I have always had respect for people who can focus on a project
with such intensity that nothing distracts them from the task at hand. Obviously this trait is a prerequisite for people who work as bomb disposal specialist or as a sniper. I have never had interest in pursuing either career but the quest for a level of mental discipline that allows me to finish projects without enduring thirty hour work days resultant of succumbing to distraction is ongoing. This is not to say that my pursuit of the red ball is abandoned when I see a green ball, or that the smell of fresh baked pie will always lure me from the office to the kitchen if a deadline is looming.
Scheduling and allocation of time is definitely an Achilles heel. In this I am not alone but that provides little solace when my most recent language skills test indicates a 21% proficiency in German, a 1% increase over last summer, and the venerable old Dodge (aka Barney the Wonder Truck) is still sitting in the drive awaiting repair, just as it was last Christmas.
Every community is plagued by self serving factions, apathy, naysayers, and
people who simply never learned to play well with others. In communities where these people dominate government or the tourism office or media or civic organizations, opportunities are missed, long term sustainable progress is stifled, and vision for the future is conceived through extensive study of the rear view mirror. Spend an hour or two in a town, city, or village where these type of folks run the show, listen to the locals in the restaurants or taverns, check out the historic business district, cruise a few neighborhoods, peruse online reviews of businesses and there is a very good chance you won’t make a return visit.
So, exactly, how is a community transformed from a haven for the apathetic and people obsessed with protecting their fiefdom into a vibrant place where people want to visit, to open businesses, to raise families, and to retire? Let me introduce you to the speed bump theory of community development. (more…)
As you may guess from the title for today’s post, it has been a
very, very interesting week. It has also been a somber week, an inspiring week, a fun filled week, a busy week, an exhausting week, a frustrating week, a laughter filled week, and an exciting week. In short, it was situation normal in my world. These are a few of the high, and low points.
Flooding in Missouri and parts of Illinois devastated lives as well as communities. Along the Route 66 corridor Devils Elbow, a revered destination for legions of enthusiasts was particularly hard hit. Jax Welborn did a fantastic job of providing regular updates about the flooding through Facebook but her photos of the devastation were heartbreaking. The inspiration came from the response, offers of assistance, and the generosity of the international Route 66 community, including donations made by the Dutch and German Route 66 associations.
The Devils Elbow Inn, a revered landmark, before the devastating flood of 2017.
Meanwhile, here in Arizona, on Wednesday evening my dearest friend and I had the privilege of enjoying fresh made ginger ale at Black Bridge Brewery (a highly recommended stop for the Route 66 traveler), and lively conversation with George and Bonnie Game of the Canadian Route 66 Association. We joined them again for a “roadie” dinner on Saturday at Calico’s, and then on Monday, it was a lunch at Rutherford’s Route 66 Diner with George, Bonnie, and Penny Black, another friend who is in the process of moving from California to Illinois. (more…)
Recently a publisher, on recommendation of Jim Ross, approached me
with an intriguing proposal – write a book about Route 66 that is in essence a bucket list. The challenge fascinated me. How do you whittle down America’s longest attraction, a 2,000 mile corridor of fascinating museums, quirky folk art parks, historic sites, renovated motels, ghost towns, dynamic cities, time capsule restaurants and diners, and breathtaking natural attractions into a list of one hundred must see locations? I accepted the challenge and the result is a fun new book scheduled for release on September 1 that is aptly titled, 100 Things to Do on Route 66 Before You Die.
(This “Buy Now” button is to purchase an autographed copy of Route 66: America’s Longest Small Town. Stay tuned for information about availability of other publications)
The book represents a departure from most of my published work. Even with Route 66: America’s Longest Small Town released on April 1, my focus is usually on adding depth and context to the subject. As an example, even though this book has a bit of whimsy and fun, and features a bit of my God given gift for telling folks where to go, the overall content centers on the renaissance, and the people that make this road a wonder of the world.