The pre 1952 alignment of Route 66 in the Black Mountains that was also the course of the National Old Trails Highway.
From its inception in the fall of 1926, U.S. 66 has been the crossroads of the past and future. It was also more than a mere highway that connected point “A” with point “B”, it was a chameleon, a road that mirrored the changing times, a highway of ever changing dreams and promises.
Nothing much has changed. It is still the place where the past, present, and the future flow together seamlessly, a road of dreams and of promises where memories that last a lifetime are made.
Next week in Kingman, Arizona, the dreams, the promises, the history, and the future will unfold as a colorful tapestry when fans of the double six from throughout the world come together to celebrate this amazing old road at the 2014 Route 66 International Festival. In previous posts I have noted the incredible exhibition of electric vehicles being assembled by the Historic Electric Vehicle Foundation (a partial list closes out this blog post), the car shows, the mud bogs, the concerts, the film festival, the dedication of the Route 66 Walk of Fame, the exhibition of authors, artists, and collectors, the introduction of a new book by Bob Boze Bell, and a wide array of events taking place under the festival umbrella.
Today I would like to discuss an aspect of the festival that truly represents the dawn of a new era on the old double six, the Route 66 Crossroads of the Past and Future conference. I was recently informed by festival organizers that this unprecedented gathering of historians, representatives from state as well as international Route 66 associations, the electric vehicle community, and representatives from various state and government agencies will be recorded as well as broadcast live on Youtube (a link will be provided). It will also be shown live at Beale Celebrations, the venue for the exhibition of authors and collectors.
Still, as exciting as this unprecedented conference is, it is only the first step. Details are pending but it has been confirmed that next fall, the City of Ewardsville in Illinois will host an expanded version of this conference that includes workshops.
This is not a part of the Route 66 Alliance sanctioned Route 66 International Festival but a separate event with an emphasis on providing useful information, developing cooperative partnerships, sharing ideas and concepts, and in general, fostering working relationships that benefit the entire Route 66 community. Author Cheryl Eichar Jett representing Edwardsville will make the official announcement during the festival. As additional details become available they will be shared with you. Today the mail box contained more than the usual assortment of bills, furniture store flyers, election propaganda, and junk mail. In checking the post office box I discovered the most delightful surprise; a copy of Route 66 Everlasting Highway by our friend Akio Takeuchi of Japan. What a delightful addition to the library! I am quite pleased to announce that Akio will debut this colorful new book next week during the Route 66 International Festival in Kingman. Of course, as noted previously, Bob Boze Bell will also be introducing a new book, and a film at the festival as well. In addition, acclaimed authors Joe Sonderman and Cheryl Eichar Jett are including the festival in their book signing tour schedule which further ensures this event will be a Route 66 enthusiasts paradise. Now, to close this out for the day, here is a partial list of the cars collected by the Historic Electric Vehicle Foundation that will be on display at the exhibition in the Powerhouse Visitor Center.
1912 Ellwell-Parker baggage truck along with trailer full of antique suite cases.