This 1897 Olds was one of the first built by the Olds Motor Vehicle Company. This vehicle is now a part of the permanent collection at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. The photo is courtesy of the GMC Public Relations.
In writing The Independent Thinker for the December issue of Cars & Parts magazine I learned a number of interesting things about Ransom E. Olds, the Olds in Oldsmobile and the REO in Reo.
Did you know he was responsible for the first mass produced gasoline lawn mower? Another interesting tid bit I picked up was his involvement with Florida land development and in particular the community of Oldsmar.
Then there was his development of a garage turn table that allowed the driver to turn his car so it faced out after entering the garage. This handy little item was installed in his home that in an ironic twist was destroyed to make way for the freeway that bore his name.
Last but not least was the wierd little story about the invasion of his tomb in 1992. Strange times indeed.
The week ahead looks as though it will be a busy and interesting one. Of course in my world that is not really news.
Today started with a long walk, a beautiful Arizona sunrise, and a great deal of meditation on the current state of the nation, pending projects, and how richly blessed my dearest friend and I are. Starting the day from a perspective of thanksgiving seems to clarify priorities.
Project one will be to polish and submit the next installment of The Independent Thinker for Cars & Parts magazine. This column will profile Ransom E. Olds, automotive pioneer, land developer (Oldsmar, Florida), inventor, and the man who gave us the gasoline powered lawn mower.
Then I have the next feature in the series on the demise of the American auto industry for the Kingman Daily Miner to write as the deadline is the 15th. Here is a link to the July column. http://kingmandailyminer.com/main.asp?Search=1&ArticleID=32609&SectionID=1&SubSectionID=1&S=1
Tentative plans are to meet with Bob “Boze” Bell of True West magazine around 1:00 to discuss a possible “road film” festival. If I let the imagination run rampant I see this as the first step in restoring the State Theater as a center for performing arts and vintage film festivals.
Somewhere in between is running errands for my mother, responding to correspondence that pertains to ministry issues in Peach Springs. The latter is a difficult issue as I am conflicted on numerous points.
I also need to follow up with James Fitzgerald, an agent in New York, about pending projects, get a note to Richard Lentinello of Hemmings Classic Car, another to Angelo Van Bogart of Old Cars Weekly, and contact the respective state Route 66 associations in regards to material for the current book project, Ghost Towns of Route 66.
I also need to prepare press releases for the book signing at Barnes & Noble in Flagstaff during the Route 66 Days festival. I have learned to look forward to the endless possibilities associated with book signings but this time I am equally excited about attending the festival. There are a number of folks I have been corresponding with but never met that have indicated they will be in attendance. Here is a link for information about the festival. http://www.flagstaffroute66days.com/
The glacial speed of the mural and sign restoration program here in Kingman is quite exasperating to say the least. The only comfort I derive is at least something is being done to breath life into the historic district.
The Adventure Expo in Chicago is up in the air. I have mixed feelings about this for a number of reasons, one of which is the fact it is in Chicago in January.
That brings me to another announcement, one that is downright weird in light of my aversion to cold weather. My dearest friend and I have come to the conclusion that with fifty in the rear view mirror and sixty at the top of the hill it might be time for us to begin laying plans for a new chapter, something to make the last half (okay, this is rather optimistic) of the grand adventure that is life as exciting as the first half.
With that said we are giving thought to relocation in the next five years. We have narrowed the choices to a farm in Missouri and something really crazy, Juneau, Alaska. As the focus on this bit of mid life insanity unfolds I will keep you posted. Perhaps it will provide a bit of encouragement to grab life by the horns. If nothing else it should provide a laugh or two.
Tomorrow its back to the office. Lately its like someone kicked over an ant hill, people are on the move and that is making things very interesting and stressful at the office.
I have two items this week that we are really looking forward to. The first is meeting with Pastor Harlan Dennis of peach Springs and his wife tomorrow after work. The second is covering the new and improved Chillin’ on Beale Street Saturday night. On Monday, I should be able to have photos and information posted.