Selling a book these days is hard. Marty McMorrow took a different tack to market his memoir of life in the 1960s and beyond, Phoenix to L.A. He bought space on a billboard along Interstate 10 outside Blythe to push the book. It's a relevant location since the book includes the story of his hitchhiking to Los Angeles through the desert in the '60s. The billboard will be up through October, McMorrow tells me.
"Yes, as an independent author I do wish/need to sell books, but I am also hoping to attract attention to this beautiful (and potentially life-changing) part of the country," he writes via email. "In my wildest dreams, I have even thought about creating an event that would allow others to hitchhike through the desert (safely) and wind up at a celebration somewhere in LA."
Here's how he describes the book:
Martin ("Marty") McMorrow came of age in the 1960's. Just before becoming disillusioned with anti-War protesting and college life in 1971, he found himself hitchhiking the main road through the desert from Phoenix to LA. On that trip, Marty and seven other solo hitchhikers wound up in a pickup truck with a roughneck driver who was initially headed to Las Vegas, but changed course when everyone else wished to go through the desert to LA. The experience helped change at least one life.
Weeks later, after making his way back to Chicago, Marty dropped out of school, enlisted in the Army, and said goodbye to his previous, somewhat innocent and privileged life. In another strange twist of events, he landed in South Vietnam helping other young disillusioned soldiers beat their addictions to the 95% pure heroin that, by mid-1971, had blanketed the country like snow.
Now, after nearly 40 years of attempting to assist people who are generally considered to be "disabled," Marty has written a powerful book about the impact of the 1960's on his life and the lives of so many others who lived through this chaotic period. 'Phoenix to LA' is living history for children of the sixties, their children and their children's children.