I apologize for the delay in posting updates. As is often the case in my world things have been just a tad bit hectic. First, there was the holiday. For as long as I can remember Memorial Day was a finely blended mix of flag waving patriotism, lip service to those who wave those flags with sincere gratitude from those who hope the lip service will translate into votes, and those who see the holiday as a solemn occasion to remember those who have fallen to preserve American imperialism. I am inspired by the first group, disgusted by the second, and saddened by the latter. In our home one aspect of our celebration is to inspire a little meditation on something aside from our daily spin on the treadmill by watching a solid portrayal of what it means to be a veteran. An excellent example of this type of film would be Private Ryan. This year we tried the new film, Red Tails. The acting was somewhat flat but overall it presents a fairly inspirational look at the prejudices that stained America during the second world war and how an illustrious group of men rose above that to do their part in stemming the tide of tyranny in Europe during this period. It was unplanned but on Monday morning I finished reading Hitler and His Secret Partners by James Pool. For those with a strong stomach and an open mind, I highly recommend this book. It presents a very disturbing behind the scenes picture of Nazi Germany. But the most troubling aspect is how much of the behind the scenes manipulations seem relevant and as fresh as this mornings news. Now, lets talk Route 66. Sam and Monica, the inspirational and visionary proprietors of the historic El Trovatore Motel in Kingman are kicking off a grand reopening as well as introducing a new service. Lets start with the special introductory rates. From June 7Th through June 10Th, they are doubling room rates which makes them $7.66 per night plus tax. Did I forget to mention that during this special they are doubling the original room rate from 1939? Imagine following asleep under the watchful gaze of Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, or Andy Devine with the soft, soothing glow of colorful neon to accentuate your dreams for less than the price of a good meal. Now that is a bargain! Reservations will not be accepted for this special rate. Availability is based on a first come, first served basis and a major credit card is required. The new service they are introducing is a Kingman (El Trovatore Motel) to Laughlin, Nevada shuttle service. Today through the 10th of June the introductory rate is $7.66 per person each way. This takes me to the next topic of discussion. Last evening I spoke to a group of community and business leaders about Route 66, how communities on that highway are using the resurgent interest as a catalyst for development and improvement, and the assets Kingman has for harnessing this wave of interest. I was unsure about what the response would be but was still surprised by the turnout. Steve Wagner, the organizer for the event, had asked that reservations be made as seating was limited to fifty but we ended up with that number plus a few walk ins. It would seem there has been a bit of confusion about the Jim Hinckley Studio (see link above). This is not a brick and mortar gallery in Kingman but an on line gallery for the sale of our photographic work. We chose this path to resolve issues with international orders.
The legendary Blue Swallow Motel, our home away from home during our stay in Tucumcari.
This isn’t to say that a physical gallery isn’t in the planning stages or that we haven’t even entertained the idea of trying to establish a shop in Europe or Australia. The problem here is finding a suitable location, ideally somewhere on Route 66, and a location that would have low enough overhead to make the venture somewhat profitable. Perhaps it would be easier to pony up and find someone with an established business that would like to add an additional opportunity for revenue as well as marketing. Is there anyone interested in adding a Jim Hinckley Studio and or a Jim Hinckley Studio and book store to their shop or museum? Meanwhile, there will most likely be a gap in postings next week as we take to the road for the Wheels on 66 event in Tucumcari, the kick off for the New Mexico Motor Tour, and leave our son and his family in charge of the circus. As always, I promise lots of details and photos upon our return. Please keep the emails and comments coming. As has been my custom since launching this blog, each will receive a personal response.
If your a fan of the double six, I have a wide array of very exciting information to share. If your not a fan as of yet, perhaps a few of these items with help jump start that transition. First, we have some announcements from the management of 66 The Mother Road, an e-zine that is kicking off its second year in a very big way. An incredible contest that provides an awesome advertising opportunity as well as a little something for every fan of the double six that registers, and advertising specials that are sure to benefit the Route 66 community are the big headliners.
Anything as internationally popular as Route 66 is bound to attract a few charlatans, snake oil salesman, and medicine shows, those fast talkers who promise the moon but vanish like snow in Amboy in July once they have your money in their pocket. Well, with that in mind John and Judy Springs decided that the best way to serve the Route 66 community was to publish your advertisement before sending an invoice, a policy they initiated with issue number one and that continues as they kick off year number two. To celebrate their second year the Spring’s cooked up “The Big Palooza”, a contest designed to offer businesses, museums, and attractions along Route 66 an opportunity for some budget promotion, to put Cuba, Missouri in the spotlight, and to provide fans of the highway with some quality prizes is in full swing. Details and free, no strings attached registration are available on the website and the magazine itself (to open, click on the cover image). The next item on the list is a formal grand opening for the Jim Hinckley Studio with an Arizona and Route 66 gallery to select images from. Now through June 1, there is a discount of 10% on all orders. The promo code is “Route 66.” If you plan on motoring west, or east, on the double six in the first weeks of June, and those travels take you to New Mexico may I suggest Wheels on 66 in Tucucmcari, the kick off for the New Mexico Motor Tour? The event is shaping up to be a major one as numerous Route 66 celebrities will be in attendance – Joe Sonderman, Jim Ross, Jerry McClanahan, and Shellee Graham – to name but a few.
Author Jim Hinckley with the Route 66 Tour spring tour at Cadiz Summit in California along old Route 66.
Dale Butel of Brisbaine, Australia based Route 66 Tours is adding a new twist to the classic Route 66 tour in 2013. Blending golf at some of the most beautiful courses in America and the adventure of Route 66 is bound to be a winning combination for the folks in the land down under. One more? On Wednesday evening at 6:00, at Buccillis in Kingman (1921 Club), I will be addressing a group about the resurgent interest in Route 66, how communities are utilizing that interest as a catalyst for development, and the potential for Kingman. Seating is limited to fifty so an RSVP is required. For more information contact Steve Wagner, Eagle Realty (928-377-2239 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
Kingman is the only place I know where the weatherman calls thirty mile per hour winds “breezy.” Today was one of those breezy days. Even though I am not trained in the meteorological arts my bet would be that it may have even been a blustery day as the winds often topped forty miles per hour. Blowing sands and the occasional tumble weeds were but a few of the obstacles encountered during my drive home along Route 66. I can’t be positive because visibility was limited but on one occasion it looked as though a house went by, as well as some older lady on a bicycle. As an additional area weather update, if your planning on a little desert exploration in the Kingman area before next fall, this may be your last opportunity. Temperatures on Saturday will hover around seventy degrees. Todays (actually tonights) post is a bit abreviated resultant of a very long week, the need to button up a few projects, and an overwhelming desire to do little more than enjoy the grandkids. Speaking of grandkids, I was quite pleased to learn that Emily Priddy has released a Route 66 book for kids. Two more quick items. In looking through the guest book for the Jim Hinckley Studio where prints of images as well as illustrations from various projects are now availableI learned it is garnering some international attention. I hope that these visits will inspire a few adventures along America’s most famous highway. This item was to have appeared in a previous post but as a result of technical difficulties there was a delay. Will I see you there on Wednesday?
You Are Cordially Invited
To Attend The Premier Presentation Of
Route 66: International Destination
A brief report and discussion on the resurgent interest in Route 66;
How communities are utilizing that interest as a catalyst for development, and
How this interest can be transformed into an asset for our business community.
Presented by Local Route 66 Historian, Author, and Photographer Jim Hinckley
Followed by a Question& Answer Session
This All Takes Place at the Newly Opened
(formerly Cappello’s Restaurant)
Wednesday Evening, May 30th at 6pm
Consider this a terrific opportunity to learn more
About how Historic Route 66 can positively
Impact our Local Economy and your Business.
Also, it’s a chance to visit our newest Restaurant
And Taste a Variety of Foods from their extensive Menu
Aside from that urge to eat, as well as enjoy the luxury of electricity and the things associated with that and the pleasure derived from sleeping in a warm house rather than a tent in the months of winter, what is it that keeps us so intently focused on making the wheel in our cage go round and round. As I close in on the milestone that is the 60Th birthday, and the quest to become a writer continues to be a task akin to trying to nail Jello to the wall, this is a thought that creeps into my mind with ever greater frequency.
Chain of Rocks Bridge, an example of the images available through Jim Hinckley Studio.
I know the answer but allow frustrations and setbacks to make me wonder if there is something being overlooked. The simplistic answer for my string of twelve and fourteen hour days is that I love to work. To be more specific, I love labor that provides the opportunity to craft things people enjoy be it photographs, a book, or a speaking engagement where it is possible to inspire imagination and flights of fancy. The day job, and the occasional night job, are what fund those endeavors. And even though I complain often, occasionally in a joking manner, I am quite grateful to have a job to complain about. I often lament the fact that writing has yet to replace the day job. But in all honesty, the reward in writing is seldom measured in dollars. The prize, the treasure in this endeavor is in the dreams inspired, the people met, and the doors to grand adventures it has opened. Without writing would I have ever had the opportunity to explore the Beacon Hill Motel with Joe Sonderman, Rich Dinkella, and Dean Kennedy or meet Cort Stevens on my home turf? If it were not for books what are the odds of Jim Hinckley being invited to Jay Leno’s Garage? Satisfaction is seldom measured by a pay check, especially in the world of the author. It is measured in a thank you note from a family in Germany that was inspired to travel Route 66 because of something I wrote or the smile on an inquisitive youngsters face when you give him a book. And so the quest continues. Sure, it would be a true delight if the bills were paid through such an enjoyable pursuit. But in the mean time I will simply enjoy the adventures. As a final note today, the information about my address to community and business leaders that was promised for the Tuesday post. I hope you will be able to attend.
It hasn’t been a bad day. On the other hand it hasn’t been a particularly good day. It was simply one of those days where it seemed difficult, and on occasion impossible, to accomplish anything. Self diagnosis can be a fools errand but in this case I would prescribe a road trip with relaxation to clear the weariness induced cobwebs.
The Black Mountains under winter skies.
I am not talking a busman’s holiday with scheduled appearances and book signings even though this is something that provides an immense sense of satisfaction. I am talking a couple of days with no schedule or deadlines, sleeping in until 6:00 or even 6:30 in the morning, and just basking in the company of my dearest friend. In reviewing my schedule for the past five months I was a bit shocked to find that with the exception of a weekend getaway to Prescott and a stay at the Hassayampa Inn for my dearest friends birthday in March, and a hike to Johnson Canyon and its historic railroad tunnel in April, I have not taken a full day off from work in one form or another since December. That just might explain that sense of having a head filled with cobwebs. That also might explain my dearest friends thinly veiled concerns. Even though my extra curricular work is of the type I enjoy there comes a need for some very serious rest and relaxation. So, I evaluated the calendar and discovered that it would be possible to squeeze a few empty days in between Wheels on 66 in Tucumcari in June and the return trip. That should be just about perfect. A warm up for the vacation with a cruise along Route 66 to set the mood, meeting with friends and acquaintances in Tucumcari, recharging the batteries by immersing myself in the unbridled enthusiasm and excitement of an event that centers around legendary Route 66, and then a couple of days with my dearest friend.
Las Vegas, New Mexico
A lot of folks in our position with a few days to spare would most likely select Santa Fe for their vacation stop on the way home. Now, I have nothing against that ancient city but as we prefer someplace a bit quieter the sights are set on Las Vegas, the one in New Mexico, with its historic Plaza Hotel, delightful little book store, Tome on the Range, and a wide array of shops including a farm and ranch store managed by the same family for more than a half century. Meanwhile I will need to clear the head and focus on the business at hand. That includes meeting with community and business leaders next week to speak on Route 66, the resurgent interest in that highway, how places like Cuba and Pontiac are capitalizing on that interest, and how to apply that success to Kingman. I will post the promotional flyer for this event on Tuesday. If you are able to attend please RSVP as seating is limited.