Age and time are funny things, especially for those individuals with a fascination for history. Even though the dawning of Route 66 predates me by about three decades that period of time seems like recent history resultant of the hours spent in unraveling its story for books, lectures, and feature articles.
As a result I am often astounded by how little is actually known about the highways early history. Of course I also am amazed by how little is known of its history during the 1950’s.
In short, the time spent in researching the history of Route 66 magnifies the awareness of just how little I really know about it. So it should come as no surprise to learn that I am always fascinated by new discoveries, and the stories of those who take the time to unravel mysteries. Case in point, the most intriguing adventures of Nick Gerlich.
Adding depth and context to the Route 66 experience through the sharing of its history in books, articles, and now video, is the primary reason I strap myself to the office chair for long hours at a time. Simply put, I derive a great deal of satisfaction from being able to provide fans of the double six with a bit of a voyeuristic look at the highways history with all of its spots and blemishes.
The current video project, the first installment in the Jim Hinckley’s America series takes this a new level. In this episode I will introduce fans of the double six to an almost always overlooked but pristine segment of the pre 1920 alignment of the National Old Trails Highway, the course for the 1914 Desert Classic starring Barney Oldfield and Louis Chevrolet.
As this episode focuses on Kingman and Route 66 between Hackberry and Oatman, I will have an opportunity to share little gems from the areas rich history that should really encourage travelers to slow down and take a second look. Lets see, we have the tong assassination and the resultant gun battle along the National Old Trails Highway, the Kingman Army Airfield, the history of Ed’s Camp tinged with personal recollections, and the story of Cool Springs, to name but a few of the featured stories.
Next, a schedule update. I will be in attendance at the annual Route 66 Fun Run in Kingman, and the special edition of Chillin’ on Beale that Saturday evening.
On June 7, we are off for a book signing at Bookworks in Albuquerque. Initial plans also call for a visit with friends in Tucumcari, a little R & R in Las Vegas (the other Las Vegas, the peaceful quiet one east of Santa Fe), maybe a detour to the Midpoint Cafe for some pie and coffee, and a little exploration of forgotten Route 66 in eastern Arizona.