A rare B-17 at the former Kingman Army Airfield, and an
early morning conversation with internationally acclaimed artist Gregg Arnold, photographer Herberta Schroeder of Wind Swept Images, and Michelle Drumheller who is organizing a family reunion for the family of pioneering rancher Tap Duncan, that is how my day started. In short, another day, another colorful adventure. This is Jim Hinckley’s America. If that seems like a plug, well, I suppose that it is.
In retrospect it started simply enough. I wanted to write, to share the history of the American auto industry as well as tales of adventure on the road less traveled in the hope that it would inspire people to do a bit of exploring. After the publication of a few dozen feature articles for various magazines, I had an opportunity to write a book. That had been a dream since childhood and so I wrote a little book about the Checker Cab Manufacturing Company.
That was followed by an interesting project that carried the odd title of The Big Book of Car Culture. In essence this was a Jerry Seinfeld type of project, a book about nothing. Jon Robinson and I wrote short stories about everything auto related from the history of highway striping and speedometers to Route 66 and Harley Davidson.
Surprisingly the book received great reviews and even garnered awards such as third place at the International Automotive Media Awards. Even more surprising, this and the book on the Checker Cab Manufacturing Company attracted the attention of Jay Leno, and as a result, I received an invitation to his garage for an interview. However, the most surprising thing of all was that the books sold rather poorly.
Well, that was when I learned that selling an idea to the publisher, negotiating a contract, writing the book, and working through a few edits was only part one. Next I had to learn how to sell the books by first selling me and that ongoing process is how Jim Hinckley’s America began. To date the endeavor has led to the creation of this blog, a YouTube channel, a fledgling podcast, and presentations about Route 66, the American auto industry and the American southwest, and tourism as a catalyst for economic development and revitalization. Along the way I also discovered that the umbrella of Jim Hinckley’s America could also be used as a means of providing promotional and marketing assistance for businesses, communities, and organizations. So, now I am seeking sponsors for this endeavor.
The latest addition to Jim Hinckley’s America is a weekly Facebook live program. This too started simply enough, I was curious about what exactly Facebook live was, and wondered if it had potential for use in a bit of shameless self promotion. As with most of the endeavors associated with Jim Hinckley’s America, it soon developed a life of its own. Now, it has morphed into a weekly program (every Friday morning) featuring news about Route 66 and the Kingman area, and interviews with interesting people. It is still a bit rough around the edges but each week I add a bit of polish and, surprisingly, the popularity is growing.
With the exception of finding time to juggle the various projects plus write books, the development of Jim Hinckley’s America is a most rewarding endeavor. As a bonus, I am accomplishing my goal of encouraging people to do a bit of exploring and am providing a service to a list of sponsors that currently includes Grand Canyon Caverns, MyMarketing Designs, Ramada Kingman/Canyon 66, Promote Kingman, and the Route 66 Association of Kingman.
So, with that as an introduction into my world, the daily adventures in Jim Hinckley’s America, here is a quick summary of the last two days. Yesterday, I completed the first draft on a book about 100 things and events to see on Route 66, posted historic images on the Facebook pages for Route 66 Arizona, Route 66 Association of Kingman, Promote Kingman, and Jim Hinckley’s America (a bit of community service). As a family issue prevented attendance of the conference for the Route 66 Road Ahead Partnership ( I am a volunteer board member and also serve on the economic development committee as well as liaison for the international advisory group) I have been posting updates on the organizations Facebook page. Then I continued the search for sponsors for the Jim Hinckley’s America project including the video series being developed by Promote Kingman/MyMarketing Designs.
I also submitted the contract for a new book to be published by Rio Nuevo Publishers. Details will be provided on this project soon as your assistance will be needed.
Today, I finalized notes for the Facebook live program, answered email correspondence, and set out for Beale Street Brews, the site of the Facebook live program, at just after 6:00. After the program I set out for the Kingman airport, site of the Kingman Army Airfield during WWII, to photograph a B-17 bomber that was at the airport for the weekend. As tempting as it was to take a flight over Kingman in this vintage war bird, the $450.00 per person cost was a bit tough to justify, and it wasn’t quite in the budget. I did, however, take a video of start up and take off, and that will be on the YouTube channel by the end of the weekend.
This was followed with lunch at the airport cafe with Scott Dunton, president of the Route 66 Association of Kingman. I should note that if your driving Route 66, the cafe is just a few blocks off the highway and the food is very good, and prices are quite reasonable.
After an excellent lunch, and some interesting discussion about plans for the association, the addition of a gift shop at Dunton Motors that includes Mr. D’z merchandise, and expansion of the display of vintage vehicles, I headed home. Before writing this post I answered emails and Facebook messages, recorded a podcast, and gathered the materials needed for a blog post about the Kingman Army Airfield that I will write for the Promote Kingman website latter today or on Saturday.
And that, my friends, is just another day, and another adventure in Jim Hinckley’s America.