Sunday, April 20, 2014


Here in sunny Arizona, under clear skies of blue, it is a delightful Easter morning. There is a light breeze scented with the smell of sage and rosemary from the front yard, and the songbirds are providing a most enjoyable chorus.
Sadly, in the modern America obsessed with political correctness, the Easter holiday has become a point of contention rather than a time for reflection. In our homestead we are not big fans of the modern Americanized version of church even though I have been privileged with an opportunity to stand behind a pulpit or two. That, however, doesn't mean the symbolism and message underlying the Easter tradition isn't important to us. 
The post office in Hackberry, Arizona
So, as a result the days varied activities will be wrapped in meditation, contemplation, and reflection. Of course, it will also include a bit of adventure in the desert along the old double six, and meeting with a tour group from New Zealand somewhere near Hackberry, and simply enjoying the company of my dearest friend.
As we closed out the week with good friends, good food, and vintage cars under a desert sky at Chillin' on Beale last night, and a luncheon visit with Wolfgang Werz who was leading a tour from Germany, I should be ready to face a few days of challenges and a grueling schedule with at least a hint of a smile. 
It kicks off bright and early on Monday as I learned late last week that I will be short handed at the office for at least four days. That will double the work load, never an enviable prospect. 
On Monday evening there is an organization meeting for the Route 66 International Festival. Updates will be provided by Tuesday or Wednesday. 
On Wednesday the schedule calls for a full day at the office and meeting with another tour from Germany. Then on Friday morning before work I am to address a local civic group about Route 66 as a catalyst for community redevelopment.
Plans are to close it out by channeling anxiety and frustrations into a bit of destruction in the form of bathroom remodeling. That should give me something to look forward to. 

Saturday, April 19, 2014


Another week has been transformed into history with astounding speed. In light of the wide array of activities on the calendar, I have little doubt that the weekend will be joining it just as quickly.
On the "to do" list this weekend is providing Dave and Kathy Alexander some photographs from Texas for the Jim Hinckley's America gallery on the Legends of America website. This is the official source for ordering prints of our photographic work in a variety of sizes. A slide show is available here -
The Legends of America website is an interesting blend of museum, archive, and grandma's attic. Your challenge for the weekend, try limiting time spent exploring the site to a half hour.
My original plan was to begin demolition slash renovation of the front bathroom this weekend but that has been postponed for at least a week. Instead there is the first edition of Chillin' on Beale (would you like to join us?) in the Kingman historic district one block north of Andy Devine Avenue (Route 66) this evening (an opportunity to visit with friends that have been in hibernation), enjoy a bit of good food at Redneck's Southern Barbecue, and a lunch visit with Wolfgang and Anja of the German Route 66 Association.
Searching for things will also consume a bit of time this weekend. I need to tie my butt to the chair and dedicate a few hours to perusing newspaper archives in search of information for the current book project about the evolution of the American taxi industry.
And now for a change in direction -
I was half way through today's posting early this morning when the schedule was tossed from the window. As this happens with a certain degree of regularity in my life it is now considered normal.
First was an eagerly anticipated call from Pat Foster, an acclaimed automotive journalist who is the guru for post war independent automobile manufacturer information and the undisputed repository for all things AMC related. As the current book project includes documenting a bit of history about taxi cabs built by Packard, Nash, AMC, Studebaker, and even Hudson, this was an exciting conversation. Of course, any conversation with Pat is interesting. 
In taking his call I noticed two text messages from last evening. My fill in at the office on Saturday's was down with the flu. Needless to say this changed a few of the mornings plans. 
Then I received a phone call from Roger Allison who is on the road leading the inaugural Route 66 adventure for Gilligan's Wild West Tours, a New Zealand based company. As there have been a few glitches, Roger and I have had numerous phone conversations this past few days. 
This mornings glitch took the form of Roger being at the El Rancho Motel in Gallup and feeling as though he was coming down with the flu. I share this with you today to illustrate a point about the unique nature of the Route 66 community. 
A New Mexico motel owner and I have been following this tour as it has tremendous potential for the road, and we share a vested concern that the people who travel iconic Route 66 need to have a memorable as well as enjoyable experience. When learning that Roger was feeling under the weather, this motel owner offered to drive to Gallup, and assist with the tour across Arizona. That, my friends, is what makes Route 66 a truly unique experience.
With that said, if I am gone to make hay while the sun is shining...



My Photo

I was born in North Carolina but am a product of the desert southwest with its vast, panoramic landscapes where spires of weathered stone cast long shadows under cloudless skies. It was there that I became enamored with the road less traveled, adventures on those forgotten roads, and the people you meet along the way.
For more than forty years I have explored the hidden places, the forgotten places, hungered for the colorful history found there, and sought the empty highways and dusty tracks that were once pathways to opportunity and the land of dreams.
These adventures and a fascination for the history of the formative years of the American automobile industry, and the resultant societal evolution, are the foundational elements of my published work. This work includes a former position as associate editor with Cars & Parts magazine and a monthly column, The Independent Thinker, and more than one thousand feature articles for various magazines and newspapers.
Additionally, I have written more than ten books that reflect these interests and chronicle my adventures including Checker Cab Manufacturing Company Illustrated History, The Big Book of Car Culture, Backroads of Arizona, Route 66 Backroads, Ghost Towns of the Southwest, Ghost Towns of Route 66, Route 66 Treasures, and The Route 66 Encyclopedia.
Meeting with tour groups, speaking engagements, providing travel planning assistance, and lectures round out what has become known as affectionately as Jim Hinckley's America.
In addition, my wife and I are also photographers with a lengthy and colorful resume of work appearing in magazines and books, on corporate websites, in a wide array of promotional material, and now, a photo exhibition in the Czech Republic. Our prints are currently sold through a limited partnership with Legends of America.
This would include prints of photos appearing on our blog, Route 66 Chronicles.

Jim Hinckley

Jim Hinckley
Jim Hinckley in his native habitat, the road less traveled

Author Jim Hinckley

Author Jim Hinckley
Somewhere on the road less traveled

Jim Hinckley on Legends of America

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.


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