Why Faded Highways?

One of my first memories is of a big United States highway map my grandfather had hanging on the wall in the back room of his farmhouse. Before my Grandma got sick, they took a lot of road trips and Grandpa had diligently recorded each one of them on the map with a thick, black, Sharpie-like marker. I was a little girl when I discovered it, but I remember coming home from college and standing in front of it. It was a huge, colorful map of 48 states with no interstates or freeways. It mesmerized me.  It looked like a drawing of a big bowl of black noodles. I loved that map. I loved standing in front of it and pretending I was the one who had taken all those trips.

That map led me straight into a lifelong love of American cultural history. Especially the architecture and pop culture that affected the everyday lives of the people along those roads that Grandma and Grandpa had traveled. These are the things I want Faded Highways to be about. It will always be a personal labor of love (it’s just me) dedicated to curating stories of  the architecture, pop culture and memories from those two-lane roads on Grandpa’s map. Think architecture, restaurants, motels theaters, retail shops, etc., etc. I simply love the era and the stories that come from it.

I don’t know what ever happened to Grandpa’s map. After my grandparents passed, it just wasn’t there anymore.  While my parents didn’t take us on too many cross country road trips as we were growing up, Grandpa’s map inspired a lifetime of wanderlust in me. Experiencing and learning about different areas of the country via many, many miles of road trips rooted in history has always been my true love.

Maybe this is my way of recapturing the inspiration that map gave me all those years ago.

Welcome to Faded Highways. I’m glad you’re here.

Sarah Owens
February 18, 2019