SPINNING WHEELS ON ROUTE 66
End of the year reflections are a mixed bag. On one hand it ensures that mistakes made in the coming year will be new ones. On the other it is somewhat depressing to see how much of what seemed important was actually an exercise in futility.
I hit the ground fast and furious with February. The 31ST of January was a half day at the office and then a book signing at Hastings Books & Music in Lake Havasu City, Arizona.
The first Monday of the month was consumed with meetings. There was one with the Route 66 Association of Arizona to finalize arrangements for a book signing at the annual Route 66 Fun Run in May and another with Mayor John Salem to evaluate the challenges associated with creating a neon corridor along Route 66 in the historic district of Kingman.
Next came negotiations with the developer that was razing the historic City Cafe, a motel, an old Texaco station to make way for a new Walgreens. To a degree these efforts were successful. The Kingman Route 66 Association acquired the City Cafe and Imperial Motel sign but plans to refurbish them continue to languish and as a result the signs are laying behind my office.
I squeezed in a doctors appointment as a follow up to the gall stone situation that landed me in the hospital for a day in December. This is a story in itself but suffice to say the doctor made it quite clear we had nothing to discuss if I was not going to have surgery for removal of the gall bladder.
As a side note it is almost a year later and I still have my gall bladder. That is another one for the list of things to be thankful for this year.
The afternoon was spent with more meetings as well as chasing leads for a feature profiling the Hudson Motor Car Company being written for Cars & Parts magazine. The highlight of all of this was talking with Sam Jackson of the Hudson Club.
On the evening of the fourth, after a long day at the office, there was a meeting of the Kingman Route 66 Association to discuss involvement with the upcoming Route 66 Fun Run, the historic sign renovation projects and murals to dress up the historic district. With the exception of the Fun Run most everything else was really wasted effort, not a cheery thought.
Saturday afternoon, February 7, I met with Elmer Graves to discuss refurbishment of the historic Old Trails Garage. Elmer is a fixture in Kingman having began his automotive career at the Old Trails Garage as a kid during the 1930s. He now uses the garage for storage but has another shop to the east on Andy Devine Avenue where he works five days a week.
The following Monday was swallowed with several meetings and the writing of an installment of The Independent Thinker that I write monthly for Cars & Parts magazine. The latter was as always rather rewarding.
Sunday, the 15TH, was the first time I filled in for Harlan Dennis, the pastor of a church in Peach Springs. Public speaking is my weak link. I would prefer to sit in the center of a mall, naked as a jay bird, while having my teeth drilled as I undergo an audit than speak in public so this was quite an endeavor even though the church in Peach Springs is a simple affair with folks that I have been acquainted with for years.
The next day I finalized arrangements with Andy Arik, Import Corner, to begin distribution of signed copies of my books. I also began serious investigation into building an interactive website to promote books, writing, photography, and to assist folks with travel planning. The result is www.route66infocenter.com, an on going project.
The last Monday of the month was a day off that left me longing for a return to work so I could rest. It began at 4:30 and ended at some point around 10:00. In between I wrote a feature article, obtained estimates for the restoration of a vintage Packard sales and service sign, endured several meetings, burned up the phone lines in search of information for another feature and to promote the books, gave an interview, resolved a crisis at the office, and found time to have dinner as well as lunch with my patient, supportive friend – my loving wife.
Though all of the turmoil was largely my own doing as a result of my obsession to avoid becoming a greeter at Walmart during my senior years I was glad the month was at an end. March began a new series of adventures.