ROUTE 66 ODDS AND ENDS WITH THE EMPHASIS ON THE ODD
Today’s post is a series of updates and notes rather than a cohesive story. Hence the title as it seemed the best descriptor for a disjointed batch of odds and ends.
The owners of the iconic Blue Swallow Motel in Tucumcari, Nancy and Kevin Mueller, seem to have taken their west bound vacation slash fact finding and promotional tour to the extreme, unintentionally. Somewhere between Kingman and the depths of the Mojave desert the air conditioning gave up the ghost on their Mustang which immediately transported them to the world of summer travel on Route 66 circa 1955.
Judging by posts and photos on Facebook, in spite of this setback they seem to be enjoying the trip. That epitomizes the spirit that separates the Route 66 adventurer from the average interstate highway traveler.
One group endures the trials and tribulations associated with a road trip. They even see it as part of the adventure as well as an opportunity, for in situations such as these you often meet the nicest and most fascinating people in places you would probably never have stopped at. Of course you will also increase the odds of meeting an opportunist with a face like a butt doctors test dummy.
The other group chooses to insulate themselves from the word around them, focus myopically on the destination, and will work tirelessly to ensure joy, anticipation, or excitement does not taint their journey. If confronted with anything that derails their carefully crafted time table or schedule the incident will be seen in the context of a world ending event, a vast conspiracy contrived solely to inconvenience them.
While we are the subject of travelers, Dale Butel, and his wife Kristi Anne, are leading another merry group from down under along Route 66. If you happen to see them give a friendly wave.
We always delight in meeting with Dale’s groups. They are always fascinating, inquisitive, and fun. The plan is to meet up with them on Saturday as they motor through Kingman, tag along through Oatman, and spend the evening with them in Laughlin.
This past Friday evening we met with the new owner of the historic Brunswick Hotel in Kingman (a delightful gentleman from Switzerland) and the contractor assigned the task of infusing the old hotel with new life. At the very least it was quite inspirational. I was left with the distinct impression this could very well be the project that stems the tide of apathy, indifference, and divisive attitudes that has kept Kingman from fully utilizing the resurgent interest in Route 66 as a catalyst for transformation.
On the weekend of August 10th, we will head west. At some point around midnight, we will turn the homestead over to my son, and entrust the neighbors as well as the Kingman Police Department (who will be notified of our departure) to watch over it with vigilance, and motor west to Victorville, California for the annual International Route 66 Festival.
The following Thursday, as per request, I will be hosting a group of GM executives and accompanying journalists when they stop in Kingman on their Route 66 tour. We would like a nice display of old cars (with the emphasis on Cadillac) at the Powerhouse Visitor Center. Would you care to join us?
Schedule tentatively for the evening of the 20th is the next installment for what has become a series of meetings about the resurgent interest in Route 66, what communities are doing to utilize interest in that road as a catalyst for development, and what we can do in Kingman.
For this meeting the focus will narrow as we work out details on the creation of the World’s Largest Route 66 Museum and the transformation of the Old Trails Garage. If you would like details about the projects or the meeting, drop me a note.
That about covers it for today. Tomorrow, however …
One final note, if you have a copy of any of my books, or have ordered photographs from the Jim Hinckley Studio (see the link at the top of this column), and are going to be in Victorville for the big event, please look me up as I would be pleased to sign them. The signature isn’t worth much on checks but …