Now What? To Young To Retire, To Old To Work

What do you do when the regular paycheck comes to a

screeching halt, and the illusion of security that comes from a steady job vanishes? What if you are to young (and broke) to retire, and employers think you are to old work?  You get creative, you reinvent yourself, you launch a never ending learning curve, and you saddle up for one hell of a wild ride!

The Johnson Canyon tunnel was deemed an engineering marvel when completed in the early 1880’s.

Writing in various forms worked well as a second job. It was always the day job, however, that supported the writing habit and that paid the bills. Two years and four months ago everything changed. No paycheck, no job, and employers that worked very, very hard to avoid hiring someone of my age. Now what?  Continue reading “Now What? To Young To Retire, To Old To Work”

Life On The Trail Less Traveled

From an early age I felt out of place in life, almost as though

I was a step or two behind the rest of the world. My mother simply claimed that I was born 90 and never aged. My dad instilled a wanderlust, an unquenchable desire to see what is in the next county or just around the bend, and a fierce independence for living life on my terms. Poet Robert Service described people like me as “…a race of men that don’t fit in, A race that can’t stay still.” 

The Hualapai Valley in Arizona at Antares Point.

As a young man, when friends and acquaintances were obsessing over acquisition of a Mustang, GTO, or Charger, I was quite content to rattle along dusty desert roads in a junkyard salvaged ’42 Chevy p.u. When they set their sights on college, I decided to pursue the life of my high riding heroes and make my living riding for the brand.

I tried my hand at various endeavors from mining to managing a finance company. Each job had merits, and they did provide the means for raising a family. Still, I chafed under the yoke of conformity. Writing was a means of escape, and an opportunity to share as well as encourage adventures.

Welcome to Valentine, Arizona

Fast forward to 2018 and eighteen published books later. Somewhere along the line, like Jello or Kleenex, the Jim Hinckley name became a sort of brand that was associated with adventures on the road less traveled.  Somewhere along the line presentations and Facebook live programs, podcasts and blog postings, Twitter and Instagram, were added, and before I knew it, I was living in the spotlight rather than nestled in the comfortable obscurity that I was most familiar with. If notes and letters received were to be believed, I was encouraging people to take to the road less traveled and providing a bit of inspiration for people looking to live life on the trail less traveled, and that was a tremendous reward.

Well, now the time is at hand to take things to a new level built on a simple premise, memorable adventures are shared adventures.  Jim Hinckley’s America is going to become the tourism office for small town America, and the back roads, with your help. Together we will encourage people, and tell them where to go. Together, through Facebook live programs and podcasts, we can introduce people to community leaders with vision and small business owners, to inspire people to take a chance and build a life on the road less traveled. Together we can create presentations that share ideas, and encourage people to transform their community. All of this is possible, if the memorable adventure is a shared adventure. Won’t you join me?

As you contemplate joining me on an adventure along the trail less traveled, consider the words of Henry David Thoreau. “If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.”


Adventures In Optimistic Pessimism

On several occasions I have alluded to an old cowhand that I

worked with on a ranch along the Mimbres River in southern New Mexico. To say the very least, he had a very unique philosophy for life. As an example, he often referred to himself as “an optimistic pessimist” who started every day meditating on all of the things that could happen or go wrong. Then, according to him, when the day was done, he would be the only one smiling because it didn’t go as bad as he had envisioned.

Shamrock Texas is the location for the 2018 Route 66 International Festival.

Oddly enough, I have found that the old cowboys philosophy works quite well in regard to the New Years Day celebration. As the last day of the old year winds down, I pop the top on a cold bottle of beer, watch the sun sink in the west, and meditate about the new year from the perspective of the optimistic pessimist, but go light on the pessimism. I prefer to think of myself as a pragmatist or a realist.

The year that is coming to a close, 2017, was the best of times and the worst of times. I have little doubt that twelve months from now I will be looking back on 2018, and have the same thoughts.  Today, however, we are looking toward the future, not into the past.

Continue reading “Adventures In Optimistic Pessimism”

Plight Of The Technologically Impaired

Do you remember when telephones were a device used to

make calls? Do you remember getting change to use the pay phone? Do you remember using checks to pay bills? Do you remember using wind wings and cowl vents to offer a bit of respite from the summer heat when driving? Do you remember sipping a cold beer and playing pong on a table top device? Do you remember fumbling with road maps? If the answer is yes to any of these questions, there is a better than average chance that you suffer, to a degree, from the plight of technologically impaired.

A great deal of the past year has been spent working to overcome my  technological impairment. To be honest this quest consumes a great deal of my time but it is a matter of survival. I can’t write books on a 1948 Underwood typewriter anymore, and I can’t market the books, or me, using stamps, stationary, envelopes, and a land line telephone.  Continue reading “Plight Of The Technologically Impaired”

It’s A Festivus Miracle

Next week I promise to get into the proper holiday spirit. Today,

however, Festivus just seems appropriate. It has been, to say the very least, a most interesting week. It has also been a week of almost miraculous accomplishments starting with Reedy Press, publisher of my latest book. As you may recall, several weeks ago the company’s shipping center and warehouse, with 200,000 books went up in flames. So, holiday sales were suspended, and I issued refunds on orders and canceled a couple of pending signings. Yesterday I received notice that a rushed second printing was complete and that orders were again being accepted through the Reedy Press website. Obviously I won’t have copies until after the holidays but people who order through the company site, or should have them in time for Christmas.

Next, our crowdfunding initiative. As this was a new endeavor it took me a bit to hone the concept and work out a few rough spots. I am quite pleased to announce that we are on the cusp of reaching our first goal. Level two, three, and four will enable us to improve the quality of the Facebook live programs, and launch a rather ambitious effort in 2018; 21 Facebook live interviews in 21 days on Route 66. That project will be an integral part of a plan to “promote small town America” and the people that give these places a distinct personality.

That takes us to the weekly Jim Hinckley’s America Facebook live programs. Our reach for these programs is now exceeding an average of 4,000 people per week. My self imposed goal was a reach of 5,000 people per week by the end of the year so I am rather pleased by these numbers. Of even more importance is the fact that, based upon the response received, the programs are magnifying the promotional initiatives of small businesses and rural communities.  Continue reading “It’s A Festivus Miracle”