I suppose it could be blamed on the slight fever that has accompanied this cold for the past couple of days but that would be dishonest. The truth is I am a dreamer and it seems that with age the dreams become even larger. That is really the only explanation there is for planning the promotion for Ghost Towns of Route 66, scheduled for release next June, when I am again eating a late lunch and am again looking at a postponed vacation. With uncertainty like this who else but a dreamer would be making plans to attend the big international Route 66 festival in Amarillo next June, make a Chicago to Kingman drive on Route 66 in the fall, and a European promotional tour with an accompanying photo exhibit during the summer? A dreamer or a … Well, lets skip that thought. The reality is that I am grateful to have a job but am frustrated the job comes at such a high price. The reality is that such grand adventures are not exactly economically feasible.
Still, like the prospector of old that stumbled across the desert with his burro in search of the big strike, I can’t help but feel that at some point the scales will tip in my favor with writing and photography being the primary job and a part time job will be needed only for incidentals. So, in the meantime the dreams flow freely. They begin with grandiose plans for 2011. First is reorganization of the Kingman Route 66 Association and plans for the third year of Chillin on Beale Street, a key component in transforming Kingman into a destination rather than a mere stop. Continuing the tradition of themed events such as last years Topless Fun on Route 66 we will have something special for each month from April until October. Ideas currently in circulation include Going Green (alternative energy vehicles of the past present, and future as well as home made), Mother Truckers, a salute to women and their trucks, the popular orphan and topless event, and An Evening with the Wildlife, a salute to the Impala, Cougar, Mustang, Bronco, Thunderbird, etc. To enhance the scope of there are plans to include movie nights in the park, arts and crafts, vendors, live music, new car model introductions, and even celebrity appearances. The next item on my dream agenda is the launching of Destination Kingman. This one stop shop will coordinate tourism related events with other entities in the area, provide planning assistance and even special events for groups or individuals traveling Route 66, and complete travel packages. All of this will operate from a gallery, gift shop, and travel planning book store.
The book store and gallery will provide authors, artists, and photographers with access to an international market. In addition to seasoned artists my vision is to provide a step up for the starving artist much like what Bob “Croc” Lile has given me through exposure at the Lile Gallery in the Sunset Galleries of Amarillo. Road trips will be an important part of 2011 for us, at least as I envision it. There will be numerous small trips to Prescott, California, and exciting places such as Amboy, Holbrook, and Ludlow.The first big adventure will be a drive east to Amarillo on legendary Route 66 with stops at a few of our favorite places – the Wigwam in Holbrook, Cuervo and Endee in New Mexico, and the Midpoint Cafe in Adrian for pie and a visit with Fran. Hopefully, we can repay Croc by helping to put his gallery on the map with the introduction of a new series of Route 66 ghost town prints that will accompany the release of Ghost Towns of Route 66. After spending time with legends of the modern era on Route 66, folks like Ken “The Landrunner”, Laurel Kane of Afton Station, Melba from 4 Women on the Route, a few dozen others we should be amply stoked with enthusiasm. Hopefully, we can carry that glowing ember back to Kingman and ignite a fire of revival. The year will be seasoned with visits from friends from all corners of the earth – Dale and Dave from Australia, Dan in Santa Monica, Dries and his dear wife from Amsterdam, and, perhaps, Chris Tres from France. Of course, as this is a dream, if they are unable to visit me in Kingman then we will have to take the visit to them. The European adventure is the biggest dream of all. Through book signings and the accompanying photo exhibit, as well as speaking engagements, I hope to share the excitement of an adventure on Route 66 to such a degree people are enthused with wanderlust unequaled since Jason set sail with the Argonauts. During the last weeks of September, my dearest friend and I will head for Chicago via Amtrak. After a tour of Route 66 in Chicago led by Dave “Windy City Warrior” Clark, and a visit with Cort Stevens and my dad in Michigan, we take to the road gathering photos for the latest book, a Route 66 encyclopedia and atlas. The year ends with a contended sigh of relief as the polish is added to the new book and the deadline is beat by two weeks. Now, a year like that is the stuff of dreams!Meanwhile, I wonder if it will be possible to squeeze out the vacation in installments. Lets see I can take the 25th of November off, the 25th of December off, …