YOUR STORIES PART TWO, KINGMAN BECOMES A DESTINATION, AND THE HINCKLEY’S HEAD FOR EUROPE AGAIN
Route 66 in the Mojave Desert.
I am quite excited to announce that at the end of this mornings post, I will share the second installment of “Your Stories” that is a part of a new contest cosponsored by Quatro Publishing. This time we are provided with a look at what it was like to work at a service station and garage in Ludlow during the mid 1960’s.
First, in response to a flurry of recent questions from our friends in Europe, yes, we plan on attending the Route 66 festival in Germany this July. In fact, we are hoping to finalize flight arrangements within the next week or so.
Author Jim Hinckley making a presentation in Utrecht Netherlands.
However, as a request was received to make a series of Route 66 presentations in the UK, there is a possibility that we may need to adjust travel plans. At this time we are looking at keeping things as simple as possible; a direct flight from Las Vegas to Germany.
While we are on the subject of presentations, and related book signings, the overall response to the Armchair Tour of Route 66 made last Saturday evening was quite positive. As a bonus, apparently, the question and answer session coupled with the presentation inspired a few folks to consider making a trip to Chicago this summer, and there was tangible excitement about Cuba, Pontiac, and Galena, and how their successes can be applied to Kingman.
I am always amazed that people will pay to see me beat my gums and share photos from road trip adventures. At this particular event more than eighty people turned out.
All joking aside, these presentations are something I really enjoy doing. Sharing the magic of the Route 66 experience, and encouraging a road trip or two, is a lot of fun.
This was the fund raising kick off for the Route 66 Association of Kingman’s ambitious 66 Celebrates 90 initiative. Neon sign acquisition, restoration, reproduction, and installation, creation and installation of custom benches, murals, and facade renovation programs are just a few of the projects on the drawing board.
Speaking of the Route 66 Association of Kingman, their gift shop is being set up at the historic Dunton Motors building, Dunton Motors Dream Machines next to Mr. D’z Route 66 Diner this week. Route 66 items, and Kingman specific souvenirs are currently available. A full line of Mr. D’z items is in development.
In fact the evenings activities were so well received, there are discussions pertaining to a similar presentation being made during the Route 66 Fun Run weekend. I will keep you apprised of any developments.
In regards to transforming the city into a destination, it looks as though Kingman is shifting gears and picking up speed. Chillin’ on Beale, enhanced by community partnerships such as the special weekend packages created by Ramada Kingman is shaping up to be quite a series of events this year. The event takes place on the third Saturday evening of each month, April through October.
I have so much more to share but this will have to wait until tomorrow or the next day. With jury duty pending, I am pushing to finish the text for the current book project. If I can dedicate five or six hours per day to this for the rest of the week and through the weekend, it should be complete.
With that said, thanks to everyone who shared their Route 66 stories and insight for this project. Your contributions ensure that the book will be a treat for the Route 66 enthusiasts everywhere.
Also on the schedule, a presentation about Route 66 related developments as they pertain to Kingman at a meeting of business owners, and a meeting with the organizers of Kingman Circle, an innovate pooled resource marketing program conceived and developed buy Ignite Marketing.
There is also a need to complete an outline for a book proposal, one focused entirely on crimes committed along the National Old Trails Highway and Route 66, and to finish the content edit and fact check for a book on Route 66 in New Mexico being developed by Rio Nuevo Publishers. Content editing and the related fact checking of manuscripts is another way that I keep beans and beer on the table, and gas in the tank.
If, by chance, that I get bored, there are also several projects for Ramada Kingman, the Route 66 Association of Kingman, Grand Canyon Caverns, and Grand Canyon Western Ranch that require my attention. Another ball that I attempt to keep in the air is grandly titled “tourism development consultant.”
So, with that said, here is a story about Ludlow provided by Mark Nowning.
“Life in Ludlow was 12 hour work days, six days a week at a buck twenty five per hour, no over time. Rent on a small house trailer and utilities were included in the pay, so when we got paid the money was all ours……such as it was. We didnt think much about it at the time.
It was the time of the great hippie migration to San Francisco so that was pretty entertaining, even had a small run in with Charley, before he became infamous.
The people that owned all those little towns were pretty much in it for the money, not much mercy for the flat-broke broke-down travelers, and if any of the employees did anything to help them it was a firing offense, as my dad found out. And when you got fired you were also immediately homeless. But all employers have their polices that have to be adhered to.
I learned many lessons there, short-change artists took me for a few days pay, gas and goes, gypsies, tramps and theives all got a few of my hard earned dollars. After awhile you learned to not trust anyone.
One young couple came in the gas station where I was working they had some small children in the car and said they were broke and wondered if I could give them a few bucks so the kids could eat. I felt sorry for the kids so I gave them five bucks which was half a days pay…he came out of the cafe with a couple packs of smokes and a sixer of beer held them up so I could see what he bought with my money and yelled, SUCKER! and peeled on out of there.
But mostly there, as with everywhere the majority of people were just trying to get by and get to where they were going. I have many stories about life on 66. “