You would have to drive from Death Valley to Loveland Pass in
Colorado to find lows and highs equal to what we have been through in the past week or so. To paraphrase (or plagiarize) a bit of classic literature, it was the best of times and it was the worst of times: dedication of a memorial to a valued friend and a bit of bittersweet family time with my dearest friend and son, the debut of a new book and unexpected support from friends, squandered opportunities and unnecessary battles, taxes and hard choices, memories and reflections.
On Sunday, with artist Gregg Arnold, the model of Twin Arrows Trading Post created by Willem Bor was unveiled at Antares Point Route 66 Visitor Center east of Kingman. The stand, created by Arnold, and the setting were poignant and moving for a number of reasons.
Even though our association with Willem, and his wife Monique, was quite short, we enjoyed memorable milestones in life with these friends. As we pulled the cover from the display, I flashed on our first evening in Europe, and a delightful dinner in Willem and Monique’s home where the artists handiwork was on full display. Thoughts turned to last summer in Germany when a contingent of Dutch friends, including Willem and Monique, enjoyed dinner, laughter, and lively conversation. Clouding these delightful memories was the death of Willem earlier this year.
Magnifying the impact of the emotional event was the people who took time from their holiday weekend to attend the ceremony. Kingman has a justly deserved reputation for apathy, indifference, and divisiveness but this was a show of community. Members of the Route 66 Cruizers, Frank Kocevar from Seligman, the city manager and his wife, and at least thirty people who represent the grassroots initiative that is transforming Kingman were in attendance.
This was on top of the support shown for the patrons program that I launched to fund development of the video series, the Facebook live programs, the podcasts, the community development presentations, and the receptions hosted for tours as well as travel journalists. As I have been engaged in what seems to be a never ending battle with entrenched factions to build cooperative partnerships in Kingman, this was a refreshing change.
If you find value in these programs, and would like to lend support as a patron, there is a button in the top right corner. I should note there are some perks associated with becoming a patron.
After the events at Antares Point, my dearest friend and I enjoyed a rare opportunity to have lunch with our son. It was a sort of an early anniversary celebration (more than three decades this coming Sunday). Such an auspicious occasion called for some place special and so we selected the recently opened Rickety Crickets, a landmark of progress made in historic business district revitalization.
This delightful restaurant and microbrewery is something old and something new in Kingman. One half of the facility is the Kingman Club with its towering neon sign that opened in 1947. The other half is an airy, eclectic replacement for a derelict building. I am quite confident the combination of excellent food, more than 60 beers on tap, including Moose Drool, a vintage arcade gallery, and unique ambiance will quickly make this a destination for Route 66 enthusiasts, travelers, and locals. I should note that it is located on Beale Street, one block north of Route 66.
Last week the newest book, 100 Things To Do on Route 66 Before You Die, was released. So, this morning I mailed copies to patrons (one of the incentives offered) and to buyers. If you would like an autographed copy, we can accept payment through PayPal. Please, be sure and include shipping and email address. The cost, $21.00, includes shipping, domestic only.
While I was at the post office, I also sent off the quarterly tax check. Render unto Caesar ….
Anxiety has been building with the video series. Episode one debuted with glowing reviews, and it is now available all along the Route 66 corridor as well as through Promote Kingman, producer of the series. Episode two, however, has been languishing. We are currently about five weeks past the self imposed deadline that we foolishly made public. The pursuit of funding, hence another reason for the launch of a patrons program, and hundreds of hours of editorial time have been the primary delays.
I am pleased to announce that there is light at the end of the tunnel. On Thursday, I will meet with the producer for a final edit, a few audio tweaks, and an addition of an historic image or two, and we should be ready for production. So, it should be available in a couple of weeks. To preorder a copy, drop me a note. The cost is $14.95 plus $4.00 for shipping, domestic only.
Then there has been the frustration with new podcast equipment provided by a patron in New Zealand. The initial installation was deleted as there was a compatibility issue with the computer sound card. The second attempt, this time on the lap top, encountered an even more frustrating problem. So, it’s time for tech support.
Another self imposed deadline that is haunting me is the current book project. Even though I have resumed the four hour per day schedule, the project is about four weeks behind where it should be, especially as much of October will be consumed with the fall promotional tour.
To plagiarize once again, this time a country song, it sounds like life to me.