Last evening my dearest friend and I attended a most
amazing meeting. There were less than a dozen people in attendance, and the program was rather simplistic. First there were introductions. This was followed by an overview of the mission statement, a guest speaker that made a brief statement, and then a short discussion about possible future projects the fledgling organization could develop. There were no impassioned speakers to quicken the spirit or rally attendees, there was no call to arms. And yet, it was a very inspirational meeting. It was the ghost of Christmas future for Kingman.
It was a meeting of KPA Youth, an offshoot of the recently organized Kingman Progressive Alliance for Positive Change. The organization and meeting were organized by Hailey Sealy, a high school senior. In attendance were classmates, and a few observers. The guest speaker was Jamie Scott Stehly, a member of the Kingman city council. The meeting was another ray of hope, another indication that Kingman is a community on the cusp of a rather exciting transformation.
I had the privilege of meeting Hailey Sealy last week. She was one of the guests on the weekly Jim Hinckley’s America Facebook live program. Our discussion before and after the program, as well as the conversation during, piqued my curiosity and led to our attendance of the meeting.
There is an old quip about being an overnight success thirty years in the making. That is a very apt descriptor for Kingman, especially when developments over the course of the last 24 months are viewed against those of the previous twenty years. Murals and displays of public art, new businesses launched by young entrepreneurs, a tangible sense of community, and city officials with an eye on the future such as Jamie Scott Stehly are transforming the community in a rather dramatic way. Then there are the young people like Hailey Sealy and the organization she is working to develop.
Look at the array of projects initiated and completed by the Route 66 Association of Kingman through partnerships. Historic signs have been acquired and renovated, murals have transformed empty buildings, marketing initiatives funded, and beautification projects launched. The Promote Kingman initiative with a focus on the creation of partnerships is another manifestation of a community in transition. Sponsoring the Jim Hinckley’s America Facebook live program, development of a promotional video series, creation of a free movie night to enhance Chillin’ on Beale, partnering with organizations such as Route 66 Cruizers to host receptions for visiting groups, and creation of social media network with an international reach are contributing to a rapidly changing community.
These are exciting times in Kingman. With a fund raising initiative to expand the world’s only electric vehicle museum about to launch, the forthcoming Father’s Day weekend events hosted by the Route 66 Cruizers, with Ramada Kingman as the host hotel, the development of two more promotional videos in the Jim Hinckley’s America: Trek Along Route 66 series, the pending opening of Rickety Crickets on Beale Street, and a full summer of events on schedule, the future is looking bright. Kingman is becoming more than a great place to visit. It is becoming THE place to live, to raise a family, to open a business, and to retire.
Wonderful to see the young folks taking the lead in developing THEIR community. Hope these beginnings grow and create the town we can all admire and enjoy.