The Norman Transcript


December 26, 2013

Route 66 motel focus of Tulsa art show

OKLAHOMA CITY — The revival of Route 66 has led to a fascination with the exterior of the many motels that line the historic highway, but one Tulsa artist hopes a new exhibit will remind people that not everything that goes on inside the rooms should be romanticized.

Western Doughty’s Route 66: Room #116 is a collection of about 75 images depicting everyday experiences that take place at a motel along Route 66 that tends to attract an assortment of travelers: transients, cross-country drivers, families and Route 66 enthusiasts.

The show is scheduled to open at Living Arts in Tulsa on Jan. 3 and run through Jan. 23.

“The things that you expect to happen at those places, it’s true,” Doughty said, later adding: “We romanticize Route 66 motels and we should, but we also know that things go on behind these walls and doors that are part of the American fabric good or bad.”

More than three dozen of the images from the project have been posted to Doughty’s website, and the images are striking and formidable. Most show a seedy underbelly of society that many people like to think doesn’t exist: In one, a woman stands behind a bathroom door, phone in hand, ready to attack a man draped only in a towel who is exiting the bathroom.

But others show more mundane moments in life, like a young boy jumping on the bed.

The project took Doughty three years to complete. It included three one-week installments where Doughty slept and lived in a room at the Desert Hills Motel along Tulsa’s 11th Street, which is also Route 66. More than 200 people were photographed, many of whom answered a casting call but some who were also staying at the motel and asked to take part.

As a child in the 1970s, Doughty’s mother took him to the Desert Hills Motel to stay after what he now believes was a fight between his parents. The motel, he said, became an emotional “trigger” for him as got older and he wanted to see how others reacted to their own triggers.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Cool snap brings heat relief to Oklahoma, Arkansas

    OKLAHOMA CITY — The dog days of summer are coming in with a whimper. Weather forecasters say a cold front headed for Oklahoma and Arkansas will bring unseasonably cool temperatures and a chance of rain through next week....

    July 29, 2014

  • FBI defends search for Oklahoma City bombing video

    SALT LAKE CITY — The FBI thoroughly searched its archives and found no evidence that more videos of the Oklahoma City bombing exist, agency employees told a judge Monday in a trial that has rekindled questions about whether any others were ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Health officials prepare for flu

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Following a flu season in which a record number of Oklahomans died as a result of the virus, state and county health officials say educating the public and general common sense are vital to reducing both the death rate and ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Scam targets migrants

    HOUSTON — Scammers have been preying on the relatives of unaccompanied young migrants being held at two U.S. military bases by conning them into paying nonexistent fees to be reunited with their loved ones, officials said....

    July 27, 2014

  • Trial delayed for man in murder case

    DUNCAN — The first-degree murder trial of a Velma man charged with killing a 16-year-old girl has been delayed until January....

    July 27, 2014

  • Man seeks video of 1995 Oklahoma City bombing

    OKLAHOMA CITY — One man’s quest to explain his brother’s mysterious jail cell death 19 years ago has rekindled long-dormant questions about whether others were involved in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. What some consider a far-flung ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Man found dead outside Tulsa home

    TULSA — Police in Tulsa are investigating the death of a man whose body was found outside a house on the city’s north side....

    July 27, 2014

  • McCain: Arizona execution ‘torture’

    TUCSON, Ariz. — U.S. Sen. John McCain says the execution of an Arizona inmate that lasted two hours was torture....

    July 26, 2014

  • Okla. food pantries struggle to meet demand

    TULSA — Food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters across Oklahoma are scrambling to meet demand for food from, among other groups, kids left in the lurch because they can’t get the free and discounted meals offered when schools are in ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Rogers County clerk sues paper over stories

    CLAREMORE — The Rogers County clerk has sued the Claremore Daily Progress and its government reporter over claims the newspaper painted her in a false light and invaded her privacy. Clerk Robin Anderson filed a lawsuit Thursday against ...

    July 26, 2014