Sunday seems to be the day I take a deep breath and sort out the previous week in an effort to formulate a game plan for the coming week. At this office this past week it was rather depressing as it seems more every day I am at center stage for the unfolding of the Great Depression part II.
Parents paid for trucks so their kids could move their families home after loosing jobs and facing foreclosures. Kids paid for trucks so their parents could move in with them after facing the prospect of starting over at fifty plus years of age. Companies rented trucks to move remaining inventory to auctions or other locations in an effort to consolidate.
On the personal front it was a mixed bag. Last Sunday, I confirmed with a pastor in Peach Springs, Harlan Dennis, that filling in for him on the 15TH would not be a problem.
This is always a mixed blessings. I derive a great deal of satisfaction from such endeavors as it provides an opportunity to see old friends in Peach Springs, to help meet the needs of that community, and it gives us an excuse to cruise forty plus miles of Route 66 through some first rate Arizona landscapes.
The down side is life on the reservation is very hard and the community is rife with suicide, crime, drugs, violence, and alcoholism. The last time I filled in for Harlan the opportunity presented itself to add “preacher/bouncer” to my resume as I was the only male in the church under seventy years of age.
On Monday, for the first time, I had a face to face meeting with the editor of Cars & Parts magazine, Brad Bowling. We discussed i depth the future of the publishing industry as a whole and of Cars & Parts specifically.
I write the monthly column, The Independent Thinker, for that publication. This has proven to be one of the more enjoyable writing endeavors as it provides an opportunity to uncover dusty corners of the auto industries history as well as introduce readers them.
Among the men profiled in previous columns were Abner Doble, manufacturer of of the most advanced steam powered automobiles in history, Ralph Teetor, the blind inventor of cruise control, and Edsel Ford, a tragic figure of stunning genius. The next installment, detailing the many contributions of the Blood brothers, will be penned this afternoon.
Progress in regards to research for the next book, Ghost Towns of Route 66, is maddeningly slow. Still, I was able to solicit assistance from two legends in regards to Route 66 historians, Jerry Ross and Jerry McClanahan which is a great relief as this will ensure accuracy of the material.
The game plan is to begin writing in January and finish by March, a couple of months early. That would enable me to devote energies and resources to promote Ghost Towns of the Southwest scheduled for release around the first of that month.
To that end I provide an in depth interview last week. I also received a thumbs up from Bob Bell of True West magazine and promise of a favorable review in that publication.
We ended the week with another lost highway adventure. This time it was more than a century of lost highways – the Hardy toll road, the Mohave Prescott toll road, and an old highway of the modern era.
The week ahead promises to be another busy one. If the new hire seems to have a better grasp of operations I will initiate plans to be in Springfield, Illinois for Bob Wadlmire’s last art show. If not then we will go to plan “B” and see if we can get work in a weekend in either Prescott or Bisbee before Christmas.
Topping the list of to do projects is more research on the old road near Goldroad that appears to be a link between the Beale Wagon Road and Route 66, a transitional highway in use from 1905 to about 1915. Next will be consolidating material on hand pertaining to ghost towns of Route 66. Then there is preparation for Sunday in Peach Springs and follow up to a related request to come to Supai, the most remote community in the lower forty eight.
Its never boring here on Route 66.