I hope everyone had a very nice Christmas. For those who bought my book, thank you very much. This is the first of several weekly messages I will put out with some background information on my book and the story behind it. Today, I discuss the watercolor painting I show in black and white on the title page of my book. You can see a color version in the gallery of this website. It is the 8th photograph in the gallery. It is also the cover photo on my Facebook page (1) David Johnson Writer | Facebook
The watercolor, done by Catarina Putri, shows I-40 at the St. Anselm Road Exit sign with the Houck overpass in the background. It was created from a photograph that I found showing the exit sign, a billboard advertising Ft. Courage, and Van de Kamps restaurant in the distance. I originally planned on incorporating the painting into the cover design, but later decided on the photograph from Griffith Park, The painting ended up inside the book on the title page in black and white.
It depicts Jim Keeton’s patrol car (1970 Plymouth Fury) parked on the shoulder of the highway after he had been shot. The location isn’t totally accurate. The picture in this post is a Google Street View of the area showing another exit sign located about 1,000 feet west of the St. Anselm Road exit sign. You can see in the photo where I labeled a sandstone memorial marker alongside the highway just east of the exit sign. The memorial marks the spot where Officer Keeton was stopped when he was shot. The picture shows the St. Anselm Road sign in my painting in the distance. I have also marked a house just north of the memorial marker, which is most likely where the school bus driver/witness, who was mentioned in the book, was standing when he heard the gunshots and saw Greenberg tuck something into his waistband and flee. This was a fairly remote section of roadway, and the tourist attraction called Fort Courage was a popular portrayal of the fort from the TV series F Troop.