End of an Era

End of an era

For most of a decade I have published a regular blog on the Blogger platform. Well, that era is drawing to a close.

In recent weeks I have been working with MyMarketing Designs, a sponsor of Jim Hinckley’s America on ideas and the interlinking of various platforms to provide followers and subscribers a more comprehensive experience that will allow for flexible interaction. This has manifested in the recent improvements to the Jim Hinckley’s America Facebook page, and establishment of a YouTube channel.

Now, a new era for Route 66 Chronicles, the cornerstone of Jim Hinckley’s America.

Please, feel free to share thoughts, ideas, and suggestions.

 

IN SEARCH OF THE GOLDEN FLEECE

Dawn of a new book – 
Officially, I began my odyssey in search of the golden fleece in 1990. Just as experienced by Jason and his intrepid band of Argonauts, and Ulysses on his homeward journey after the Trojan wars, this has been an adventure of epic proportions. Last year, as the quest continued, I once again sailed deep into uncharted waters. 
When this quest first began, I had a 1948 Underwood typewriter, a 35 mm camera that had cost $25.00, carbon paper, a ream of paper, use of the kitchen table in between meals, a roll of stamps, envelops, a telephone, and the unshakable belief that the golden fleece was more than mere myth. 
Yesterday, the quarterly royalty statement from a publisher that I worked with about eight years ago arrived in the mail – they owe me $54.83. That should dispel a few myths about the financial fortunes that await the storyteller with a talent for putting those stories on paper. 
Jay Leno and my dearest friend
at Auo Books-Aero Books in Burbank

This is not to say that there isn’t ample reward in the endeavor. Writing has provided my dearest friend and I with almost unimaginable opportunity for travel, and adventure. It even got us into Jay Leno’s Garage. The greatest reward, however, has been in the friendships made during our odyssey. 

Putting food on the table, gas in the Jeep, or rental car, and paying travel expenses has required that I develop other skills to pay the bills and support the writing habit. Then came an era when books were no longer written on paper, and that necessitated the learning of other skills. This in itself has been an odyssey. 
First there was acquisition of a computer, and learning to imitate someone who is proficient in the use of a word processor. Next came digital photographs and email. Then creation of the blog, and development of PowerPoint presentations followed.
Now, it is Facebook pages, social media, YouTube channels, and podcasts, to promote the books, the presentations, and various endeavors. 
A bit intimidated and overwhelmed by the tsunami of technological change, as well as limitations imposed by a mere 24-hours in each day, and the need to ensure the habit of eating on a regular basis continues have all hindered developing a few of those projects to their full potential. 
Okay, that was the rather lengthy introduction. Now, let’s discuss the current state of the quest for the golden fleece, and its future. 
First, the YouTube channel. Please, take a look, give me your thoughts, and subscribe today.  
Next, for more than a year I have been beating my gums about a podcast. There have even been a few published recordings. Well, this morning I dusted off the project, took a deep breath, and thought to myself, enough is enough. 
Folks are tired of hearing me beat my gums about this. I am tired of hearing me beat my gums about this. So, come hell or high water there will be a podcast. 
I have been working a bit with Audacity in an effort to ensure the final product was polished and professional. Then I had another idea, why not a podcast about…. learning how to create a podcast, how to develop and market a Facebook page, how to get a book published, how to market the book when its published, and the new technologies behind all of this. We can learn together. 
In between, to fill space, I can share our adventures on the road less traveled. This was a primary reason for commencing this quest in the first place, the sharing of adventures and encouraging folks to take adventures of their own. 
With the next blog post I should be able to give a more concrete schedule for both the podcast and YouTube channel updates. Let’s see how that goes. 
First, tomorrow I have a lunch meeting, and in the afternoon, a radio interview. I also need to finalize the contract for a new book, and see if the proposed US 6 project can be nudged forward a bit.


FOR SOMETHING THAT DOESN’T EXIST, IT SURE IS POPULAR

Sports Illustrated
photo shoot on Route 66
Last evening I made a presentation at the beautiful Beale Celebrations event center, a former JC Penny’s buidling that dates to the 1950’s on behalf of Promote Kingman, an ambitious initiative that seeks to “transform the community one partnership at a time” and create a “21st century chamber of commerce.” It was the inaugural event  of a series that will be hosted by Promote Kingman. 
The general focus of my presentation was the many manifestations of the Route 66 renaissance, 90th anniversary celebrations, and how communities are being transformed as a result. I opened with a few key dates in Route 66 history including June 27, 1985, the date that US 66 officially ceased to exist. 
Think about that for just a moment. The most famous highway in the world does not exist, officially. 
And yet there are Route 66 associations in Europe, Asia, and South America, and tour companies that specialize in Route 66 tours operating in at least a half dozens countries. National Geographic released a Route 66 calendar this year, and awhile back, Sports Illustrated shot their swimsuit edition on Route 66. For something that doesn’t exist, it sure is popular. 
Last nights event that also served as a fund raiser for the Kiwanis as well as the Route 66 Association of Kingman was well attended. That always provides a sense of relief, a feeling that those who retain my services are getting their monies worth. 
In regards to revitalization of the Kingman historic business district, and the harnessing of the Route 66 renaissance as catalyst, the changes have been rather dramatic over the course of the last twenty-four months. You might say that we are an overnight success, thirty years in the making. 
If you haven’t stopped in Kingman recently, I suggest a cruise on Andy Devine Avenue and Beale Street. New construction, demolition, new stores, restored neon signage, facade renovation, beautification projects, and murals provide a sense of infectious enthusiasm and excitement. 
In the coming months I will provide updates about the Promote Kingman initiative, their success at building community partnerships, and developing this virtual chamber of commerce. My initial impression is that these folks are on to something, and that something might just be a template for ensuring Route 66 remains vibrant into its centennial and beyond, and a means for communities to harness the renaissance as a catalyst for economic development and revitalization.   
  

   

Notes From the Road

Since leaving home almost two weeks ago, with the exception of two days in the mountains of Kentucky without Internet service, it has been a before sunrise to long after dark schedule. This isn’t to say that it hasn’t been fun. After all, the worst day working along Route 66 is better than the best day at a nine to five.
Along the way have been festivals, museums, good friends, new discoveries, and good food. In short, my dearest friend and I have another grand adventure to add to the memory book.
Day one was a six hundred mile run to the original Las Vegas, a magical place that seems suspended in time. Day two was filled with meetings in Las Vegas and Tucumcari, followed by a drive to Shamrock, Texas.
And so it went. Meetings, driving, visits with friends, good food, tour groups, book signings, presentations, distributing promotional materials from Kingman as well as from sponsors of Jim Hinckley’s America, and new discoveries.
Check out the Jim Hinckley’s America Facebook page for details, updates and morning walkabout videos from the road. We will be home next week and I can share some of our discoveries with more frequent posts.