The current project is coming right down to the wire, which is not the preferred way to write a book with minimal agravation. I have struggled with acquisition of suitable photographs, such as this one from the My Inwood blog, for use as illustrations since the inception of this book and am down to just one day for completion with a captions file that I still need to write.
Needless to say, that adds a bit of stress to what should be a relaxing weekend. Still, a man must have his priorities in place and so yesterday morning I made time for breakfast and a bit of tour guide service for David and Kathy Alexander of Legends of America. This morning the plans call for breakfast with an old friend that will be soon shaking the dust from their boots and moving to California.
Meanwhile, if recent developments are any indication, it appears that the creation and ongoing work of the National Park Service Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program and World Monuments Fund facilitated steering committee has been perceived a threat by a well meaning but ineffective and long dormant organization that was given a place at the table. From the divisions in the Route 66 community that result to the fact that the steering committee is working to create a solid foundation for establishment of a representative organization that can address the multifaceted problems facing Route 66 preservation and promotional initiatives, as well as provide assistance to the business community this is a sad and tragic turn of events.
As that darkly comedic opera unfolds with the fate of friendships and potentially beneficial partnerships hanging in the balance, I am eagerly awaiting news of discussions in Europe pertaining to a Route 66 international festival on the continent next year. As with the lack of assistance from a sponsoring organization during development of the festival in Kingman this past year, the planning of this event is but another manifestation of how existent organizations are unable to fully address the needs of a rapidly developing and changing Route 66 community.
Another manifestation is the recent closure of the Gasconade River Bridge. As it was common knowledge that most bridges are endangered, why didn’t an existent organization lead a grassroots initiative before closure or demolition of these structures?
I digress, after all, in the past few years anyone who has been involved with Route 66 preservation or that has tried to find a central point of contact for information or that has tried to promote an event internationally is painfully aware that existent organizations are ineffective at best, and self serving at worst.
Meanwhile, I have other more personal and immediately pressing issues to address. There are discussions with the publisher pertaining to the next book, studies on the merits of self publishing, and an increasing desire to find a community where I can offer my services in regard to Route 66 related redevelopment and promotion.
Home repair and tax filing preparation are also vying for my immediate attention. Likewise with some long overdue vehicle repairs and ideas pertaining to the development of a podcast and Youtube channel shelved resultant of the current book project, and the recent Route 66 International Festival.
All of this leads to a growing sense that this will be a most fascinating year, and that I will again avoid any chance of boredom in the months to come. Now, the writing of a caption file begins.