It was a temperate and calm evening uncommonly comfortable for August. The guests wandered and mingled through the museum, the gallery, the yards beneath the aging mix of pines and palms, sycamore and magnolia. The trees and the structures they surround and shade had stood here through the Great Depression. Hanging with the soft light of oil lanterns they welcomed back original itinerants that had survived the journey across what Steinbeck had coined the “Mother Road.” Corona, and Home Gardens in particular, are said to have received these refuges from the drought-ridden plains without the bigotry and condemnation of many destinations in this promised land of warmth and prosperity. Locals were well worn in their simple lives of tending the earth. The newcomers coalesced like distant cousins coming to complete a family. This regathering of some of the remaining emigrants, descendants, and assorted fans of literature, was planned by the Corona Public Library Foundation and facilitated at Heritage Park. The “Dust Bowl Dinner” consisted of baked beans and side pork slid onto 135 passing pie tins topped by squares of cornbread. As the sky darkened through shades of pink, the washtub band plucked bluegrass favorites until late in the evening. Punctuated with bottles of beer, coffee and cobbler, commiseration and book discussions celebrated the 100th anniversary of the life and writings of John Steinbeck. The summer of “Corona Reads” activities had principally revolved around the author’s work of The Grapes of Wrath. Often called “the most American of American classics,” it closely paralleled the journeys of thousands of actual families. Fittingly, what is now Heritage Park was once the headquarters of one of those hard-sought locations hanging with fruit that promised hopes and dreams of employment and basic sustenance to many.