A collage of illustrations from the authors collection for an episode of Coffee With Jim.

I had prepared the script with rich detail about Ludlow, Daggett, Newberry Springs and other outposts of civilization along the Route 66 corridor in the Mojave Desert. For illustrations I had combed my archives and created a well designed presentation. There was a blend of rare historic photos, award winning photography from several of our adventures along Route 66 in California and historic maps. As the program was going to close out our series that profiled each of the eight states that constitute the Route 66 corridor, this episode of Coffee With Jim had to really shine.

Well, that didn’t work. For reasons unknown, I was unable to get the screen share function to work. And so I went live on the Jim Hinckley’s America Facebook page with just the script and a smile. At least I had pants. I am confident that most folks can relate. In this past year we have had to adapt to a world of Zoom meetings hindered by internet interruptions and odd filters. And we have learned to roll with the punches and to come up with quick fixes and bluffs while maintaining a modicum of dignity.

Then after the program I went with plan “B” and made lemonade out of lemons. I took each slide of the presentation and created a series of scheduled posts on the Jim Hinckley’s America Facebook page. It wasn’t ideal. It wasn’t I had planned. But it worked.

The audience for Coffee With Jim, our live stream program, was understanding, cordial and even supportive. And so far the series of posts on the Facebook page are performing well. The reach and engagement is exceeding most of the posts this month. Is it possible that I have stumbled (or been tossed) into a formula to enhance the Jim Hinckley’s America network?

Every day is a new experience, a new opportunity for teaching this old dog new tricks and new levels of frustration. It is a grand adventure, to say the very least.

Let’s see how next Sunday’s episode of Coffee With Jim goes. The program will be a fun filled, informative fast paced bit of time travel. I have created the presentation and am rather pleased with the result. The program is entitled Bathtubs, Birdcages & Chevrolet and will highlight what each of these has to do with the formation of the American auto industry. I will also be delving into the origins of the great American road trip and sharing some interesting stories about people like David Buick and companies such as Pierce Arrow, Jackson and Chrysler.

Two areas of focus in coming weeks pertain to the development of revenue streams needed to fund proposed Jim Hinckley’s America projects. I have a core of loyal partners that support our crowdfunding initiative on the Patreon platform, and for that I am humbled and grateful.

I have tested the waters of pay per view programs using Facebook live. There has been moderate success, and I was able to repay crowdfunding partners by providing the programs at no cost to them. But the Facebook platform is limited and restrictive.

And so I have set up an Eventbrite account. In the next few weeks, if all goes according to plan, I will host another pay per view presentation using Zoom and Eventbrite. There is still a bit of learning curve but that too seems be a component of the new normal.

On this program I will draw from my latest book Murder and Mayhem on The Main Street of America: Tales From Bloody 66. It will be a rich tapestry of stories about serial killers, gangsters, race riots, robberies turned deadly encounter, and shootouts. The dates for this event as well as for episodes of Coffee with Jim, and On The Road With Jim are posted here on the Jim Hinckley’s America page as well as on the event section of the Facebook page.

 

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