THE GHOST OF BOB WALDMIRE, IN SEARCH OF RADIATOR SPRINGS, AND NOTES FROM THE ROAD

The title for today’s post may seem a bit sensationalist in nature but in actuality it is a condensed version of my world this past couple of days. It is also a snapshot of how my life seems to intertwine with Route 66 on most every day.
With a focus so narrow I could look down a beer bottle with both eyes, I drove home from work Friday evening, had a pleasant dinner with my dearest friend, and retired to my fortress of solitude fully consumed with the idea of finishing the first draft for the Route 66 encyclopedia. After three solid hours of work, I watched a movie with my dear friend, and on Saturday, after a half day at the office, returned to the task at hand with an even more intense focus.
In the next six hours my fingers flew over the key board when they weren’t digging for confirmation in the various volumes ranging from a two volume set chronicling the history of Standard Oil published in 1920, to one of several books penned by Joe Sonderman, and a book written by Emily Post in 1916, By Motor To The Golden Gate. More often than not the books were camouflaged under vast piles of paper.
During a project such as this my office turns into what appears to be a chaotic jumble of books, note books, vintage newspaper clippings, photos, an occasional plate or cup, and random scribblings. In actuality there is order in this chaos as there is a pile for everything and everything is in its pile.
One of the last entries was pertaining to the animated classic film Cars  and the various location, as well as people, that served as inpiration for scenes or characters. Radiator Springs and the surrounding locale is really quite real. Don’t believe me? Check out this story from Route 66 News.
With the first draft, at 137,000 words, 98% complete I called it a day at about 8:00. I still need to write a few entries including a profile of San Dimas, California, the Pontiac Trail in Illinois, and Hext in Oklahoma but as the clock is ticking felt it best to send what is ready to experts such as Jim Ross, Scott Piotrowski, and Joe Sonderman so they would have time to correct any errors.
I always go a little Howard Hughes about accuracy with these projects. With this book I have become almost pathological and to ensure my tracks are kept on the rails, and this book is accurate, I have imposed on a few authorities for assistance.
On Sunday afternoon, in between a visit from my son and his family, and an evening with my wife, I began the task of creating an illustration file. There are three categories; photos or historic post cards I have on hand, post cards that I hope to find in the collection of Mark Ward and Joe Sonderman, and locations to photograph on the whirlwind tour to Chicago in October.
Monday, my scheduled day off, was devoted to restoration of the office. I emptied one file cabinet drawer filled with papers pertaining to my mother which entailed a bit of organization, several trips to the trash can, and filling a rather large box to be shipped to my sister.
Then I cleaned off the desk (found my missing truck keys and a reminder to make reservations at the Ambassador Hotel in Amarillo before May 1) and the book shelves, made a valiant effort to organize a two foot high stack of newspaper clippings into some coherent order by topic, and found a new home in the reorganized closet for a 25 year collection of automotive magazines. To round out the productive weekend I confirmed, or attempted to confirm, dates for interviews and book signings.
The interview with Jay Leno, still pending. A book signing slash Route 66 celebration at 66 to Cali on Santa Monica Pier, confirmed with dates pending. A book signing and party at the Wagon Wheel Motel gift shop in Cuba, Missouri for October 7, in the planning stages. The interview on AM Arizona for September 12, confirmed.
On Tuesday I returned to work and learned the gentleman (I am stretching the use of that word) that cleans and inspects the trucks developed eye trouble over the weekend and as a result couldn’t see any reason to come to work. So, the first half of the day was spent cleaning, inspecting, and renting trucks with a brief intermission that included a surprise visit from Buzz Waldmire, the brother of acclaimed artist Bob Waldmire.
He and his son were on the road to renew contacts with associates of Bob’s, and to announce that his unique work is being made available in formats ranging from post cards to posters for wholesale or retail purchase. If you are unfamiliar with the artistic mastery of Bob Waldmire, or if you are a big fan, this website might be of interest.
The visit from Buzz and his son was like old times. It was almost as though the ghost of Bob had stopped by for a visit.
After Bob moved from Hackberry he would stop by on every annual or semiannual pilgrimage along Route 66 for a visit and to drop off a small gift such as a rare cardboard pop up of a Cozy Dog couple (on display in my counter top) or a couple of his latest post cards. Buzz’s visit was brief but he left a copy of the intricate Arizona poster that epitomizes Bob’s eye for detail, and a Bob Waldmire designed catalog listing merchandise available.
How do you top off a weekend such as this? Well, as Route 66 always seems to be the common thread, we will be meeting with  Dries Bessels and his wonderful wife, Marion, and their tour group from Holland as well as a few friends at Redneck’s in the Kingman historic district.
On the horizon is more Route 66 fun. Now if I can just figure out how to take Scott Piotrowski’s tour along Route 66 in the Los Angeles are in October when we are supposed to be in Chicago at just about the same time.