Well, it looks as though things are about to get quite interesting. In fact, I would dare to say that they are about to get very, very interesting.
The volunteer editor has given the State of the Route 66 Community report the green light, as soon as I fix a couple of punctuation and spelling errors. Sir, full compensation for your contributions will made Saturday evening during the Route 66 Fun Run under the refurbished glow of the Kingman Club neon sign.
So, I should be distributing this in the next week. As a disclaimer it should be duly noted that it was my decision alone to play lightening rod. Before changing my name and relocating, I will await initial response to the report.
With that said the goal of the report was twofold. Both may be overly ambitious and quite optimistic.
One, I wanted to develop an accurate if unscientific overview of the Route 66 community. So, I asked business owners, tourism directors, tour company owners and developers, community organizers, Route 66 association representatives (nationally as well as internationally), the Route 66 Alliance and the National Historic Route 66 Federation, and anyone I could think of that might have a vested interest in the Route 66 renaissance three questions; what are the primary problems facing the Route 66 community, what are the positive developments of the past year, and what plans are there for the 90th anniversary celebration of the U.S. 66 certification.
As the organizers of the Miles of Possibility event in Edwardsville, Illinois this October plan on inclusion of a conference and workshops, I am hoping the report will enable them to fine tune that aspect. Wouldn’t it be delightful if this event became the cornerstone for an annual Route 66 convention that blended the Route 66 family reunion that we in the Route 66 community have come to expect from the annual Route 66 International Festival with the business of Route 66?
From a personal perspective my views on the unique nature of the international Route 66 community were enhanced with the interviews, correspondence, and compilation of the report. Likewise with concerns about sustaining the Route 66 renaissance into the centennial and beyond.
Meanwhile, in my corner of the world things are taking some most fascinating turns. Hypothetically, would there be interest in the Route 66 community if I were to open a brick and mortar office, with shop and eclectic museum, next to Mr. D’z? Well, such an endeavor is now on the drawing board.
Next, a pod cast update. A few days ago Gary Cron of Route 66 Radioand I were discussing this. Soon the conversation took a slightly different tack and we were talking about a the feasibility of a Jim Hinckley’s America program direct from the Main Street of America.
Scenes from the Route 66 Fun Run in Kingman, 2013
If your not familiar with Route 66 Radio follow the link posted above. Did you know that there are special advertising rates for Route 66 businesses and free events listings? Did you know that through Route 66 Radio you are reaching out to an international audience?
Meanwhile, new additions are being added to the Route 66 Electric Vehicle Museum on a regular basis. Plans call for creation of the largest display of vehicles manufactured by Detroit Electric before the end of June and this week a golf cart customized for Willie Nelson was added to the exhibition.
There is also the self imposed deadline for the guide to the Kingman area, a self publishing endeavor. That and a few other projects will have to be tabled until after this weekends annual Route 66 Fun Run, an event that rolls back the curtain that separates the past from the present and transforms 180 scenic miles of Route 66 into a living time capsule.
As a coupe of weeks ago there were over 800 vehicles preregistered. There are also an array of events scheduled in Kingman, Peach Springs, Hackberry, Truxton, Seligman, Oatman, and Golden Shores. So, it should be one bang up of a weekend. Here is a link for the entire schedule.
Another view from a previous Route 66 Fun Run.
Trying to tie the various projects into a single bundle has consumed a great deal of time in recent weeks. In fact, I have been so busy it seems that the need to eat on a regular basis slipped by the wayside. Hence one reason for the question pertaining to the possibility of opening a shop, posing questions to determine interest in Route 66 tours, and the push to get the guide book published.
First, however, as noted there is the fun run. Friends, fun, food, and memory making adventures will be the order of the day.
On Saturday, from 8:30 to 12:30, I will be signing books at the historic Frontier Motel and Restaurant in Truxton. Then its off to Thunder Road Motorcycle on the corner of First Street and Beale Street near Locomotive Park.
Dinner with Bonnie and George Game, Sean and Karen Evans, Frank and Lynn Kocevar, Mike and Sharon Ward, Daniel Azzopardi, John Springs, and a few other friends will be the most highly anticipated event of this years Route 66 Fun Run. Rumor has it that we will then check out the newly opened House of Hops before checking out the festivities at the El Trovatore Motel.
Now, dinner, a cold beer that sounds quite good after a very long and very full day spent under the Arizona sun, and a little down time with my dearest friend.