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The Shopping Cart Man


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.

City Description
Modesto, California 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.
Sacramento, California 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.
Elko, Nevada They really do have a famous "Cowboy Poetry Reading" event each January.  I've never been.  Sounds intriguing.
Reno, Nevada 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 novel, however.
Limon, Kansas 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.
Bartlesville, Oklahoma This is a real city.  A few of the 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.)

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©2006, 2012 by Douglas V. Nufer
Last modified: 11/15/12