With the doom, gloom, and tragedy exploited for political gain that comes with an election cycle it can be a challenge to find a bright ray of hope to light the darkness. So, my suggestion is to turn to Route 66 as that seems to be front and center in the good news department. 

Storage depot at the former Kingman Army Airfield
after World War II (courtesy KAA museum)
Ron Warnick at Route 66 News recently reported on an impressive economic study pertaining to tourism along Route 66 that is making some waves and garnering international attention. Then, just in case you still have doubts about Route 66 being the last bastion of mom and pop enterprise, or it being a key component in the transformation and renovation of communities along this storied highway, take a look at this story about Pontiac, Illinois that also appeared in Route 66 News
Here in my corner of Route 66 land, the darkness is about to be pushed back by the relighting of the neon on the historic El Trovatore Motel tower. I spoke with Sam, the owner, this morning and his plan is to test the refurbished neon this evening. Rest assured, I will be there as this will be the first time in more than a half century that there will be colorful glow emanating from that rocky knoll along old Route 66.
Another bright spot on the horizon stems from my plan to finish the feature about the history of the Kingman Army Airfield for 66 The Mother Road this weekend. I hope this story will spark some interest in this obscure chapter in Route 66 history and shine the light on the fledgling Kingman Army Airfield Museum. 
I should note that the museum located in the Kingman industrial park at the site of the old airfield are changing. They are now open on Wednesday through Sunday from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM.
This photo supplied by the museum shows the field after the war when it served as a storage depot. Imagine, in late 1946 the largest concentration of military aircraft in the world were lined up along Route 66.
Another bright ray of sunshine is to be found in the annual Route 66 Fun Run. In a recent conversation with the organizers I was left with the impression that indications are that this may the biggest event to date. And, for the second year in a row, there will be a sizable international presence at the event as Dale Butel of Route 66 Tours from Brisbane, Australia has included it in his spring tour. 
In a nut shell, my advice to those who are becoming increasingly nauseated by the stench emanating from the seemingly endless Republican primary or the Democratic push to create an us versus them spectacle, take to the highway that is best … 

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Jim Hinckley's America is a grand adventure on the back roads and two lane highways. It is an odyssey seasoned with fascinating people, and memory making discoveries. As made evident by the publication of fourteen books on subjects as diverse as diverse as Ghost Towns of the Southwest, The Illustrated History of the Checker Cab Manufacturing Company, Travel Route 66, Backroads of Arizona, and The Route 66 Encyclopedia, I enjoy sharing adventures and helping people plan for their own memory making journeys.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. 66 and the military were hand in hand during the 40's. It is interesting how, while serving in areas like Fort Defiance, people fell in love with the region and relocated to the Mother Road.

  2. I look forward to my next trip to Kingman to see the refurbished sign. Does anyone know what happened to the “El Trovatore” sign that greeted people coming up Chadwick street? That would be a nice addition to some museum, or the motel property as well. On a WWII note, the old one-car garage in the back where I lived on Spring St. had an Oil/service pit in it that Dad and Mr Zinck filled in with dirt. I understand that jeeps and other military vehicles were serviced there during the war.
    As always, enjoy your work!

Thank you, shared adventures are the best adventures.

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