Thursday, August 28, 2014

SENDING SUMMER OUT WITH A BANG

The list of invitations from friends who will be celebrating the last official weekend of summer that we will not be able to accept is quite lengthy. Likewise with the list of places that we thought might make for a great weekend getaway.  
However, neither list is as long as the one detailing pressing issues that seem to be growing exponentially faster than we can cross them off the list. A starter for the Jeep, a new DSL modem and its installation, completing the fourth chapter of the new book for editorial review, a couple of family issues requiring immediate attention, a tire for Barney the Wonder Truck, the replacement of the workshop that was delayed by the festival and its development, and a plumbing issue that is also vying for a place at the top of the list are but a few of the highlights. 
In regard to road trips and adventures, this could be our longest dry spell in years. The last grand adventure was our outing to Crown King back in mid spring. 
No complaints, I learned long ago to play the hand dealt while focusing on the simple goal of outlasting the competition. So, we suck it up and focus on an anniversary getaway in a few weeks, come hell or high water. 
Looming on the horizon, Cuba Fest in Cuba, Missouri, a speaking engagement at Route 66 State Park, and other appearances that are still being added to the schedule. Then its a book signing in Burbank. That should keep us busy until the end of the year. 
Between now and Cuba Fest, we also have a few end of season meetings with friends as well as tour groups. Next week its dinner with our amigos from the Netherlands. Then there is another visit with Dale Butel and one of his tours from the land down under.
The backdrop for all of these endeavors and all of this drama is the proverbial crossroads we arrived at a few months ago. Left or right, forward or backward is the decision to be made and made soon but neither seems an ideal choice. I am rather positive that in years to come we will look back on this point in time with humor and even a bit of amazement. 
However, at this juncture it is like one of those pivotal moments in history. You would prefer to read about it in a book than live it. 
Now, does anyone know where I can find photos of Pierce-Pennant taxicabs built in the early 1920's? How about photos of the taxi cab bombings in Chicago during this period? Crime scene photos of the taxi in which Detroit Purple gang members were executed in 1925? 
Yes sir, the current book project is turning into quite an adventure in research.       


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

ON THE ROAD TO THE CENTENNIAL

Meanwhile, as cities and villages large and small begin planning events, parties, and festivals for 2015 all along Route 66, and as the City of Edwardsville with guidance from the steadfast Chery Eichar Jett moves forward in the development of plans for the Halloween event next year, Scott Piotrowski is piquing interest with the announcement that he has been working on the creation of a full fledged Route 66 festival to be held at the historic western terminus of Route 66 in Los Angles in 2016. 
It appears as though the recent festival in Kingman has ignited long simmering passions among Route 66 enthusiasts. It has also unleashed the "can do" spirit that has transformed this highway into an internationally acclaimed icon. 
This is being made manifest in more than just event and festival planning in the United States and Europe. In Kingman, Arizona Werner Fleischmann is giving the historic Brunswick Hotel a new lease on life. In Truxton, Arizona, Stacy and Allen Greer are breathing new life into the Frontier Motel and restaurant. Ed Klein has purchased the long dormant Front Street Garage in Galena, Kansas. Gar and Heidi Engman are keeping the legacy of the historic Teepee Curios alive while their neighbors, the Brenner's, transplants from Texas, are transforming an abandoned motel in Tucumcari, New Mexico into the showpiece Roadrunner Lodge.
From Chicago to Santa Monica there is a contagious enthusiasm is sweeping along Route 66, a sense of vibrancy that is inspiring dreamers and travelers alike. It looks like we are on the road to what promises to be an exciting centennial celebration. 
Meanwhile, in my corner of the world, there is a need to address storm damage from July, respond to a pile of correspondence, finalize plans for an anniversary celebration, to get the current book back on track, and to complete the proposal for another. So, this weekend the phones will be off and the chances of a posting or two may be slim.
Then, in coming weeks I will need to address travel arrangements for our adventure to Cuba Fest in Cuba, Missouri where we will introduce the next book, a companion work for The Route 66 Encyclopedia, visit with friends, and enjoy the music of the Road Crew. at Belmont vineyards. There is also the need to coordinate book signings, interviews and speaking engagements on this tour.
As I give thought to the planning of our forthcoming Route 66  adventure in October, I am amazed by how summer seems to have lasted but a few weeks. Festival development consumed my thoughts and attentions more than I realized.
Indications are that 2015 will be one for the record books all along Route 66. As my dearest friend and I are at a true crossroads in life, we look toward the new year with a mix of eager anticipation and a hint of trepidation.
In all honesty, isn't that how we always look toward a new year? 
   
        

MEET JIM HINCKLEY

My Photo

I was born in North Carolina but am a product of the desert southwest with its vast, panoramic landscapes where spires of weathered stone cast long shadows under cloudless skies. It was there that I became enamored with the road less traveled, adventures on those forgotten roads, and the people you meet along the way.
For more than forty years I have explored the hidden places, the forgotten places, hungered for the colorful history found there, and sought the empty highways and dusty tracks that were once pathways to opportunity and the land of dreams.
These adventures and a fascination for the history of the formative years of the American automobile industry, and the resultant societal evolution, are the foundational elements of my published work. This work includes a former position as associate editor with Cars & Parts magazine and a monthly column, The Independent Thinker, and more than one thousand feature articles for various magazines and newspapers.
Additionally, I have written more than ten books that reflect these interests and chronicle my adventures including Checker Cab Manufacturing Company Illustrated History, The Big Book of Car Culture, Backroads of Arizona, Route 66 Backroads, Ghost Towns of the Southwest, Ghost Towns of Route 66, Route 66 Treasures, and The Route 66 Encyclopedia.
Meeting with tour groups, speaking engagements, providing travel planning assistance, and lectures round out what has become known as affectionately as Jim Hinckley's America.
In addition, my wife and I are also photographers with a lengthy and colorful resume of work appearing in magazines and books, on corporate websites, in a wide array of promotional material, and now, a photo exhibition in the Czech Republic. Our prints are currently sold through a limited partnership with Legends of America.
This would include prints of photos appearing on our blog, Route 66 Chronicles.

Author Jim Hinckley

Author Jim Hinckley
Somewhere on the road less traveled

Jim Hinckley

Jim Hinckley
Jim Hinckley in his native habitat, the road less traveled

Follow the camels!

Follow the camels!
Follow the camels to Kingman

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