One Day At A Time

One Day At A Time

This past weekend during the annual Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona Route 66 Fun, I met a delightful elderly couple that have been enjoying each others company and road trips together for more than seventy years. However, what made their story truly fascinating was the fact that many of these adventures, including participation in the Route 66 Fun Fun, have been made in a Plymouth that they had purchased new at dealership near San Leandro, California in 1950.

During our conversation about life, adventure, travel, raising a family, and keeping a car on the road for nearly 70 years, the owner of this one of a kind automotive time capsule said something that really hit home, especially since recent weeks have found me engaged in an epic struggle to find a center, a place where work and life are balanced, and that overpowering sense of being suffocated in a thick black satin curtain is kept at bay. “Plan for the future but don’t loose sight of one simple fact, today is yesterday’s future. Take one step at a time, one day at a time and don’t become so focused on the future that you forget to live today.”

The Route 66 Fun Run is Jim Hinckley’s America personified; cars, a celebration of Route 66 and the great American road trip, fascinating people, and good friends. As the event has been a father and son day for almost 30 years, I strive to avoid work as much as possible. Still, I am one of the fortunate ones and that enables me to blur the lines between work and life.

My son and I started the day by strolling the streets of Kingman and talking cars. When it comes to diversity, I know of no other automotive event that compares to the Route 66 Fun Run. As an example, this year vehicles ranged from the stunning one owner 1950 Plymouth to a customized Kenworth, a Morris Minor pick up truck, a Tesla, a ’55 Ford “glass top” Crown Victoria, a 1958 Imperial, a handful of Model T and Model A Fords, hot rods, rat rods, vintage four-wheel drive trucks, and colorful convertibles counted in the dozens.

Dale Butel, Jim Hinckley and Efren Lopez

At noon I shared a bit of the event with an Adventurers Club live program from Freedom Apparel, and then we had lunch (excellent pulled pork sandwiches) at Floyd & Company Barbecue and Wood Fired Pizza. This was followed with a delightful gathering of friends at Beale Street Brews Coffee Shop. My dearest friend, son, and I finished up the day at Grand Canyon Caverns were we met with Dale Butel, owner of Australian based Route 66 Tours, his spring tour group, photographer Efren Lopez, and John McEnulty, owner of the caverns. We talked, shared stories, and laughed late into the evening.

Sunday kicked off bright and early with muffins, coffee, and an early morning drive back into Kingman where I spoke about the infancy of the American auto industry before a group on tour with Sam Murray’s New Zealand based Gilligan’s Route 66 Tours. And that was followed with a breakfast at Rutherford’s Route 66 Family Diner with some old friends.

If you ever have an opportunity, I can highly recommend the annual Route 66 Fun Run that is always held on the first weekend in May. It is quite the event, 160 mile long block party on the most famous highway in America.

 

 

 

Museum Tours, Fund Raising, Road Trips & A Bit Of Mayhem

Museum Tours, Fund Raising, Road Trips & A Bit Of Mayhem

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…)

Excuse Me, Do You Speak Czech, or Texan, or Australian?

Excuse Me, Do You Speak Czech, or Texan, or Australian?

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…)