I had a wonderful time this past Sunday attending the fall meeting of the Route 66 Association of Illinois down in Pontiac. It was a perfect, sunny, autumn morning to set out for the hour-and-a-half drive through the country.
I’ve been a member for at least five years, but this was just the second meeting I’d attended. Anyone reading several of my past posts should recognize my serious interest in The Mother Road.
When we drove the entire route—Chicago to Santa Monica—in September of 2017, I wasn’t completely sure where any of this would lead. What I’ve discovered is that it only whetted my appetite for all things Route 66! And living here in Illinois, where so many miles of the historic route thread their way south and west, what better reason could there be than to join the Association?
Since I’ve all but sworn off spending my valuable time perched in front a TV screen to watch the NFL, I had not one bit of hesitancy in dedicating my Sunday to all things Route 66. When I attended the fall meeting two years ago—before all of the Covid insanity—I had not met any other members, in person, so I was eager to do so at the meeting. As it turned out, that meeting went well, and I did meet the officers and a few of the other board members.
Yet, I went away feeling as though I was still really not involved. Of course, I realize that was my shortcoming—failing to make my availability known to all. Instead, at meeting’s end, I headed to the parking lot and my car for the drive back home. I could—and should have—kicked myself for not being more assertive and volunteer to get involved in some aspect of the Association. That’s something with which I’ve always been way too lax.
This time around, however, I told myself on the drive down to the meeting that I was determined to come away with being involved in some way in this wonderful group of people. I didn’t necessarily desire a board or officer position, but there’s always a need to fill out committees. And, as it happened, I gladly accepted the offer to serve on the Museum Committee, although I’m not altogether clear on just what I’ll be doing. Even so, I’ll be happy to help out in the fantastic Route 66 Association Hall of Fame Museum in Pontiac, Illinois.
After the meeting, my drive home that afternoon was much more enjoyable than the previous experience. Having spoken with and gotten to know most of the members who were in attendance, I came away with a feeling of being included and counted on now to be a contributing member.
Sometimes one has to just get past those worries and hesitancies and speak up and jump right in! There’s so many wonderful miles ahead here with the Route 66 Association of Illinois, and I’m recharged and eager to enjoy it all! Anyone with a smidgen of interest in being a member themselves, should visit www.il66assoc.org