Author Jim Hinckley speaking with an Australian tour group.
My life is seldom boring and for that I am rather grateful. Still, this past few weeks has for the first time in memory left me wondering if, perhaps, an hour or two of boredom might actually be a good thing.
As noted in previous posts, the annual Route 66 Fun was a delightful blending of friends, meals shared with friends, a variety of Route 66 adventures, cars, meeting and speaking with tour groups, and in general, fun. Bracketing that weekend is a mind numbing array of activities, a variety of crisis large and small, crucial meetings, pressing deadlines, opportunities requiring immediate attention, and issues to resolve.
With the very appropriate theme of Route 66, and the city of Kingman, as the crossroads of the past and future, the Route 66 International Festival is shaping up to be an historic event. The unprecedented display of historically significant electric vehicles, extensive involvement and promotion from the electric vehicle community, international participation on several levels, and a conference that will build cooperative partnerships in the Route 66 community ensures the event will mark the dawn of a new era on America’s most famous highway.
With that said, festival development often leaves me with the impression that we are pushing a wheelbarrow filled with rocks and a flat tire uphill. The pending departure of Pam Wilkinson from the Kingman Area Chamber of Commerce, and Dora Manley taking the helm, marks the third change in leadership for the Route 66 International Festival this year. To compound the resultant issues associated with the changing of horses in midstream, a few folks tasked with the development of tourism in the city chose this time to jam the proverbial stick in the spokes.
This dissent in the ranks was picked up by the local paper. In turn this required an immediate rebuttal (yet to be printed) and the rallying of the troops by outlining the positive aspects of the festivals current status.
At the same time the tsunami of emails and phone calls about the need for a cohesive organization to act as a chamber of commerce for the Route 66 community is increasing exponentially. Likewise with the number of questions posed pertaining to the roll of the Route 66 Alliance, the sanctioning entity for the annual festival, in the events development and promotion.
As noted previously, I can not and will not speak for the Alliance. You will need to contact them for answers.
As I am the festivals point man in regard to the press, and as the latest book (a second printing is already being discussed) is now garnering a wide array of international attention, the requests for interviews and information skyrocketed. Meanwhile, as the day job continued to challenge my best efforts to remain optimistic, I granted an interview and provided contact information as well as photographs to the editor of RV Life, an Indian gaming magazine, and a correspondent with the Associated Press (the story went national overnight).
It is now all a bit of a blur but at some point in the week there was important correspondence with the editor at History Press pertaining to the current project and looming deadlines. Meanwhile the schedule calendar was transformed from a checkerboard to a sea of black. This, however, is a good thing as it is indicative that our summer will be filed with what we enjoy most, visiting with friends and enthusiasts of the double six.
On Wednesday morning we meet for breakfast with Zdnek Jurasek, our friends from the Czech Republic, for breakfast. This time he is on the road with a film crew that is producing a Route 66 documentary.
On the 27th, Jeroen and Maggie, friends from the Netherlands will be stopping by for dinner. Another visit with friends from the Netherlands is scheduled for the evening of July 22.
Now that is about the point in time where things get very interesting. I am also scheduled to meet with Dale Butel’s Route 66 summer tour on the same date.
Even better, if all goes as planned, I should be returning home on the 21st around one in the morning after a week on the road serving as a guide for a group of Chinese journalists traveling Route 66. This is on the heels of a handful of speaking engagements and book signings in June.
Then there is the slight problem of a front bathroom remodel. I suppose this should be addressed as living in a never ending construction project does pose a few issues.
I often hear people say things like, “Have you ever had one of those days…” For me, its, “Have you ever had one of those decades …”