Like most midwesterners, my family likes to read and travel. We enjoy taking field trips to the gravestones and hometowns of the figures who wrote and/or inspired great literature. Thus far, we’ve visited:
Jane Addams‘ gravestone in Cedarville, Illinois and Hull House in Chicago,
Al Capone’s gravestone in Hillside, Illinois,
Truman Capote’s childhood home remains in Monroeville, Alabama,
Harper Lee’s childhood home and gravestone, both in Monroeville, Alabama
Catherine O’Leary’s gravestone at Mount Olivet Cemetery,
Shel Silverstein’s gravestone in Norridge, Illinois.
A few weeks ago, we visited Waukegan, Illinois, and took a walking tour of the hometown of Ray Bradbury. Waukegan inspired Bradbury’s “Green Town.”
This week, our spring break consists of lit trips are inspired by the alive-and-kickin’ authors we have featured thus far on the Guildy Pleasures Podcast. As the kids listen to the stories, they are curious about the sites and locations the authors mention. They want to visit Quincy, Illinois, the Mississippi River-based hometown of Sharon Nesbit-Davis. They want to explore the K************ Nature Conservancy, the TOP SECRET dwelling place of Dan Klefstad’s muse! They want to see the White Pelican in Oregon, Illinois, where Dan Libman moonlights.
Today, we are headed to the scenic, rolling Route 23. Why? In Dan Klefstad’s novel, The Guardian, there is a strong driving theme that underscores the drama better than a cello ever could. That’s not an easy thing to admit because I love the cello. However, I spend a great deal of time in the car and in my experience, a wide range emotions and activities take place while zoomin’ down the road.
In The Guardian, caretakers go to great lengths to retrieve blood. Klefstad’s car culture sheds insight into why and how his characters do what they do. It’s neat.
In Season 1, Episode 1, “The Caretaker”, Klefstad talks a little bit about his own driving culture in the interview portion of the podcast. Listen to it here. You can find the specific reference to Route 23 at 20:47.
Thank you for reading, listening, driving, and writing! -Connie Kuntz