road,” according to Claudia. “And they beg to be photographed,” adds Alan.
The book is available at book stores, on line, and through the publisher: History Press. It is also available on Kindle. The couple has also published Duarte Chronicles, and their third book “Curiosities of the California Desert” (Arcadia Publishing).
For reservations contact ACCC President Robin Graney at email@example.com. The $15 fee includes lunch if you RSVP by Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019 or you can pay $20 at the door.