Yesterday the primary topic of thought and discussion was the not so distant future of the double six when old duffers like me are are no longer getting our kicks on Route 66. Today it was an opportunity to spend time with the future of the old road in the form of Cameron and Jessica Mueller, young members of the Tucumcari based Mueller clan. Well, if these two are any indication of what the future holds, this road will be in good hands well into its second century. This was their first adventure on Route 66 in Arizona and California and it looks a though a very good impression was made.Meanwhile, I received not one but numerous requests to either assist with or serve as a guide for a Route 66 tour in the past forty-eight hours. As fun as this may sound, being on the road for a full three months of the year, even if it is Route 66 isn’t very feasible or practical. At this juncture it also remains to be seen if such endeavors would be a profitable venture. Still, I was quite flattered and I must admit that these offers sparked the imagination. On the heels of these requests was a discussion pertaining to developing western states ghost town tours. Another opportunity for jump starting the imagination.All of this follows the recent story on Route 66 that appeared on the Harry Smith segment of NBC News. Kumar Patel may have unleashed a monster.There was a bit of division in the Route 66 community that resulted from the World Monument Fund sponsored Route 66 symposium in Anaheim last November. However, I feel that more good than bad came from this conference. In addition to initiating cooperative partnerships and providing valuable information, it sparked interest in conferences and conventions. At the Route 66 festival in Kingman scheduled for August 14 through the 17th, there will be a two day conference that will mirror the event theme, Route 66 as the crossroads of the past and future.There is a very real possibility that 2015 could be a milestone on the double six. I now know of several chambers of commerce that are discussing the development of a Route 66 economic conference, there are ongoing discussions about a full fledged convention, and a tourism office is also discussing an event that will showcase Route 66 as a catalyst for economic redevelopment.This is all very good news. After all, with the organizational issues that initially plagued the development of this years Route 66 International Festival, and the transitional status of the sanctioning Route 66 Alliance that prohibited the provision of assistance, I was a bit worried about loosing the momentum in regard to developing a functional cooperative to serve the entire Route 66 community.Last, but not least, a few festival updates. Yes, I know that the official website has been plagued with problems and that it doesn’t say anything about the Road Crew. Well, there will be not one but two performances. One on Friday evening and another on Saturday afternoon. There will also be concert featuring the Reunion. An unprecedented display of electric vehicles will also be on display. In addition to historically significant models, my understanding is that there will also be modern incarnations such as the astounding White Zombie.
My life is a great deal like the pre 1952 alignment of Route 66 in the Black Mountains of Arizona. At every turn it seems as though the exciting twists and turns stretch toward the distant horizon with nary a straight stretch of road in sight.
This, my friends, is but the tip of the ice berg. There is more, much more so don’t let the heat deter you from attending what just may be the most exciting event on Route 66 this year.
Now, to close this out, lets put aside differences and labels that divide, and take a few minutes to give thought to what this holiday means.