Well, here is a new one. I receive a regular report about the blog that lists the most basic of information including the city and country of who logged in, and then, if they dug into the archives. If so, it also informs me of the topic the reader was searching for.
My dearest friend and I really enjoy looking through the locations list as it presents a most interesting snap shot of the international fascination with Route 66. This morning the listing contained a first – Casablanca, Morocco.
What makes this particularly interesting is the timing. Last evening as we were gathering supplies at Walmart for the New Mexico adventure my eyes were drawn to the discount DVD rack as I noted a few classics at the top. Long story short, we purchased two great films starring Humphrey Bogart, The African Queen and, you guessed it, Casablanca.
One more item that may be of interest, particularly if you adhere to my pa’s adage that it is better to fill the head with useless knowledge than no knowledge at all. Our Route 66 enthusiast from Morocco was searching for information about Route 66 in the movies, the second most popular search since the blog launched. The first is Radiator Springs.
A week or so ago I noted an odd coincidence involving a University of Oklahoma Project developed by Gary Gress that centered on Route 66, that involved some most enthusiastic students, and that included my office that is housed in the former cafe at the Hob’s Truck Stop. Here are the vintage photos I mentioned in that post.
Oddly enough this old truck stop, as with Route 66 itself, has been linked to a great deal of my life. We stopped here in 1966, just a few years after these pictures were taken.
I was but a kid but remember because we were just moving into Kingman and my dad met the new landlord here. Later, during my John Wayne period, this was usually my first stop when I came to town from the ranch.
It was relatively easy to get into with a truck and trailer, and the huevos rancheros was something I fantasized about during the long weeks at the ranch near Hackberry. Fast forward a lifetime or two to my initiation in the world of white collar work.
The old cafe had been transformed into an office, and the truck stop into a service center for the Chrysler dealership next door that also sold RV’s. When that job petered out, my next job, for another company, was in the office I had started in!
At every turn it seems the old double six and I are forever entwined. Sometimes it is difficult to remember a period in my life that wasn’t linked to, or touched by, this old highway.
Now it has become our portal to world travel and we have yet to leave home (the U.S.A.). On a regular basis (sometimes at the office)I meet with fans of the double six from every corner of this world.
To say Route 66 is amazing would be akin to saying Duluth is a bit chilly in January. Even more amazing is the fact that I have been privileged with a life long adventure on this old highway, and a damn good friend to share that adventure with.
Plans are moving forward for the city of Kingmanto garner the nomination to serve as the host for the 2014 International Route 66 Festival, and to ensure that the event showcases the wide array of amenities and attractions that will make Kingman a vacation destination. At a recent organizational meeting a rough framework for the event was drafted, and a wide array of business owners as well as residents volunteered to ensure that the city is well represented.
The events being planned for the 2014 festival include a film festival showcasing movies filmed in Kingman or along Route 66, or starring Andy Devine. Rob Chilcoat has volunteered to coordinate this with Brendan Theaters.
Kristi Turman will be lending her expertise and experience to bring vendors to Kingman for the event, and the owners of Desert Diamond Distillery, Stetson Winery, and Alpacas of the Southwest will be developing special events to be held in conjunction with the festival. As the extensively promoted car show that will be a part of the festival is to be an expanded version of Chillin’ on Beale, the organizers of that event, Ralph Bowman, Pauline Rowe, and Ron Giebrecht, have volunteered to develop this event.
In addition, discussions pertaining to sending a representative from Kingman to the International Route 66 Festival in Joplinwas initiated, a need magnified with the receipt of an invitation from the Route 66 Alliance for the Route 66 Summit Meeting.
“Interest in the Route’s preservation, history and legislative matters form the agenda of a Summit Meeting held Friday morning of the festival weekend. This year’s Summit will focus on economic development. We are also open to adding other items to the agenda now in development.
This meeting brings together the National Park Service, the eight state associations, and other Route 66 influences, including individuals and other interested parties to discuss concerns and achievements in keeping the historic route alive. “
For more information, to volunteer, or to include your business for an event, or as a sponsor, contact Steve Wagner at 928-377-2239 or Jim Hinckley at 928-530-7899.
With a deadline for the Route 66 historic atlas looming on the not so distant horizon, and a New Mexico road trip in the wings, I decided to devote most of the past weekend to work. So, for at least five hours each day, I transformed my notes on murder, mayhem, disaster, and good times on the old double six into something coherent.
I am feeling quite confident that this work will really add depth and context to the Route 66 experience. My hope is also that, as with the Route 66 Encyclopedia, it will spark conversation that leads to new discoveries, will encourage exploration, and that it will solve a few mysteries.
This weekends work focused on Texas and Oklahoma, and going blurry eyed over reading old newspaper accounts that chronicled flooding near Hydro that washed away cars, buses, and trucks in 1946, the string of robberies in Wildorado between 1926 and 1930, and the daring escape of a German POW. Of course it wasn’t all doom and gloom. After all, this is Route 66.
One article that I found particularly interesting was from 1959. It appeared in an Albuquerque newspaper as a reprint from a London, England paper.
It chronicled the travels of an English visitor who drove U.S. 66 from St. Louis to Los Angeles. Everything he found “tasteless,” “garish,” and “pathetic” is, ironically what fans of the double six seek today.
Through his eyes the neon corridors, the fake trading posts with made in Japan Indian trinkets, and motels that presented the illusion of being tepees or bunkhouses were examples of the shallow, culture less American society that transformed the roadway into a circus sideshow with each vendor trying an innovative way to take the rubes hard earned dollar.
The rest of the weekend was spent in a most unusual way. According to my dearest friend the term for this fascinating endeavor is relaxation.
What an odd and interesting concept – just spending a couple of hours without taking notes, blogging, making phone calls, pouring over maps, fixing something, planning on fixing something, planning what to blog or write, organizing or editing photo files, reading a book related to research, organizing the schedule, organizing tours, giving tours, or being called into the office. The way our version of “relaxation” worked was simply sitting on the back porch next to my dearest friends herb garden and enjoying each others company, watching a movie, and having a few quiet and simple dinners together. I could really get used to this!
Now, however, its back to the real world. That means the usual after holiday mess at the office, finalizing arrangements for New Mexico, ensuring the caretaker has everything they need, confirming reservations and appearances, organizational meetings to move things forward for the proposed 2014 International Route 66 Festival in Kingman, more research, and more time on the treadmill i an effort to afford more time to enjoy this thing called relaxation.
Next week the program will profile the history and hidden wonders found along the road between Glorietta Pass and Las Vegas in New Mexico. This would be the pre 1937 alignment of Route 66, much of which follows the Santa Fe Trail.
I started this morning with an emailed notice from Dave Alexander of Legends of America that the Jim Hinckley’s America gallery segment of that site is now available for viewing as well as for the ordering of prints. As a long time fan of this site, being given an opportunity to have our images displayed there as well as to provide articles is truly an honor.
It appear as though I am on the fast track to joining Kleenex and (Louis) Chevrolet. Jim Hinckley’s America with its signature logo designed by my dearest friend is becoming a brand name complete with copyright and trademark. Wow!
This coming Tuesday evening I will be serving as the ring leader at the organizational meeting for the committee overseeing development of a very large Kingman event in 2014. All involved are quite confident, and with good reason after recent discussions with Michael Wallis of the Route 66 Alliance, that the event will be the 2014 International Route 66 Festival but we will have to wait until August and the formal announcement at the Route 66 Festival in Joplin to get a final verdict.
In either case this will be a huge event and a new chapter in Route 66 history. The rough schedule of events so far includes a Saturday evening car show under the auspices of Chillin on Beale, a gathering of Route 66 and southwestern artists as well as authors and collectors, a barbecue at Hualapai Mountain Park on Saturday afternoon, special events at Stetson Wineryand the award winning Desert Diamond Distillery, events at Southwest Alpaca, a film festival showcasing movies filmed on Route 66 or in Kingman, and of course, lots of Route 66 cruising that includes events from Seligman to Needles.
All of this, Jim Hinckley’s America and the big event in Kingman, have received the offer of a promotional boost from Gary of Route 66 Radio and Baby Boomer Radio. Now, we need sponsors and advertisers to fund development of a promotional campaign.
On June first we turn the homestead over to the caretaker (aka our son) and hit the road. The destination is a New Mexico adventure that includes a stop in Prescott on Monday morning for a television interview with Tonya Mock, an installment of Jim Hinckley’s America, the radio program, from the road, and a book signing at Bookworks in Albuquerque on the evening of June 7, just before the big doings at Enchanted Trails Trading Post & RV Park that are a part of the New Mexico Route 66 Motor Tour.
To ensure spare minutes are not wasted I am again working to beat a couple of deadlines, one is for completion of the edit on the Route 66 travel guide, and the second is writing the Route 66 historic atlas. I am quite confident boredom should be kept at bay for at least a few more weeks.
Yes, there is a bit of shameless promotion in this quick post but there is also some of what I like to do best, promote the people and places that make Route 66, and an adventure on the road less traveled so enjoyable.
First, Jim Hinckleys America. There is a new tab at the top of the blog for a page that chronicles everything new under the Jim Hinckley’s America brand.
One is the new radio program that is available on podcast –
Another is the video series. As noted previously, the project was placed on hold so the producer at Diamond Valley Productions could finish a pending video. However, I am told we should be back on track by June.
Next, road trip updates. Our June adventure is going to be a bit different, at least for us. We are actually going to take three days of the trip and use it as a vacation, even if we are gathering photos for a new book.
In recent years our “vacations” have been whirlwind business trips. This is not to say we don’t have fun, after all each of these trips has given us an opportunity to visit with friends and to make new ones, and most have been on Route 66.
As an example, consider our adventure this past October. Numerous book signings, and a drive to Detroit and back – in nine days.
So, this time, I am going to treat my dearest friend, and me, to a few days off, sort of. I do have an interview on AM Arizona in Prescott on the morning of the third, and I do have a book signing at Bookworks in Albuquerque on the evening of the 7th, and I do have an episode of Jim Hinckley’s America from the road that morning.
The rest of the trip my intention is to focus on four things – visit with friends, get some photos, relax, and enjoy the company of my partner, best friend, and road trip buddy.