Cheryl Eichar Jett of Edwardsville and Joe Sonderman of Hazelwood, Mo., have authored a new book on Route 66, “Route 66 in Kansas,” released by Arcadia Publishing.
The first book-signing will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, July 10, at the 18th annual World’s Largest Catsup Bottle Festival at Woodland Park in Collinsville.
Out of the 2,448 miles of Route 66 from Chicago to Los Angeles, Kansas can claim just 13.2. The authors got used to the jokes while researching and writing the book, such as, “A book on Route 66 in Kansas? That’ll be a short one!” Undeterred, the two collected more than 200 vintage photos, many never before published, from Kansas institutions and collectors. Repeated research trips resulted in a book that tells the stories of wild mining and cow towns, a Civil War massacre, and history of the famous highway through the southeast corner of Kansas.
The authors’ first collaboration for Arcadia Publishing, “Route 66 in Illinois,” was published in 2014. Jett is the author of six books and a regular contributor to several regional publications. She serves as a board member with Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway and as president of Illinois Route 66 Blue Carpet Corridor.
Sonderman is the author of more than a dozen books on Route 66 and is a regular contributor to several Route 66 publications, including one for which he serves as editor. He is also known as a major collector of Route 66 memorabilia, much of which is featured in the Missouri History Museum’s new exhibit, Route 66: Main Street through St. Louis.
Their book release event at the festival will be followed by programs and book signings in the Tri-State area, including Baxter Springs and Galena, Kan.