It was the late spring of 1935 when George Lorius, his wife Laura, and
their good friends Tillie and Albert Heberer set out on their fun filled vacation holiday. Leaving East St. Louis they motored west on U.S. 66 making stops in Sayre and Miami, Oklahoma where they mailed postcards home to family and friends. On May 21, they checked into the Vaughn Hotel in Vaughn, New Mexico. They had breakfast at the hotel the following morning, checked out, and vanished.
The story that will be detailed in the forthcoming book from Rio Nuevo Publishing is one of many uncovered in my quest to document the dark side of Route 66. As unnerving and puzzling as this mystery is, there was one particular note found in my research about this disappearance that really grabbed my attention. Even though the FBI tirelessly investigated this disappearance and created a file almost six feet in height, it remained unsolved, along with fifty other cases of persons who went missing while traveling in the southwest between 1934 and 1936. To say the very least, the current project has altered my perception of Route 66.
Meanwhile, as I close in on the finish line for this particular project, there is a need to promote the books released last year, find a publisher for the next endeavor, keep beans on the table, and keep the Jeep on the road. So, at the end of December, I launched the adventurers tour (details on the Jim Hinckley’s America Facebook page). As to the next book, suffice to say that there are interesting discussions underway. And that takes us to putting beans on the table, and having a bit of fun in the process.
Last year, in limited partnership with the Promote Kingman initiaive, I began serving as a guide for walking tours in the historic business district and along the Route 66 corridor. To enhance the tours, aside from a few tall tales and few comedic stories of colorful characters, I use photos from the archives of the Mohave Museum of History & Arts to illustrate the city’s evolution. They proved so popular that the tours are now being offered on a regular basis, and reservations are being accepted. The first walking tour of the season is scheduled for March 10.
In anticipation of a busy season I recently went boot shopping, and took a step into the future, or at least into the 21st century. For at least 45 years my daily footwear has been the tried and true leather boot. About three years ago I picked up a solid pair of Carolina brand boots at the Hayes Family Shoe Store in Cuba, Missouri. I should note that if you are in the market for shoes, and if it is at all possible that you can purchase them from this store, do so. This store is a living time capsule where service that includes repair is a priority.
The boots have served me well on trips into the Arizona back country, as well as on adventures along Route 66 and in Germany, and still have some life left in them. The problem is that resultant of injuries years ago, I wear shoes down in an odd manner that leaves them uncomfortable for long walks. After a bit of research, I decided to forego the tried and true, and try something different. So, I will be breaking in, and reporting on, a pair of Hi-Tech Black Rock boots. This may not be overly exciting news but, perhaps, a few readers will be glad that I tried these out before they did.
Now, if your interested in a walking tour, make reservations on Promote Kingman, or drop me a note.
Historic District Walking Tour
Please include contact information including email and phone number, as well as date planned for the tour and how many people will be participating. Cost is $25.00 per person.