day job is at a “business-to-business” advertising agency that specializes
in heavy earthmoving equipment. There she writes press releases,
industrial job site stories, and writes, produces and edits a variety of
sales, training, and trade show videos. Past job experiences include
a stint as a VISTA volunteer in New Orleans, a clerk in a book store, and
a whole gamut of jobs at several television stations in Louisiana and Oklahoma.
She also worked in the video department of “Feed the Children” – a Christian
relief agency headquartered in Oklahoma City.
So how did
someone who double-majored in television production and Ancient/Medieval
History get involved in Route 66?
George Maharis. “As a little girl, I had a big crush on him.
I watched the TV series “route 66” every week. When the film crew
came to Pennsylvania to a nearby town to do a show, I was so excited.
I kept dreaming that somehow I’d get to meet him. That, of course,
the crush on George Maharis did not leave a lasting impression, the name
of the series did. After Kathy moved to Oklahoma in 1980, what finally
got her out on the Mother Road was a friend’s birthday party. It
was the 66th Anniversary of Route 66 and the theme for the friend’s party
was “36 on 66.” Since Kathy was the one with the video camera, she
and one other co-conspirator traveled from Chandler to El Reno cajoling
36 total strangers to wish their friend a happy birthday on tape.
Kathy then interwove their wishes with traveling footage of the various
sights and put the end result to music. The video was the hit of
the party and, for Kathy, a love of Route 66 was born.
a year later, she showed the video to the past president of the Oklahoma
Route 66 Association. He suggested that she should consider doing
a real Route 66 video, because none had been produced and he had gotten
a lot of tourist requests for one. Kathy knew she couldn’t afford
to do one that covered the whole Route since she would have to finance
this project herself, but one that covered Oklahoma was a distinct possibility.
doing research, she realized what the theme of her video would be: that
without Oklahoma, there never would have been a Route 66. So many
pivotal events and characters in the national story of the Road centered
on Oklahoma and Oklahomans that the more she studied, the more convinced
she became of the worthiness of her project.
So in 1993,
Kathy began writing then shooting “Cruisin’
Oklahoma 66.” It was finally released in late 1994, the
same time John Padget’s and Michael
Wallis’ Route 66 videos also hit the shelves.
Kathy introduced a spin-off line of t-shirts,
etc., based on the unique logo design developed for the video
cover. She ultimately put them up on the web where today people
from all over the world can see and then hopefully purchase them.
the course of producing “Cruisin’
Oklahoma 66,” Kathy met Jim
Ross and Jerry
McClanahan. She also became a member of the Oklahoma Route 66 Association
and a founding member of the Oklahoma
Route 66 Museum in Clinton.
Kathy was elected as Secretary of the Oklahoma
Route 66 Association. 1996 was also the first year for the Association
to produce the Trip
Guide – the brainchild of Joe Kisicki and Kathy Anderson.
late 1997, Jim, Jerry and Kathy began collaboration on “Bones
of the Old Road,” a decidedly different approach to Route 66 videos.
Kathy had been reluctant at first to undertake another Route 66 video since
her first one was still very much in the red. But with Jim
willing to share costs and Kathy now having access to some additional video
gear that lowered production costs, she agreed to do the project.
The video was released in December 1998 amid positive reviews.
at the urging of a fellow Oklahoma Route 66 Association member, Kathy entered a
photo contest held by Oklahoma Today
– the state’s award-winning travel and tourism magazine. She submitted
four Route 66-themed photos. Much to her astonishment, two of the
photos placed in the top 9 finalists – one being the first place winner
Place). Also that year, the state’s largest newspaper – the Daily
Oklahoman – sponsored a time capsule. Ken
Turmel urged Jim
Ross and Kathy to submit items. Kathy submitted a copy of “Cruisin’
Oklahoma 66” and the two newspaper articles the Oklahoman had run on “Cruisin’”
Although the tape was not accepted, the articles were – along with Jim’s
“Oklahoma Route 66: The Cruiser’s Companion” and Ken’s “Route
66 and More” postmark art.
is Kathy’s next Route 66 project? A second “Bones” video? Or
a brand new video project that chronicles some aspect of 66 that has never
been put on tape? She won’t say, but there is a decidedly mischievous
grin on her face!