The caption describing the cover photo of the new Sapulpa pictorial history book being released this month by Arcadia Publishers is simply titled “Welcoming Committee.” It is of four young Sapulpa “Baby Boomers” sitting on hood of car watching the commotion as they await the revival of a “very important” person.
Arcadia has published and promoted thousands of history book titles across the country. “Sapulpa” is the latest in its “Images of America” series. Locally, it will be rolled out at a book-signing at the Historical Museum on June 2 from 4 to 6 p.m. and on Saturday, June 3, all day during the annualRoute 66 Blowout and car show.The book’s author is local writer Don Diehl who took on the project for the Sapulpa Historical Society. He said he had lots of help with the content but was unable to identify the four youngsters in the cover photo. But it does easily represent Sapulpa kids during the late 1940s. It is one of nearly 250 old photos from the archives of the Sapulpa Historical Society — many never published before.Museum Director Mike Jeffries said there should be plenty of books available at the book-signing, but people can pre-order by contacting him and then picking up the books and having Diehl autograph them at the table.“Tourists from all over the world come to Sapulpa to see iconic remnants of famous Route 66. But there also was a time when locals gathered at the Frisco Depot to greet special visitors,” reads the caption. “These youngsters on the hood of new Pontiac in 1948 wait for a train . . . They enjoy soda pop (probably bottled locally) from bottles made at Liberty Glass, and perhaps pastries from a local bakery while sporting school clothes and shoes bought from downtown stores all the while wondering what the future holds as Mom and Dad decide who to vote for in the upcoming presidential election between Harry S. Truman and the train’s passenger, Thomas Dewey.”In his dedication, Diehl writes: “This work is dedicated to the pioneers who built the roads and rails before us; and established schools, churches and institutions that would keep that pioneer spirit and love of history alive.”Diehl said he was privileged to have been the editor of Sapulpa’s now 100-year-old newspaper during the town’s Centennial celebration in1997-98.As editor he oversaw the publishing of Sapulpa’s Special Centennial Edition and compiled the book, “A Pictorial History of Sapulpa on the Town’s 100th Anniversary.” Only a few of those photos are repeated in this work.Dedicatory gratitude also is expressed to the writers of history like Virginia Lane, Jim Hubbard, Virginia Wolfe, Pete Egan and Clyde McMasters; and a host of newspaper reporters and photographers writing and publishing local stories and photographs. A source for the introductory history is the late Pauline P. Jackson (daughter-in-law of one of Sapulpa’s pioneers, L.B. Jackson) who produced a history of Sapulpa as her thesis at Tulsa University in 1956.The remaining history is told in the old photographs. Chapter titles include1. Settling Sapulpa: Pioneers, Cowboys, Indians, and Wildcatters2. Building Community: Early Homes, Infrastructure, and Businesses3. Transportation: Trails, Rails, Skies, and Traveling Down Route 664. The Boom Days: Developing a Local Economy with Black Gold5. Industry to Infamy: Reputation Built with Bricks, Glass, and Pottery6. Life Quality: Getting Educated, Eating Out and Being Entertained”7. “Our Changing Landscape: People, Places, Politics and Parades”8. “Overcoming Adversity: Natural Disasters, Downturns and Events”9. “Our Past: Historic Tributes, Notable Icons and Nostalgic Notions.”