It was a time of transition. Highways like U.S. 66 were being replaced
by the interstate, the gas station with its clanging bell was being replaced by the self serve mini-mart, and a tsunami of generic chain motels and restaurants were transforming the roadside landscape. The demise of venerable automobile manufactures Packard, Hudson, Studebaker, and Nash was a recent event and cars that had rolled from those companies factories still shared the highways with Fords and Dodges. (more…)
He was thin enough to hide behind a flagpole and had piercing grey-
My neighborhood is the big empty where the wind carries a hint of sage and grease wood.
blue eyes shaded by a battered, sweat stained, misshapen old Stetson. His sandy brown hair was thinning and going gray but as he was never without a hat, no one knew unless they were around when he wiped his brow with the bright red bandanna. His hands and face were tanned leather brown and reflected years of hard work under a desert sun. He stood well over six foot tall, but his bowed legs lent themselves to the appearance that he was shorter. Age was hard to determine but a guess of between 60 and 100 was a good bet. (more…)
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.”
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.