A HARD COLD CASE OF REALITY

More often than not, history is taught in a manner that leaves the subject as dry as overcooked toast without butter, a three day insurance seminar, or a marathon reading of the latest IRS issued tax code. As a result, few enter adulthood with the faintest interest in the subject.
In actuality history is a deeply fascinating topic. It is also key to the resolution of many problems we as a society face today. Without historical context how do you know these are the worst, or best, of times? 
As a featured author and speaker at the KABAM/Downtown Merchants Spring Fair this was the subject I addressed. It would seem I struck a chord, especially when broaching the topic of immigration and the recent law passed in Arizona.
Did you know that it was immigration issues and the way they were addressed that toppled John Adams? Did you know that in the late 1870s the subject of illegal Chinese immigration was a hot button topic that divided the nation and that to address the issue President Roosevelt, almost thirty years later, appointed special border agents?
Here is another little tidbit from history that may sound very familiar. In the late 1920s the federal government intervened in a major banking combine that was on the brink of collapse and that was deemed to big to fail. The intervention prevented, temporarily, the banks failure, allowed a few to prosper greatly, and magnified the depth and duration of the Great depression.
For the fan of vintage automobiles and Route 66, here is another example of how a distorted view of history affects the modern era. If you attend a car show anywhere in the country you are bound to find a small herd of ’57 Chevies. Did you know that Chevrolet dealers in 1957 were very unhappy with the 1957 models or that Ford outsold Chevy in that year. When was the last time you saw a 1957 Ford?
Route 66 has transcended its role as a highway to become a shrine to the golden age of the American vacation, to the tail fin, and to the pregeneric world. Its almost as though the Green Book for the Negro Motorist never existed.
The bottom line – whenever you are alive, it is the best of times and the worst of times. With history as a foundation we clearly see that in many ways we have the absolute best of both worlds, the past and the present.
We can cruise the double six for enjoyment, not necessity. We can savor the fresh mowed grass scented breezes as we motor through Missouri or insulate ourselves from the smells and heat with our climate controlled, motorized cocoons.
So, do we frustrate ourselves by reinventing the wheel or do we look toward the past for answers to resolving the issues we face, many of which are the same issues faced often during the past 250 years?
Now, let me step down from the soap box and share a few things as well as suggest a great read. Lets start with the latter, a new book entitled Crosleyhttp://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=1968adventurer&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=1578603226&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr. This book is far more than a biographical profile of two men who played a pivotal role in the transition of America during the first decades of the twentieth century. It is a three dimensional portrait of America’s evolution from a nation of farmers pushing the frontier westward to a major, industrial world power where citizens enjoyed the highest standard of living in world history.
Now, a couple of quick updates. The photos in the gallery on the home page of Route 66 Info Center, just under the calendar of events, are now available as 11×14 inch prints as well as blank backed note cards.
The price for the prints are $19.95 and for the cards .50 each in mixed batches of one dozen. Twenty percent of the sale price will be donated to the restoration efforts being spearheaded by the Kingman Route 66 Association. For more information drop me a note.
As noted in previous posts, we will be heading east soon. If you have sell any of the books I have written and would like signed copies please let me know so a stop may be added to our schedule. Likewise if I may be of assistance in the promotion of a nonprofit or educational endeavor.

If you enjoy Jim Hinckley\'s America, take a second to support jimhinckleysamerica on Patreon!

jimhinckleysamerica

Jim Hinckley's America is a grand adventure on the back roads and two lane highways. It is an odyssey seasoned with fascinating people, and memory making discoveries. As made evident by the publication of fourteen books on subjects as diverse as diverse as Ghost Towns of the Southwest, The Illustrated History of the Checker Cab Manufacturing Company, Travel Route 66, Backroads of Arizona, and The Route 66 Encyclopedia, I enjoy sharing adventures and helping people plan for their own memory making journeys.

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