It was a time of transition. Highways like U.S. 66 were being replaced
by the interstate, the gas station with its clanging bell was being replaced by the self serve mini-mart, and a tsunami of generic chain motels and restaurants were transforming the roadside landscape. The demise of venerable automobile manufactures Packard, Hudson, Studebaker, and Nash was a recent event and cars that had rolled from those companies factories still shared the highways with Fords and Dodges.
It was the dawn of a new era. It was an exciting time in American history. It was my formative years. It was my childhood. With the luxury of hindsight, and the wisdom that comes from surviving sixty plus years, I now know that every year is a time of transition. Put simply, whenever your alive it is the best of times and the worst of times.
Even with such a well grounded view of the world there are times in life when there is an overwhelming sense of having walked in at the middle of a French movie with Japanese subtitles. Though this can be a bit unnerving the panic attacks generally don’t start until you realize that there is a test in the morning. That sums up where I am at in life.
To continue eating on a regular basis requires that this old dog learns new tricks; website design, development, and marketing, the creation of social media campaigns, development of podcasts, video channels, and live programs, and negotiating the treacherous shoals that is dealing with career public servants that are myopically obsessed with holding onto their petty kingdoms with a death grip. All of this is a far cry from learning to set points and adjust carburetors, to manhandle a ten speed road ranger gearbox with two speed rear, to string wire, or to safely operate a jack leg.
Three summers ago I abandoned the traditional 9 to 5 way of life after a bit of eye trouble (I couldn’t see any reason to put up with the BS and the owner couldn’t see any reason to put up with my attitude). Fast forward to the summer of 2018.
Jim Hinckley’s America has morphed into a multifaceted showcase of my God given talent for telling people where to go; books, feature articles, presentations, Facebook live programs, blog posts, and a social media network. To fund these endeavors I devised a means for providing communities, event organizers, and small business owners with a marketing boost through the development of a promotional network linked to Jim Hinckley’s America. This led to creation of a crowdfunding initiative on the Patreon platform.
It has proven to be a rather satisfying endeavor but it is not an adventure for the faint of heart or someone that is easily frustrated. In the fall of 2016, I began negotiation with a city tourism office for funding that would offset some of the expense associated with of attendance to the second European Route 66 festival. A few days ago I received notice that funding has been approved. If I can provide an array of documentation pertaining to travel, cost, and my role in the festival, a check will be provided in several weeks. I leave in five weeks.
The editor of a magazine rejected six proposals, after they contacted me and requested a proposal. On attempt number seven, the editor approved a feature. The focal point of the story, the owner of a remote business, lacks access to modern communication and so we are using snail mail. The deadline is the end of July. The story was approved a few weeks ago.
We are mere weeks away from leaving to attend the second European Festival. A family situation necessitated cancellation of attendance of the Texas Welcomes the World Festival in Shamrock, Texas scheduled for the weekend of July 13.
It is time such as these that can drive a man to drink, or to reflection and meditation. I choose just a bit of the former, and a lot of the later. And now, to set the tome of that reflection –