A New Biography of an Early Tulsa Hero -- "Father of Route 66: The Story of Cy Avery"

Sep 25, 2014

On this edition of ST, we cover some interesting and less-familiar Tulsa history by way of a new biography of Cy Avery. Our guest is the Missouri-based author Susan Croce Kelly, author of "Father of Route 66: The Story of Cy Avery," which is just out from OU Press. Kelly will be speaking about and signing copies of this book on Saturday the 27th at the Tulsa Historical Society; the event is free to the public and begins at 10:30am. As is noted of this biography at the THS website: "If it weren't for Cy Avery's dreams of better roads through his beloved Tulsa, the United States would never have gotten Route 66. This book is the story of Avery, his times, and the legendary highway he helped build. Cy Avery was a farmer, teacher, real estate professional, oil man, and politician, but throughout his long life he remained a champion for better roads across America. He stood up to the Oklahoma Ku Klux Klan, hatched plans for a municipal airport, and helped build a 55-mile water pipeline for Tulsa. The centerpiece of his story -- and this book -- however, is Avery's role in designing the national highway system, his monumental fight with the governor of Kentucky over a road number, and his promotional efforts that turned his U.S. Highway 66 into an American icon."