Road Trip!

As you read this my dearest friend and I are on the road on

the way to the  Miles of Possibilities Conference in Joliet, and our son is happily (we hope) enjoying his role as caretaker of the homestead. Combining the business of Route 66 with the fun of Route 66 was a central component of the annual conventions developed by the U.S. Highway 66 Association that was formed in early 1927. The modern incarnation kicked off at the 2014 Route 66 International Festival in Kingman, Arizona.

The conference in Joliet promises to be an interesting, historic, and fun filled event. How can you can you go wrong when entertainment includes music by the Road Crew at the historic Rialto Square Theater and the list of featured speakers reads like a list for Route 66 who’s who; Cory Jobe
Illinois Director of Travel & Tourism, Bill Thomas of the Route 66 The Road Ahead Partnership, John Weiss, Ellie Alexander, the director of tourism in Pontiac, Illinois, and Jerry McClanahan, to name but a few.

If you can’t join us in person maybe you can do so vicariously as the plan is to host our weekly Facebook live program, as well as short interviews, from the conference. So, stay tuned and follow Jim Hinckley’s America on Facebook.

 

 

Have I Got A Deal (Or Two) For You!

Great pie, dinners shared with friends, almost 5,000 miles

through a dozen states, gum beating for fun and profit, memory making events shared with my dearest friend, networking and educational opportunities, Facebook live programs from the road, and a couple of book signings will dominate the schedule for the rest of this month. It all begins today, October 7, with the last Chillin on Beale for 2017 in Kingman, Arizona. This will be a big blow out event; Craig Parish’s Route 66 Motor Tour will be in town to join the festivities, the Octoberfest is going on at the west end of Beale Street, the Historic Electric Vehicle Foundation raffle for a replica 1904 to benefit the Route 66 Electric Vehicle Museum takes place this evening, and artist Gregg Arnold and I will be hosting a Jim Hinckley’s America Facebook live program from the event.  Continue reading “Have I Got A Deal (Or Two) For You!”

Roadside Oddities, Attractions & Curiosities

Capitalizing on peoples curiosity isn’t new. P.T. Barnum built an

empire with assorted oddities and curiosities, and insightful marketing. For decades the mainstay of the carnival and circus was the side show where people could gawk at the albino, the bearded lady, the Siamese twins, the fat lady, and in 1896, the Duryea Motor Wagon, America’s first production automobile. The successful author, fiction or non fiction, to a degree, has to harness the curiosity factor if their books are going to sell.

 A primary goal in my projects, be it books, feature articles, podcasts, the video series developed in partnership with MyMarketing Designs, or presentations is to add depth and context to the ordinary.  To accomplish this I have learned that it is crucial to first pique the curiosity.

As an example, consider the Checker cab. Even though it hasn’t been manufactured since 1982, it remains such an integral part of the urban landscape in America that it appears in video games, movies, and commercial photo shoots. Still, after writing a book about the Checker Cab Manufacturing Company, I sat down for an interview with Jay Leno and the quip was made that he had purchased one of the five copies sold.  Continue reading “Roadside Oddities, Attractions & Curiosities”

The Ultimate Bucket List, A Road Trip & A Murder or Two

I once met an Australian couple that had an actual bucket list.

They had literally written the list on a bucket, and used the bucket to collect pocket change that they applied to each years adventure. One of the items on their list was to travel Route 66 from end to end.

The concept of a bucket list has always intrigued me.  Equally as fascinating is the tsunami of international fascination with iconic Route 66. So, when Jim Ross facilitated a discussion about the 100 Things To Do On Route 66 Before You  Die  project with Josh Stevens of Reedy Press, I readily agreed to write what I consider to be the ultimate bucket list.

Even though the process is now quite familiar, I hold my breath until initial reviews are in after a books release. I am pleased to say, the response has been favorable. Even better, the book is encouraging people to do a bit of exploring, and to sample pie and cobbler at a few of my favorite stops such as Grand Canyon Caverns, Clanton’s, the Ariston, and Wild Hare Cafe.

Promoting the book, and me, and the road, is the reason for the upcoming road trip to Joliet and the Miles of Possibilities Conference. Full details, updates, an invitation or two, and a schedule will be made available for patrons in the coming week. And speaking of patrons, I am offering a copy of the latest book or episode one of the Jim Hinckley’s America: A Trek A Long Route 66 video to new sponsors. Become a Patron!

Continue reading “The Ultimate Bucket List, A Road Trip & A Murder or Two”

Neon, Tail Fins & Murder

In the era of renaissance, Route 66 is a destination, a

linear theme park stretching from the shores of Lake Michigan to the pier in Santa Monica. There was, however, a time when U.S. 66, in spite of the hype, was a highway, an artery of commerce. It was also a road of flight, for people seeking a new life, and for people fleeing from the law. Serial killers and bank robbers shared the road with truckers and vacationing families in station wagons.

In 1935, the National Guard set up check points along Route 66 in Galena, Kansas as labor violence escalated. Photo Steve Rider.

After going AWOL from Fort Hood in May 1961, eighteen year old George York, and nineteen year old James Latham set out on a cross country crime spree. On June 8, 1961, at a service station on Route 66 in Edwardsville, Illinois, York and Latham stopped for gas, robbed the station, and executed the attendant, Martin Drenovac.

The murderous pair was arrested in Tooele, Utah on June 10. As an historic footnote, after being charged with murder, sexual assault, and robbery in Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Tennessee, Missouri, and Kansas, they were charged with murder in Kansas and sentenced to the correctional facility in Lansing, Kansas. It was there that they developed a friendship of sorts with Richard Hickock and Perry Smith, the murderers profiled in the Truman Capote’s book In Cold Blood. 

Would you like to read more about murder and mayhem on Route 66? As a patron, for as little as $5.00 per month, you can read the extended version of this post, and have access to other exciting stories, videos, and travel tips. Become a Patron!