The succinct title for this post is quite ap for this week. I woke up Monday morning and then it was Friday afternoon and time for another late lunch.
A condensed version goes something like this – work on the encyclopedia, more issues with mother, problems with the photography shop, short handed at the office and the busiest week in six months, last minute issues with Ghost Towns of Route 66 that required immediate attention, discussions with a publisher about the next book, finalization of scheduling for the interview with Jay Leno for his website, arrival of the grandson, and, I hope, a hand that is badly bruised and not broken.
All of this leads to but one conclusion, the last weeks of 2010 are going to be one wild and woolly adventure. This past week was merely the opening act.
First, a slight respite as it is movie night with my dearest friend. Of course between here and then, there is the rest of the afternoon at the office and a myriad of small details that demand attention.
Saturday it will be the office, resolve the last issues pertaining to Ghost Towns of Route 66, and then work on the encyclopedia. This weekends goal is to chronicle the evolution of the two alignments of Route 66 in western Arizona and the fascinating history of Yucca, work out the details of the Tong related assassination in Kingman and the subsequent running gun battle west on U.S. 66, and see what I can learn about Hyde Park (Park your hide tonight at Hyde Park).
In regards to writing there are two aspects I never tire of; the research and sharing what is learned. It is very much like taking a long drive in an unfamiliar area with no particular destination in mind.
You come to a fork in the road, choose right, and have a grand adventure but in the back of the mind there is always wonder about what would have been found with a left turn. With that in your mind the seed is sown for a future adventure.
As an example consider the research pertaining to celebrity association with Route 66, another aspect of the encyclopedia. This particular trail started with discussions pertaining the relevance of keeping Route 66 in Kingman signed as Andy Devine Avenue.
This morphed into the search for other, now obscure celebrities who have been awarded a dubious form of immortality with their names emblazoned on road signs along Route 66. At some point between the discovery of Roger Miller being so honored in Erick, Oklahoma and a discovery of a dispute involving Harry Truman and the placement of the Madonna of the Trail statue in Springerville rather than Kingman, I learned that Sammy Davis Jr. lost his eye as a result of an automobile accident on Route 66.
Now, this may seem a bit scattered but this leads me to the third reason I enjoy writing – bringing order and relevance to a seemingly unrelated string of things. In this particular instance, Route 66 is the common denominator.
That highway is also the common denominator for much of the rest of the year. The day job that supports the writing habit, and the budget, precludes two trips to California in November so I am sorry to say we will not be able to attend the gala Route 66 celebration scheduled for November 11 on Santa Monica Pier hosted by Dan Rice.
To give an idea as to the scope of the event, Dale Butel of Route 66 tours is flying in from Australia. I always enjoy a visit with Dale and Dan plus this was an opportunity to catch up with Ken Turmel, the Route 66 post mark artist, and Bob “Croc” Lile of Amarillo.
Instead we will be traveling to California later in the month for the interview with Jay Leno. We will build on that itinerary but four items already on the list include a visit with Dan Rice and his wife on Santa Monica Pier, get a Scott Piotrowski tour of Route 66 in the greater Los Angeles basin, introduce my dearest friend to the charms of Wrightwood, and a visit with the fine folks at Auto Books Aero Books in Burbank.
On a final note I would like to illustrate the obvious, most all things change with time. Mention the name Liberace to anyone under fifty and chances are you will receive a blank, confused look equal to stopping in Adrian, Texas and asking for directions in Mandarin Chinese.
Well, for years the Liberace Museum in Las Vegas has been one of those obscure attractions that many felt encapsulated the Las Vegas experience. Well, no more as the doors closed with very little pomp or ceremony this past week and the fate of the garish collection is in limbo.

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