Join Jim Hinckley for adventures on Route 66, two lane back roads, and along ancient cobblestone streets in medieval German villages, and meet some interesting people along the way. Travel tips, book reviews, tall tales, and a signature sense of humor ensure miles of smiles.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2016


There are so many exciting things to share with you today that I scarcely know where to begin! 
This evening, at Ramada Kingman, the Route 66 Association of Kingman will be hosting their monthly meet and greet at 6:30 PM. This free event, open to the public, is always a great opportunity to mingle with local business owners and community leaders, and to learn about exciting area developments. This evening the guest of honor is Franco Zefferi of Rome, Italy, an avid Route 66 enthusiast. This link is for his blog.
Next month the associations meet and greet will be Rutherford's 66 Family Diner. The date hasn't been set but I will provide full details as soon as they become available.   
The Best of the West on 66 Festival in Kingman scheduled for the weekend of September 23 that evolved from the Diggin' and Doggie Days noted by Jack Rittenhouse in A Guide Book to Route 66 published in 1946, will be quite an event this year. Activities include a PRCA sanctioned rodeo, a parade with Dries and Marion Bessels of the Dutch Route 66 Association officiating as grand marshal, a travel expo in the renovated Beale Celebrations building, vendors, live music, car show, rock climbing wall, barbecue, and much, much more. Full details can be found on the Go Kingman website.
The travel expo that will take place during the festival will be an excellent opportunity to showcase your business or community. Yesterday, in talking with Jamie Taylor of Just Marketing, the event organizer, I was told that the City of Needles, Grand Canyon Caverns, Grand Canyon West Resort, and Hualapai Tribe have expressed interest in having a display, and that the City of Holbrook, the Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona, Kingman area wineries, Ramada Kingman, and others will be in attendance.
For more information about the travel expo, contact Jamie Taylor at (928)530-2056 or
Also scheduled for September, in Kingman, is the Mohave County Fair and Chillin' on Beale, a delightful low key evnt that centers on cars, cruising, music, and food. The latter takes place on the third Saturday evening of each month, rain or shine, April through October. Ramada Kingman offers a special package for the event that includes tickets to Grand Canyon Caverns
This morning I had a most fascinating conversation with Larry Clonts, the director of the Economic Development Corporation in Shamrock, Texas. From linking tourism with economic development, a mural initiative, and installation of an electric vehicle charging station at the iconic U Drop Inn to creating a park centered on an authentic piece of the Blarney Stone, this is a community on the move. Harnessing the Route 66 renaissance as a catalyst for revitalization and development is transforming Shamrock, and I am quite excited to see the changes since our last visit in October of 2015. 
Once again our Route 66 odyssey will be taking place in October. My dearest friend and I find this to be an ideal time for an adventure on the old double six; cool temperatures, fall colors, and great events such as Cuba Fest in Cuba, Missouri. 
This year the fall tour schedule includes a presentation on Route 66 in the Southwest at the iconic Wagon Wheel Motel in Cuba, Friday evening, October 14. In addition, I will be speaking at the Missouri History Museum in St. Louis the following Sunday and Monday. 
The following weekend I will be speaking on Route 66 as a catalyst for economic development at the 2nd annual Miles of Possibilities Conference in Bloomington, Illinois. Then in November, I will make a presentation at the 90th anniversary Route 66 celebration in Los Angeles. 
On Monday, I will be participating in a conference call with the Route 66: The Road Ahead Initiative economic development committee. Updates on pertinent developments will be provided shortly afterwards. 
Last evening we had a very productive meeting of the City of Kingman Historic Preservation Commission (I am a volunteer commissioner). Two landmark programs, one for sign restoration and preservation, and one for a building renovation and curb appeal project moved closer to implementation. If linked with the Route 66 Association of Kingman initiative to restore neon signage, it won't be long before neon lit nights will transform the cities historic core into a destination. 
Stephen LeSueur of Blue Sky Marketing is currently developing and upgrading a linked series of more than 150 Route 66 and Kingman area information websites. The first of these, a guide to Kingman restaurants (this is the link) went live last week. The reasonable advertising rates ensure a tremendous return on advertising dollar investment. 
"Currently the pricing strategy is as follows: $59/mo​ for 10 Ads on 10 different sites $100/mo​for 10 Ads on 10 different sites plus 1 Featured Listing $250/mo​100 Ads on 100 different sites with a Featured Listing on each (All include graphic design for ad if not supplied)" 
For more information contact Stephen LeSueur at (928)637-6127. 
In the coming weeks the plan is to provide updates on the podcasts, a video series, the travel schedule, and upcoming events. Last but not least, in response to your inquiries, I do not have any details pertaining to a European Route 66 festival in 2017. However, I will make some inquiries and see what can be learned. 


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Most of the products that I review, or books that I suggest, are travel related. This week I am deviating a bit. This book is a bit dry and scholarly, and it is written more for a British than American reader. On occasion it is a bit to succinct. Those caveats aside, I highly recommend this book, especially if your curious about the origins of the morass that is never ending conflict in the Middle East, the foundations of the EU, or the chain of events that gave rise to the Third Reich. However, what really makes this book a superb read and study is the timely nature of the content. In fact, I would go so far as to say that its relevance for the modern era is a bit unnerving. On the Great Depression, "Serious economic weakness within an unstable and imbalanced economy, magnified by nationalist protectionism and glorified self-interest, offered no firm basis for staving off the shock waves from across the Atlantic. Cultural divisions fostered extensive levels of prejudice and vitriol that could easily be exploited should there be a downturn in the social or intellectual climate." On the origins of World War I, "In most countries the imagery of enemies, internal as well as external, was built into political rhetoric that was reaching new levels of aggression. The mass media stirred animosities - usually intensely xenophobic and often out rightly racist - that governments were glad to encourage."

Another Great Title by Joe Sonderman!

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Did you know that Henry Ford played a pivotal role in the establishment of Cadillac? Did you know that the Stanley brothers of steamer fame were responsible for the creation of Eastman Kodak? Did you know the original Chevrolet was an import? Did you know that cruise control was the creation of a blind inventor? Did you know that Buffalo Bill Cody drove a Michigan? Did you know that there are two ghost towns on Route 66 that have origins linked to the Santa Fe Trail? Did you know that there was only one lynching in Tombstone? As a fan of the Legends of America website for a number of years, it gives me great pleasure to announce that as a contributor I will be able to add stories such as these to this vast online treasure trove.


Jim's bookshelf: read

Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler's Eagle's Nest
John Adams
Black Range Tales
The Kalamazoo Automobilist
Original Intent: The Courts, the Constitution, & Religion
Half a Wing, Three Engines and a Prayer
Classic Chevrolet Dealerships: Selling the Bowtie
By Motor to the Golden Gate
The Last Convertible
Chrysler, Ford, Durant and Sloan: Founding Giants of the American Automotive Industry
Virgil Exner: Visioneer: The official biography of Virgil M. Exner, designer extraordinaire
The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany
Common Sense, The Rights of Man and Other Essential Writings of Thomas Paine
Legendary Route 66: A Journey Through Time Along America's Mother Road
The Diary of a Young Girl
Five Lies of the Century
Flyboys: A True Story of Courage
Two Years Before the Mast: A Sailor's Life at Sea
The Hiding Place
The Best of Robert Service

Jim's favorite books »

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