A Love Affair
Bill and Mary Lewis met over 50 years ago at a Forensic Tournament at the University of Redlands. Their high school debate teams were competing against each other. It took Mary a year to ask Bill out. However, it didn’t take Bill long to pop the question, and three months later they were married.
Soon they were teaching at the college level. In fact, combined, they taught over 70 years at colleges and universities in Southern California.
They both loved to travel. In fifty years they have made several trans-continental trips across the U.S. As they traveled, they would always ask one another: How and why did that community come into existence? Where do you suppose the people came from that first settled here? What do you suppose ever happened in this town after it was settled? Who, of significance, ever lived here? How did the town get its name?
They enjoyed getting off the interstates and meandering along the “blue roads.” However, they never found all of the answers to the questions about the communities through which they traveled .
One day it hit them. They had been writing newspaper articles and features. Why not write a book about a highway that travels Through the Heartland and answers those questions about each village, town and city through which the road passes.
But which highway?
After perusing many maps they settled upon U.S. 20. Why?
• U.S. 20 is the longest, primary two-lane highway in the country.
• It is also the oldest, and first designated national highway to cross the U.S.
• It is the most pristine. By that we mean it travels fewer miles on interstates than any other transcontinental highway. For example, it travels as part of an interstate for 60 miles on I-25 in eastern Wyoming. The next-longest stretch is three miles around Springfield, Massachusetts, when it joins I-291. Eleven other times U.S. 20 joins an interstate. Each time it is only for a mile, and primarily to move from one side of the interstate to the other.
We know you will enjoy traveling U.S. 20 Through the Heartland, as much or more than we have. We know you will discover things that we failed to report. We envy your discoveries. We trust that our books will assist you in making those discoveries.
It is a pleasure to share our second love with you.