The pending release of my latest book, Ghost Towns of the Southwest, http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=1968adventurer&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0760332215&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrmusing on the fact that this my 520TH post on this blog, a collision of deadlines between the monthly column for Cars & Parts and the next book, Ghost Towns of Route 66, a rising tide of promotional events, and an absolutely frustrating game of phone tag with Jay Leno have sparked a number of questions. However, the one question that dominates this train of thought pertains to what ever led me to jump on this wild mustang in the first place.
This thought is often chased by the realization that I would not trade this adventure for all the sand in the Mojave Desert. Writing has led to amazing adventures, allowed me to share my passion for automotive history and travel with good people from throughout the world, and has introduced me to some of the most fascinating folks. There have even been occasions when it actually paid for an adventure or two.
As an added bonus I am awarded a steady stream of material that keeps my insatiable curiosity well fed. Since I began this endeavor twenty years ago I have learned that there were once more than 2,000 automotive manufacturers in this country, that the initial reputation for Ford durability was built upon the gear boxes supplied by Horace and John Dodge, and that Emily Post motored west in 1916 on sections of what would become known as Route 66.
Writing has also provided justification for filling shelves, book cases, and closets with all manner of things. Suffice to say, I could teach a pack rat a thing or two.
Rated high on my list of great discoveries were two boxes of slides made from original negatives purchased from Stanley Yost when I was writing a book profiling the history of the Checker Cab Manufacturing Company. These stunning peeks into the infancy of the American automobile industry have been shared in dozens of articles written for Hemmings Classic Car, Old Cars Weekly, Special Interest Autos, and Classic Auto Restorer.
In addition to these historic photos, I have also collected a wide array of orignal automotive promotional material, some as early as 1900, that is used as illustrations and to transform my office into an unofficial Route 66 visitor center/museum of automotive advertising.
I wonder if the pursuit of writing has been merely an excuse for adding a multifaceted adventure to the mundane life of the average man. I wonder if the path followe d this past twenty years will enable me to become a writer when I grow up.
Maybe, that path lies in a book about the long adventure of writing books. Perhaps a book entitled The LIfe, Times, and Adventures of a Starving Artist on Route 66 is the ticket.
Would anyone read a book about nothing? As I recall there was once a program promoted as a show about nothing and it was a roaring success. I wonder…
Lets see what happens with the 1,000TH post.