Well, after more than a half century of meeting the needs of the vintage vehicle hobby, Amos Publishing has pulled the plug on Cars & Parts magazine. So ends a personal association that spans more than of a quarter century and that includes the first automotive magazine my dearest friend and I shared as husband and wife, and my first position as a staff writer for a publication.
The loss of this venerable magazine also interprets into a monthly pay cut on the home front and the end of the monthly column, The Independent Thinker, at least in this format. The response received to this column over the past few years sparked the idea of using it to revive the Memory Lane Garage page on the languishing website Route 66 Info Center.
In the past twenty years I have written hundreds of feature articles and six books. Of all these endeavors this column was one of the most enjoyable.
The research was always fascinating and through it I met the most wonderful people. The response received to published columns was always positive and indicative of the fact people found them interesting.
The essence of the column were profiles of obscure individuals and companies that made astounding contributions to the evolution and development of the American auto industry. One of my columns was a profile of Ralph Teetor, the inventor behind the modern automatic transmission, cruise control, and countless other innovations that was blinded at age five in an industrial accident.
As I wrote these columns there was an increasing sense that by design or apathy we have become a nation of victims where creative excuses for failure and resultant dependence is almost seen as a virtue. However, I also found inspiration for a successful, happy life in writing the story of individuals like Charles Nash, an abandoned orphan who became president of GM and started his own automobile manufacturing company.
So, I also enjoyed writing the columns as a source of inspiration. Judging by letters received, many readers appreciated them for that very reason.
Perhaps these columns could form the nucleus for a book. After all, we could use a little inspiration, a little spark to get the creative juices flowing during these hard times. Perhaps we need a few more tales about people like Lloyd Rounds or Marta Becket of the Amargosa Opera House and less focus on the impossibility of overcoming (fill in the blank here) without assistance from the government.
Part two of today’s post pertains to another series of adventures on the legendary double six and a few more milestones along the highway of life. At the top of the list has to be the pending celebration of my 27 year marriage to the most wonderful women in the world, my dearest friend, who has stood beside through adversity, good times, and even my rough-around-the-edges callousness in the past.
Early on Saturday morning a good friend, Chris Durkin of the Kingman Route 66 Association, my son, and I will embark on a weekend of high adventure. Destination one will be Burbank’s legendary Auto Books – Aero Books.
This time it is rather an informal visit with friends and the search for research material that takes us to the land of endless traffic congestion where gray skies often leave you guessing the weather. Still, I will be signing a few books for those who ask.
As an added plus Russell Olsen, author of Route 66 Lost and Foundhttp://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=1968adventurer&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0760334927&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr, will be meeting me there. Russell and I have talked about the lure of the forgotten places along legendary Route 66 but this will be our first face to face discussion with the topic being the use of his images for illustrations in the current project, a Route 66 encyclopedia and atlas.
Photography is the primary reason for this excursion. First, there is the need for illustrative material to be used in the encyclopedia and then there is the work on the new print series that will accompany the release of Ghost Towns of Route 66 next spring.
So, this means we will be hitting the high points on the return leg, exciting vacation destinations such as Essex, Ludow, Amboy, Daggett, and Goffs. We also hope to have time for a stop at the Route 66 Museum in Victorville, just down the road from the historic Green Spot Motel that is on my list of sites to photograph, and the museum in Barstow.
The only real schedule we will be adhering to is the need to be back in Kingman by Sunday evening and dinner in Wrightwood with Hank Hallmark and, perhaps, Jim Conkle on Saturday. In between these planned stops are possible side trips to see Dan at the Santa Monica Pier and the Patel family in Rialto.
While we are away my dearest friend will be attending to the planning for another milestone that includes a baby shower next Saturday. This segway takes us to the adventures planned for Saturday the 18Th
http://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=ifrThis months edition of Chillin on Beale Street is shaping up to be the best yet. In addition to the usual anything with wheels car show, the music, food, games, belly dancers, shops, and vendors, this will be the official debut of the exciting new 240 page, hard cover time capsule that is Greetings from Route 66, a heavily illustrated compilation published by Voyageur Press.
The book will not be available for several weeks but the Kingman Route 66 Association has obtained a signed pre release copy that will be the grand prize for that evenings drawing. Presenting the book to the lucky winner will be none other than Bob “Boze” Bell, the colorful editor of True West magazine and a former Kingman resident with a long family association to the town as well as Route 66.
|The commemorative dash magnet for the world
premiere of Greetings from Route 66.
To ensure everyone is in the spirit of the event a special commemorative dash magnet has been designed. These will be given to the owners of the first two hundred vehicles (including motorcycles) sporting any Route 66 promotional material from antenna ball or license plate to home made poster or bumper sticker.
I hope you can attend. This will truly be an historic moment in the long and colorful history of this amazing highway.