I really feel for the folks along Route 66 in Oklahoma, Texas, and eastern New Mexico but here in Kingman spring fever is in the air as the temperatures are pushing sixty degrees and the sun is shining. It is enough to make a fellow close the office, hang the “Gone …” sign in the window, fill up the gas tank, and head west or south.
Instead I will finish the day in the office, have dinner with my dearest friend, work on getting the forum functional for the website, Route 66 Info Center, answer correspondence, and hit the sack to read the latest issue of Hemmings Classic Car, an issue dedicated to unrestored automotive time capsules. Last night I added the latest installment of Cort Stevens unfolding story to the website as well as a link for his huge photographic journal of a Route 66 adventure.
I have been imitating a writer for more than twenty years but Cort has a real gift. I hope it is one he continues to develop. Perhaps he will become one of the fortunate few who see their books on the best seller list and regular checks in the mail box.
The game plan for the weekend is in place, barring one of the unexpected events that serve as the spice of life. Saturday will be a half day at the office then there will be a real effort to finish the California chapter for the next book, Ghost Towns of Route 66, and get the long promised shots of the National Old Trails Highway, the first alignment of Route 66, in Kingman posted. To give you idea of just how many incarnations of that highway there have been check out the Route 66 Atlas site.
With weather this nice it would be delightful if we could take Monday, my scheduled day off, and make a quick road trip into the desert to photograph sites along Route 66 between Needles and Daggett in California. Perhaps that can be my reward for a job well done Saturday and Sunday afternoon.
I spoke with Chris Durkin, a member of the Route 66 Association of Kingman and the President of the Kingman Downtown Merchants Association, this morning and we should have a scheduled date for the first organizational meeting of the year soon. Shortly after this we will have joint meetings to set dates for the spring and summer season of Chillin’ on Beale Street, the Octoberfest, and, of course, the annual Route 66 Fun Run.
I will keep you updated on all aspects and dates. This information will also be posted on the calendar of events at the bottom of the home page on the Route 66 Info Center website.
Now for some new business that I find very exciting. I have been asked to appear as a guest speaker to talk of Route 66 adventures at the Adventure in Travel Expo in Chicago this spring.
The original idea pitched to me was a whirlwind adventure – fly from Las Vegas at 1:00 in the morning on Saturday, glad hand and mingle that afternoon, talk and sign books on Sunday, fly back to Las Vegas on Sunday night, and then make the 100 mile drive home. I had a better idea – ROAD TRIP!
As I envision it we load the Jeep with books, meet the folks along Route 66 who have been so supportive over the past couple of years, meet some new fans of the double six, and sign books at gift shops and museums along the way.
So, if you carry any of the books I have written and would like signed copies please let me know so a game plan can be made. If you do not sell these books but would like to, contact Voyageur Press, the publisher, and then let me know if you would like them signed as we roll through. If you do not sell the books and do not plan to but can offer a cup of coffee as we make the epic journey please let me know.
Please note, these plans are not set in stone – yet. The original date scheduled for this convention was January.
A list of establishments where my books are available, with applicable links, will be posted on the website, Route 66 Info Center, before we leave. The final item of the day is Route 66 trivia.
This mural by the legendary Route 66 artist, Bob Waldmire, is at TNT Engineering in Kingman, Arizona. This building, now a machine shop, was a local watering hole signed as The Tavern.
In the 1984 movie, Roadhouse 66, the interior scenes were shot in this bar. Numerous other scenes were filmed in Kingman and along Route 66.