This morning, Samantha and I went out to the Holland Hall Book Fair. We attend annually, not only to bolster our own library but to gather a collection of children’s books for the Tulsa World Book Drive. It was pouring down rain, but the place was packed. I quickly tired of the crowd and retreated to a corner of the gymnasium, where I found the Rare Books section.
In the back corner, my eyes were drawn to a little spiral-bound book standing upright. The cover featured a beautiful charcoal drawing of the Tulsa skyline & looked nearly identical to the cover of an old Bishop’s Restaurant menu I’d seen at the Tulsa Historical Society. But it wasn’t a menu; not at all.
This booklet was more than 30 pages of drawings by architect Paul E. Corrubia. It was assembled for the Tulsa Chamber of Commerce in 1937. On the back of each page was a small write-up about the photo promoting the city. It was stunningly beautiful. Although I had originally put my name down for an auction bid, I quickly changed my mind and bought it outright. I didn’t go in expecting to spend any money, but it was just too significant to pass up. I scanned a few pages in when I returned home and thought I’d post a few here for all to see, along with their appropriate caption. Enjoy!
Rhys Martin was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1981. In 2009, he sold everything he owned and left the country, living out of a backpack for ten months. He discovered a passion for photography while traveling throughout Southeast Asia and Europe.
After returning home, he looked at his home town and Oklahoma heritage with fresh eyes. When he began to explore his home state, Rhys turned his attention to historic Route 66. As he became familiar with the iconic highway, he began to truly appreciate Oklahoma’s place along the Mother Road. He has traveled all 2,400 miles of Route 66, from Chicago to Los Angeles. He has also driven many miles on rural Oklahoma highways to explore the fading Main Streets of our small towns. Rhys has a desire to find and share the unique qualities of the Sooner State with the rest of the world.
Cloudless Lens Photography has been featured in several publications including This Land, Route 66 Magazine, Nimrod Journal, Inbound Asia Magazine, The Oklahoman, and the Tulsa World. In 2018 he published his first book, Lost Restaurants of Tulsa.
Rhys loves to connect with people and share his experiences; ask him about enjoyable day trips from Tulsa, locations along Route 66, and good diners or burger joints along the way.
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