I was never one of those folks who at age eighteen charted the course of their life from college to the invitation list for the fortieth wedding anniversary party. Still, dependent on the level of optimism at a particular time, which was based on finances or the crisis of the day, there were goals.
Some were rather lofty. Others were more focused on simply making it to Friday. With the passage of years that became decades, the focus on goals narrowed and now there is really but one. What can I do,legally, to avoid spending my seventieth year on this planet as a greeter for Walmart?
In recent years that narrowed line of thought has led to some of the most interesting adventures, and a few memorable detours. It has also led to such an immersion in projects that on occasion there is a sense that I might actually drown.
To date the childhood dream of becoming a writer when I grow up has been made manifest in the publication of seven books, and the completion of one more that is awaiting publication. Another book is finished with the exception of a final edit and the writing of captions, and one is under construction with a deadline of December 31. Additionally my byline has appeared on several hundred feature articles for a wide array of publications.
Reaping financial reward from these endeavors on the level of Stephen King or Tom Clancy remains a bit elusive. However, the people met on this quest, as well as the adventures spawned and doors of opportunity opened, are truly priceless.
It has also ensured the curse of boredom and tedium will never shadow my doorstep. As an example, here is a succinct look at my schedule in April and May.
Filming scenes for the first installment of Jim Hinckley’s America, a new video series currently under development. Here is a teaser, the rough intro for the first video that will highlight
the wonders of Route 66 between Hackberry and Oatman, Arizona. In addition to stunning scenery the video will feature stories about obscure but fascinating history on this segment of the road – the tong war assassination in 1926, the propane explosion in 1973, the Cactus Derby of 1914.Friday night, April 5, I met with Melanie Stengele of Germany. She was researching ghost towns of the southwest and was in need of information about Signal and Swansea. On the weekend of April 6, we gathered photographs for a new book along the Route 66 corridor in the Los Angeles metropolitan corridor, and signed books at Auto Books – Aero Books in Burbank. On Tuesday, the 9th, I spoke before a group from Switzerland visiting Arizona.That morning,before work, there was an hour long discussion about ghost towns and the ghost towns of Route 66 for a radio program, Otero Then and Now,in Alamogordo, New Mexico. The interview is on pod cast (follow this link, scroll down to Otero Then and Now, it is the April 9 program). Then there were a series of meetings. One was a planning session for a monster multi-event version of Chillin on Beale in August of 2014 that may serve as the platform for the International Route 66 Festival, and another was to develop a press kit for personal promotion.Three Jim Hinckley tours that had been developed for Vayable received approval. As result there were various meetings to discuss marketing.https://www.vayable.com/widgets/trip/ee44688fc97cdbca0d2feeefaa23c7d4-6f9e37944c99cc46https://www.vayable.com/widgets/trip/79b99f88f36a9160812a7660d7b1c689-38258bc2227d5d84https://www.vayable.com/widgets/trip/bd78fb112cbe6491165d079e6a906d8c-288b4ec2514dee66This evening I will be photographing Chillin on Beale, the kick off for a new season. As a bonus I will be having dinner with acclaimed author Roger Naylor.Monday, the 22nd of April, I am scheduled for an interview by Sarah Bergeron-Oullet, a travel journalist from Montreal. On the evening of May 8, I will meet with a journalist from Berlin who is writing a series of articles about Route 66.The weekend of May 3, is the annual Route 66 Fun Run, an event I cover for several magazines. The following morning I will be signing copies of Ghost Towns of Route 66 and speaking with Dale Butel’s first tour of the year from Australia. On the 11th, I meet with another tour from the land down under.On the 13th, I meet with Zdnek Jurasek and his group from the Czech Republic. As they are a most enthusiastic tour that is always full of questions, this should be most interesting. Before kicking off June, which includes a signing in Albuquerque at Bookworks on June 7, and the New Mexico Route 66 Motor Tour, and meeting with a representative from the fledgling Polish Route 66 Association as well as fans of the double six from Holland and Germany, I need to track down owners of restored tractors. The new editor at Antique Power, Brad Bowling, and I worked together during his tenure at Old Cars Weekly and Cars & Parts and now he is asking that I write features for this publication. The primary challenge isn’t my limited knowledge of the topic. After all, I have spent a few hours pulling drop plows and harrows behind tractors in my youth.The biggest issue is that I live in western Arizona. Farm tractors, restored or otherwise, are not something we see on a regular basis. So, if you have a restored tractor and would like a few minutes of fame, drop me a note. Any tractor manufactured before 1970 would work.If I can just stay in the saddle for a bit longer, I am quite sure it will be possible to avoid servitude at Walmart during my golden years, and avoid starvation as well.