Edsel Ford Slept Here

In my world the past and present blend seamlessly. There are

days when I spend hours reading century old journals, perusing old newspapers,  and then write about a trip across the Mojave Desert in 1915. In my office, all around me are tangible links to an earlier time that stand in stark contrast to the computer and keyboard.  I even start my day by shaving with a circa 1940 razor (do you know how hard it is to find simple double edged blades today?). There are rare occasions when a bit of the future gets tangled into the mix, such as when I work with the members of the Historic Electric Vehicle Foundation and their ongoing efforts to establish a dedicated museum that will chronicle the evolution of the  electric vehicle.

On occasion, when there is time for meditation on a long morning walk, I envision my work as the crafting of a time a machine. As an example, on our premium content crowdfunding site,  I am launching a new series. Every Saturday morning, commencing on March 10, I will be sharing one entry, verbatim, with original photos where possible, from Edsel Ford’s daily journal written during his adventure to California along the National Old Trails Highway during the summer of 1915.  Continue reading “Edsel Ford Slept Here”

Missing Tourists, Stepping Into the Future & An Update Or Two

It was the late spring of 1935 when George Lorius, his wife Laura, and

The Dark Side
Another dark chapter in Route 66 history courtesy Mohave Museum of History & Arts.

their good friends Tillie and Albert Heberer set out on their fun filled vacation holiday. Leaving East St. Louis they motored west on U.S. 66 making stops in Sayre and Miami, Oklahoma where they mailed postcards home to family and friends. On May 21, they checked into the Vaughn Hotel in Vaughn, New Mexico. They had breakfast at the hotel the following morning, checked out, and vanished.

The story that will be detailed in the forthcoming book from Rio Nuevo Publishing is one of many uncovered in my quest to document the dark side of Route 66. As unnerving and puzzling as this mystery is, there was one particular note found in my research about this disappearance that really grabbed my attention. Even though the FBI tirelessly investigated this disappearance and created a file almost six feet in height, it remained unsolved, along with fifty other cases of persons who went missing while traveling in the southwest between 1934 and 1936. To say the very least, the current project has altered my perception of Route 66.  Continue reading “Missing Tourists, Stepping Into the Future & An Update Or Two”

Neon Nights, A Murder or Two & Pending Adventures

As if writing about the mayhem and tragedy that was a

Pile Up On Route 66
From the Joe Sonderman collection, a harsh view of life on Route 66 in the 1950’s.

common occurrence on Route 66 when it was the Main Street of America wasn’t dark enough, this weekend I initiated creation of a photo file for use as illustrations. Once again I am indebted to author Joe Sonderman and collector Steve Rider for the use of their expansive archive. As you can see from the cover image for this post, their contributions will be priceless.  Continue reading “Neon Nights, A Murder or Two & Pending Adventures”

I Just Couldn’t Wait!

With the deadline for the new book fast approaching, and an array of

Traveling home from the first European Route 66 Festival in 2016. Photo Sylvia Hoehn

other projects demanding an inordinate amount of my time, a weekly blog posting is the best I can manage. Still, there are a number of very exciting developments that I just could not wait to share.

Let’s start with the European Route 66 Festival in Zlin, Czech Republic. It has been our plan to attend the event, especially as I had accepted a request to assist with the creation of a Route 66 information booth, and tentatively agreed to make a presentation on Route 66 as well as show the two part Jim Hinckley’s America video series produced by MyMarketing Designs. However, even with the launch of the crowdfunding platform, the cost of the trip made attendance questionable. Yesterday Jim Flynn of Kingman Chevrolet-Buick confirmed sponsorship in the form of airfare, and a couple nights lodging. We still have a ways to go but a major hurdle was cleared.  Continue reading “I Just Couldn’t Wait!”

The Eight Second Ride

There was a brief period in my misspent youth when

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI honestly thought that the path to fame, fortune, and a life well lived was to be found on the rodeo circuit. It quickly became apparent that it WAS a good life, especially if you didn’t plan on living long. More often than not, especially when trying to balance the need to meet a deadline and the need to keep beans on the table and gas in the tank, I reflect on those wild and woolly times as there are some very distinct similarities between the life of the bronc rider and the writer.  Continue reading “The Eight Second Ride”