After almost a year of digging into the hidden corners and lost worlds of Route 66, the rough draft for Ghost Towns of Route 66 is finished and its on to sorting out the material for illustrations. It has been a grand and wonderful adventure.
I have met some fascinating people, filled my “places to see” notebook with enough material to keep us busy for a decade or two, and have opened a Pandora’s box full of questions.
What happened to the money or the bandits that headed west on Route 66 after robbing the vending machine service comapny at the Kingman Army Airfield in 1943? Did Conrad Minka use the tunnels at the White Rock Court for illicit purposes? What happened to the B-17 City of Kingman? What did Clark Gable drive on his honeymoon adventure to Kingman and Oatman?
The town of Cotton Hill, Illinois, had withered on the vine and the post office closed in 1909. What was left along Route 66 when the town was razed in the early 1930s?
The origins of Albatross, Missouri, are tied to the Albatross Bus Line. How far reaching was this pioneering bus company?
Counted among the wonderful people met through this project would be Joe Sonderman. His contributions to preserving the history of Route 66 include a massive post card collection, a collection that he has graciously opened to me to ensure Ghost Towns of Route 66 is a colorful time capsule.
His website of Route 66 post cards is a wonderful excursion into the pregeneric era along America’s most famous highway. Joe is also a gifted author with numerous books to his credit.
His latest release chronicles the evolution of Route 66 through the Land of Enchantment, New Mexico.http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=1968adventurer&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0738580295&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr He has also written on the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair, and Route 66 in St. Louis, Route 66 in the Missouri Ozarks.
New business includes a wide array of indicators that in spite of an economic melt down that appears to be the beginning stage of the Great Depression Part Two, this summer will be a busy one on Route 66. Here, in Kingman, we have a wide array of events scheduled for stops.
Perhaps the most amazing will be a cross country motorcyle event with a twist. All participating motorcycles must have been manufactured before 1916!
A personal adventure looming on the horizon that has us quite excited is participation in Road Trip Day at Auto Books-AeroBooks in Burbank, California. As an added bonus this means I can give my dearest friend a real treat, a trip to the beach.
I hope that if your in the neighborhood time allows for taking in the festivities of Road Trip day. This little book store cast a big shadow and with events like this it becomes a combination car show, time capsule of Main Street America circa 1960, and old fashioned ice cream social.