LET THE CELEBRATION BEGIN
After our meet, greet, and sign session at Barnes & Noble, the Route 66 celebration in Amarillo kicked into high gear with a wonderful party at the home of “Croc” Lile, one of the organizers for the event and a popular artist. As it was a beautiful evening we opted to walk the few blocks from the hotel to his home and along the way met many others who had also chosen to savor a stroll along the tree lined streets.
It was a delightful celebration with the common thread being a passion for iconic Route 66. Many of those in attendance, such as Joe Loesch of the Road Crew, and Jim Ross, the author and photographer, I had corresponded or talked with but never met. Others, such as Dale Butel from Australia were old friends.
The conversation was lively and animated. The food excellent. Still, the highlight was in making new acquaintances, such as Dale’s charming wife Kristi Anne.
All to quickly weariness prompted us to say goodbye and begin our walk back to our temporary home. After a pleasant nights rest, it was off to the Route 66 egroup breakfast hosted by Mike Ward.
Virtual friends put faces with names, old friends shared the latest news, and donated prizes ranging from signed books to Route 66 tote bags were raffled. Again, time passed far to quickly and it was time to set up our table in the authors and vendors building for the main event on 6th Avenue, Route 66, in the cities San Jacinto historic district that kicked off on Friday and culminated with a massive auto show on Saturday.
Our table location provided us with a front row seat to the main event, and a showcase for our wares that included the new Arizona Route 66 passports, free Kingman post cards, a display of our photographic prints, a spread of three of my most popular books as well as hte latest title, Ghost Towns of Route 66http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=1968adventurer&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0760338434&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr. Even better, we were sandwiched between the National Park Service and Jeff Jensen of Bygonebyways.
Even though the event wasn’t due to kick off until noon, the crowds began to build by 10:30 and by 11:00 there was a steady ebb and flow of fans of legendary Route 66. The excitement and vitality in the air was palpable as the people moved among the tables.
Directly across the street from our building was, as it turned out, an excellent little diner, Dolly’s. The food was so good, and the prices reasonable, we ate lunch there on Friday and Saturday!
The sun sinking below the western horizon did not end the fun. It continued with some heading for the legendary Big Texan Steak Ranch and others to the hotel, and drew to close with Joe Loesch and his band performing at the legendary “Nat” ballroom.
With eager anticipation for the day ahead, we called it a night just a bit earlier than planned. As it turned out, this was a very wise decision indeed!