More often than not when I read a posting here on the blog, there is a painfully sharp awareness that what constitutes normal in my world is just a tad bit different from how others would describe it. Case in point, the past seven day and the seven days looming on the horizon, fourteen days filled with frustration, chasing dreams, visitors, and a 1902 Studebaker electric automobile.
The majority of my customers at the office are pretty decent folks. However, there seems to be a growing percentage that leaves me worried by the fact that they are loose without supervision and that they may be using forks in public.
Case in point, a customer calls tens minutes before we officially open because the store in Upland, California where they are picking up the truck does not have their reservation. This customer claims they made the reservation, and paid for it at our office last Saturday.
We have no record of the transaction. Now the customer is screaming because they are being charged twice, because they do not have the money to pay for the rental, again, as they have allocated $100 for fuel to make the trip from California to Arizona.
Well, as it turns out the reservation was made in Yucca Valley, California, in a different name, for a pick up in Palm Springs. Even better, the customer had refused to give a credit or debit card number while making the reservation, and had made the reservation for a 12′ truck but was renting a 26′ truck.
Seldom is the week dominated by such zaniness and this week was no exception. As a bonus, I had a surprise visit from Dan Rice, the owner of 66 to Cali on the historic Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, California who had decided to see Supai with a friend.
The rest of the week was consumed with the mundane tasks that consume so much of the day, research for the current book, a Route 66 historic atlas, the weekly radio program (Jim Hinckley’s America), and making reservations for the pending trip to Joplin for the Route 66 International Festival. I even managed to find time to crank out another automotive installment for Legends of America.
Frustration, like mundane tasks, is also simply a part of what we call life. For me frustration took on a new form last week, the request from a major corporation that I spend ten days as a guide, on Route 66, with clients.
There are few things I would enjoy more than this. Even better, the compensation offered was more than adequate. The frustration is that my vacation time will be consumed with the trip to Joplin.
The flip side of the coin came in the form of an extremely rare 1902 Studebaker. To give you an idea of rare this car is, the best estimate of production for that model year was twenty cars.
An integral part of the big shindig being planned for next year in Kingman is the inclusion of alternative energy vehicles (past, present, and future)as a centerpiece. Obviously an operational 1902 Studebaker should enhance the event quite nicely and so we are quite pleased that the owner has pledged display of the vehicle.
As we are eager to use the event to promote Route 66 from Chicago to Santa Monica, discussions are ongoing with Rick (Becky’s Barn) who is deeply involved with promoting the venerable old road as America’s first electric highway. Wouldn’t a Route 66 rally, with Kingman as the final destination, for alternative vehicles be interesting?
For more information about the upcoming event in Kingman stay tuned for details or contact the Kingman tourism office.
Now, I noted that the next seven days look as though they will be just as normal. Well, lets see, there is the office, always a potential source for entertainment, replacement of the rear wheel bearings in the Jeep, again, a pending visit from explorer extraordinaire Nick Gerlich, and his brother, signing books for a tour group, notifying Jay Leno about the Studebaker in the hope it will spark enough interest for him to bring a car or two, another installment of Chillin’ on Beale on Saturday evening, making arrangements for a pending lunch with a group touring Route 66 from Germany, work on the radio program, work on the new book, developing promotion in anticipation of the release of Route 66 Treasures ….
I am glad to hear about the Studebaker as it is an American icon whose general interest rusted with the advent of the Big Three. I am looking forward to visiting in Joplin in a couple of weeks. Be patient, remember what the goal or cause is and may the road be with you.