From March to September on the third Saturday afternoon of the month, Beale Street in Kingman, Arizona, just one block north of Andy Devine Avenue (Route 66) is transformed into an automobile enthusiasts version of paradise. As a bonus there is great music, a vibrant historic district framed by stunning skylines of towering buttes, mesas, and spires of stone, cold beer served at two award winning microbreweries, and a delightful array of diverse restaurants. In October the date for the Chillin on Beale festivities is adjusted to coincide with the arrival of Craig Parish’s Route 66 Motor Tour. (more…)
It was never my intent to live a life linked to Route 66. Still, as I
look back over the years there is one common thread that ties it all together – Route 66. I have told the tale often, most recently for the new magazine Route, but that road has been has been a major part of my life since 1959.Now, looking toward the foreseeable future, it looks like that storied old highway will be taking us into the final chapter, and some of the most amazing adventures to date.
Currently it is a book for Rio Nuevo Publishing that is consuming an inordinate amount of my time. For those with morbid curiosity or a fascination with the dark side of Route 66, this will be a very popular book. When the project commenced, I had few illusions about what would be found with research. Route 66 was an artery of commerce licit and illicit, and the towns along the highway were filled with people – hard working people, criminals and thieves, psychos and gangsters, people filled with prejudice and virtue. Still some of the discoveries have been, at the very least, a bit disturbing. (more…)
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.
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.
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!
In 2014, the city of Kingman hosted the International Route 66 Festival. The theme was
Kingman: Crossroads of the Past & Future. The opening of the world’s first electric vehicle museum, a partnership between the Historic Electric Vehicle Foundation and Kingman tourism at this event marked the beginning of a new era on Route 66, and in Kingman. Well, with the ever increasing acquisition and donation of vehicles, including an ultra rare electric 1998 Chevrolet S10 pick up truck, the museum has outgrown its current location in the Powerhouse Visitor Center and has more vehicles in storage than are on display.
In partnership with Promote Kingman, a fund raising initiative that includes solicitation of sponsors and partners will be launched in 2017 to rectify this problem. The goal is to raise adequate funds for establishment and creation of a dedicated museum that will chronicle the fascinating evolution of the electric vehicle, as well as related infrastructure. (more…)