Two weeks ago at this time we were counting the miles in anticipation of dinner at the Pine Country Restaurant in Williams, Arizona. That marked the closing chapter for our grand adventure in search of ghosts on Route 66. It was also the opening chapter for even more spectacular journeys and another round of the grandest adventure of all, life. The day before leaving for our trip there was a family crisis that threatened our thrice postponed trip and I learned that a contract agreement for the most exciting and ambitious project to date was approved save for a couple of very minor details. In my world such extremes of up and down is just business as usual.With confidence the final issues would be quickly resolved, I jumped the gun and began initial research for the next book, a Route 66 encyclopedia and atlas, the day after our return. This included a flurry of emails, compilation of contacts, a listing of resources on hand, and another list of materials that would need to be purchased.
Then on Memorial Day, I evaluated the next step in the evolution of my office and composed a budget. With each book I have used a portion of the initial royalty to develop an office that streamlines the writing process.I buried the dining room table, filled the dining room with books and notebooks, and used a small Gateway computer at the kitchen counter with the first book. With the second I bought a used desk, some used bookshelves, bought a new Dell computer, an took over a large portion of the family room. The third, fourth and fifth book funded some larger changes. I removed the old carpet in the family room, installed a new wooden floor, and purchased a small work station. Now, with the funding from book number six, the encyclopedia, the goal is a larger, wall mounted monitor, a full “L” shaped desk, and more book shelves.I rounded out Memorial Day with a few hours at the office, the place where I earn the money to write, to get things ready for Tuesday morning. From that point until the time I closed the office today it has been a maelstrom of activity at work and in the real world. I was asked to handle services in Peach Springs on Sunday, June 5, but a sore throat and a voice that faded in and out forced me to pass the torch to another. I was really disappointed about this as I enjoy serving the people at this church and the opportunity to spend time with old friends. As an added bonus this always means a drive of forty five miles each way on Route 66. With the release of the second printing of 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=ifrpromotion again kicked into high gear. On Monday, June 14, I will be speaking at the Mohave County Library. Then for KNAU in Flagstaff, there was some consultation/promotion in regards to a program about ghost towns. Oddly enough, at the same time a similar project for BBC America that was initiated in May moved to the next step. A book signing was scheduled for June 26 (details are found in the “Jim Hinckley schedule” tab above) in Chloride. This will be in conjunction with the Chloride Old Miners Day. Chloride, home of Yesterday’s Restaurant, is a favorite of ours for a quick, relaxing get away or a pleasant lunch. For years the town has been suspended somewhere between ghost town, out of the way retirement community, and tourist destination.
For my wife another dimension to the attraction to Chloride is the long association her family has with this old mining town. Her grandfather worked in the mines here during the 1930s. Her uncle moved to Chloride when he retired, and many relatives chose the cemetery there for their final resting place. On our companion website, Route 66 Info Center, we have posted a number of photos of Chloride as well as a Google map. Some of these photos are available as limited edition prints through the Lile Fine Art Gallery at Sunset Galleries in Amarillo, Texas.This past weekend I wrote the next installment of my monthly column, The Independent Thinker, for Cars & Parts magazine. For this feature, after reading a book my wife purchased for my birthday in Burbank, Crosleyhttp://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=1968adventurer&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=1578603226&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr, I chose to profile the amazing Powel Crosley, his brother Lewis, and their incredibly diverse business empire that transformed the world. This book is more than an inspirational story. It is a morality play and time capsule chronicling the evolution of America between 1900 and 1950 that reads like a novel.Another item to occupy an already over loaded schedule looms on the horizon. This would be the final edit for Ghost Towns of Route 66. If, by chance, I find myself bored or with some extra time and want to further expand my repertoire as a writer, initial development for promotion of another book is underway. I have yet to see the completed work as my involvement was solely in the writing of the introductions for each section that profiles each state through which Route 66 passes. Still, the wide array of talents that went into this compilation ensures Greetings from Route 66http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=1968adventurer&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=076033885X&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr will be an excellent addition to the library for every fan of Route 66.Much of the remaining “spare time” has been spent with meetings and related activity in an attempt to kick the Kingman Route 66 Association into high gear. The goal is to move this town from stop on Route 66 to vacation destination on Route 66.Perhaps at some point we can be at the center of something as amazing as the forthcoming tri state Route 66 festival. I had hoped to be a part of this exciting event that will transform Route 66 between Springfield, Missouri, and Afton, Oklahoma, into a living time capsule from the glory days of the most famous highway in America but my schedule prevented it. In the mean time we will continue to expand on events such as Chillin’ on Beale Street (scheduled for the evening of June 19), the now famous Route 66 Fun Run, and similarly themed weekend activities. At this rate, I may still fulfill the childhood dram of becoming a writer! In closing, did you notice the changes to Route 66 Chronicles? How do you like it?