|A blustery and memorable
day in Groningen; left to
right, Jim Hinckley, Judy
Hinckley, the ever charming
Hanneke Wiersma, and
Karel Kuperus. (Karl
The first month of a new year is now history, and for us it was one for the record books. A quick summary would include completion (with the exception of the final edit) of book number thirteen, a bothersome bout of the flu, discussions pertaining to a possible joint project with Joe Sonderman, and a little bit of an adventure to the Netherlands and Belgium that included an experiment in suitcase packing. The latter left a couple of old desert rats longing to fill their carry on bags, sorely missing long evenings filled with good food, friendship, laughter, stimulating conversation, and overwhelming displays of hospitality, and suffering from a bit of homesickness for a beautiful land peppered with ancient and beautiful cities and villages that was just a bit damper and greener than Arizona.
It is never easy to return to the real world of jobs, bills, and the mundane tasks that consume our days after a grand adventure. When every waking moment of that adventure is consumed with previously unimaginable delights it becomes even more challenging.
If that adventure was truly life changing in its scope, it becomes an impossibility to return to a business as usual routine. As was popular to say in the post World War I years, how do you keep the boy on the farm when he has been to gay Pairee.
Well, we didn’t make it to Paris. We did, however, see Amsterdam and Ypres, we did experience hospitality reminiscent of childhood days on Sand Mountain, and we did drink from the Fountain of Youth.
So, with the plate sort of cleared, save for the usual household needs, the final edit, and hopes for making contributions to the Route 66 community through the World Monuments Fund/National Park Service Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program facilitated steering committee that almost suffered a derailment, the decision has been made to delve into the world of self publishing. Where else can I find a publisher for a book about one eyed dogs, hunting for lost treasures, pool hall transvestites, motorcycle gangs, homemade convertibles, pig farming, cowboy philosophers around the campfire under a starlit desert sky, junkyard refugee pick up trucks, the rodeo circuit, rattlesnake hunting, and adventures on the road less traveled?
Perhaps the most difficult aspect of this envisioned endeavor will be reigning in the imagination. For a number of years I have fielded requests for the publication of a autobiography. That may not be something I am ready to do – yet.
An idea kicking around in my head for quite sometime was test marketed during my tenure as associate Editor at Cars and Parts when I penned the monthly Independent Thinker column. This project would be a series of inspirational short stories about the obscure and forgotten people that transformed the American auto industry.
How many people know that the inventor of cruise control was blind, that Henry Ford played a pivotal role in the founding of Cadillac, that Chevrolet was an import, or that the founder of General Motors died destitute?
Leading the pack for ideas about the first project is thoughts of a series of guide books under the Jim Hinckley’s America label. After all, it is often said that I have a gift for telling people where to go.
As I value your opinions, may I ask your thoughts? What would you find of most interest?