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.