To say the least this mornings post is a mixed bag. It will also be a bit short as a result of my very, very full plate.
The weekend was not overly productive but it was an emotional roller coaster. There were difficult family issues, a very close friend lost a parent to cancer, issues at the office, and the terrors of braving Walmart during the holiday season.
Sunsets are always appreciated here in my corner of paradise. Sunday’s was not as spectacular as this one captured last year from the hills overlooking Route 66 and the historic district but in light of the turmoil of the weekend it was much appreciated.Today is my day off but as the new employee is still shaky in some areas and my part time assistant, Bill, is in the hospital recovering from heart surgery, I will have to open the office as well as get some trucks and trailers ready for morning reservations.
For Arizona the weather has been a bit on the cold side lately with low temperatures near twenty degrees and the afternoon high struggling to hit fifty. Last Wednesday the insulated overalls were a real blessing for the morning commute via bicycle as the wind chill was a very brisk six degrees!
The first storm of the season is rolling in this morning. As we have been dry, dry, dry for months I am hoping for snow. Last year after a wet winter storm I took this photo from near the summit of Sitgreaves Pass on the old pre 1953 alignment of Route 66. I am praying for a repeat performance.
Bob Stevens and Earl Duty of Cars & Parts magazine are to roll through town some time today on the return leg of a trip to California where Bob picked up his new car, a Studebaker. The last time I met with Bob several years ago he was giving his recently purchased ’57 Chevy a shakedown cruise with a drive from L.A. where it was purchased to his home in Ohio via Route 66.
The plan is to meet for coffee as he hopes to make Flagstaff by this evening. If the weather folks are right he may have to hole up in Kingman for a day or so.
Even though I am deep into work on the next book, Ghost Towns of Route 66, I took on a pretty challenging two week project that will consume every spare moment. Tied to this is the possibility of another book contract, the subject of a conference this afternoon.
Yesterday afternoon I wrote the next installment of my monthly column, The Independent Thinker, for Cars & Parts magazine. In this one I profiled another forgotten genius from the infancy of the American auto industry, Justus Entz, and his automotive contributions.
Perhaps the most intriguing manifestation of his visionary talents was designing the transmission for the 1917 Woods Dual Power. This obscure automobile was decades ahead of the competition and with the exception of period body work was truly a car of the future.
At speeds of under fifteen miles per hour it operated as an electric automobile with the four cylinder running at a fast idle. This as well as braking were utilized to assist in the charging of batteries. At faster speeds the vehicle was a typical gasoline powered automobile with the exception of the Entz designed electromagnetic automatic transmission.
So, aside from meeting with Bob and Earl, opening and closing the office, submission and follow up on the article written yesterday,and running errands for mom, I have the new writing project, a flurry of phone calls pertaining to research, and will need to crank out at least 1,500 words. There is never a dull moment in my world!
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