Have you ever set out on a road trip with no particular destination in mind? Have you ever missed the fork in the road, gotten lost as a result, and discovered the most amazing little cafe that served the best pie ever tasted?
Well, that gives you a bit of an idea where I stand in life at this point in time. I set out with no particular destination in mind, took a detour or two, and arrived at a place that could never have been imagined and is almost impossible to describe.
Today is my birthday but aside from personal significance this has no bearing on the continuing orbit of this planet or the price of beans in Mexico. Still, I find birthdays to be an ideal milepost that serves as a point of reference for reflection on the miles traveled and the road ahead.
The road ahead, as is often the case, looks to be of the type that quickens the spirit with the promise of adventure. However, I harbor no illusions. Hard earned experience measured in miles traveled tells me there will be potholes, detours, and long empty places that tinge the journey with a sense of despair.
Adding a sense of excitement to the adventure that looms on the near horizon is Jim Hinckley’s America, a joke that became an idea and an idea that is about to become a reality. Tomorrow morning Jim Hinckley’s America takes to the airwaves, and cyber space, with a weekly radio program that will take listeners with me on travels along the road less traveled.
If all goes as planned, the video versions of my back road travels will debut soon. In addition to the name, these, as well as the tours and speaking engagements, will share theme music as well as my trademarked logo. Jim Hinckley’s America is about to become a brand name.
This is all pretty heady stuff for a kid from nowhere that was on the fast track to the same place. However, for me the significance and reward is not in the name recognition.
No, that has always been more of a perk than a goal. The reward, as with my books and feature articles published, is in the opportunities all of these endeavors provide to encourage someone, or to promote a special place often overlooked by folks rushing through life.
To be honest, however, the greatest reward is in that my accomplishments, my successes are a monument to someone truly special, my dearest friend. All that I am, all that I have accomplished, and everything that I may accomplish in the years to come, I owe to her.
I know of no way to repay her for the years of patient support and encouragement, the long days on the road the hard times, and the lean times, other than to develop gifts and talents. Fame and fortune may prove elusive, or they may be bestowed upon me in buckets but in either case I am a man richly blessed because of a friend who inspired me to chase a dream, and who decided to come along for the ride.