The people and places I have been could easily be a book in itself. There was the John Wayne period where I rode tall in the saddle through the land of big skies along the Mexican border doing my best cowboy impersonation, which was followed by a stint as a miner. From that point in time to this, I have imitated, with varying degrees of success, a mechanic, a finance manager, a repossession agent, a carpenter, a truck driver, a used car salesman, and even a homeless fellow.
Then, shortly after the shocking adventure of trying my hand as an electrician, I hit on the bright idea of developing my gifts and talents rather than trying to be something that I wasn’t. The end result, after twenty years, has been seven books, hundreds of features articles, a few thousand photographs, a few dozen sermons, and a whole bunch of adventure seasoned with fascinating people that were quite different from the fascinating people met in my previous lives.
Linking the two different worlds, and most of the people in them, is Route 66. For the foreseeable future with continued promotion of Ghost Towns of Route 66, and the release of the Route 66 encyclopedia next fall, that consistent theme will continue.
Perhaps the most exciting chapter in the Jim Hinckley story is the one being written now. The cast of characters has gone international in nature with acquaintances and friends from the four corners of the earth but it is still Route 66 that provides continuity for the unfolding story.
With age it seems the adventures have narrowed in scope but they have broadened my horizons and added new shades and hues. They are also providing me with the paints and canvas for the next series of books, of articles, and sermons.
In a somewhat unrelated note, for the trip in October, a new twist has been added. I will not names, in an effort to protect the guilty or those that are about to be guilty, but it seems a merry band consisting of a publisher in the making that is often referred to as Ralph, a tour operator from Australia that has become a fixture on the road, the owner of an iconic motel in California, an itinerant artist from Amarillo, all friends made along the road, and assorted other characters will be on Route 66 during the same period.
I am quite sure that if we can coordinate a stop along the way, a new chapter in the history of Route 66 will be written. Stay tuned for details.

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