Okay, lets get up caught on the latest exciting developments from my corner of Route 66. I also have a few personal notes to share that might be of interest. This includes updates on new books, developments in Kingman, and things to look for during the annual Route 66 Fun Run.
For regular followers of this blog a break in the pattern of daily postings can only mean one of three things – I am sick enough to have one foot in the grave and one on a banana peel, we are off on another adventure, or I am deep into another project. Well, I feel as fit as a fiddle and we have not been on the road with the exception of the recent day trip to Kelso and our picnic in the Cerbat Mountains last weekend.
That leaves the project option. Well, as is often the case in my world where the childhood quest to be a writer when I grow up continues, this word should be plural as in projects.
It started with the big October trip that included the promotional launch of The Route 66 Encyclopedia at Cuba Fest in Cuba, Missouri. At this juncture I should note that we had such an enjoyable time at this event, and found the hospitality to be so refreshing, we have loosely penciled this on the calendar as the destination for our vacation this year.
In addition to the promotion of the new book we were also working on the photography for a new book, a project with a March 1, 2013 deadline. Reason one for the sporadic posting in the last week or so.
I am pleased to say that the final draft for the text, and a large photo file (thanks again Mike Ward, Joe Sonderman,and Steve Rider), were mailed this morning. This project is a guide to Route 66 that includes quirky or interesting detours of less than 20 miles.
As my primary target was the novice or armchair traveler that needed some motivation to get out and explore, I made it clear in the introduction that a copy of the dining and lodging guide published by the National Historic Route 66 Federation, as well as the EZ 66 Guide by Jerry McClanahan were essentials for any adventure on the legendary double six. I can honestly say that we never leave home without them.
This is not to say the book won’t be of interest to those who are intimately familiar with the old road. I am quite sure that there will be a few surprises for everyone.
Meanwhile, while I was working on crafting this project, the publisher requested I also write a smaller book that chronicled the evolution of Route 66 as mirrored through the development of promotional material for the road and business along its course.
While all of this, as well as the mundane details of everyday life such as tax preparation was ongoing, I was also doing the preliminary submission work for another project, a companion to The Route 66 Encyclopedia. I am pleased to announce that as of today, the Route 66 historical atlas has been given a green light.
One aspect of this will be to document locations along Route 66 used in music videos, television programs, and movies. Your two cents worth would be most appreciated.
In addition we are diligently providing assistance on various aspects of the Brunswick Hotel restoration to ensure the refurbished hotel, restaurant, and bakery is an asset to the community as well as a destination for Route 66 adventurers, and that our gallery in the Brunswick Hotel provides visitors with a memorable experience. This includes historical research, publicity, location of artifacts, and the development of a line of limited edition prints, framed and unframed, as displayed above.
Initial plans were for the gallery and hotel to be open in time for the Route 66 Fun scheduled for the first weekend in May. Unexpected delays pertaining to the installation of an elevator have pushed that date back to July.
Meanwhile, Beale Street Brews & Gallery (one block north of Route 66) is making plans to host a special Route 66 exhibit, featuring a selection of our photographs, for the entire month of May with special hours during the fun run. Angela, the owner, is looking for artists as well as photographers interested in displaying their work.
It looks as though the Old Trails Garage window mural project at the corner of Third Street and Andy Devine Avenue will not be finished in time for the fun run. However, I am quite sure that visitors will be most impressed with the improvements.
In addition to this, plans are afoot to transform the entire historic district into a gallery by combining shadow galleries in currently empty buildings with an expansion of the window mural program and displays of photography and art in stores, restaurants, and city buildings. Details will be provided as progress is made.
Meanwhile, Joplin is preparing a wide array of events to ensure that visitors attending the international Route 66 festival have a delightful time and in Bethany, Oklahoma plans are moving forward with a billboard museum. Updates on these and other projects are found at Route 66 News.
I think that this catches up for now. Stay tuned for more exciting details on these and other items.