Voices: Al Soltis, Vice President of Roadway Maintenance Division of Lanford Brothers
Images: Roadside Religion: In Search of the Sacred, the Strange, and the Substance of Faith by Timothy Beal
Seminar: The National Road (The Road and American Culture) edited by Professor Karl B. Raitz
…motor road hastily joins the railroad and runs beside it … This is a valley of ashes—a fantastic farm where ashes grow like wheat into ridges and hills and grotesque gardens; where ashes take the forms of houses and chimneys and rising…
-- F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
This week we explored the great American roads that connect us.
In Images we looked at the usually gawked- at roadside oddities that are, after all, odd; plowing through layers of kitsch to get at the real religious spirit they might obscure. These ignored moments of the roadside begins to show the hazy line between American roads and American evangelicalism.
Seminar looked at the history of the National Road and how that road changed the American landscape as well as how it changed American Culture.
We also spoke to Al Soltis about the physical effort and planning it takes to build a road as well as maintaining our road system into the future.