May you live in interesting times, as I recall this often used phrase is a Chinese curse or adage depending on the source. Personally, I see it as both a blessing and curse.
Living in interesting times ensures that life is seldom boring. The flip side is that quite often the interesting times referenced are also troubled times.
Case in point, this is a presidential election year in America and it is shaping up to be quite historic. To say the very least, the campaign by both the Democratic and Republican Party is the most tragic, unnerving, maddening, frustrating, comedic, worrisome, divisive, sickening, goofy, and generally idiotic one that I have ever witnessed.
Will Rogers once quipped that we have the best politicians money can buy. One need only to look at the Democratic Parties candidate for first female president to see just how astute an observer of the human condition Mr. Rogers was.
Quite often politics has been referred to as a circus. To validate this observation I suggest listening to the slate of Republican candidates, particularly the leader of the pack.
A favorite Central Avenue stop for my dearest friend and I.
Okay, now that I have vented about the state of American politics, lets move on to more interesting topics; in particular, Route 66.
Yesterday morning I enjoyed a most delightful breakfast (steak omelette) at Ramada Kingman with Dean Kennedy, a good friend and fellow Route 66 enthusiast that has recently relocated to Albuquerque. Needless to say, a primary topic of discussion were developments pertaining to the hot button issue that is the pending transformation of the Route 66 corridor in his newly adopted hometown that would, in effect, negate the brilliant and insight plan for Central Avenue adopted in 2012.
Most of the week, however, was consumed with meetings, planning sessions, and the ongoing battle to stay on the treadmill that is the fast evolving world of “technological development.”
The latter took the form of a suggestion that I utilize Mail Chimp (?), trying to utilize an increasingly outdated Windows XP system, a valiant attempt to weave the marketing of Jim Hinckley as a brand, his books, and now, his presentations via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Blogger. There was also the long delayed addition of an embryonic podcast to my promotional toolbox (thank you, Mike Wagner of Wagner Brother’s Real Estate).
After months of delays and priority projects keeping this on the back burner, I was finally able to address its development and launch through the new KAAA/KZZZ radio program, Live From Kingman. Both projects are rather exciting as they provide opportunities for the promotion of the Route 66 community.
On last Friday’s program I was able to facilitate an interview with Bill Thomas of Atlanta, Illinois and Kaisa Barthuli of the National Park Service Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program.
All of this leads to reflections on my blossoming career as a gum beater. I am always amazed that folks turn out and even pay to see this performance. Recently, the Route 66 festival in Holbrook was added to my list of scheduled appearances where I will speak on the National Old Trails Highway and Route 66.
Meanwhile, opportunities to be involved with the transformation of Kingman continue to present themselves, and as I am a firm believer in put up or shut up, it is difficult to say no. In addition to serving as a promotional and developmental consultant for Ramada Kingman, the Route 66 Association of Kingman, and Grand Canyon Caverns, I have accepted a position as commissioner for the cities historic preservation committee.
Of course the deeper you delve into the inner working of politics, technological developments and related marketing, writing as a career, or committees, the more opportunities you have for frustrations. Recently the frustration meter pegged out when a local business owner smooth talked his way into being listed as the contractor of record for a pivotal component in the revitalization of the Kingman historic district, and then immediately shut down a project that was two years in development and mere weeks away from completion.
To wrap this up, I would like to invite you to the Route 66 Association of Kingman’s March meet and greet that will take place at Black Bridge Brewery on Beale Street (one block north of Andy Devine Avenue, Route 66), 6:00 PM, March 10. If your in the neighborhood, have a bite to eat at one of the historic districts great restaurants, and then stop by for a cold one as well as an opportunity to meet some great folks.