To say the past few days have been enjoyable, entertaining, fun filled, exciting, exhausting, and interesting would be akin to saying that Route 66 is America’s longest attraction. The frosting on the cake, an opportunity to visit with old friends, and to make new acquaintances.
My dearest friend and I kicked it off with a most wonderful evening of conversation, laughs, and good food shared with John and Judy Springs at the Dambar on Thursday. It proved to be the perfect way to unwind after a particularly stressful day that included a flurry of reservation adjustments at the office, customer issues to resolve, and a rush to complete and submit a press release about Kingman moving to the front of the pac for cities to serve as the host for the 2014 International Route 66 Festival.
The latter follows on the heels of months of meetings, phone calls, and emails. It also hammers home the fact that we have less than two months to make arrangments, reservations as well as funding, for a contingent of Kingman representatives to attend the International Route 66 Festival in Joplin.
On Friday the office didn’t set a new record for chaotic but it came very close. Still, I managed to finalize basic arrangements for a weekly radio program (available on podcast) that will make its debut next Friday. I am quite confident it will be more than a trial balloon as the topic of discussion will be the southwest (Arizona and New Mexico), which just happens to include some of the most historic, and in my humble opinion, some of the most scenic segments of legendary Route 66.
Another exciting development on Friday was the finalization of a partnership for the distribution and marketing of photography with Legends of America. Last October we met with David and Kathy Alexander, the gate keepers of this amazing repository of American history, in Cuba, Missouri during Cuba Fest and I agreed to begin supplying articles pertaining to the diverisity of the American auto industry before.
As this website has been a source of fascination for quite sometime, I was honored to join the team. An opportunity to have our photography associated with the site has left me quite humbled and excited.
Saturday morning was spent answering correspondence, laying out the schedule for the next few weeks, signing books for Dal Butel’s Route 66 tour, and in a teleconference with marketing guru Joe Capraro of Palm Desert California. I was so busy that time vanished like snow dumped on a Phoenix sidewalk in July.
Then it was off to the 26th annual Route 66 Fun Run, an invigorating celebration of the American love affair with the automobile and the road trip. Of course, as it involved Route 66 there were participants and visitors from several countries, and I overheard conversations tinged with Australian and British accents, as well as in German, and French.
At noon, just as the entries were starting to really fill the streets, we met with John and Judy Springs, and took a break for some delicious fruit smoothies, coffee, and peanut butter and chocolate bars at Beale Street Brews & Gallery. Then we turned our camera lenses to the staggering array of automotive history lining up along Andy Devine Avenue (Route 66) and Beale Street.
An integral component of the annual Route 66 Fun Run has been automotive diversity. This event was nothing short of astounding. Even better, there were quite a number of original vehicles with stock drive trains.
I can appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into a good street rod. Still, it seems as though the street rod set is consumed with creating colorful conformist vehicles that don’t really reflect a great deal of originality. I mean when was the last time you saw a stock ’57 Chevy or a deuce coupe without a Chevy V8?For my money I prefer the vehicles that are rolling time capsules, vintage cars and trucks that reflect the owners passion for recreating a bit of motoring history. During this fun run this segment of the old car hobby was well represented with a very rare 1948 Federal pick up truck, a 1948 Chrysler convertible, 1933 Dodge coupe, 1937 Packard coupe, 1969 Olds Cutlass, 1969 Camaro with six-cylinder engine, 1953 Cadillac convertible, 1947 Dodge pick up, 1963 Chevy II, 1970 Chevy pick up, and dozens of others.To round out the day we joined Mike and Sharon Ward, and George and Bonnie Game of the Canadian Route 66 Association for dinner and conversation at Redneck’s on Beale Street. Then we closed it out with a pint of beer at the Dambar and some conversation about Route 66, the state of the world, and the land down under with Dale, and his charming wife, Kristi-Anne, Butel of Route 66 Tours, and a couple of their guides, Daniel Azzopardi and Anthony Laughton at the Dambar. This morning kicked off with a review of notes, followed by circulation of the article about the international Route 66 Festival in Kingman that was published in the Sunday morning edition of the Kingman Daily Miner, and then a bit of correspondence. Next on the schedule was breakfast and a meeting with Dale Butel’s tour group for a presentation about of Route 66 followed by a question and answer session, and a book signing.We followed this with a most fascinating adventure, serving as a tour guide to obscure alignments of Route 66 in the Kingman area for Mark Fletcher of Classic Restos, a Melbourne, Australia television program. This evolved into a few interviews, and the stalwart old Jeep, with two wheeled cart lasted to the roof rack, making a few cameo appearances. Now, its time for a break, after I create a photo file for Legends of America, write a few entries for the forthcoming Route 66 Historic Atlas, follow up on leads for a series of stories to be written for Antique Power, help my dearest friend set up an indoor herb garden, …