Its convertible season, that delightful time of year where the evening temperatures inspire a restlessness that leads to cruising with the top down. Here in Kingman, Arizona, that means taking to Route 66, mingling with the tourists in rental cars, the locals with their custom and classic cars, and, of course, herds of Harley Davidson’s.
My wife and I prefer the quieter side of life. So, we usually savor the sunsets from the hills above Fort Beale, in the Hulapai Mountains, or from somewhere along Route 66.
It is on the way home, often along Route 66, that we get caught up in the excitement, the quickened tempo of the summer night. Sometimes its just to catch a shot of neon or a cold treat at Sonic or Mr. D’z Route 66 Diner but to cruise Route 66, to stop at the local drive in is to experience the romanticized dream that fuels the fascination with the double six and the passion for the ’57 Chevy.
For years Kingman chose to turn its back on its historic and colorful past but tourists and new residents saw something wonderful in the dusty old buildings, the darkened neon and the stunning sunsets over skylines accentuated by colorful buttes and mesas. Slowly Kingman began to awaken from its long slumber.
The Brunswick Hotel again offers fine dining as well as time capsule lodging. Lights from the historic Central Commercial Building again light the desert nights. Events like Chillin’ on Beale Street (scheduled for July 18) fill the streets in the historic district with music, vintage cars, and laughter.
The future looks even brighter. The owners of the historic Old Trails Garage, with support from the Route 66 Association of Kingman, have obtained a matching funds grant to transform the garage into the cornerstone for revitalization of the historic district.
This will begin with the restoration of a rare vintage Packard sales and service neon sign. This will be hung at its original location over the front door to cast its neon glow over Route 66.
Next will be a mural on the west wall. The initial plan is for three dimensional mural that presents the illusion this is an active Packard service center circa 1940.
On the home front there is a growing frustration and escalating sense of anticipation. I now have the tools and materials to transform my childhood dream of being a writer into a reality but am not sure how to proceed.
I took this as a vacation week, a sort of bus mans holiday as it is a working vacation. First, I took a couple of days to spend with my father who was visiting from Michigan. Then I finalized the photos submission request for the Vestar site.
Then I completed an outline, summary, and sample chapter for an agent in New York. This book, Ghosts of the Sauk Trail, is something I have wanted to write for some time.
Next, I worked my way through the final edit for Ghost Towns of the Southwest. I hope to finish this today and then start on the captions.
Listed among the “still to do” projects is finalizing the framework for Ghost Towns of Route 66, photos of Oatman for a website, more text for the Route 66 Association of Kingman website, my monthly Independent Thinker column for Cars & Parts magazine, and, now, outlines for three more projects.
These are a real estate promotional venture that has requested photos to be utilized as post cards, development of a monthly column for the online edition of the Kingman Daily Miner, and the framework for a stock photo website.
All of this is quite exciting. All of these things indicate we are drawing closer to making the dream come true. All of these things are important to promote my books, our photos, and our limited edition print series. All of these things are very time consuming. Few of these pay and those that do, don’t pay well enough to make it my primary source of income.
So, next week its back to Penske. I am extremely grateful for the job, especially in light of the current economic conditions. I am also grateful for the owners of the company, Martin and Cody Swanty.
Then there is ministry, something I have neglected a bit as of late. You might say my priorities have been reversed in recent weeks.
That takes us to this Sunday. This will be the day I put things back into a proper order, a thought that reminds me tomorrow is Independence Day.
I would be remiss if I didn’t ask that you take a moment from your celebrations to reflect on just what an amazing nation this is and how blessed we are to live her.