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The Jim Hinckley Collection

MEMORY LANE - NEXT EXIT

Welcome to Route 66 Adventures where the neon still glows bright along Route 66, shiny new Studebaker cars roll from the factory in South Bend, the Edsel is the talk of the town, and tail fins represent the latest in automotive styling.
We at Route 66 Adventures work hard to ensure your stroll down Memory Lane is a pleasant, enjoyable, and memorable one. In addition to regular posts by award winning author Jim Hinckley, there are numerous links to sites, including classic roadside locations, that will help in your endeavor to plan the ultimate trip along the Main Street of America and other legendary highways. In addition there are also a number of links to sites that provide technical information, as well as support, to keep your vintage car on the road.
We have also added a wide array of information about Kingman, Arizona, the self proclaimed "Heart of Historic Route 66", that is updated daily.
Before you leave meet the proprietor and learn about forthcoming projects by this author. Please take a moment to give your impressions, thoughts, and suggestions as to how we may make your visit more enjoyable.


Thank you - the Route 66 Adventure team

©2013 Jim Hinckley (includes the Route 66 Adventures logo, Jim Hinckley's America, and the logo used in conjunction with Jim Hinckley's America.









Jim Hinckley's America

Legends of America presents photo prints from Jim Hinckley's America Gallery -

Click on any of the following links to access the gallery

Thursday, July 2, 2015

TRAVELING WEST ON ROUTE 66, WHAT COMMUNITY COMES AFTER WINONA, AT LEAST ACCORDING TO BOBBY TROUP?

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The first project launched by the Route 66 Association of
Kingman, Inc. 
Bobby Troup took a bit of artistic license in his now catchy tune, Get Your Kicks on Route 66. For those unfamiliar with the road itself, Winona is east of Flagstaff. 
In either case, the next city noted in the now classic anthem is Kingman. Even in the 1940's the city was often viewed as a stop on the way to somewhere a bit more exciting. That is about to change in a very, very big way. 
In Arizona spring rains transform the stark desert into a sea of flowers as colorful as a garish casino carpet. That, amigos, is a rather apt analogy of how the 2014 Route 66 International Festival has transformed Kingman. 
In 1994, Scott Dunton asked me to assist in the establishment of the Route 66 Association of Kingman. For the most part the endeavor was stillborn. There were a multitude of reasons for why the organization withered and languished but with the luxury of hindsight I now see that the primary problem was simply the fact that the time wasn't right.
So, until it was fanned into a blaze, the association survived as a glowing ember. On occasion there would a public display of life such as with establishment of Chillin' on Beale during the administration of Chris Durkin.   
Last month Scott Dunton, Keith Walker, and Craig Graves revived the 501c3 association, and asked that I serve as a consultant. To maintain neutrality and avoid any possible conflict of interest, with respect the request that I serve on the board of directors was declined. 
Apparently the timing is right. In less than than thirty days the association has made tremendous strides toward transforming an embarrassing eyesore into a landmark. Demolition of long abandoned ruins, the addition of colorful murals funded by Ramada Kingman, are only the first stage in the corners transformation. 
During the block party celebration on the streets surrounding the city complex on the evening of the Fourth of July, the corner will serve as the staging area for Model T Ford rides through the historic district. There will also be an array of patriotic presentations here as well. This is but a small taste of what the association envisions.
Even though the associations Facebook page and website is still under development, a membership drive to raise funds as well as awareness launched this week. James Martin of Kingman signed up as member number one but inquiries pertaining to membership are being received from throughout the United States and Canada. That is but one more indication that the timing is right.
Here are the details I have at this time. The annual membership fee is $100, of which every dime will be used for development, promotion, or preservation. In exchange for this sum, you will receive a pretty slick metal plaque (thank you for the photo Rob Medlin), invitation to a monthly open house, a regular newsletter with event information and updates in Kingman as well as internationally that have a bearing on our 160-miles of smiles. You will also derive the satisfaction of helping transform the City of Kingman. 
Several local business people will have membership applications including yours truly. I will provide a list of these people as soon as its available. 
However, Like James Martin, you may also stop by the historic Dunton Motors dealership at 119 E. Andy Devine Avenue (Route 66) in Kingman. For additional information the phone number is (928)753-1314.
The reorganization of the association is but one manifestation of the changes taking place in the cities historic district and along the Route 66 corridor. 
The suites at the Brunswick Hotel. (Judy Hinckley)
In the block along Andy Devine Avenue dominated by an historic territorial era saloon turned neighborhood tavern, a row of empty storefronts, the forlorn shell of the Hotel Beale, and Brunswick Hotel, a century old nondescript garage, and a parking lot with bus stop and informational kiosk, Werner Fleishman has transformed a vintage dealership showroom turned antique store into Route 66 Ice Cream Parlor and the Vita Bella Deli and Cafe. 
Hidden behind the Brunswick Hotel in a pleasant courtyard are two delightfully charming suites. Currently for rent to visitors staying in the Kingman area for several days, they offer a glimpse into Werner's vision for the historic Brunswick Hotel.
Almost an entire block on Beale Street between Fourth Street and Fifth Street is pulsating with vibrancy; an art center, the Wine Cellar, Redneck's Southern Pit Barbecue, Black Bridge Brewery, Siren's, and Beale Street Brews Coffee Shop and Roasting Company are the ghost of Christmas future in the historic district. The Garlic Clove restaurant is one block east.  
Immediately to the west, the Kingman Club sign again lights the night and crowds that gather here at night provide another indication that the winds of change are sweeping the city. The changes, however, are not confined to just the historic district, they are sweeping along the entire Route 66 corridor.
Originally a Denny's several decades ago, Rutherford's 66 Family Diner is also thriving. William Shatner stopped here on his recent trip westward, and the owner is making plans for a most exciting remodel.
Across the street, the circa 1945 Bell Motel with its charming stone facade is being given a new lease on life. This could make Kingman a truly unique Route 66 community with four renovated vintage motels; one from the 1930's, one from the 1940's, one from the 1950's, and one from the 1960's.
The El Trovatore Motel, 1939, is thriving. The Hill Top Motel, 1956, is thriving. Mow the former Holiday Inn, the pride of Kingman in the 1960's, is being reborn as the Ramada Kingman, the cities only Route 66 resort and it is thriving. 
The owners of the Ramada are quite serious about seeing Kingman and their hotel transformed into a destination. In addition to colorful murals, a large Route 66 themed swimming pool, renovated rooms, lounge, and restaurant, and landscaped grounds, they are working hand in hand with area businesses to develop coordinated marketing and promotion.
An example of the type of vehicles the Ramada owners
are considering for their proposed tours. (Joel Zubaid)
Now there are plans afoot to offer area tours in the city and along our 160-miles of smiles. To ensure these are a memorable and unique experience for visitors, rolling time capsules will be the mode of transport.
To these exciting changes and developments we can add eager anticipation for what is coming soon at Grand Canyon Caverns. in 18 to 24 months, new levels with truly unique formations will be open to the public. This is in addition to the newly added trail rides and miniature golf course. 
To all of this we can add the regularly scheduled events such as Sounds of Kingman, Chillin' on Beale and the Route 66 Fun Run, and a few new ones currently under development; the Fourth of July block party, the Route 66 Walk of Fame induction ceremony, and Best of the West on 66. 
Kingman, Arizona, a stop on the road to somewhere else and a destination. This city truly is at the crossroads of the past and future.   
  
   
       
  

Monday, June 29, 2015

THE CHICKEN MAN, WILLIAM SHATNER, ROUTE 66 ADVENTURE, VINTAGE CARS, AND EXHAUSTION

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William Shatner accepts an honorary membership
into the Route 66 Association of Kingman. (Judy
Hinckley)
Okay, here is a riddle. What is the link between the chicken man, William Shatner, vintage cars, exhaustion, and Route 66 adventures? The answer, just another week in Jim Hinckley's America. 
On numerous occasions I have hinted that my dearest friend and I live in a sort of surreal world one step removed from the wonderland discovered by Alice. The past five days were not an exception. 
This particular series of adventures commenced early on Thursday evening when I addressed an audience of media, business, and community leaders at the Ramada Kingman. The primary topic was Route 66 and harnessing the highways renaissance as a catalyst for development. 
Sharing the road with rolling time capsules on the
way to California. 
The exciting 160-Miles of Smiles promotional campaign was introduced, including a short video by Michael Perez, and details were provided about the forthcoming Route 66: The Road Ahead workshops facilitated by the National Park Service. After a rather lengthy and occasionally raucous round of discussions, my dearest friend and I enjoyed a late but leisurely dinner with Stacy and Allen Greer, proprietors of the Frontier Motel and Restaurant in Truxton, and Sam and Monica Frisher, owners of the El Trovatore Motel.
Friday was a blur; picking up a rental car, a litany of phone calls and correspondence, scheduling for the coming week or so, phone conferences, etc. 
A conversation with Scott Dunton, President of the Route 66 Association of Kingman, kicked off Saturday morning. This was followed by tossing gear into the rental car, bidding adios to my dearest friend, and heading west; destination San Bernardino.
This roaring beast passed me somewhere near
Ludlow.  
Several weeks ago I had committed to signing books at Kumar Patel's Wigwam Motel booth during the big shindig built around the Great Race. As things had changed a bit since making that promise, this presented a few problems as I needed to be back in Kingman by early Sunday morning. 
Even though the schedule and road closures necessitated that I follow I-40 westward, it was a rather enjoyable trip as rolling time capsules shared the road. On occasion one of those little gems would zip past me even though I was holding a speed just a hair over the posted limits.
As expected, the traffic in the Cajon Pass alternated somewhere between parking lot speeds and adrenaline rushes that made me feel as though I was on the track at Indianapolis. So, at Cleghorn Road a slight detour onto Route 66 was made and as it turned out, I had the road entirely to myself.
A 1930 bridge in Cajon Pass. 
Amply seasoned with an array of vintage touches and pleasant scenery, this drive often provides a welcome respite from the mayhem of the interstate. In less than five miles I could feel the tension melt away as the road gently carried me into the metropolis.
Even though attendance of the event in San Bernardino fell short of projections, it still provided a veritable cornucopia of American automotive culture.
Almost any wheeled contraption you can imagine was on display or parading down the streets; traditional styled low riders, full classics, muscle cars, outrageous customs, antiques, trucks, station wagons, convertibles, hot rods, product mobiles, and even cars from television and movies. 
Scott Piotrowski, left, and Efren Lopez.
Of course, as with Route 66 itself, it is the people that make such events memorable. There was opportunity to visit with old friends such as Jim Conkle and Penny Black, Scott Piotrowski and the chicken man himself, Albert Okura (who graciously provided lunch from Juan Pollo). 
Such events also lend themselves toward the making of new friends and meeting the most fascinating people. On this trip Efren Lopez topped that list. 
A former combat photographer employed by the United States Army, Efren is now turning his lens toward Route 66. Even more exciting, he plans on developing a long overdue Route 66 guide in Spanish.
Jim Conkle greets a WWII veteran during the parade. 
Late in the afternoon, shortly after a touching rendition of the Star Spangled Banner, a parade of historic military vehicles passed by in review. What would a military tribute parade be without veterans of every war since WWII? 
This was soon followed by the participants of the Great Race, an anuual timed rally for vintage vehicles. This year the selected course was Route 66 from Kirkwood, Missouri to Santa Monica Pier.
Choosing a favorite from the dozens upon dozens of entries is almost an impossibility for someone such as myself who considers a copy of Hemmings Classic Car to be one step above Playboy magazine. 
The legendary Green Dragon. 
A few, however, were nothing short of stunning. Case in point, the legendary Green Dragon, a 1917 Peerless racer that dominated the Pikes Peak Hill Climb in the late teens.
The festivities were scheduled to continue well into the evening but with reluctance as well as an eagerness to see my dearest friend, I bid adios around six and headed for home. 
In Barstow after topping off the tank, I set my sights on dinner. As a few of the old favorites were closed I decided to give Jenny's Grill a try. 
There was no disappointment here. The place is worn a bit at the heel but the food was good, the service friendly and attentive, and the prices reasonable. What more can you ask? 
One of the most beautiful cars ever manufactured -
a 1932 Chevrolet. 
Plan "A" was to drive straight through and be at home around ten o'clock. I knew this wasn't likely as the day had kicked off at 4:30. So, plan "B" was to try the Ludlow Motel, something I have meant to do for quite sometime. 
Instead, however, I succumbed to very old habits, found a quite road into the desert, set the seat back, put the windows down, let the warm breeze lull me into slumber, and dozed under a stunning starlit desert sky. A short nap and then finishing the trip had me home by about 1:00 in the morning. 
Sunday was a relatively leisurely but busy day. There was the first birthday celebration for a grandson, and work on Joe Sonderman's forthcoming book, a project I am providing assistance with. 
That takes us to today, and what a day it was. The highlight was supposed to be lunch with William Shatner whose team had used a couple of my books to plan the trip. 
At 8:35, I received a call. The desert heat had forced a change in plans, the lunch interview was now scheduled for 9:00 at Rutherford's 66 Family Diner. 
This prevented a few problems; I needed to pick up my dearest friend, I had been working outside all morning and was soaked with sweat, I had other appointments scheduled. 
So, I called my dearest friend and asked that she lay out a clean shirt, called the mayor to inform him of the schedule change, called Ryan Abella at the Kingman Daily Miner, praised the Lord for a smartphone as I juggled driving, traffic, and appointment changes, and somehow made it to the restaurant only five minutes late. Mr. Shatner, however, was twenty minutes late. Then the circus commenced. 
Mayor Anderson of Kingman presents William
Shatner with a certificate and key to the city. 
The word spread, the diner filled with people, the film crew jockeyed for position, the mayor arrived and presented Mr. Shatner with a certificate and a key to the city, I sat down for an interview and then found myself trapped as the crowd continued to swell.
Spotting an ebb in the flow of people taking pictures, on behalf of the Route 66 Association of Kingman, I presented a plaque and a complimentary membership. Then in what seemed the blink of an eye, the party moved to the parking lot as William Shatner and his crew prepared to drive to Las Vegas.
Author Jim Hinckley sits with William Shatner for
an interview. 
This was only part one of a press filled day. Mr. Shatner was most likely somewhere near Hoover Dam when I began answering questions about my interview with William Shatner, the meeting Thursday evening, the stunning speed of transitions being brought about by the Route 66 Association of Kingman, thoughts on my books being used by the Shatner team, and Route 66 related topics in general posed by Ryan Abella of the Kingman Daily Miner.
That takes us to the last part of the title for this evenings post. On that note, good night, amigos.
Project one from the Route 66 Association of
Kingman. 
               
               

  

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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.

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