The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

National and world

September 27, 2013

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.

Wakida, the writer and historian, will be teaching linoleum carving and printing during the journey as well as conducting oral histories with people she encounters. As a fourth-generation Japanese American who grew up in California's Central Valley, Wakida said the Joad family's forced migration mirror her family's experience.

During World War II, both her mother and father were forced into American internment camps.

"Those unseen circumstances that can change your destiny are seen throughout American history and are reminders to us all that the cycles of economics, prejudice, and the need to participate in a democratic society are always with us," she said.

Wakida said she hopes to provide people with a chance to share their history and how they overcome obstacles like high unemployment, droughts and floods, healthcare woes and more.

 

1
Text Only
National and world
  • Oil Train Fires web.jpg Stopping deadly oil train fires: New rules planned

    Accident investigators have complained for decades that older tank cars, known as DOT-111s, are too easily punctured or ruptured, spilling their contents when derailed. Since 2008, there have been 10 significant derailments in the U.S. and Canada in which crude oil has spilled from ruptured tank cars, often igniting and resulting in huge fireballs. The worst was a runaway oil train that exploded in the Quebec town of Lac-Megantic a year ago, killing 47 people.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Taiwan Plane Crash web.jpg Relatives fly to Taiwan plane crash site, 48 dead

    Penghu in the Taiwan Strait between Taiwan and China late Wednesday, authorities said. The plane was on a flight from the city of Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Arizona Execution web.jpg Arizona inmate dies 2 hours after execution began

    Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne’s office said Joseph Rudolph Wood was pronounced dead at 3:49 p.m., one hour and 57 minutes after the execution started.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Flights Canceled Israel web.jpg Airlines ban flights to Israel after rocket strike

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Health overhaul web.jpg Dueling rulings: Courts split on health law clash

    But the split rulings don’t necessarily mean another trip to the Supreme Court for the Affordable Care Act.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Senate Georgia web.jpg Perdue defeats Kingston in Georgia Senate runoff

    Tuesday night’s primary runoff win validates Perdue’s campaign as an outsider.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • ODD Brooklyn Bridge M_Hass.jpg Police probing switch of flags on Brooklyn Bridge

    Video footage of the security breach shows the unidentified people walking on the bridge's footpath at about 3:10 a.m., and 20 minutes later the light on the bridge's Brooklyn tower flickers and goes dark. The same thing happens about 12 minutes later on the Manhattan tower.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Veterans Health_Hass.jpg Obama nominee McDonald pledges to ‘transform’ VA

    Robert McDonald cited problems with patient access to health care, transparency, accountability and integrity, among other issues, during a Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee over his nomination today.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo 3 Stories

  • Immigration Overload_Hass.jpg 2008 law unexpectedly at center of border debate

    "The 2008 law creates a process that made sense when you're talking about a limited number of children, the victims of sex trafficking. It doesn't make sense when you talk about 50,000 unaccompanied minors. The 2008 law wasn't designed to deal with this situation." — Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • APTOPIX Mideast Israe_Hass.jpg Gaza rocket lands near Israel's main airport

    A Delta Boeing 747 from New York was flying over the Mediterranean headed for Tel Aviv on Tuesday when it turned around and flew to Paris instead. Flight 468 had 273 passengers and 17 crew on board.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads