Times Change

Front Street, now Andy Devine Avenue, at Fourth Street, was the heart of the city for nearly 90 years. Photo Mike Ward collection

Counted among the many lessons that can be learned from history is that times change. Life on Route 66 in 1930 was different from life on Route 66 in 1950. And life on Route 66 in 2022 is dramatically different from life on that storied highway in 1950, 1970 or even 2000.

In 1930 the highway, especially in the southwest, was little changed from the National Old Trails Road. It wasn’t fully paved across Arizona until 1937. In the late 1950s the new limited access interstate highway was being built to replace Route 66 and other antiquated two lane highways.

Jim Hinckley’s America is rooted in the history of automobiles, of road trips, and America. It is a rich tapestry of books, podcasts, presentations, feature articles, and interviews that have led to Jim HInckley being labled America’s storyteller. But times change, and Jim Hinckley’s America is not immune.

I am not a fan of instructions. I only reference them after building a bicycle on Christmas eve and finding he seat where the handle bars go. As a result, many of our projects are developed with lots of detours and deadends.

The podcasts are one example. After various efforts and lots of trial and error, we have settled the focus on development of two programs, Coffee With Jim, an interactive half hour travel program, and Wake Up With Jim, a 15 minute program that is a series on various topics.

Broadcast on Podbean and archived on that platform, the program is also available on iHeart Radio, Spotify, Audible and Amazon Music. We have had some very interesting guests, and the response has been positive. Still, we seem to be unable to get a sutiable level of audience participation but growth has been slow but steady.

Author Jim Hinckley with a Dutch group traveling Route 66 at the Powerhouse Visitor Center in Kingman, Arizona. ©

As telling people where to go and sharing the adventure is at the heart of Jim Hinckley’s America, I am reluctant to abandon the podcast idea. Still, it is time to revist tthe concept and take a different tack. That is why I am in discussion with Stan Hustad. Stay tuned. I am confident that followers will like the changes being discussed.

Hindering development of the podcast and other projects was the issue with Facebook that commenced in February. With the account locked, and the Jim Hinckley’s America page with more than 7,200 followers being inaccessible, programs such as Coffee With Jim as a Facebook live program were brought to an abrupt halt. To date we have not been able to resolve issues, or make up for lost ground.

We will also be intensifying the focus on presentations and speaking engagements. This includes the return to our fall tour for the first time since 2019.

As far as scheduled appearances the tour is still relatively open. So, if me beating my gums about Route 66, road trips, and automotive history would enhance your fund raiser, event, or be of benefit to your museum, drop me a note.

Jim Hinckley’s America is here to stay. For the foreseeable future we will be tellinig people where to go, and we will be sharing the adventure. But the time has come for a change or two so we are pulling back a bit, and shifting the focus.