In a note to Laurel Kane of Afton Station, I described the entire Route 66 encyclopedia project as the most exciting, most frustrating, most rewarding project yet undertaken. Another aspect of this daunting task has been a dramatic increase in my worries over accuracy as this book represents a sense of obligation that borders on something almost sacred.
Afton Station in Afton, Oklahoma
As I approach the finish line (March 1), the writing of captions, this concern seems to be magnified exponentially. To a degree this is partially resultant of the sheer size of this aspect of the project.
As the illustrations would mirror the scope of the text, I knew the list of selected images would be a lengthy one as almost 2,000 images were submitted. Still, when I received the list – 9 pages, single spaced – it brought me up short.
As is my custom at this stage of a project, I obsessively decided to commit every evening and every weekend to this, the final task in an almost two year project. And as is my wife’s custom at this stage of a project, she made sure I was fed, and gently chided me into limiting the work to three or four hours in the evening after the day job and making time for a long walk or two on the weekends.
As a result, I am down to 2.5 pages of selected images to write captions for. As this stage of the project progresses I am again in need of assistance. Here are a few locations that I am unfamiliar with or that my information about is quite limited. Can you provide any information about these places?
Double D Ranch Cafe – Cajon Pass
Sun Set Rest Camp – Devil’s Elbow
Camp Townsend near Flagstaff
Colorado Camp Ground – Gallup
Cottage Inn – Joplin
Log Cabin Filling Station – Lebanon
West Side Camp Ground – Needles
Wetheholt’s Ideal Cabin Camp – Pontiac
Pillman’s Camp – Arlington
Clarks Rock Garden – Galena
Idle a While Tourist Camp near Joplin
Before this is finished, I am quite sure there will be a few more. I can substitute images for these but these are the ones selected and as they are full of rich detail, I would really like to include them.
Another custom that accompanies commencement of the final stage of a project is to update the eclectic music collection that serves as the background for my myopic focus. The selection of music for this stage of the encyclopedia project made me think of Cort Stevens who regularly provides Facebook followers with a list of interesting music and an occasional radio show.
A few months ago I introduced Cort to the ballads crooned by Marty Robbins and Johnny Horton. Cort, would you be interested in a collection entitled American Murder Ballads from Woody Guthrie, Johnny Cash, Burl Ives, Cisco Houston, Molly O’Day and the Cumberland Mountain Boys, and a few dozen other artists?
Here is another indication of what makes my dearest friend so special. With each project my office is transformed into a concert hall where tunes by Woody Guthrie are followed by Chopin who is often followed by Don Williams, AC DC, Allison Krause, Green Day, Roy Rogers, or Flatt & Scruggs.
With the sprint to the finish consuming my time and focus, there is little time for the occasional road trip or even a great deal of planning for road trips. Still, here is what I have on the schedule so far – the Route 66 Fun Run, KABAM, Wheels on 66 in Tucumcari, the International Route 66 Festival in Victorville, and Cuba Fest.
Well, again thanks for the assistance. Don’t forget about our contest and I hope our paths will cross this year on Route 66 or somewhere along the road less traveled.