The first item on the docket is the unfolding story of a recent discovery in Foss Lake near Foss, Oklahoma. It appears as though a very gruesome mystery has been unearthed.
My heart goes out to the families involved as situations such as this bring a sense of closure but it also reopens old wounds. Even worse are the questions raised and the questions that are yet to be answered.
Resultant of work on the Route 66 historic atlas that will include a section on crime scenes and disasters, I have been exploring the dark side of this legendary highway for several months and have become accustomed to finding disturbing things in the shadows. Still, there is something about this story that seems particularly unnerving and haunting.
An example of the dark recesses visited in recent months would include the court transcripts from the trial that followed an infamous murder at Two Guns, Arizona. Thank you Libby Conyer at the state archives.
Not all of my recent work or Route 66 related endeavors have been cloaked in such darkness. On Tuesday evening my dearest friend and I enjoyed a most delightful dinner at the Dambar with Dries Bessels and his tour group from Holland. The only thing that kept the evening from perfection was the absence of his charming wife, Marion, Karel Kuperus, and Hanneke Wiersma who often accompany the tours.
I am also deeply involved with the promotional development of the 2014 Route 66 International Festival scheduled to take place on the weekend of August 16 in Kingman, Arizona. As I have long held the opinion that this city is at the heart of the most overlooked destination on Route 66, there is an eagerness to introduce it to the world.
The exhibition of Route 66 authors, artist, collectors, and state associations is always a center piece of the event. Fortuitously a new event center will be open this October and as it is located at ground zero for the festivals main activities this will serve as the venue.
Details pertaining to the number of available spaces, the possible need for a city license ($11.00), and a few other items are still being resolved. However, I should note that a number of authors, artists, and collectors have already committed to attend. So, if you have plans on participating in this portion of the event drop me a note or contact the Kingman tourism office.
The car show will be an expanded version of Chillin’ on Beale, a nifty little event held on the third Saturday evening of every month, April through October. If you have interest in participating during the festival, or any time between April and October keep in mind that it is always free to enter a vehicle, it is always free to attend, and it is open to anything and everything with wheels.
For more information contact Ron Giesbrecht at 928-897-6039 or Ralph Bowman at 928-681-2361.
As the theme for the festival is Kingman Crossroads of the Past and Future, and as there is a concerted effort to make Route 66 the nations first electric highway, alternative energy vehicles of the past, present, and future will be featured at center stage. The hope is that we will a full spectrum of these type of vehicles from electric and steam powered to solar and experimental models.
So, it should be an interesting auto show and cruise night, even for those who want to show off their rental car. A collector has committed to bringing the oldest operational Studebakler electric, a 1902 model designed by Thomas Edison, the Studebaker Drivers Club of Southern Nevada has shown interest in participation, and Sam Jackson, editor of the White Triangle will be keeping owners of Hudson, Essex, and Terraplane vehicles apprised of updates.
The next item to discuss is sponsorship opportunities, ideas, and advertising possibilities. Here too details are currently being hammered out event though the sponsorship package is finalized and is currently being distributed. This festival will provide tremendous exposure for a business or company as well as name recognition in the Route 66 community (especially if you sponsor Joe Loesch and the Road Crew). For more information, to request a sponsorship packaging, or to discuss advertising, contact Mike Wagner at 928-275-1215.
After the organizational meeting on Friday evening I should be able to provide more details. In the meantime, if you have questions drop a note and I will find the answer or somebody who can provide one.
The last item of the day pertains to my schedule and availability for tours, meeting with tours, or speaking engagements. October is quite full (a tour from Chicago to Santa Monica for a New Zealand based publisher, meeting with Dale Butel’s fall tour, a speaking engagement in Flagstaff for the Westerners, another for the Smithsonian Journeys program, and the pressing deadline for the atlas).
November is a big question mark. I received notification that my services may be required for federal jury duty in Prescott, and I need to focus on the completion of the atlas.
Next year is still open with a few exceptions. On the third weekend in October plans are to introduce the Route 66 Historic Atlas in Cuba, Missouri at Cuba Fest. On the weekend of August 16, I will be attending the 2014 Route 66 International Festival in Kingman.
The first weekend of May is the annual Route 66 Fun Run. I am also scheduled to meet with eight tour groups in Kingman between May and October.
With that said, if I may be of service in regard to your tour, your tour group, or an event you may be developing, please let me know. You may also contact Steve Roth, the publicist (see the tab at the top of the page).
Until next time, safe travels to one and all.