The Norman Transcript

State/Region

September 28, 2013

Okla. artists to retrace ‘Grapes of Wrath’ journey

OKLAHOMA CITY — A trio of artists soon will travel from Oklahoma to California, retracing the steps the Joad family from “The Grapes of Wrath” took as part of the upcoming 75th anniversary of John Steinbeck’s novel-turned-film.

The artists — along with representative from the National Steinbeck Center — will travel along Route 66 gathering oral histories of people and asking what helps them get through hard times. The group will start in Oklahoma on Oct. 4 and make stops in New Mexico, Arizona and Texas. The trip will conclude in California 10 days later.

“John Steinbeck was very interested in going out and listening to the people and the stories of the people. He got his greatest inspiration for his best work really when he did that,” said Colleen Baily, executive director of the National Steinbeck Center in Salinas, Calif.

The three artists — playwright Octavio Solis, writer Patricia Wakida and filmmaker P.J. Palmer— will then use the information and stories to create new work.

The artists will be documenting the journey through social media, blogging and other channels and it will be shared during the 75th anniversary celebration of “The Grapes of Wrath” next year.

“There are so many similarities to what people were facing back in the ‘30s and what they’re facing today,” Bailey said, noting environmental challenges and the economy.

“We’ve just been through the Great Recession and I’m not sure we’re really all the way through it, so really to hear what people have suffered and what inspires them to keep them moving forward in these times of challenges.”

The group is looking for stories from a diverse cross section of people — young and old, rich and poor. In Oklahoma, stories from Native America will be important, she said.

Different organizations and groups will be holding events in conjunction with the journey. A vintage car show will take place on Oct. 5 in Oklahoma City, while live music will be a part of the journey when the group stops in Albuquerque, N.M. on Oct. 9.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
State/Region
  • Sentencing delayed for Oklahoma tea party leader

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Formal sentencing for the co-founder of the Sooner Tea Party on felony blackmail and computer crimes convictions has been delayed....

    July 23, 2014

  • Heat advisory issued for much of Oklahoma

    TULSA — The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory through late today for much of the state as stifling heat and humidity continue to affect Oklahoma this week....

    July 23, 2014

  • 34 OSBI agents graduate investigative academy

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Thirty-four agents are graduating from the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation Advanced Investigative Academy....

    July 23, 2014

  • Okla. legislator doctor wants minors quarantined

    OKLAHOMA CITY — A state lawmaker who is one of two doctors in the Oklahoma Legislature is insisting that unaccompanied immigrant minors being housed at Fort Sill be quarantined....

    July 23, 2014

  • Common Core repeal has state teachers worried about instruction

    OKLAHOMA CITY — With the Legislature’s repeal of tough, new English and math standards known as Common Core, education leaders said they’re concerned Oklahoma students will fall further behind their counterparts in more than 40 states ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Highway Patrol sees spike in number of applicants

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Two bills that passed the Legislature this past spring have sparked an increase in the number of applicants to join the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, officials said....

    July 20, 2014

  • 1M visit Okla. parks

    OKLAHOMA CITY — A new report from the National Parks Service shows that more than 1 million people visited Oklahoma’s national parks in 2013 and spent $17.2 million. Oklahoma has thee national parks: Washita Battlefield National Historic ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Unemployment rate falls to 4.5 percent

    OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma unemployment rate was down one-tenth of a percentage point to 4.5 percent in June. The figures released Friday by the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission show that while the number of Oklahomans without a ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Gay Marriage Oklahoma Court reverses ban on gay marriage

    OKLAHOMA CITY — A federal appeals court rulied Friday that Oklahoma’s ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional, spurring celebration among gay rights activists but sparking sharp anger among Republican leaders in a conservative state that ...

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Oklahoma firefighters help combat western wildfires

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Firefighters from Oklahoma are heading west to help battle wildfires....

    July 19, 2014