A Survey of Cities
The following is a list of some of the cities or sites mentioned in "The
Shopping Cart Man." I include this information just for fun.
||This is an actual city, but I
don't believe I've ever been there. I just used a map to help me find
a city that was an hour's drive south of Sacramento.
||This is the capital of
California. I had thought to have the dad tell the kids to look for
the capital building, but my good friend, Buck, said you can't see the
capital building from the freeway. My sister, Robin, who lives out
there confirmed this and recommended the Tower Bridge, which is an actual
site visible from the freeway.
||They really do have a famous
"Cowboy Poetry Reading" event each January. I've never been.
||Another real city. While I
have been to Reno, I have no idea if the gas station and fast food
restaurant, as described in the book, exist or existed. I used them in
a general way that I felt others could relate to.
|Salt Lake City, Utah
||This city is the capital of Utah,
and well worth visiting. It truly gets only a passing reference in the
||Technically, the city of "Limon"
exists. In all actuality, the unnamed motel/hotel described in the
book also exists, complete with the green-colored water in the pool.
My wife and I have stayed at it a few times while traveling between the West
and Oklahoma. The catch is that the city of "Limon" is actually in
Colorado. For the purposes of the novel, the city was moved to Kansas.
The reason for the move was that the family needed to be farther along in
their journey than Limon, Colorado would have allowed - and I still wanted
to include the bit about the pool. Again, no offense of any kind was
intended. My kids get a kick out of that green pool, and, yes, I've
gone in it, too. Doesn't seem to be a problem.
||This is a real city. A few
sites mentioned in the book are also real with some notable exceptions.
Actual sites include the Phillips 66 headquarters, the civic center that
looks like a brick circus tent, the mortuary with the painted lawn
(absolutely no offense was intended at this mention - I know several people
who have enjoyed and appreciated that lawn over the years). Fictitious
sites include the homes, the railyard, and the high school. While
there is an "Arbor Drive" in town, I don't believe there is a "Locust
Avenue" and even if there were, I doubt they cross.
Why was this city picked? Easy. It's my wife's hometown.
She loves it. I thought I'd pay homage to it. If it weren't for
this, I was going to pick some obscure city in Kansas.
BTW, the Braum's eateries in Oklahoma really do deserve
the plug they got in the book - and, no, they didn't pay for the plugging,
nor offer me any discounts. It's a favorite spot for my family
whenever we're in the neighborhood. I included them to give them a well-deserved
tribute. (Braum's did write back and tell me locations of their stores
in the '70s so I could ensure that the family's visits were plausible.)
For More Information Contact:
P.O. Box 51082
Provo, UT 84065