As regular readers of Route 66 Chronicles may have already noticed, my world is a bit chaotic (in a good way), about a half bubble off center, and always subject to change at less than a moments notice. Friday exemplified all of this in spades.
Late Thursday evening I received a frantic email from the producer of my weekly radio program, Jim Hinckley’s America (podcasts of programs are available via this link)on Alamo 1230 in Alamogordo, New Mexico. Apparently, a series of issues at the station had culminated with the very real possibility that the Friday morning program would consist of Sunny and I filling in one hour of air time without a guest.
So, I resorted to the wonder of Facebook and blogging. As a result, I think it went fairly well as the day was saved by a call in from Kumar Patel of the iconic Wigwam Motel in Rialto, California.
With five minutes to spare I opened the office and was hit instantly with a wide array of goofy issues – brake pressure warning light on a truck resultant of a venting issue with the reservoir filler cap, a truck with a hole in the roof, a trailer with a broke wire internally, and customers with drastically altered reservation problems.
At 9:30 Rick Thomas called to inform me that the Chinese tour was on schedule. So, I called and finalized all of the lunch plans for the group that included a stop at the Powerhouse Visitor Center, lunch at Mr. D’z, and a display featuring select Cadillac manufactured automobiles from 1911 to 1973.
At 11:30, I took my lunch hour, picked up my dearest friend, and drove downtown to meet with Rick, speak with the tour, and visit with Nick Gerlich who was serving as the tours historian. At 12:30 and at 1:00 I was still waiting.
A few unscheduled delays had derailed the entire program. So, the tour was forced to skip the Powerhouse and the owners of the vintage automobiles, with the exception of two, had given up and left before the tour arrived at Mother Road Harley Davidson shortly after 2:00.
Resultant of issue at the office, I was unable to stay much after 1:00. In turn that resulted in me having to make another rushed trip to Mother Road Harley Davidson to sign books before the tour left for Oatman.
Meanwhile, back at the office, the trend of truck related problems and modified reservations continued. To add to the fun, both literally and sarcastically, two delightful gentlemen from Moscow Russia stopped by shortly before closing.
They had several copies of Ghost Towns of Route 66 and had tracked me down for an autograph and to ask questions. As it turned out the fascination with ghost towns is a universal one.
I was reminded of Rich Dinkela, a Route 66 explorer of near legendary status, as the young men told tales of expeditions to the ghost towns of the former Soviet Union. To say the very least, it was a wonderful way to end the day. However, little did I know that it was far from over.
On the way to the grocery store all of the gauges in the Jeep ceased to function. As with the recent trip to New Mexico it proved to be but a temporary, but disconcerting, issue.
Then during our late dinner, I received a call from Sam Murray, the award winning New Zealand rally car driver. He was in the process of organizing a special Route 66 adventure for the publisher of New Zealand Today magazine, and a few of his clients, and was hoping to enlist my services as a guide next spring.
So, now I have the rest of the weekend to work on the Route 66 atlas with a truncated deadline, to evaluate the proposed schedule and proposal from Mr. Murray, to pen two feature articles, to work on the promotional schedule for the forthcoming Route 66 Treasures, to watch a movie with my dearest friend, and to work on the 2014 Route 66 International Festival.
Now, as promised, a few updates on the festival. Arrangements are being finalized with Buz Waldmire for a display of work by Bob Waldmire that is not Route 66 related.
Bob Bell of True West magazine will be assisting in the events development as well as promotion. He will also have a prominent role in the event itself.
Jay Leno has been notified of the alternative energy vehicle display being developed for the festival. An ultra rare 1902 Studebaker electric has been promised by a collector in Jerome, Arizona for this display.
A series of seminars are being developed. These include discussions on the history of alternative energy vehicles as well as Route 66 related developments and how communities are using the resurgent interest as a catalyst for development.
The film festival has grown to include a number of award winning Route 66 documentaries. There will also be guided walking tours in the historic district with yours truly leading the way.
I am rather confident that this event will be a most memorable one for all who attend. With that said, do you plan on attending the festival?