I bought an old Speed Graphic press camera to photograph the dust jacket for the book I did on the Eads Bridge at St. Louis. I took it out onto Watson Road in St. Louis, where I photographed old motels and gas stations. In the process I learned the rhythm of operating a view camera: open the lens, focus, close the lens, measure the light, set the aperture, set the shudder speed, set the shutter, load the film holder into the camera, pull its slide, release the shutter, and return the slide to its holder. It's addictive.
When I realized that Watson was once Route 66, I knew I had a great idea for a book, two actually.
I set out to do a book on the architecture along the old highway and it ended up as a history of the people who invented American roadside tourism. It was the first book to be published on Route 66. But the itch to write the architectural book didn't go away and I still had a zillion black and white negatives. I scratched that itch a dozen years later. On my last trip I decided to switch to color and made photographs of some of my favorite places.