The delay in posting this past few days is not the result of another adventure on the open road, or illness, at least not in the normal use of these terms. It was a road trip through time as I continued with the research to ensure the Route 66 encyclopedia is as accurate as possible and that it contains as much information as is possible to jam between two covers that prohibited the regular daily posts.
|Jim Hinckley and the Fortress of Solitude|
The illness part is a bit hard to describe. It usually strikes about four months before a deadline. The symptoms are vision so narrowed I could look down a beer bottle with both eyes, numb butt cheeks, a sense of panic that is only held at bay by seeing row upon row of words appear on the screen as my fingers fly across the key board, and a neck that becomes fused in one position.
The history of Sampson, Missouri and Lawndale, Illinois appeared on the screen followed by the story of a bus crash at the Laguna crossing in 1930, an overview of Murray’s Dude Ranch in Apple Valley, and then a brief biography of A.L. Westgard and Victor Green. Then there was the unraveling of Route 66 alignments in Los Angeles County (thank you Scott Piotrowski), the political intrigue behind the realignment in New Mexico in 1936, and the story of the Madonna of the Trail in Springerville.
With a gentle nudge from the wife at regular intervals I would stumble from my fortress of solitude to the bathroom and take a 15 minute break for some exercise. In between these interruptions there are vague memories of a pretty lady bringing plates heaped with food and then returning to remove the empty ones. If only my wife, my dearest friend, would understand I need a small refrigerator under the desk and a port-a-potty by the book case, or better yet, a combination desk chair/port-a-potty.
I have the rough draft of the text, more than 135,000 words covering some almost two hundred topics, about 95% complete. The push is to have it finished by this weekend, forward it to noted authorities such as Jim Ross, Scott Piotrowski, Joe Sonderman, and Dave Clark, to ensure accuracy of the work, and then turn my attention to the illustrations which entails a road trip to Chicago in October.
For a break, I penned the story of Afton and Afton Station for the next edition of 66 The Mother Road. This will be the second installment of my series profiling communities along Route 66.
Somehow, I also managed to find time for a movie with my dearest friend, a walk with my son, and a little fun with the grand kids. Now that is a productive weekend, one that makes you look forward to work for the much needed rest.
As to the trip in October, for those who would like a copy of their book signed or that would like share their adventure on the road over a cup of coffee, the rough outline is this:
Day one – a half day – Holbrook –
Day two – Tucumcari –
Day three – Claremore
Day four – St. Louis
Day five – Jackson, Michigan
Day six – Springfield, Illinois
Day seven – Cuba
Day eight – Elk City
Day nine – Albuquerque