ADVENTURES, MYSTERIES, AND INDEPENDENCE DAY REFLECTIONS

The past few days have been a most delightful blend of productive and adventuresome with just enough mundane to accentuate the thrill of adventure. Before we begin, I have a comment from Tim to share.
“Jim, first let me say you have three prominent slots in my personal Route 66/Southwest library, and I have followed your writing since purchasing “Route 66 Backroads” at TeePee Curios!

Eagerly anticipating the debut of your upcoming Encyclopedia; and it occurs to me that you might know this if anyone does: The Mohawk Mini-Mart in Oro Grande appears to have a fraternal twin in Jerome. I and another Flickr contact began wondering: was it a one-time regional chain? Or just good old plagiarism?

The link goes to my Flickr page so you can see what we’re talking about. Figured you’d know if anyone did!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/tommythecat/7475576630/in/photostream”
Tim, I don’t have the answer- yet. Perhaps someone in the Route 66 community can provide an answer.
As for the compliment, thank you. In the world of tedium, frustration, and long hours that constitute the creation of a book there are few rewards greater than knowing that the finished product is appreciated and enjoyed.

The first is series of murals under development at the
El Trovatore Motel in Kingman, Arizona.

For those who guessed that my absence this past few days was resultant of a new adventure (or two), you would be correct. It began early Saturday morning with a review of images collector Mike Ward had supplied for the world’s largest Route 66 museum currently under development in Kingman. This was followed with several hours at the office.
Then it was lunch with my dearest friend, strapping my backside to the chair to commence the writing of the first draft for the first chapter of the new book, and an early evening visit with Sam and Monica at the historic El Trovatore Motel. The latest development in their ongoing quest to revitalize this property is the commissioning of a series of colorful, whimsical murals.
Saturday was a most enjoyable day with but one exception, our movie night. Details are unimportant but suffice to say that if you have a spare two hours to watch Rampart the time might be better spent watching paint dry, having a root canal, or simply doing a Google search for the largest ball of belly button lint. 
I strive to make Sunday a day of relaxation, of study, and reading. However, there are occasions when issues that demand attention make this an impossibility. This was one of those Sundays. 
So, the day was spent gathering paperwork for the accountant in my ongoing quest to resolve mothers estate, working on the new book as the first chapter is to be submitted for review by August 1, and editing images for the forthcoming exhibit at the Powerhouse Visitor Center, the subject of an early morning meeting with Josh Noble, the tourism director.
The day ended on a most pleasing note as my nephew and his wife surprised us with a visit. They are currently stationed in New Mexico and were returning home after a visit to Los Angeles.
Monday was a veritable whirlwind of activity. There was a brief visit with the accountant and another visit to the bank necessitated by the never ending task of estate resolution. This was followed by a most productive meeting with Josh Noble to finalize the selection of images for the Powerhouse exhibit and initial developmental work on the proposed “world’s largest Route 66 Museum.”

The lobby of the Brunswick Hotel.

We also squeezed in a meeting with Norm Fisk, the producer of the award winning Route 66 Arizona DVD. The topic of discussion was my involvement in a project he currently has under development.
Then it was lunch, and more work on the new book that left me with a very satisfying word count of just over 5,000. Then it was time for an eagerly anticipated adventure – dinner with Kevin Morgan and his wife, Diane at Redneck’s, followed by an evening of exploration through the historic Brunswick Hotel as Kevin is the owner of Axiom Remodeling, the company assigned the task of resurrecting this property.
Excellent food (as always), enjoyable conversation, and then the adventure began. The Brunswick Hotel, built in 1909, has a quirky history and the prerequisite legend of a haunting.  
Midway through construction of the hotel, a feud developed between J.W. Thompson and John Mulligan, the developers, and as a result the hotel was finished as two separate properties. The dividing wall between the two hotels in one was not breached until the 1930s.
The tale of haunting dates to 1920. This was the year Mulligan’s daughter fell down the stairs and died. It is her ghost that purportedly haunts the halls. I wonder if it is possible to have an historic hotel without a ghost story.

As the electricity was only operational in segments of the old hotel, our adventure had more than a few surreal moments, especially in exploring the vast cellars by flashlight. What an amazing old building!
Massive stone walls worthy of a castle or fortress, a cellar with tangible links to past history – a bundle of wires with room number tags from the old switchboard, parts tags hanging from the rough cut floor joists from the days when the Cadillac, LaSalle dealership operated next door, and hand hewn beams as supports set on columns of stone. It was enough to send my very active imagination into a frenzy.
I am quite eager to see this building resume its role as a crown jewel in Kingman’s historic district. I can only hope it sparks a revival that transforms the remaining survivors.
Last but not least, don’t foreget this is Independence Day. Have fun, enjoy the festivities, but take the time to reflect on what an amazing country this is, how it came to be, and our role in preserving this rare legacy for future generations.

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