As I gaze toward the future, especially the next ninety days, there is a sense of being hung up and trying to ride it out until the pick up men can save my backside. This is shaping up to be one heck of a ride.
Late yesterday afternoon I attended an interesting meeting with an array of business and community leaders to discuss the expansion of Andy Devine Days activities. The basic idea is to link the celebration of Kingman’s frontier and western heritage with its Route 66 association.
Interestingly enough, there is already an historic precedent for linking the two in a reference by Jack Rittenhouse in his now classic A Guide Book to Highway 66 penned in 1946. “Each September, the citizens of Kingman celebrate their famous “Dig-N-Dogie Days” in a rodeo which combines cowboy contests with miners events.”
With the push to commemorate Kingman’s famous son by renaming the Route 66 corridor Andy Devine Avenue in the 1950s, this event became Andy Devine Days. Plans for the 2015 event scheduled for September 25 through the September 27 include the traditional rodeo, a greatly expanded version of the parade (Bob Boze Bell, expect a phone call),an array of musical entertainment, Native American participation, and a huge car show.
There will also be the second annual induction of nominees into the Route 66 Walk of Fame. This honorarium for folks who have contributed to the transformation of Route 66 from a highway into an icon was unveiled during the 2014 Route 66 International Festival.
If you plan on being in the neighborhood next year, or have interest in participating, please drop me a note. I will have you added to a mailing list for regular updates.
Today it is another day at the office, and then this evening we turn care of the homestead over to our son, and drive to Barstow to get a bit of a jump on the weekend. On Saturday, between 10:00 and 2:00 I will be signing books at Auto Books – Aero Books in Burbank, California (2900 W. Magnolia Blvd.) during their Memories of the Road and Road Trips Day.
The intrepid Anna Grechishkina, the young lady from the Ukraine that is riding a motorcycle around the world solo will be stopping by. Ester Brym will be hosting a showing of her acclaimed film, Autumn of Route 66. Scott Piotrowski, the historian and tour guide that is spearheading the development of the 90th anniversary celebration of Route 66, and a related convention, at the original western terminus of Route 66 in downtown Los Angeles in 2016 will also be stopping by. So, it should be a most interesting day.
Then I will be stopping by the Autry National Center to sign books in their gift shop. This will be followed by dinner and informal brain storming session about development of the 2016 event with Scott Piotrowski and associates, and a few friends.
On Sunday morning my dearest friend I will be privileged to experience a Mr. Piotrowski led tour in the district embracing the original western terminus of Route 66 at 7th and Broadway in Los Angeles. If the day goes as planned, we will close out the California visit with a stop at the historic Fair Oaks Pharmacy in South Pasadena, and then make the long drive home.
Next week, bright and early on Wednesday morning, I head east for Albuquerque to attend the eagerly anticipated meeting of the World Monuments Fund Steering Committee. On one leg of the journey plans call for visiting with David Heward in Holbrook to discuss developments in that city, and to offer my assistance. Perhaps, if time allows, I can take him up on the offer of an inside tour of area historic sites.
The downside to this adventure is that it will be a long and empty drive as I will be flying solo without my sidekick. When traveling without my dearest friend there is a sense that I left home without my pants, the left front wheel, and that there is a heavy winter chill. In short, things just seem askew in the world without my dearest friend.
All of this is to be followed by the push to meet the History Press deadline, and the continuance of planning for the trip to the Netherlands in January. Details on the latter will be provided soon but I hope we will be able to visit our European friends at the travel fair in Utrecht.
The final items for the day are a bit of shameless self promotion but I think you might find interest in them.
Arrangements are being finalized for a way to enhance visits to Kingman for tour groups. Customized packages that include historic district tours, and catered dinners with local entertainment or historic presentations should ready to unveil by December.
Last but not least, my Route 66 Crossroads of the Past and Future presentations are gaining in popularity if inquiries are any indication. In essence the program consists of my dry wit laced commentary coupled to an old fashioned slide show featuring historic images and our award winning photography. In short, the entire package becomes a virtual tour along Route 66 from end to end, and from present to distant past.
For more information about any of these developments or programs, please drop a note. Meanwhile, see you in Burbank.