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Writers, artists help showcase Route 66 and Kingman

Roy Voss is a Kingman-raised author from Texas. (RYAN ABELLA/Miner)

KINGMAN - The Route 66 Authors, Artists, Collectors, and Associations Exhibition was held this Friday and Saturday at Beale Celebrations as part of the Route 66 International Festival.

Festival Director Dora Manley gathered exhibitors from far and wide to share the history of Route 66.

"We have exhibitors from all over," said Dora. "These people are the true heart of Route 66. They keep it alive through art and collectibles."

The exhibitors came from all walks of life and had plenty to share with visitors. Here are some of the people sharing their experiences of Mother Road.

• John Holod is a filmmaker from Florida who started filming travel shows nearly 25 years ago. His travels go as far as South Africa, and many of his videos are shown at colleges and showings nationwide. He switched to making RV videos because he saw the market for it.

"I lived in an RV for around 12 years, traveling nearly 600,000 miles all over North America," said Holod.

His Route 66 RV video is one of the more popular videos he has made. You can find his videos at www.rvadventurevideos.com.

• Artist Crocodile Lile and his dog, Lady, come from Amarillo, Texas. His art can be found at www.crocodilelile.com.

• Photographer and painter Barbara Oldle was raised on a cattle ranch near Kingman and has been taking photos since she was five. She's a fourth-generation Kingman resident, and her photos and pictures are inspired by Arizona's beauty.

You can find her work at www.barbaraodle.com.

• Roy Voss is a Kingman-raised author from Texas. His new series of action/adventure novels are "set around the globe with most of his characters' names inspired by Kingman old-timers." He graduated in 1957 from Kingman High School and has spent many years working and traveling the world.

"I've visited almost every place mentioned in my stories," said Voss in a press release. "I spent 24 years working on five continents and many of the situations mentioned are factual."

From his synopsis: Mechanical engineer Harry Newhall is waiting for a flight to take him back to the Algerian desert so he can continue building a gas pipeline when he receives bad news: his fabrication camp has been attacked by Musilm extremists. Now five expats are dead, and all Harry can hope for is that his close friend and former Navy SEAL Brock VanMarter can help him achieve the one thing he wants more than anything in the world - payback.

• Akio Takeuchi from Japan was there selling his photo essays as a traveler of Route 66.

For more information on his books, you can email him at akiort66@ybb.ne.jp.

• The Old Route 66 Association of Texas was represented by Dora Meroney and Larry Clonts. The 178-mile Texas stretch of Route 66 travels through towns such as Amarillo and Adrian, which is known as the midpoint of Route 66. It also travels through Shamrock, which is home of the Tower Conoco and U-Drop Inn.

• The California Historic Route 66 Association was represented by Ed Dietl, also known as "Mr. Ed"

• Melba "The Mouth" Rigg represented the Kansas Route 66 Association.

"We only have 13.2 miles of the road here in Kansas, but we're very proud of that 13.2 miles," said Rigg.

The Kansas stretch helped put the town of Galena back on the map and also holds "Tow Tater," the original inspiration of Tow Truck Mater from Pixar's "Cars."

• Mike Ward, an avid postcard and map collector, brought a sample of his 6,000-plus road map collection as well as books from his collections of postcards collected over 16 years.

He had on display maps and Blue Books dating back to 1910 and was eager to share with visitors and fellow exhibitors.

"We (collectors) all love talking to each other at these festivals," said Ward.

His postcards and maps often were from families and people who used them. Many of the older maps had routes drawn from previous owners and cards with messages scribbled to family.

"It personalizes your collection," said Ward.

• Kingman artist C M Zach had his glass-pieces artwork on display. His work process starts with a sketch. Then he glues each individual piece to the board to create a piece of art.

You can find more of Zach's art by emailing him at charleymanz@yahoo.com.

• Ron Hart is the Director of the Route 66 Chamber of Commerce.

The organization's primary mission is to "promote Route 66 tourism, both nationally and in foreign countries, thereby resulting in more commerce for Route 66 businesses."

The organization manages the largest Route 66 website in the world, helps promote and produce videos and documentaries on Route 66, restores buildings and helps bring financial aid to people on Route 66 who have been struck by tragedy (such as the tornado relief in Joplin, Mo.).

"It's the gathering of roadies," said Hart about the festival. "Artists, collectors: everybody knows everybody. This is our chance to see each other again."

"Route 66 has an economic impact, even after becoming the 'Rodney Dangerfield' of highways. International visitors always say this is the best way to see the real America."

• John McDonald, an Emmy award-winning filmmaker, played his bagpipes and called people over to the old Elks Lodge for a showing of his new film, "Pipes & Sticks on Route 66."

The film (from its synopsis) is a feature documentary that follows five all-star Scottish bagpipers and drummers as they travel on the Mother Road from Chicago to Santa Monica.

The film features entertaining musical performances and also offers an intriguing look at the American heartland through the eyes of the musicians and the people they meet.


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