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On Route 66 News recently, evaluation of a newspaper article pertaining to Springfield, Missouri captured my attention. This feature could have easily been written about Kingman and countless other communities along the Route 66 corridor between Santa Monica and Chicago.
More often than not, communities as well as individuals pursue all manner of perceived opportunities with such an intent focus that they don’t hear opportunity knocking at the door with a battering ram. Such is the case with many of the villages, cities, and towns located along the old double six. 
Yes, tourism in any guise is a very poor foundation for the building of a strong economy in any community. If, however, you can utilize the unique attributes of a community to transform it into a destination, in the process you create a community where people want to live, to open businesses, and to raise families.Time and again I have had opportunity to address this topic in lectures and presentations. In each instance I make it quite clear that that is not to be confused with using Disneyland as a template for development or renovation. The two fold key to successfully transforming a community into a destination where people want to live is to create opportunity for authentic experiences and to highlight the natural as well as historic attributes that make it different from any other place. This is especially true in regard to harnessing the Route 66 renaissance as a catalyst for development.Now, lets expand on this concept. Acclaimed author and historian Michael Wallis aptly describes Route 66 as a linear community. From that perspective the towns and cities, large and small, along the Route 66 corridor are merely unique, and often quirky neighborhoods in that community. Okay, nothing new in this concept. On numerous occasions I have used this analogy as have numerous Route 66 aficionados.However, the fact that in recent months, for the first time since the U.S. Highway 66 Association closed its doors and the Route 66 renaissance began, this perception is beginning to sweep through the Route 66 community at all levels is both exciting and new. Manifestations of this developing perception occurred at the conference last November in Anaheim. It is happening at the Route 66 International Festival in Kingman where representatives from state and international Route 66 associations, and various organizations representing the Route 66 community are coming together to share ideas and to develop cooperative partnerships. The stage is being set. Soon the pageant that will be the storied old roads centennial will begin to unfold.               


The clock is ticking. It is now less than three weeks until the 2014 Route 66 International Festival kicks off.
As excited as I am about this fun filled, historic event and an opportunity to visit with friends from Europe and along the Route 66 corridor, as well as an opportunity to listen to the music of the Road Crew on two evenings, there will be a huge sigh of relief when it is over. In recent months my initial role as a consultant morphed into a position where I served as press agent, disaster control assistant, and information bureau manager.
Along the way I learned a great deal about things I never want to experience again. I also learned that a great deal of time, money, and other precious resources are squandered as communities reinvent the wheel with the development of each festival or special event. I also received confirmation that a minimum of eighteen months lead time is needed if an event wants to include our friends from distant shores. 
In a more perfect world, the festival location and dates for 2015 would have been announced last year in Joplin, and at this festival we would be announcing the 2016 event. Unfortunately that didn’t and won’t happen for a litany of reasons, but that is about to change.
Meanwhile, after a relatively relaxing weekend spent cleaning up the rest of the storm damage and some progress on the next book, and enjoying a pleasant dinner with my brother in law and his wife, and a movie shared with my dearest friend, it is now time to tackle what promises to be another intense week.
David Knudson of the National Historic Route 66 Federation has offered to run another advertisement for the festival provided materials are provided today. That is one project.
The Federation is an organization that often flies just under the radar with its quiet, low profile. However, as I have experienced with the development of this festival, they are an organization that is intently focused on providing service and assistance to the Route 66 community.  
In the morning its a radio interview. Tomorrow evening its an enlistment drive for volunteers to assist with the festival. Next is the writing and distribution of press releases for various aspects of the festival (dedication of the Route 66 Walk of Fame with special presentation by Kaisa Barthuli of the National Park Service, the unprecedented conference, profiles of attending authors, film festival, etc.).
It looks as though conference speakers are confirmed. That schedule will be posted soon. I will also be sharing film festival details. So, stay tuned for details.


We reside on Route 66. I write books about that highway. I derive a great deal of enjoyment from talking about the road, its history, its culture, and the people who make it special. We make ourselves readily available to talk about those things.
Becky and Nick Gerlich, just two of the folks that make Route 66 a very special place.
As a result, we increasingly find ourselves meeting with folks traveling Route 66 or meeting with tour groups from every corner of the earth, providing assistance to tour groups, speaking before an array of groups interested in Route 66, or simply providing assistance in the development of cooperative partnerships that foster development of a unified sense of community and community purpose along the Route 66 corridor. This has led to the development of some delightful friendships, and in a few instances, finding my diplomacy skills sorely tested.
Intertwined with this are the mundane things that dominate daily life; family issues, employment problems, deadlines, meetings, age related issues, etc. 
In the grand scheme of things my dearest friend and I are blessed. The mundane things and the frustrations of life are adequately balanced with the joy of dinners shared with friends, friendships made, and ample opportunity to indulge in the things we enjoy.
The past seven days are a near perfect microcosm of a living life intertwined with the wonder and allure of the legendary double six.
Last weekend was dominated with storm damage clean up, a trip to the library, an afternoon barbecue with my dearest friend, dinner with friends at Chilli’ on Beale, assistance with the development of the fast approaching Route 66 International Festival, and assorted tasks associated with what promised to be a very busy weekend.
Monday morning at the office was, as usual, rather chaotic. Respite came in the form of Dale Butel’s summer tour from the land down under.
Tuesday was a veritable whirlwind of activity that began with an interview on the Ray Carr program in Cleveland. A change in schedule initially created a few issues but the interview went off without a hitch but at 5:30, not 4:15.
The ongoing issues at the office escalated when my son announced he had accepted a position with another company. Even though he only worked in my division of the company three hours a day, his departure means that as of the 31st, my staff consists of one – me, with a young lady to operate the office from 8:00 to noon on Saturday.
That evening, immediately after work, Dora Manley hosted a meeting pertaining to the Route 66 International Festival. My dearest friend and I followed this with a most wonderful dinner and an evening of conversation shared with Hanneke Wiersma and Karl Kuperus, and their U.S. Biker tour from the Netherlands.
The Chinese tour of Route 66 organized by Open Road Productions
Wednesday was another early start as I had promised to meet with Karl’s tour before they departed. A young lady had requested one of my books the evening before, and a number of the travelers had an array of questions pertaining to the groups forthcoming adventure east along Route 66, and then to Jerome. 
Amply sprinkled throughout the entire week were a litany of festival related issues and problems to resolve. The most maddening of these was the need to diplomatically attempt to placate people demanding preferential treatment, or promised assistance that never materialized.
Friday was quite interesting. I had facilitated a lunch at the Powerhouse Visitor Center organized by Dora Manley for Rick Thomas of Open Road Productions who had developed a Route 66 tour for a group from China.
Language barriers made my presentation before the group a bit of a challenge. One or two carefully chosen lines, the interpreter with the bullhorn would translate, then I would speak another couple of lines. 
Still, it was a most fascinating venture. The people were most cordial, and they posed questions that indicated a serious interest in Route 66 and reflected their fascination with all they had experienced on their American adventure.
I signed books, posed for pictures, signed hats, arranged for our visitors to have their picture taken with vintage cars, and in general had a good time. There is an infectious enthusiasm among travelers on Route 66 that is an invigorating tonic.    
A replay will take place on August 4. Open Road Productions will be leading another Chinese tour through Kingman, this time from west to east.
The week will close out, I hope, on a relaxing and productive note. On the list is a few thousand words written for the new book, a few festival related items, barbecue with my brother in law, finish cleaning the site of my former workshop, and, perhaps, just a bit of relaxation. 
Next week I will post a number of festival details. I hope that you will be able to attend as it is shaping up to be a fun filled weekend.
For me the most exciting aspect of the festival is the unprecedented Route 66 Crossroads of the Past and Future. To the best of my knowledge there hasn’t been a conference with representatives from almost all of the state associations along the Route 66 corridor in decades.
I do know that this is the first time representatives from the international community have been given an opportunity to share and provide input about the future of Route 66. I also know it will be the first time that representatives from the electric vehicle community will be making similar contributions.       


Okay, there may a few tweaks and adjustments in the days to come but as of last evening, this is the schedule of events for the Route 66 International Festival. At the bottom is the current schedule for presentations during the Route 66 Crossroads of the Past and Future conference at the festival.
In my humble opinion the conference represents an unprecedented opportunity to share information, and to build cooperative partnerships. I hope it is not used as a forum for casting blame or to foster divisions. 
Thursday, August 14
Bob Waldmire Exhibition, 8:00 to 5:00, TNT Auto Center located at 535 E. Andy Devine Avenue(Route 66) –
Walk of Fame “Bricks on 66” Dedication, 5:00 PM, in front of Mr. D’z Route 66 Diner – Cine 66 Kingman Film Festival, historic Elks Lodge on the corner of Fourth Street and Oak Street, 9:00 AM to 9:30 PM –
Historic electric vehicle exhibition, Powerhouse Visitor Center, 8:00 to 5:00 PM –
Route 66 Crossroads of the Past & Future conference, Mohave County Board of Supervisors Auditorium, 700 W. Beale St., 8:00 to 5:00 –
Bob Waldmire Exhibition, 8:00 to 5:00, TNT Auto Center located at 535 E. Andy Devine Avenue(Route 66) –
Beale Celebrations Event Center(corner of Fourth Street & Beale Street) – exhibition of authors, artists, collectors, and Route 66 associations, 11:00 to 6:00 PM –
Cine 66 Kingman Film Festival, historic Elks Lodge on the corner of Fourth Street and Oak Street, 9:30 AM to 10:00 PM –
Historic electric vehicle exhibition, Powerhouse Visitor Center, 8:00 to 5:00 PM –
Route 66 Crossroads of the Past & Future, Mohave County Board of Supervisors Auditorium, 700 W. Beale St., 8:00 to 5:00 –
Bob Waldmire Exhibition, 8:00 to 5:00, TNT Auto Center located at 535 E. Andy Devine Avenue(Route 66) – 
Beale Celebrations Event Center(corner of Fourth Street & Beale Street) – exhibition of authors, artists, collectors, and Route 66 associations, 11:00 to 6:00 PM –
Reunion, formerly The Letterman, concert at Lee Williams High School Auditorium on Grandview Avenue, 7:30 PM –
Historic electric vehicle exhibition, Powerhouse Visitor Center, 8:00 to 5:00 PM –
Cine 66 Kingman Film Festival, historic Elks Lodge on the corner of Fourth Street and Oak Street, 9:00 AM to 10:30 PM –
Bob Boze Bell signing copies of his latest book, The 66 Kid, at the Powerhouse Visitor Center located at 120 W. Andy Devine Avenue(Route 66) from 2:00 to 4:00 –
Bob Boze Bell exhibition, 9:00 to 5:00 PM, free, Powerhouse Visitor Center-
Railroad Museumoperated by the Whistle Stop Railroad Club in the historic Santa Fe depot located at the corner of Fourth Street and Andy Devine Avenue(Route 66), 9:00 to 5:00 –
Distillers Choice tours at Desert Diamond Distillery, 4875 Olympic in the Kingman Airport industrial park complex, 1:00 PM, $30.00 –
Meet John Holod and get a sneak preview of his award winning video, RV Adventure Route 66 at 7:00 PM in the Canyon Route 66 Bar & Grill in the Ramada Inn located at 3100 E. Andy Devine Avenue (Route 66) –
Chicago Title sponsored concert in Locomotive Park, 8:00 to 9:30 PM, free
Bob Boze Bell signing copies of his latest book, The 66 Kid, at the Mohave Museum of History & Arts located at 400 W. Beale Street from 2:00to 4:00 –
Bob Boze Bell exhibition, 9:00 to 5:00 PM, free, Powerhouse Visitor Center-
Railroad Museumoperated by the Whistle Stop Railroad Club in the historic Santa Fe depot located at the corner of Fourth Street and Andy Devine Avenue(Route 66), 9:00 to 5:00 –
Distillers Choice tours at Desert Diamond Distillery, 4875 Olympic in the Kingman Airport industrial park complex, 1:00 PM, $30.00 –
Drive-In Movie (Despicable Me II) & Sock Hop, Mohave County Fairgrounds, 2600 Fairgrounds Boulevard, 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM, movie starts at 8:30, $5.00 per car load –
Performance by the Road Crew, 6:30 to 8:30, Locomotive Park –
Sky Duey Memorial Roping Contest, 6:00 PM, Sky Duey Arena at Castle Rock Bar & Grille, 3743 N. Highway 93 (10 minutes north of Kingman, free –
Pancake Breakfast, Mohave County Fairgrounds, 2600 Fairgrounds Boulevard, 7:00 to 9:00 AM –
Kingman Disc Club sponsored 66 Holes of Havoc disc golf tournament, $25.00, 8:00 AM, Fireman’s Memorial Park located at the corner of Detroit Street and Fairgrounds Avenue –
VW Crossroads Car Show & Raffle at TNT Auto Center, 535 E. Andy Devine Avenue, 8:00 to 3:00 –
Annie Mouse Party with children’s author Anne Slanina in Metcalf Parklocated at the corner of Beale Street and Grandview Avenue from 10:00 to 2:00 –
Bob Boze Bell exhibition, 9:00 to 5:00 PM, free, Powerhouse Visitor Center-
Marshal Stone, Our Time, Our History Arizona Kicks on Route 66 presentation at the Mohave Museumof History & Arts (northwest side of Locomotive Park), 1:00 – 2:00 PM, free, sponsored by Sounds of Kingman and the Arizona Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts –  
Railroad Museumoperated by the Whistle Stop Railroad Club in the historic Santa Fe depot located at the corner of Fourth Street and Andy Devine Avenue(Route 66), special hours 9:00 to 8:00 PM –
Distillers Choice tours at Desert Diamond Distillery, 4875 Olympic in the Kingman Airport industrial park complex, 1:00 PM, $30.00 –
Mud Drags, Tuff Trucks, and Scramble Cars sponsored by Cerbat Motosports, Mohave County Fairgrounds, 2600 Fairgrounds Boulevard, 1:00 to 6:00 PM, Adults, $8.00, children, age 6 to 11, $5.00 –
Sky Duey Memorial Roping Contest, 6:00 PM, Sky Duey Arena at Castle Rock Bar & Grille, 3743 N. Highway 93 (10 minutes north of Kingman), live music and entertainment, free –
Chillin’ On Beale car show, Andy Devine Avenuebetween First and Sixth Street, 4:00 to ? PM –
Sounds of Kingman, concert in the park with the Garlin Hackney Band (inductee into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame in 2000), MetcalfPark (across from Locomotive Park), 5:00 to 7:00 PM, free –
Performance by the Road Crew in Locomotive Park, 8:00 to 9:30 PM, free –
Author Cheryl Eichar Jett closes out the festival with exciting news from Edwardsville, 9:30 PM – 
Route 66 Crossroads of the Past & Future Conference 
Michael Wallis
Route 66 Alliance
Ron Hart
Route 66 Chamber of Commerce
Sharlene Fouser 
Route 66 Association of Arizona
Kaisa Barthuli
National Park Service Route 66 Corridor Program Director
Sean Evans
NAU Archivist, state historian
Ed Klein
Route 66 World
Richard Mouer
Bicycle corridor development Route 66
Professor Nick Gerlich 
Bicycle Tourism  
Robert Gehl
Missouri Route 66 Association
Larry Clounts
Texas Route 66 Association
Glen Duncan
California Route 66 Association
Vickie Ashcraft
New Mexico Route 66 Association
Renee Charles
Kansas Route 66 Association
Dries Bessels
Dutch Route 66 Association
Roderick Wilde
Historic Electric Vehicle Association
Tudor Melville
Tesla Owners Group
Jerry Asher
Rudy Garcia
EV Station Solutions
Jim Ross
Kathleen Smith
Holbrook Chamber of Commerce
Kumar Patel
Wigwam Motel
Scott Piotrowski
Route 66 Los Angles
Roger Naylor
Bob Boze Bell
Wolfgang Werz
German Route 66 Association
Zdnek Jurasek
Czech Route 66 Association
John Holod
Exploring Route 66 by RV
 Jim Farber
Autry Exhibit  


Author Jim Hinckley signing books for an Australian tour group.

A life lived on Route 66 during that highways renaissance is a life filled with blessings, laughter, friends, and an almost endless opportunity for experiencing all three. As a result, the daily frustrations, trials, and tribulations of life seem just a bit less stressful.

Monday’s adventure on the double six included a first. In more than a dozen years of signing books, this is the first time I received a request to dedicate one to Porky Williams.
The auspicious milestone took place during our afternoon visit with Dale Butel’s summer tour from the land down under. Meeting with the various tour groups that roll through Kingman on Route 66 is, perhaps, the best of the perks associated with being an author.Today kicked off early but apparently not early enough. I was scheduled for a 5:15 interview on the Ray Carr Show. However, the interview was actually rescheduled for 4:15. Obviously this created a few issues for me as well as Ray Carr and his producer.As I enjoy encouraging adventures on the back roads, with an emphasis on Route 66, and have been told that I posses a gift for telling folks where to go, interviews are something else that is often quite enjoyable. With that said they are often a source of frustration. This morning was a prime example. My role in the near debacle was in not following up to confirm. Fortunately we were able to adjust things, an indication of Ray Carr’s professionalism. The rest of the interview went without a hitch.
Author Jim Hinckley, left, and Daniel Azzopardi, Dale Butel’s tour assistant.

The rest of the week promises to be a most exciting adventure with a decidedly international flavor. This evening, after a busy day at the office, there is a meeting with the organizers of the Route 66 International Festival that should allow me to be able to post a full schedule of events either Wednesday or Thursday. I guarantee that there will be something for everyone – the Road Crew (two performances), the Reunion, ample opportunity for cruising and exploring Route 66 in western Arizona, mud bog competitions with four wheel drive trucks, calf roping competition featuring local cowboys, not one but two car shows, electric vehicles spanning more than a century of automotive history, Route 66 authors, artists, and collectors exhibition, a film festival, an Annie Mouse Party, drive in movie and sock hop at the Mohave County Fairgrounds, Bob Boze Bell art exhibition and the debut of a new book, a two day conference featuring historians, leaders in the electric vehicle community, and representatives from Route 66 associations, and lots of good food. We will follow the meeting with an eagerly anticipated dinner shared with Hanneke Wiersma and Karel Kuperus, friends from the Netherlands with U.S. Bikers, and their tour group. On Friday its lunch with a Chinese tour organized by Open Road Productions. This will be the first of two Chinese tours this summer.Also on the list of activities scheduled for this week, discussions pertaining to the development of an actual Route 66 convention in 2015. As enthusiasts enjoy the annual festivals, and as there hasn’t been any indication of a festival being developed for 2015, initial plans are for a few of the key components of the festival to be incorporated into the convention (the Yahoo Route 66 e-group breakfast, exhibition of authors, artists, and collectors, etc.).As envisioned, the convention would also include a conference, a series of workshops (grant applications, social media for marketing, website development and promotion, etc.) and an expanded exhibition that includes chambers of commerce, tour companies, Route 66 associations, etc. Currently the idea is in the embryonic stages of development but I am excited about the possibilities and am rather confident that it will take place as the initial discussions have been filled with enthusiasm, and the proposed host city has expressed interest in seeing this idea become a reality.Another twist from the festival is in that initial plans are being made for it to take place in the late fall instead of summer. This would allow Route 66 business owners to participate and contribute. As the needs of the modern Route 66 community, and the challenges faced are quite similar to those encountered in 1927 when the U.S. Highway 66 Association was formed, I am rather surprised that an actual convention was not organized sooner. Indicative of interest in this convention is the fact that as word of its initial development spread, I was approached with the request to provide assistance with development of a similar event in 2016, and a series of conferences. These too are in the embryonic stage of discussion. Your ideas, thoughts, and suggestions would be most appreciated. Events such as these can not be built on or around a personality, or be restrained by the confines of myopic self interests. For something of this magnitude to succeed, for it to benefit the entire Route 66 community, contributions that foster a sense of unified community and purpose are crucial. Until tomorrow (I hope) –     



The theme for this years Route 66 International Festival was Crossroads of the Past and Future. Well, with each passing day this seems more appropriate.
This morning I spoke with Tudor Melville who has been promoting the festival to fellow Tesla owners and enthusiasts. Between him, “EV” Jerry, an electric vehicle evangelist, and Roderick Wilde of the National Historic Electric Vehicle Foundation there was the need to reserve blocks of rooms at the Ramada Inn.
This in itself represents a blending of the past and future on Route 66. Roderick will be driving a 1930 Detroit Electric during the festival, Jerry his now famous Nissan Leaf, and Tudor will have his Tesla. David Heward of Holbrook is spearheading participation of GEM car owners under the Route 66 Electric Car Club banner.
Combine this with an unprecedented exhibition of electric vehicles dating to 1902, and inclusion of the White Zombie, the fastest street legal electric car in the world, and Route 66 becomes a bridge between the past and future.
Further bridging the chasm of time is the film festival. There will be a showing of the 1925 silent classic Go West starring Buster Keaton and the debut of The 66 Kid, a companion to the new book by Bob Boze Bell that will also be introduced at the festival.
Even though the Keaton film predates Route 66 by one year, it has something very special for the fan of the double six. Keaton stayed at the Beale Hotel during filming on a ranch owned by Tap Duncan, and shot the final scenes in the area of Seventh and Broadway in Los Angeles, the western terminus for Route 66 in 1926.
Next is the Crossroads of the Past and Future Conference. Open to the general public the scheduled speakers include Tudor Melville, Michael Wallis, Bob Boze Bell, historians, and representatives from most state Route 66 associations, and a few from Europe.
The schedule for the festival is to be finalized late next week. There will be a slate of main events – the two day conference, the exhibition of authors and artists, the Cine 66 film festival, the historic electric vehicle exposition, the Annie Mouse Party, the walk of fame dedication, and two car shows(one all day Saturday and another Saturday afternoon and evening).
The list of secondary activities is more extensive. They  run the gamut from distillery tour to a Frisbee golf tournament, from receptions with bands, authors, and film producers to historic district walking tours, bowling tournaments, presentations at the Mohave Museum of History and Arts, and the music of the Reunion and the Road Crew (follow this link to listen to some tunes). There will also be tours of the distillery, and to historic sites in the area. 
Most activities are free to the public. One exception is the Reunion concert on Saturday evening. 
For general event information, or for tickets for the Reunion, contact the Kingman Area Chamber of Commerce at (928)753-6253. This is also a primary contact for information about advertising rates for the official festival program.
After the meeting Tuesday evening, I should be able to provide details about the various activities taking place during the festival weekend. 
Now for those who worry about the Arizona weather in August, there is a pretty good chance that it will be a bit warm (100 degrees or so). Of course, there is also the chance of delightful weather such as today with overcast skies, a slight breeze , and temperatures hovering just south of ninety degrees.  


As we enter the final weeks before the 2014 Route 66 International Festival, the speed of development seems to be directly linked to the number of loose ends requiring resolution. At some point as the festival evolved I found myself moving from consultant to full blown assistant tasked with a wide array of projects.
Now, here I am with less than ten days before the deadline for completion of a festival program. As this is a celebration of the Route 66 community as well as Kingman, I am hoping that we can showcase the entire road from Chicago to Santa Monica, introduce Route 66 to a new audience, and provide owners with a unique opportunity to promote their business to world.
Advertisement space in the festival program in sizes ranging from business card to quarter, half and full page is being offered by festival organizers. They have rates to fit every budget starting with a $50 business card advertisement.
The catch is they will need the ready to go art work within the next ten days. Here are the details. 

The rates are:

Business card ads – $50.00
1/4 page – $85.00
1/2 page – $175.00
Full page – $350.00 
Material is to be submitted via email –  
For information contact Kristi Turman – (928)303-9133, or Dora Manley at (928)279-4560.
Checks are to be made out to:
Kingman Area Chamber of Commerce
120 W. Andy Devine Avenue
Kingman, AZ 86401
Note that check is for Economic Development/66 Festival advertisement.
A very odd series of events that there will not be time to resolve has necessitated the relocation of the film festival to the historic Elks Building one block north of the Beale Celebrations event center, site of the authors, artists, and collectors exhibition.

This is actually an improvement over original plans as it centralizes the activities in the historic district but it presents a wide array of issues that will require immediate resolution.

Meanwhile, road trips of the therapeutic kind are still not a feasibility resultant of the vacation freeze at the office. Even though there are more than enough activities to keep me busy in the coming weeks, it is becoming increasingly difficult to restrain the two lane adventure obsession. I am quite confident that once the Route 66 festival is relegated to the status of historical footnote, my dearest friend and I will need at least a weekend away. 
So, to keep it in check in the meantime, I continue developing plans for the adventure to Cuba Fest in October. In addition to introducing the next book, the Illustrated Route 66 Historic Atlas, we will be enjoying the activities and hospitality of Cuba that place this event near the top of our list of favorite festivals on Route 66.
I will be speaking at the Route 66 State Park open house, and signing books, the following day. Details will be provided as soon as they are available.
These will be but two of our stops. The list of signings and speaking engagements for this tour continue to grow. Details will be provided as they become available.
Between then and now, aside from the festival, the schedule is amply seasoned with a wide array of appointments, interviews, visits from friends, and projects.
Photo courtesy Robert Norland.
Recently I was honored to sit for an interview with Robert Norland who is crafting a Route 66 video. He and his nephew were traveling the length of the double six from east to west in a beautiful old Buick Riviera, and chronicling their adventure on his Route 66 Riot blog.
I now have the current book project on track and have developed the familiar rhythm that ensures an even flow of weekly progress.
As a result, the recent storm induced mini disaster that will derail weekend plans to write for eight hours on Saturday as well as Sunday has sparked a bit of frustration. Still, in the grand scheme of things I am rather fortunate. The debris that was my shed and workshop missed the bedroom window, and there was no roof damage, just wet tools.
Author Jim Hinckley speaking toDale Butel’s spring tour.

On Monday, July 21, after delivering the materials for window displays being created at the Beale Street Celebrations event center for the Route 66 International Festival, we will meet with Dale Butel, and I will speak to his summer tour about the wonders of Route 66 in western Arizona. His stops are always one of the highlights of the tourism season on Route 66.

Tuesday morning will kick off with a 5:15 interview for the Ray Carr Show in Cleveland. This program is also broadcast live on the internet. The topic of discussion will be my latest book, the forthcoming book, the allure of ghost towns on Route 66, and, of course, the Route 66 International Festival. A few weeks later Michael Wallis will be a guest on the same program.Tuesday evening is an organizational meeting for the Route 66 festival. Updates and details will be provided the following day.Afterwards we will be enjoying the company of Karl Kuperus and Hanneke Wiersma, and their group. We have been eagerly awaiting an opportunity for another visit with our friends from the Netherlands.Following on the heels of what promise to be an exciting and fun filled week is the need to finalize requested arrangements for a company that is hosting a back to back double tour on Route 66 for clients from China.At this juncture it should be noted that a new service has evolved from Route 66 festival development. With a bit of notice special arrangements can be made for any group traveling Route 66. As an example, for the company organizing the Chinese tours, the stop in Kingman includes a catered lunch at the Powerhouse, a car show with an emphasis on Cadillac, and a tour of the former Kingman Army Airfield. If this is of interest, please drop me a note and details will be provided.To close out this mornings post, who is coming to the festival in Kingman?      


Life is truly a grand adventure, or as that astute philosopher Forrest Gump once noted, it is like a box of chocolates. The day may start with a meticulously timed schedule that would make a railroad proud (at least in the pre-Amtrak days) but in my world the first derailment usually occurs by 5:00 in the morning, or fifteen minutes after I get up, which ever comes first. That, my friends is what keeps life interesting.  
On Monday the schedule was full with every available time slot filled until at least 9:30 in the evening, and that wasn’t including the issues at the office to resolve. It was the type of day that has you looking toward the weekend with eager anticipation.
So, as is my custom, I kicked it off around 4:30 with eager anticipation. Item one, phones (one personal one business as I am on call 24/7), check. Item two, correspondence pertaining to the festival answered or added to the list of things that need to be addressed, check. Item three, conference call, rescheduled. Item four, confirm arrangements for interview on the Ray Carr Show on WCSB in Cleveland next Tuesday morning, check.  
This was followed with Monday morning at the office, always a source of frustration, entertainment, and amazement. The carrot at the end of the stick was a dinner invitation from Dora, the Route 66 International Festival coordinator, her husband, Kurt Manley.
I survived until noon and then consumed a lunch hour as a follow up to item two on the morning list, finding answers to questions posed in the morning correspondence. Next, was an afternoon filled with customer resolution issues, a meeting with the manager of the Beale Celebrations event center (site for the Route 66 artists, authors, collectors, and associations exhibition during the festival)to discuss development of window displays for the festival. 
Then with a tremendous sigh of relief, I locked the door, drove home under skies filled with heavy monsoon clouds, washed up, and then headed for our dinner appointment. 
The conversation, the food, and the wine was superb. Soon, however, the onslaught of a fierce desert monsoon storm transported us back into the 19th century and dinner was finished by candle light. The darkness prohibited evaluation of festival related materials but not enjoyable conversation.
If I were to be allowed but one season to enjoy in the desert southwest, it would be the months of summer with its fierce and unpredictable monsoon storms. The raw, awe inspiring power, the quickening of the spirit as the lightening flashes and the rains pound down upon the achingly dry desert, the sense of pending renewal and transformation are a heady cocktail. 
The past few years have been beyond brutally dry in my neck of the woods. Monsoon season has been largely absent or impotent with only little occasional bursts to mark its passing. 
This year, however, is shaping up to be a bit like old times. Even better, the season in Kingman generally runs to about four weeks so we should have some greenery but not the storms come time for the festival next month. 
As we set out for home last evening the storm had subsided but the aftermath in the form of waters rushing from the hillsides into the valley below had yet to crest. The ride home was truly high adventure. 
The fifteen or twenty minute drive took almost an hour. Streets were closed or transformed into rivers. Debris, including mentally impaired motorists who thought their cars were speed boats, and high water tremendously hindered progress on streets that were open.  
Displays of insanity were rampant and apparently resulted in one fatality. A few quick rules for dealing with monsoon flooded roads – 
If you see a stalled Jeep floating down the street, chances are your Honda Accord will become a submarine if you try crossing to the other side. If you see a shed, refrigerators, and assorted items flowing by at a high rate of speed, attempting a stream crossing in a Jeep is a bad idea. Unless you can get the vehicle airborne and clear the swift flowing waters, attempting a crossing when the water is deep enough to flow in the doors of a lifted Jeep is a very bad idea. 
Once again our stalwart Cherokee that has carried us across beach sands, through blizzards, mud, and over rock strewn territorial era wagon roads, as well as through LA traffic, transported us home without incident. Then the lights went out again and it was time for bed, but the storm had left a surprise that we would not find until this morning. 
The pictures posted above tell the story. Well, surprisingly, at least the light in the workshop still works. 


Looking at the road from the rear view mirror makes me glad that the family survived this past week. Meanwhile, the road ahead is full of promise and endless possibilities.
It kicked off Monday morning with issues of the odd and bizarre kind at the office, and it closed with a tremendous sigh of relief and a reason to rejoice resultant of the doctors diagnoses for our grandson on Friday. In between was four full days that were  a whirlwind of office problems compounded by the short staffing, an array of festival related meetings, planning sessions, and problems, the ongoing issue that has me walking like a peg legged pirate, an interview, negotiations on future projects, and a starter issue with the Jeep. 
To close out the week, plans are to dedicate at least eight hours to the current book project, to enjoy a pleasant dinner with Mike and Sharon Ward, and their daughter,  resolve a few festival issues, to move plans for a Route 66 convention in 2015 one step further toward fruition, and to discuss plans for a couple of proposed Route 66 economic development conferences with organizers. Also on the schedule is a little veranda time and a movie with my dearest friend.
Looking toward the not distant future I see meeting with a few tour groups as they pass through Kingman, an eagerly anticipated dinner with our friends Karl Kuperus and Hanneke Wiersma, and visits with friends from Australia, Japan, and Missouri. To be honest, in spite of the litany of headaches and frustrations, I am also looking forward to the Route 66 International Festival.
Dora and Kurt Manley are still on their promotional and goodwill tour. According to the last update received, they met with Patrick Tuttle and his staff in Joplin, and Ron Hart in Carthage, and stayed at the Boots Motel.
The Manley’s ambitious but rushed venture on Route 66 (did I mention that they need to be back in Kingman by Monday?) is reminiscent of the promotional tours sponsored by the U.S. Highway 66 Association. As their passion and enthusiasm is infectious, my hope is that it will foster similar results.
Unfortunately, at some point their carefully timed schedule got off track and as a result they missed Michael Wallis in Tulsa. Resultant of Michael’s personal issues they won’t be able to reschedule a visit for the return trip. 
This trip is part of a plan to use this years festival as a catalyst for building cooperative partnerships in the Route 66 community from Santa Monica to Chicago. Now, meeting with Michael will have to wait until the festival in Kingman.
I hope you can catch Dora and Kurt, and a bit of their enthusiasm. Even better, plan a trip to Kingman for the festival in August.
Adios, until Sunday. Have a great weekend, make time for your family, and live life to its fullest by making time for road trips.         


The Route 66 International Festival goodwilltour stops in Holbrook.
Rumors and rumors loosely based on fact have been swirling around development of this years Route 66 International Festival for more months than I care to think about. Here is the bottom line, this event will set a few precedents. It will also usher in a new era on Route 66.
From its inception the plan was to make this a festival for the entire Route 66 community as well as an event that served as foundation for fostering a unified sense of direction and purpose within that community. I am pleased to announce that almost every state Route 66 association, and several international associations as well, will have representatives in attendance.
As noted in the previous post, the Crossroads of the Past and Future conference has morphed into a two day event. With presentations being made by the various association representatives, leaders in the electric vehicle community, and pioneers in the development of the Route 66 renaissance, I am quite confident that cooperative partnerships will be developed.
I am quite pleased that the conference has already sparked serious discussions about the development of similar events in other communities, and the initiation of plans for an honest to goodness Route 66 convention in 2015.
At this juncture I should add another note that will answer an often asked question. Yes, there is a superb quarterly journal about all aspects of Route 66 featuring the work of acclaimed journalists and photographers, and Route 66 historian, that is published for members by the National Historic Route 66 Federation.
I would also recommend Route 66 magazine. It should also be noted that several of the state associations publish a high quality magazine or newsletter.  
Expansion of the traditional exhibition of Route 66 authors, artists, and collectors into a Route 66 information center at this years festival will also foster the development of cooperative partnerships. It will also introduce a new audience to the wonders and adventure that awaits with a journey along Route 66.
To ensure that the festival was a celebration of the entire Route 66 community, a Route 66 adventure raffle had been designed initially. With abandonment of the project by the original developers, and the turmoil that resulted, this idea fell by the wayside. However, the idea of building a unified sense of community wasn’t.
Dora Manley, left, and Richard Tally, owner of the Motel Safari.
Even though the trip was truncated from original plans for a variety of reasons, Dort and Kurt Manley launched their Route 66 goodwill tour a few days ago with the destination being Joplin. It will be a fast and furious adventure and as a result they will not have time for lengthy visits or even to stop and meet every business owner.
Along the way they will issue personal invitations, and distribute promotional materials for the festival, gifts, and a few surprises. So, if you see them on the road, wave, and if you see them in a coffee shop, offer to buy them a cup as they will need it with the schedule they have planned.
Next, is another exciting development. The festival organizers have completed arrangements with the Grand Canyon West Resort, the signature sponsor for the event, for the publication of an expanded program guide. 
So, in addition to event schedule, map, historic stories pertaining to Kingman, and photos, there is an opportunity to include advertisement from business owners all along Route 66. Even better, the advertisements ranging in size from business card to full page will be made available at bargain rates to ensure even the smallest business can be promoted. Full details should be available in the next two weeks. If this is of interest, please let me know and I will present your contact information to the committee in charge of development for follow up.
Okay, a few personal notes that might be of interest. As noted in a previous post, we debut the Illustrated Route 66 Historic Atlas in Cuba, Missouri on the third weekend in October during Cuba Fest.
The schedule hasn’t been confirmed, and as a result updated, but we will be making appearances to sign books and speak at numerous locations along Route 66. There is still time to have your event or community added to the schedule.
The summer schedule is rather full but it doesn’t a great deal of travel as I will be meeting with various tours on the road and stopping in Kingman. If you would like me to meet with your group, please drop me a note and we will try to coordinate a time and location.
Last, but not least, if you require festival information contact the Kingman Area Chamber of Commerce. If you need assistance in making travel arrangements, or have a specific question and don’t know who to ask, drop me a note and I will see what can be done to assist.
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