I spent a lot of the holiday weekend deep in thought. This particular bout of reflection on changing times was inspired by a request from a friend in the publishing industry. After seeing an article about a statue of me being unveiled at Depot Plaza in Kingman, Arizona on the National Road Trip Day celebration back in May, and a Google search of my name, she claims to have had a revelation.
She thinks that my story might be interesting. She thinks that I need to write an autobiography. Well, I am not sure what you might think about the idea but when she pitched this suggestion my first reaction was concern. Had she been kicked in the head by a mule or suffered from some type of head trauma since our last correspondence?
Just as with the statue, I am honoroed and humbled by the proposal. But this is different. A lot of names would have to be changed to protect the guilty. In times such as these when so many people are chomping at the bit for an excuse to argue, are passionate defenders of wild conspiracy theories, and see paranoia as a virtue or qualification for public office, an unfiltered book about me, my life and times, and my opinions about the ever changing world might upset a whole lot of folk.
And personally I am not as sure as she is that a book about me would be all that interesting. A lot of time has been spent with the mundane tasks that constitute the average life – a boring job or two, keeping the house from falling down, keeping the truck on the road, taxes, etc.
There is one more problem to consider. I hope to have at least one or two more chapters left in me. And judging by the past couple of years, there is the distinct possibility that they may be the most exciting. After all, in just two years I have survived COVID twice, written two books, had my business implode, initiated some lofty plans for the Route 66 centennial that include the acquisition and renovation of a 1951 Chevy panel truck (aka The Beast), and lost a few good friends. I have watched a previously unimaginable assault on our nations capitol, had a statue erected in my adopted hometown, launched a podcast series, and have been in discussion about projects that would require working in foreign lands.
To say that these are interesting times is akin to saying that Amboy along Route 66 in the Mojave Desert gets a tad bit hot in July. Born in the year of the Edsel, I have witnessed one hell of a lot of change over the years. But to the best of my recollection nothing compares to the past couple of years. In a mere blink of the eye, the entire world was forever changed – for better and for worse.
Even though I have lived a somewhate adventurous life filled with lots of opportunity to adapt to changing times, nothing really compares to what we have to do since 2019. As a result, reflecting on years lived leaves me looking to the future with excitement, eager anticipation, and just a hint of trepidation.
Would there be enough material to inspire people, to keep the readers interest? I have had adventures but so has most anyone that has lived five or six decades.
Several years ago I quit the steady job after developing an eye problem. I could see no reason to put up with the owners bs and they couldn’t see any reason to put up with my increasingly poor attitude. And so telling people where to go became the full time job that kept beans and taters on the table. But would this story interest readers?
There are lots of stories I could tell. In 2010, after a series of rather bizarre coincidences, I ended up in Jay Leno’s garage sitting down for a couple of interviews about two books I had written. My dearest friend and I kicked off 2015 with the first European adventure, courtesy Jan and Henk Kuperus, owners of Netherlands based U.S. Bikers.
There were a few European adventures in the years that followed. Let’s see, I spoke about Route 66 in the Czech Republic, helped tow a broken Fiat down the Autobahn with a rope, and had friends surprise us with an anniversary dinner and evening in a German castle built high above the Rhine River centuries ago.
The question remains, is my story all that different from most folks? Would a tale about Jim Hinckley really be THAT interesting?