_THAT’S THE HIGHWAY_

* 22 … REBUILDING IDEA (12/08/2011)

Jim Hinckley’s research was surprisingly detailed, in the eyes of the brothers and the shopkeeper and his wife. While he hadn’t included this particular town in his book about Route 66 ghost towns, he had delved into the town’s history. Jim discovered that, despite the town council’s declaration, the state fought the town every step of the way in the restoration processes. The local Route 66 association was instrumental in moving forward, of course, but it was the sibling’s Dad who impacted the forward progression the most. He rallied people, various businesses, other Route 66 associations, and even a few politicians, to support the town’s cause. His passion for the “small town life”, and Route 66, was one of the major driving forces that helped the town succeed against the state’s wishes.

“I had no idea,” mumbled the shopkeeper at one point in the conversation. “I mean, I knew he had a hand in helping our town, but I had no idea how much.”

“And, it wasn’t just him,” Hinckley noted. “His wife helped, too, though she remained out of the spotlight.”

“Wow,” said the youngest brother. “Mom really was as passionate about Route 66 as Dad.”

“Kinda makes me want to see about rebuilding that old train depot,” the oldest brother mused.

“Ah, that ain’t gonna happen,” interjected the shopkeeper.

“Why not?” queried the eldest. “It doesn’t have to be an ACTIVE depot. We could start a museum. Maybe include some of the documentation that Jim uncovered in his research.”

“I like that idea,” said the shopkeeper’s wife. “But, where would the money come from?”

“Good question,” said the eldest. “But, I’m not ready to just give up the idea yet….”

The eldest’s voice trailed off, as Jim spoke up: “Definitely don’t give up on the idea. I think it’s a good one. I’m sure I could get others behind the project, too. Let’s see what we can do.”

Jim left that afternoon, promising to help them explore and get the project of rebuilding the train depot off the ground. The youngest brother was skeptical; the eldest was enthusiastic but realized it would take a while. The shopkeeper was clearly behind it; his wife muffled her excitement.

* 23 … PLANNING STAGE (12/08/2011)

By the end of the day, the brothers and the shopkeeper and his wife had greeted well over 50 visitors, including Jim Hinckley. When the brothers arrived home, the youngest called Kyle to start discussing the details about the broadcasts along Route 66. Meanwhile, the eldest put the Caprice Classic back in the garage and called their sister to tell her about their day.

Kyle at WSM had already put in motion the “game plan” for the broadcasts along Route 66. He wasn’t concerned with how many or how often. It was the timeframe that was most important in terms of deciding which staff members would take the trip. But, the youngest brother couldn’t give him a timeframe.

“We don’t want to limit our trip in terms of time,” the youngest sibling told Kyle. “We want to be able to take our time and enjoy as many people and places along the way as possible, and I had hoped that the remote broadcasts would help showcase what Route 66 offers.”

Kyle paused. He was not prepared to send staff out on the road without a specific timeframe. Yet, he understood the youngest sibling’s take on the trip and wanted to be as supportive as possible.

“OK,” Kyle finally said. “I know the equipment you’ll need, and that’s not a problem for an indefinite timeframe. But, I do have a problem sending staff members out on your trip with no idea of when they’ll be back home.”

“I know,” acknowledged the youngest brother. “But, I bet if you ask the staff who’d like to take the trip, and then ask those who’d like to take the trip if they mind not having a definite return date, they won’t mind.”

Kyle hesitantly agreed and told the youngest brother he’d be in touch in a few days. The youngest brother hung up, hoping that it would work. He was thoroughly enjoying his time at home, but he also missed hosting his radio show on WSM. He missed sharing the music with listeners from the Nashville area and all over the country.

“Hey, you done talking to Kyle?” The youngest’s thoughts were broken by the semi-yelled query of his older brother.

“Yeah,” the youngest replied, as he walked down the stairs to the main floor. “Why?”

“I just got off the phone with our sister,” the eldest continued, “and she thinks that rebuilding the train depot is a great idea.”

“Ah,” the younger brother said. “But, how are we going to concentrate on that while we are planning our trip? I should know about Kyle’s arrangements for equipment and staff in a few days.”

“Great!” exclaimed the eldest. “I’m not sure, but we’ll think of something.”

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