|Courtesy Scott Dunton|
From Chicago to Santa Monica communities along the Route 66 corridor have harnessed the Route 66 renaissance as a catalyst for development and revitalization. Some communities, however, have yet to fully grasp the potential or take advantage of the unprecedented economic opportunities the renaissance represents. Until quite recently Kingman, Arizona was counted among the latter.
The Route 66 International Festival last year changed everything. Manifestations of the great awakening are found throughout the historic district and along the Route 66 corridor from the airport to the Powerhouse.
After years of contentious discussion the remnants of the building on the corner of Fourth Street and Andy Devine Avenue (Route 66)were recently removed and the lot cleared. Plans are for the addition of murals to the Beale Hotel wall, paving of the lot, and using the corner for events such as a Fourth of July celebration that is currently under development.
Spearheaded by Scott Dunton, owner of Mr. D'z Route 66 Diner and Dunton Motors Dream Machines, the transformation of the corner from eyesore to destination was a volunteer initiative that exemplifies the sense of community that is often fostered by Route 66 corridor development. Ed Tapia from the City of Kingman, Doug Poole, Keith Walker of Walker Electric, Bobby Freiday of Freiday Construction, Craig Graves, and Tommy, Linda, and Brian Short of Desert Construction, as well as Damon Henderson representing the Henderson family that owns the Beale Hotel all contributed to the endeavor.
On a more personal note the month of May has been fraught with a few personal challenges, the most notable of which was a severe case of the flu and the enduring aftermath. If there is a silver lining to being sick it would be that it provides an opportunity to catch up on reading.
I have been slowly working my way through a tremendous biography of Abraham Lincoln. In A. Lincoln author Ronald C. White Jr. does a masterful job of transporting the reader into the life and times of this astounding man. A full review will be posted soon on my Goodreads page but suffice to say this is the best book about Lincoln I have ever encountered.
While on the subject of books, I have one more to recommend. As associate editor for Cars and Parts my duties included the penning of book reviews. After cessation of publication I maintained contact with several publishers and continued the writing of reviews for several publications.
In recent weeks I received several titles for review. To date the most fascinating of these is Motorama by David W. Temple published by CarTech.
This publisher is best known for their in depth guides to automotive repair but on occasion they will deviate with a publication of a book like Motorama. Numerous books have been published about General Motor's legendary show and concept cars but this one adds such depth and context to the subject through the weaving of informative as well as insightful text, and rich illustrative materials I highly recommend adding this book to your automotive library.
Now lets talk about beer. In recent months beer aficionados in Kingman have been overwhelmed with opportunities for new experiences.
Last evening I commenced the sampling of a growler from Black Bridge Brewery on Beale Street, a gift from Greg who is working on the support team as Atsuyuki Katsuyama recreates the historic Bunion Derby by running the length of Route 66.
Then there is the House of Hops that recently opened in the decades long closed Kingman Club. With its refurbished neon signage, beer selection, and pleasant ambiance this is fast becoming the "in" place in the Kingman historic district. At the other end of town, the former Holiday Inn that has been reborn as the Ramada Kingman, which includes Canyon 66 lounge and restaurant is fast becoming a destination for locals and travelers alike. Fittingly the lounge is offering sixty-six cent first round draft beers.
Then there is the Hualapai Kwik Stop located on Hualapai Mountain Road south of the Dambar and Route 66. With several hundred different beers available the challenge is in making a selection.
With summer fast approaching it seemed an ideal time for introducing Route 66 enthusiasts to the cities suds centers. So, this week, on Thursday the 28th of May, at around 5:30 PM, I will be stopping by Canyon 66 for a cold one. I hope you will be able to join me.
That take us to the adventure and a new chapter in the title for today's post, both of which are intertwined. The publisher has requested a revision and update for Backroads of Arizona. So, composing an outline for this project is one item on the to do list this weekend. Another would be adding some polish to the guide book for the Kingman area, a self publishing endeavor.
I noted a few weeks ago that an office at the historic Dunton Motors dealership building would be made available for my use soon. This will serve as a place to meet with groups and visit with Route 66 enthusiasts. It will also serve as a staging area for historic district walking tours.
Added to this is an arrangement being finalized with the owners of the Ramada Kingman. In a nut shell, as the schedule allows, I will meet with guests, answer Route 66 questions, and assist with travel planning or Kingman exploration. There are also ongoing discussions about staging a one of a kind tour of Kingman from this facility but a number of details still need to be finalized.
The past few weeks have been a bit of a challenge for my dearest friend and I. So, we decided that a date night was in order.
It commenced with an excellent meal of chicken, dressing, and couscous courtesy of a charming and talented chef who just happens to also be my best friend. A glass of beer from Black Bridge Brewery before dinner and a bit of wine to enhance the flavor of the food, along with some most enjoyable conversation ensured it was an enjoyable and relaxing dinner.
We rounded out the evening with a superb film, The Imitation Game. I will not spoil the story but suffice to say it was most refreshing to enjoy a film that featured a well written script, excellent photography, and top tier acting rather than mindless fluff or endless special effects.
Last but not least, Memorial Day thoughts. As we rush to embrace the weekend with beer and barbecues, let us not forget what this holiday commemorates. Of even more importance lets take a moment to reflect on the veterans and the sacrifices made on our behalf.