It took two years, 28,600 miles and at least one ride on a mule for Ken
Turmel to create his tribute to Route 66.
took the artwork to every post office in every city along the 2,448 miles
of highway so postmarks could be stamped on the canvas. One of the post
offices, deep in the Grand Canyon, was accessible only by mule and horse.
reproduction of Turmel's work, "66 and More ..." is on display
at the Route 66 Association of Illinois Hall of Fame and Museum in
museum is accepting donations from people who want a copy of the artwork,
in which Turmel airbrushed the historic route and all the states it runs
through and then adorned it with postage stamps about the road and states.
came from a dream," he said last month, while visiting the museum
with a group from Norway. "Mile by mile I was blessed to do this. It
is history. I hand-carried -- it was never mailed -- to every post office.
It was blank at first, and mile by mile, it blossomed into the artwork you
Blitstein and Cathie Stevanovich both have a passion for the historic road
and Blitstein sees something new every time he looks at the 2- by 3-foot
is historic artwork of the road," he said. "I see something
different each time I look at it. It is impressive that it was all done by
work hung in his living room before he donated it to the museum.
who used to work for the U.S. Postal Service, calls the work
"postmark art." He has done similar tributes for Texas and
never collected stamps or postmarks in my career," he said. "I
picked out (stamps with) things that you would have seen along the
roadway. There is a sidebar for every stamp here."
made 2,448 reproductions of the Route 66 art, one for each mile of the
road. He said all the stamps used are vintage and represent items such as
state flags and state birds.
thought it was important to record history in this manner," Turmel
said. "These are all going to be a thing of the past."
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