I was sipping coffee and talking with my dearest friend at Rutherford’s 66 Family Diner in Kingman while waiting for John McEnulty, owner of Grand Canyon Caverns, when a beam of light fell across her face in a perfect string of dots. A quick photo was snapped and we got a few laughs but throughout the rest of the day, and on Sunday as I worked on the caption file for the new book, and again early on Monday morning, I found myself drawn to that picture of a charming women with sparkling blue eyes.
My dearest friend, my wife for more than thirty years, my partner who has weathered decades of storms with me is a truly beautiful woman, and I am a very fortunate man. These thoughts soon led to meditations on my world in general, an interesting if somewhat odd place that has become a brand of sorts, Jim Hinckley’s America.
Over the years our little adventures have evolved from quaint dates in my trusty but battered ’46 GMC to the drug store soda fountain to epic grand odysseys of an international nature. Woven into the adventures now shared through blog posts, books, presentations, customized tours, and lectures are good friends, memories, and lots of stories.
Wagon Wheel Motel, Cuba, Missouri
Tying it all together is a simple old road signed with two sixes dubbed the Main Street of America in 1927, a dusty desert town named Kingman that is struggling with coming of age, and a childhood quest to become a writer.
Route 66, the Mother Road, that fabled old highway brought my dearest friend and I together when dating and has since carried us to the Netherlands where we received an invitation to a French nudist camp for seniors at a winery, and enjoyed a most memorable evening surrounded by friends at de Prael in Amsterdam. This year it will take us to Germany, to Holbrook, to Cuba, Missouri, to Los Angeles, and on adventures yet planned. What a grand adventure is a life shared with a good friend!
To those who have yet to discover the magic of adventures on Route 66, this is your year. The 90th anniversary of that storied old highway will be celebrated from Chicago to Santa Monica, and in Germany as well.
Season that trip with ample time to meet the people that provide the magic. With that said, if your in the neighborhood (Kingman) on the evening of March 10, grab some dinner on Beale Street (one block north of Route 66) and stop in Black Bridge Brewery. The Route 66 Association of Kingman will be hosting their March “meet and greet” and a good time will be had by one and all.