In a recent interview I was asked if Route 66 was a mirror for my career as
a writer. The answer was no. The National Old Trails Highway makes for a better analogy; it was knit from a network of historic trails, the course for the “highway” often changed between Tuesday and Thursday, it was always rooted firmly in the past but served as a bridge to the future, and it enjoyed a modest degree of popularity.
Right out of the box I sold my first feature article, written on a 1948 Underwood typewriter, to a major national publication. This was followed with a period of cranking out local interest stories for a couple of rural newspapers, the writing of a few features for national publications, a short stint as associate editor for Cars & Parts (before they went out of business). Next came the books. At each and every stage, partnerships served as the foundation.
The contract for the first book, The Big Book of Car Culture, resulted when another author abandoned the project, and a friend nominated me as the ideal candidate to finish it. This and an obscure little book about the Checker Cab Manufacturing Company landed me an interview with Jay Leno in his garage. That interview cam about through a rather bizarre series of coincidences, and a working relationship with the owners of Auto Books-Aero Books in Burbank.
Fast forward to the year 2017. Now, I am partnering with the developers of Promote Kingman on a variety of projects, including a video series, historic district walking tours, podcast, and a few other items. To differentiate these endeavors from the regular Jim Hinckley’s America projects, a new logo was created that will be used in our joint endeavors.
Long ago necessity forced abandonment of the typewriter, and carbon paper, and film negatives, and snail mail. This is not to say I am a renaissance man. Even though I embrace a wide array of new technologies, there is a sense of always being one or two steps behind the rapidly changing times.
Counted among the recent endeavors is the development of a Facebook live program. This started as a bit of shameless self promotion, and at some point morphed into a community information program. It still needs a bit of polish and there is a bit of trial and error in working out audio issues. Still, I can see some potential in this project, both in the provision of a community service and in building recognition for the Jim Hinckley’s America brand.
Now, in looking toward the months ahead, I can some challenging and exciting endeavors looking on the horizon. However, what really quickens the pulse is the thought of what may be lurking around the corner. That is half the fun of negotiating my way through the labyrinth. When I turn the corner will I find the Minotaur, or another opportunity for adventure?