For reasons unknown, I awoke this morning with a heaviness that centered on thoughts of changing times. It wasn’t depression in the traditional sense but none the less it was a disconcerting feeling, a sense that we are on the cusp of major change. I meditated further on this topic through the morning shower and shave. I spend a great deal of time wandering the shadowy halls of the past but in recent weeks my focus has been more on the past as history rather than from the usual perspective of seeing the past as a tool for deciphering the future.
Since the first of May, I have completed the first draft for Ghost Towns of Route 66, been consumed with promotion of Ghost Towns of the Southwest, worked with several organizations to breathe some new life into the Kingman historic district, and negotiated a contract for the writing of a Route 66 encyclopedia and atlas. I have also been speaking on related topics at different venues. In addition, during the month of May our photographic work was featured with that of the late Bob Waldmire, an iconic Route 66 artist, at the Beale Street Brews & Gallery.Our vacation was consumed with a cruise along Route 66. More specifically, our adventure on the legendary double six was a search for the forgotten places on that highway. We were using a 1946 route guide and a 1929 atlas. The photography centered on images for the new book, Ghost Towns of Route 66, and as a result a number of our stops were at places such as this old station Foss, Oklahoma. In the evenings I chose reading over television to unwind. The book, 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, was a gift from my wife and is an excellent read that is a morality play as well as an inspirational story that reads like a novel set against the societal evolution of America between 1900 and 1950. The nation changed in a dramatic fashion from 1900 to 1950. In fact, the nation and the world has been in a state of accelerated change since at least 1860. At the heart of this mornings unusual mood was spending more time watching the road from the rear view mirror than from the windshield. In so doing I missed the exciting things that loom on the horizon. From that perspective how could I expect anything but heaviness. Yes, these are changing times. Yes, the changes are a bit unnerving at times and yes, these changes are happening at an ever faster pace. Still, how do they compare to those experienced by Wyatt Earp who lived into the 1920s? Today’s post is a bit personal but I had hoped that by sharing my confliction it would be possible to help those grappling with similar issues. So, always remember that when ever you are alive it is the best of times and the worst of times. The second part of today’s lesson is this – don’t run off the road by focusing on the rear view mirror and don’t become so focused on the road ahead you loose track of the past.