I have been gathering material for a feature article profiling Jackson, Michigan. Apparently, for a brief period between 1905 and 1915, Jackson gave Detroit a run for the title of Motor City as more than twenty automobile manufacturers were based here during this period.
A few of these, such as Buick, relocated but others merged and survived into the 1920s. Other companies abandoned automobile manufacturing to diversify into electronics or the manufacture of automotive related components.
An assignment from Cars & Parts magazine to write the obituary for the Checker company is on the “to do” list for this weekend. The iconic manufacturer of taxis and other vehicles closed its doors on July 1 after more than 85 years of operation.
This will be in addition to my regular Independent Thinker feature. For the next installment in this saga I decided to profile Roy D. Chapin, one of the founders of Hudson who served on the board of directors for the Guardian Group, a complicated investment vehicle that was the catalyst for the banking collapse of the early 1930s, and commerce secretary under President Hoover.
The pursuit of a writing career continues to take me along strange and unfamiliar paths. The latest turn is receipt of a request to be a feature speaker at the Adventure Expo convention in Chicago. Here is a link – www.adventureexpo.com
To say the least this is a very exciting prospect. However, it is again one of those opportunities that has amazing possibilities for advancement and exposure but extremely limited profit potential.
The largest drawback is it is January. For a good old boy that looks for his long johns when the temperatures drop below 80 degrees generating enthusiasm for a trip to Chicago in January is very difficult.
On the Route 66 front things are really looking up, especially in Kingman. Indications are that the second Chillin’ on Beale Street, scheduled for the evening of July 18, will be bigger and better than the first.
However, plans being laid for the August event lead me to believe this thing is going to take off in a very big way. Then in September comes the big daddy of events on Beale Street – the street drags followed by a huge block party.
The project to “Light the Night on Route 66” launched by the Route 66 Association of Kingman took a giant step forward a few weeks ago with receipt of a $10,000 funds matching grant. Now they just need donations and then the old neon will again glow brightly along Route 66.
To that end the association is laying the groundwork for a huge winter festival in January. The center piece will be a monster raffle. Things are still in the planning stage but it looks as though donated prizes will run the gamut from automobiles to sandwich’s, books, including signed copies, original art work, and all manner of Route 66 related items.
If you would like to make a monetary donation or donate an item for the raffle contact Tim McDonnell at 928-377-9684. All donations are tax deductible.

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