It was never my intent to live a life linked to Route 66. Still, as I
look back over the years there is one common thread that ties it all together – Route 66. I have told the tale often, most recently for the new magazine Route, but that road has been has been a major part of my life since 1959. Now, looking toward the foreseeable future, it looks like that storied old highway will be taking us into the final chapter, and some of the most amazing adventures to date.
Currently it is a book for Rio Nuevo Publishing that is consuming an inordinate amount of my time. For those with morbid curiosity or a fascination with the dark side of Route 66, this will be a very popular book. When the project commenced, I had few illusions about what would be found with research. Route 66 was an artery of commerce licit and illicit, and the towns along the highway were filled with people – hard working people, criminals and thieves, psychos and gangsters, people filled with prejudice and virtue. Still some of the discoveries have been, at the very least, a bit disturbing. (more…)
Less than ten years from now Route 66, the Main Street of
America will turn 100 years of age. Arguably the old road, a highway that officially no longer exists, is more popular than at any time in its history and as a result, there is ample evidence that the iconic highway is experiencing a renaissance of sorts. Still, Route 66, surprisingly, as a living time capsule faces an uncertain future.
The White Rock Court in Kingman is counted among the rarest of historic buildings with a direct Route 66 connection.If a list were to be composed of endangered relics, the bridges that are crucial to maintaining the historic integrity and context of the Route 66 experience are near the top of the list. Another leading contender are the motels with an emphasis on the auto court. Almost as rare as leprechauns riding unicorns are the motels, auto courts, and properties that were featured in editions of the Negro Motorist Green Book. (more…)
What do you do when the regular paycheck comes to a
screeching halt, and the illusion of security that comes from a steady job vanishes? What if you are to young (and broke) to retire, and employers think you are to old work? You get creative, you reinvent yourself, you launch a never ending learning curve, and you saddle up for one hell of a wild ride!
The Johnson Canyon tunnel was deemed an engineering marvel when completed in the early 1880’s.
Writing in various forms worked well as a second job. It was always the day job, however, that supported the writing habit and that paid the bills. Two years and four months ago everything changed. No paycheck, no job, and employers that worked very, very hard to avoid hiring someone of my age. Now what? (more…)
From an early age I felt out of place in life, almost as though
I was a step or two behind the rest of the world. My mother simply claimed that I was born 90 and never aged. My dad instilled a wanderlust, an unquenchable desire to see what is in the next county or just around the bend, and a fierce independence for living life on my terms. Poet Robert Service described people like me as “…a race of men that don’t fit in, A race that can’t stay still.”
The Hualapai Valley in Arizona at Antares Point.
As a young man, when friends and acquaintances were obsessing over acquisition of a Mustang, GTO, or Charger, I was quite content to rattle along dusty desert roads in a junkyard salvaged ’42 Chevy p.u. When they set their sights on college, I decided to pursue the life of my high riding heroes and make my living riding for the brand.
I tried my hand at various endeavors from mining to managing a finance company. Each job had merits, and they did provide the means for raising a family. Still, I chafed under the yoke of conformity. Writing was a means of escape, and an opportunity to share as well as encourage adventures.
Welcome to Valentine, Arizona
Fast forward to 2018 and eighteen published books later. Somewhere along the line, like Jello or Kleenex, the Jim Hinckley name became a sort of brand that was associated with adventures on the road less traveled. Somewhere along the line presentations and Facebook live programs, podcasts and blog postings, Twitter and Instagram, were added, and before I knew it, I was living in the spotlight rather than nestled in the comfortable obscurity that I was most familiar with. If notes and letters received were to be believed, I was encouraging people to take to the road less traveled and providing a bit of inspiration for people looking to live life on the trail less traveled, and that was a tremendous reward.
Well, now the time is at hand to take things to a new level built on a simple premise, memorable adventures are shared adventures. Jim Hinckley’s America is going to become the tourism office for small town America, and the back roads, with your help. Together we will encourage people, and tell them where to go. Together, through Facebook live programs and podcasts, we can introduce people to community leaders with vision and small business owners, to inspire people to take a chance and build a life on the road less traveled. Together we can create presentations that share ideas, and encourage people to transform their community. All of this is possible, if the memorable adventure is a shared adventure. Won’t you join me?
As you contemplate joining me on an adventure along the trail less traveled, consider the words of Henry David Thoreau. “If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.”