Frank Brusca is a leading “odologist” — a student of historic highways. He has written about them in American Road magazine. His research is also the subject of several chapters in William Least Heat Moon’s latest book, Roads to Quoz.
Frank is working on a rephotography project for George R. Stewart’s classic U.S. 40 — the first book to explore the geography of a nation using one of its major highways. Stewart’s book relies heavily on photographs taken at representative locations along the old highway. His book was followed by Vale and Vale’s U.S. 40 Today, in which the Vales followed George Stewart’s route and photographed the same sites 30 years later. Frank is working on another re-photography of the Stewart sites.
Here’s Frank’s honoring of Jack Stewart:
Frank wrote: “This weekend, John ‘Jack’ Stewart passed away. He was a brilliant and noted geologist and geographer (his work was a synthesis of the two disciplines) who helped draw up the USGS maps of Nevada. He was also the son of George R. Stewart and he accompanied his father on a ten-week journey across Route 40 in 1950 that resulted in the landmark ‘U.S. 40: Cross-Section of the United States’ (Jack even took a few of the photographs). I had the great pleasure of knowing Jack when Donald M. Scott introduced us to each other many years ago. Jack was very supportive of my Route 40 Rephotography project and he provided me with many details and family notes not found in any book or library. I last saw Jack in 2007 when I spent two days with him and Joyce in Truckee. My most vivid memory of Jack was when I brought up the subject of gold mining in Nevada. His eyes lit up and he became very animated as he explained the geological structure of the state. Jack was a great man and I am honored to have known him.”