In theory, Monday is my scheduled day off, at least from the job that supports the writing and travel habit. However, driven by the fear of celebrating my 70th birthday as a Walmart greeter, the day was spent in a variety of productive endeavors that might enable me to become, instead, a writer when I grow up.
For those new to the blog my definition of a writer is somewhat different than the one found in a dictionary. My definition of a writer is someone who derives all of their income from that profession and is still able to afford food, at least every second day.
The day started with a bit of a devotional, the hearty breakfast, and correspondence. Then it was off to evaluate the area proposed for the “Route 66 in Mohave County” exhibit, a part of the Arizona centennial project.
This was followed by two stops to sign books for gift shops, one at the Powerhouse Visitor Center and the other at the Mohave Museum of History & Arts. Then it was off to the studio for the recording of an interview that will run on cable channel 57 in the tri-state area.
The topic of discussion was the new book, Ghost Towns of Route 66 (in a second printing as of October), the legend of Route 66, and how communities are using the resurgent interest in that highway as a catalyst for development. When conversation turns toward that topic two communities always come to mind, Pontiac in Illinois and Cuba in Missouri, and during this interview the casual observer might have thought I worked for the chamber of commerce in either of these towns.
With completion of the interview, I bravely joined my dearest friend in the battle that is shopping at Walmart for Thanksgiving dinner ingredients mere days before the holiday. It is never a very pretty sight and today was no exception.
Then it was a light dinner, creating a couple of files, saying a quick prayer, and hitting the send button that launched the text for the Route 66 encyclopedia, via the wizardry of the Internet, to the publisher. Now, I can devote the rest of the week to finalizing the photo file that contains more than 1,250 images. To say this has been a mammoth undertaking is akin to saying Route 66 is a road.
The developing idea of promoting the next book, the current book, and the highway, as well as the great mom and pop businesses that give it life, color, and vibrancy, utilizing a vintage automobile continues to evolve. Now, it has grown to include speaking at schools about the importance of Route 66 in the 20th century, why it remains popular today, and what it represents.
Somewhere out there is a sponsor or two that would be interested in a unique advertising opportunity as well as an opportunity to play an important role in another chapter of Route 66 history. My job is to locate them.
To that end I made a few phone calls and began following a few strings to see if they lead to something promising. Likewise, I composed a few more formal letters seeking sponsors masquerading as advertisers. Or is that the other way around?
Initially the plan had been to get out and photograph Hackberry, the town not the famous general store on the later alignment of Route 66. A cold wind deterred that idea even though the storm clouds provided some dramatic shadowing effects.
I rounded out the afternoon in lengthy, interesting, and thought provoking conversation with John Springs, the publisher of 66 The Mother Road (, a fascinating ezine that debuted earlier this year.
The primary topic centered on material and themes for future issues. After kicking around a wide array of topics, and ideas for a contest in the planning stage that will knock the socks of any fan of the legendary 66, we agreed to talk again next week after having time to flesh out a few of the ideas.
Now, it is time to prepare for another day at the office. So, until next time …

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