Mini book tour for "Route 66 in Kansas"

Last weekend I took the new Route 66 in Kansas book on the road for a mini book tour to the Tri-State area. Three events were planned, sponsored by three terrific museums, for Friday through Sunday, July 22-24. It was a great weekend, and as a bonus, I stayed three nights at the wonderful Boots Court in Carthage, Missouri, and enjoyed the new neon.

The first event was a book display and signing sponsored by the Powers Museum of Carthage at the Carthage Art Walk in - where else? - historic Downtown Carthage on the Square on Friday evening. Michele Newton Hansford of the Powers Museum secured a prime space for me inside the Carthage Deli, and she and her husband, Gary Hansford, joined me for the evening at the deli. Owner Chris was a gracious host as usual, and we enjoyed a fine supper and great conversation. The oppressive heat and humidity caused some of the artists to cancel out of the art walk. That, combined with construction around the square and the weather itself, made for a smaller crowd, but the company and food more than made up for that. 

On Saturday afternoon, the Galena Mining and Historical Museum hosted a book signing. Thanks to the enthusiastic Fred Billingsley and Linda Phipps, everything was all ready and then some. Big table, flowers, refreshment table, and people coming in the door! The irrepressible sisters who have done so much for Galena, Renee Charles and Melba Rigg, came by to visit, followed by Ron Jones, the Tattoo Man, who drove up from Bartlesville, Oklahoma. What support. I was humbled. We had a nice crowd throughout the afternoon, and in between visitors we augmented Linda's home-made cookies with pizza. 

On Sunday afternoon, the Baxter Springs Heritage Center and Museum hosted. The also-enthusiastic Mary Billington, the center's new director, had things arranged beautifully. Big table, flowers, chairs and microphone in case of an impromptu book talk, and another delightful refreshment table. We had a steady crowd there too, and who showed up but road warrior Fred Zander from Topeka, and fellow Arcadia author Steve Clem from Sand Springs.  I was happy to see Linda Kennedy, former director of the center, stop by. Linda at the Baxter Springs museum and Fred Billingsley at the Galena museum, are the two main reasons that there IS a Route 66 in Kansas book! 

Also during the afternoon, Dustin Andrews, owner of the new area newspaper, Spring River Current, came by and did an interview with me, interviewed visitors, and printed a nice review. You can read that online:

I want to thank everyone who stopped by, bought books, brought food, treated me to dinner, made arrangements, worked on publicity, and generally made it a very fun and productive weekend. It was also fun to catch up with Penny Black (she was heading east) on Thursday evening, as she, like me, stopped at the Boots Court in Carthage. 

Our next events are in two different Springfields. On Saturday-Sunday, August 13-14, Joe and I will both be at Birthplace of Route 66 Festival in downtown Springfield, Missouri. If you're in the area, please stop by and see us in the Author, Artist, Association, and Collector Expo in the Old Glass Place (east end of the car show) between 10 am and 4 pm. This is a fantastic event that has really grown in the last couple years - attend if you can.

On Saturday-Sunday, September 24-25, we'll both be at the International Mother Road Festival in downtown Springfield, Illinois. Again, if you're in the area, please stop by. I believe that we'll be at the corner of Washington and Fifth again this year (north side of the Old Capitol). This long-established big event is also always fun. We'd love to see you and sign a book for you.


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