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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Tuesday, November 29, 2016


Dawn of a new book - 
Officially, I began my odyssey in search of the golden fleece in 1990. Just as experienced by Jason and his intrepid band of Argonauts, and Ulysses on his homeward journey after the Trojan wars, this has been an adventure of epic proportions. Last year, as the quest continued, I once again sailed deep into uncharted waters. 
When this quest first began, I had a 1948 Underwood typewriter, a 35 mm camera that had cost $25.00, carbon paper, a ream of paper, use of the kitchen table in between meals, a roll of stamps, envelops, a telephone, and the unshakable belief that the golden fleece was more than mere myth. 
Yesterday, the quarterly royalty statement from a publisher that I worked with about eight years ago arrived in the mail - they owe me $54.83. That should dispel a few myths about the financial fortunes that await the storyteller with a talent for putting those stories on paper. 
Jay Leno and my dearest friend
at Auo Books-Aero Books in Burbank
This is not to say that there isn't ample reward in the endeavor. Writing has provided my dearest friend and I with almost unimaginable opportunity for travel, and adventure. It even got us into Jay Leno's Garage. The greatest reward, however, has been in the friendships made during our odyssey. 
Putting food on the table, gas in the Jeep, or rental car, and paying travel expenses has required that I develop other skills to pay the bills and support the writing habit. Then came an era when books were no longer written on paper, and that necessitated the learning of other skills. This in itself has been an odyssey. 
First there was acquisition of a computer, and learning to imitate someone who is proficient in the use of a word processor. Next came digital photographs and email. Then creation of the blog, and development of PowerPoint presentations followed.
Now, it is Facebook pages, social media, YouTube channels, and podcasts, to promote the books, the presentations, and various endeavors. 
A bit intimidated and overwhelmed by the tsunami of technological change, as well as limitations imposed by a mere 24-hours in each day, and the need to ensure the habit of eating on a regular basis continues have all hindered developing a few of those projects to their full potential. 
Okay, that was the rather lengthy introduction. Now, let's discuss the current state of the quest for the golden fleece, and its future. 
First, the YouTube channel. Please, take a look, give me your thoughts, and subscribe today.  
Next, for more than a year I have been beating my gums about a podcast. There have even been a few published recordings. Well, this morning I dusted off the project, took a deep breath, and thought to myself, enough is enough. 
Folks are tired of hearing me beat my gums about this. I am tired of hearing me beat my gums about this. So, come hell or high water there will be a podcast. 
I have been working a bit with Audacity in an effort to ensure the final product was polished and professional. Then I had another idea, why not a podcast about.... learning how to create a podcast, how to develop and market a Facebook page, how to get a book published, how to market the book when its published, and the new technologies behind all of this. We can learn together. 
In between, to fill space, I can share our adventures on the road less traveled. This was a primary reason for commencing this quest in the first place, the sharing of adventures and encouraging folks to take adventures of their own. 
With the next blog post I should be able to give a more concrete schedule for both the podcast and YouTube channel updates. Let's see how that goes. 
First, tomorrow I have a lunch meeting, and in the afternoon, a radio interview. I also need to finalize the contract for a new book, and see if the proposed US 6 project can be nudged forward a bit.

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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."

Jim Hinckley's America - Podcast

Jim Hinckley's America - Podcast

Jim Hinckley's America : Adventures on Route 66 and the back roads of America with author Jim Hinckley...

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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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