As plans for the forthcoming October promotional tour for the latest book, The Illustrated Route 66 Historic Atlas, gel, I am able to finalize arrangements and develop a clearer picture of the unfolding adventure. Even though it will be another of our now famous whirlwind endeavors I am reminded of the old adage that any adventure is better than no adventure.
An added bonus on this trip is an opportunity to introduce my dearest friend to a few new surprises. Topping that list will be the Lake of the Ozarks, a childhood favorite of mine.
This was on the list for years but we couldn’t find a way to work it into the schedule. Adding to the frustration was an invitation from Bob Swengrosh, and his wife, Robin, to visit their historic motel (Waters Edge Motel) in Gravois Mills, Missouri.
The focal point for this trip is Cuba Fest where I will officially introduce the new book. My dearest friend and I so enjoy this delightful festival. Enhancing the event this year will be an opportunity to visit with friends from all along Route 66, and another evening enjoying music from the Road Crew.
Before beginning the journey home, on Sunday, the 19th of October, I am scheduled to make a presentation on Route 66 as the Crossroads of the Past and Future at the open house at Route 66 State Park.
The original plans were for us to then continue east to Edwardsville, Illinois and meet with the organizers of next years Route 66 conference, a weekend of events to supplant the suspended Route 66 International Festival. However, as we were unable to coordinate schedules, conference calls and emails will have to suffice for now.
Until an official website and/or Facebook page is established, updates are being posted on author Cheryl Eichar Jett’s blog Chicks on 66. Here is a the link.
In addition to providing a forum to the Route 66 associations, the festivities will continue many of the traditions associated with the popular Route 66 International Festival. In short, it will be a family reunion for Route 66 enthusiasts as well as an opportunity to disseminate information and develop cooperative partnerships.
With that said, I can’t provide answers to questions about the annual Route 66 International Festival that have been received in recent weeks. That event was developed by the Route 66 Alliance in recent years but as an array of issues prevented in depth involvement with this years festival in Kingman, that organization announced an indefinite postponement.
As the Route 66 community is facing an array of challenges quite similar to those faced in the highways infancy, research is underway to evaluate the structure of the original U.S. Highway 66 Association, and how they were able to address these problems. I will keep you apprised as the research unfolds.
Perhaps this will spark a few innovative ideas. Perhaps it will be the catalyst for reviving that organization to meet the needs of a new generation.