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THE INAUGURATION AND DAWN OF A NEW ERA

*CLICK ON PHOTO TO ENLARGE
PHOTO COURTESY OF GM ARCHIVES

Personal opinions aside the forthcoming inauguration is a milestone in this nations history and the dawn of a new era. It would seem the dream of the nations founders encapsulated in the phrase “all men are created equal” has come to fruition.
Even though we have seen Americans of African decent rise to some of the highest offices in the land from the Supreme Court to the Senate there are those who sell victimization as a commodity and those who eagerly buy it as though it is the latest product from Nintendo. With Mr. Obama assuming office my hope is that victim peddling will go the way of the harness salesman. Call me foolishly optimistic.
Speaking of harness salesman, for the next installment of The Independent Thinker (my monthly column for Cars & Parts http://www.carsandparts.com/ ) I decided to profile the riches to rags story of William Durant, founder of General Motors.
Much has been written about this tycoon but mostly in regards to his relationship with that monolithic auto manufacturer. I chose to focus on the myriad of other accomplishments and failures including serving as a catalyst for the rise of Charles Nash.
As the week draws to a close I am again left wondering where the time went. I wrote my column for Cars & Parts, went for a long walk with my wife in the mountains above Fort Beale, worked the day job, ran errands for mom, attended a board meeting of the Route 66 Association of Kingman, began rereading the book of Romans, helped a friend stationed in Spokane with his study of Exodus, and began formulating a new book idea.
Today its the office until noon and then a book signing at the Mohave Museum of History & Arts until three. http://www.mohavemuseum.org/01_Jan09Web.pdf
Next week promises to roll almost as fast. There is the day job, a possible date with my dear wife to see the new Clint Eastwood movie, and the writing of an article profiling Peach Springs for Route 66 magazine. http://www.route66magazine.com/
The carrot at the end of the stick will be a book signing trip to Flagstaff next weekend. The original game plan was for a scheduled signing at Hastings Books, Music & Videos but excessive snow caused a roof collapse so we are on to plan “B”, a drop by signing of books at Barnes & Nobles and a few stores along the way. Still, the highlight is the promise of a meal with my dearest friend at our favorite eatery, the Pine Country Restaurant in Williams on Route 66.
The idea formulating in my head for a new book is a bit different. In a nut shell the plan is to find a vintage vehicle, I am thinking Model A Ford, have it evaluated and then learn how to drive it as well as learn about the idiosyncrasies of an antique car as we motor home with it, possibly down Route 66.
The Model A jumps to mind for a number of reasons. It is a vehicle that has long fascinated me. Parts are plentiful. The car is relatively easy top repair. Fuel economy is acceptable. It has recognition.
However, I am not locked into this. The early Hudson Super Six, subject of a recently completed article for Cars & Parts also has merit. Still, something like this Studebaker may be just what the doctor ordered. http://forums.aaca.org/ubbthreads.php/topics/566051/For_Sale_1940_Studebaker_Champ#Post566051
The book would be multifaceted. One aspect is how to purchase a collector car without being ripped off. Another would be a comparative study of vintage versus modern technology in a real world setting. Last but not least it would be a travel guide/adventure book.
Anyone out there have any ideas or thoughts on this? I would really appreciate the input.
The hardest part of any book is in selling the idea to a publisher. The writing, editing, research, and promotion of the book are a walk in the park compared to the hoops you have to jump through to land a contract.
Well, adios to the first full week of January 2009. Hello bright new year with storm clouds on the horizon. As they say, cinch her down tight, the chute is open, hang on for one wild ride.

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