It seemed so simple. Talk with the editor, sell the idea, write the article,
take a few pictures, and wait for the check. That was in 1990. Since that date the quest to become a writer when I grow up has been quite the adventure with more twists and turns than Route 66 in the Black Mountains of Arizona. The latest chapter, still being written, could very well be the strangest, the most interesting, and wildest to date. Vitamin infused beer, home security systems, Egyptian mummies, death on Route 66, cars with laminated papier-mache body panels, an ancient Jewish cemetery, hand made soap, and young entrepreneurs are just a few of the highlights! (more…)
It is a God given gift, or so people tell me. I first began
harnessing that gift for telling people where to go in 1990 with the writing and publication of feature articles and books (18 to date with another due for release this year). Initially it was largely viewed as a means to stave off starvation. Then I began to meet the most wonderful and inspirational people. Then those people began to seek me out during their adventures, and to tell their friends to do the same. In turn this led to the promotion of my adopted hometown, Kingman, Arizona, and America’s small town, Route 66.
100 Things To Do On Route 66 Before You Die
The ultimate bucket list - from restaurants to photo ops, from time capsule motels to attractions here are 100 of author Jim Hinckley's favorite places on Route 66
It is a rather ambitious plan, or a crazy plan depending on who
you talk with – 21-days, 21 Facebook live programs, a Route 66 adventure from end to end. From their inception the Friday morning programs have served as a venue to showcase authors, artists, small business owners, and community leaders. This fall, if all goes as planned, we will take the show on the road, and introduce Route 66 enthusiasts to the people that add the magic to a grand adventure on the most famous highway in America.
Experiments are underway to ensure that our “Mayberry television” programs are as professional as possible. This past Friday we provided viewers with a virtual tour of the Mohave Museum of History & Arts in Kingman, Arizona. This was our second program from the museum but our first with a guide. We will return in a few weeks to finish our tour. What do you think? (more…)
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 Amazon.com 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. (more…)
The October adventure officially came to an end last Saturday afternoon with the return of the rental car. It was, to say the very least, an amazing odyssey filled with…
Great pie, dinners shared with friends, almost 5,000 miles
through a dozen states, gum beating for fun and profit, memory making events shared with my dearest friend, networking and educational opportunities, Facebook live programs from the road, and a couple of book signings will dominate the schedule for the rest of this month. It all begins today, October 7, with the last Chillin on Beale for 2017 in Kingman, Arizona. This will be a big blow out event; Craig Parish’s Route 66 Motor Tour will be in town to join the festivities, the Octoberfest is going on at the west end of Beale Street, the Historic Electric Vehicle Foundation raffle for a replica 1904 to benefit the Route 66 Electric Vehicle Museum takes place this evening, and artist Gregg Arnold and I will be hosting a Jim Hinckley’s America Facebook live program from the event. (more…)
I once met an Australian couple that had an actual bucket list.
They had literally written the list on a bucket, and used the bucket to collect pocket change that they applied to each years adventure. One of the items on their list was to travel Route 66 from end to end.
The concept of a bucket list has always intrigued me. Equally as fascinating is the tsunami of international fascination with iconic Route 66. So, when Jim Ross facilitated a discussion about the 100 Things To Do On Route 66 Before You Die project with Josh Stevens of Reedy Press, I readily agreed to write what I consider to be the ultimate bucket list.
Even though the process is now quite familiar, I hold my breath until initial reviews are in after a books release. I am pleased to say, the response has been favorable. Even better, the book is encouraging people to do a bit of exploring, and to sample pie and cobbler at a few of my favorite stops such as Grand Canyon Caverns, Clanton’s, the Ariston, and Wild Hare Cafe.
Promoting the book, and me, and the road, is the reason for the upcoming road trip to Joliet and the Miles of Possibilities Conference. Full details, updates, an invitation or two, and a schedule will be made available for patrons in the coming week. And speaking of patrons, I am offering a copy of the latest book or episode one of the Jim Hinckley’s America: A Trek A Long Route 66 video to new sponsors. Become a Patron!
You would have to drive from Death Valley to Loveland Pass in
Colorado to find lows and highs equal to what we have been through in the past week or so. To paraphrase (or plagiarize) a bit of classic literature, it was the best of times and it was the worst of times: dedication of a memorial to a valued friend and a bit of bittersweet family time with my dearest friend and son, the debut of a new book and unexpected support from friends, squandered opportunities and unnecessary battles, taxes and hard choices, memories and reflections.
On Sunday, with artist Gregg Arnold, the model of Twin Arrows Trading Post created by Willem Bor was unveiled at Antares Point Route 66 Visitor Center east of Kingman. The stand, created by Arnold, and the setting were poignant and moving for a number of reasons.
Even though our association with Willem, and his wife Monique, was quite short, we enjoyed memorable milestones in life with these friends. As we pulled the cover from the display, I flashed on our first evening in Europe, and a delightful dinner in Willem and Monique’s home where the artists handiwork was on full display. Thoughts turned to last summer in Germany when a contingent of Dutch friends, including Willem and Monique, enjoyed dinner, laughter, and lively conversation. Clouding these delightful memories was the death of Willem earlier this year. (more…)
Last year I was privileged by opportunities to speak
about Route 66 and that highways renaissance at Cuba Fest in Cuba, Missouri, the Missouri History Museum in St. Louis, at the Miles of Possibilities Conference in Bloomington-Normal, at a fund-raising event for the Route 66 Association of Kingman, at the first European Route 66 Festival, at a school in Bensheim, Germany, and at a Promote Kingman event where the new video series, Jim Hinckley’s America: A Trek Along Route 66 was introduced. This year I am narrowing the focus by developing a presentation that centers on the marketing of the Main Street of America in western Arizona over the course of the past century.
The story of Route 66 promotion actually commences a decade or so before that highways certification on November 11, 1926. The short version of a long story, one that I will provide more detail on in my presentation, is how the National Old Trails Highway was rerouted across northern Arizona, a rather dramatic realignment from the original route from Springerville to Yuma where it connected with the Ocean-To-Ocean Highway.