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 to Dale 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 goodwill tour 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 Atlasin 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.