The historic Wildey Theatre in Edwardsville was the setting for the Miles of Possibility conference Halloween weekend, and for me there were several important takeaways and memories. First though, I want to recognize event coordinator Cheryl Eichar Jett for her outstanding job in pulling this event off, as well as her volunteer staff that included the likes of Dave Tucker from Gillespie, IL and Sheila Martin from American Road Magazine, who was one of many people I got to meet in person for the first time.
The conference began with Professor David Dunaway’s Route 66 audio archives that he has been collecting, and my favorite was a story from the late Ernie Edwards of the Pig Hip Restaurant, who was a friend of mine.
Authors Cheryl Eichar Jett and Joe Sonderman gave a talk on Route 66 in Illinois, based on their book. Many of us in the room had personal connections with the attractions and communities they referenced.
Swa Franzen of Belgium, who authors the oldest Route 66 internet site, historic66.com, gave his perspective on traveling Route 66 from a European perspective, and it was extremely eye-opening. Everyone I talked to found his presentation to be the most compelling among all the great presentations.
The Missouri Association gave a tremendous presentation on their Neon Sign restoration efforts over the last decade or so.
The final session was a showing of the new movie Exit 0: Glenrio, followed by a discussion with the film makers. With my background in videography and love for Route 66, I was honored to get to see this incredible film, and highly recommend it.
Lastly, it was a great opportunity for me to meet some of the folks I communicate with regularly by email but never have met in person, such as Ron Warnick of Route 66 News, Jerry McClanahan, author of the EZ Guide, and Roamin’ Rich to name just a few.