So, I guess San Bernardino won't have its annual Route 66 Rendezvous this year.

Sorry, but I'm going to have one anyway.

That's right, I'll have my own. Invite all my friends. Including you.

It was just days ago that the heartbreaking announcement came that the 2013 Rendezvous will not take place this summer in the streets of downtown San Bernardino, as it has done for more than 20 years.

The destitute city can't afford the expenses of putting it on, so it's putting it off for a year.

I always thought the Rendezvous was a big moneymaker, but I guess you need to have money in order to make money. Unfortunately, San Bernardino isn't very clever when it comes to making money.

Good heavens, about 500,000 people show up each year for the Rendezvous, and they spend tons of money. Why not charge a dollar admission? That's $500,000 right there, enough to cover all the expenses. Everything else is money in the pocket. It's basic math.

Sadly, San Bernardino's math skills fall well short of basic.

The Rendezvous is San Bernardino's signature event, its one opportunity each year to really shine, to show itself at its best. Having to give it up, even for one year, is just the latest and probably the greatest indignity for the beleaguered city. It's a major embarrassment. It's like a once-proud but destitute family being forced to pawn its one remaining precious heirloom.


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Mind you, pulling the plug on the Rendezvous isn't just about San Bernardino. Those 500,000 people were coming each year from throughout the state, the nation, the world.

The Rendezvous is one of Southern California's major summer events and tourist attractions. Canceling it leaves a big hole in the schedule for a lot of people.

It sure leaves a big hole in the schedule for me.

And I'm not going to put up with it. As future Emperor of the Inland Empire, I insist upon a few important things, and the Rendezvous is one of them.

I am going to call all my local car club friends. In turn, they will put out the word to all their car club friends in cities through the Southland.

Come September, we're going to ride.

I hope you'll join us.

On a weekend to be determined, we're going to cruise E Street like it was done in the old days. We'll move and groove in a conga line of cars. We'll rev our engines and toot our horns. We'll play our favorite songs. Loud.

Spectators will gather on the sidewalks. People will mingle on street corners, or hang out in parking lots. The shops, car lots and other merchants will be happy to see us.

They're happy to see anyone these days.

They'll even stay open late, hoping we'll stop in and check them out. And we will. Our unofficial Rendezvous is going to be good for a lot of local businesses, because it's going to snake through the whole city instead of going around in one small circle downtown.

There's a lot of fun to be had on E Street, and we're going to have it. We'll crowd the Regal Cinema, the Brandin' Iron, Inland Center, and Arrowhead Lanes. We'll have those joints jumping.

What if there's also a rave that weekend down at the National Orange Show Events Center? Oh, baby, bathe the city in lights! This will be a weekend to remember.

The official Rendezvous is famous for its food and drink, but don't worry. We'll have plenty of food and drink, too. We can stop at places on the street, and there are lots of them. We'll meet at Molly's, Juan Pollo, Wong's Kitchen and the Red Fox. We'll hook up at Ray's Downtown Deli, Pizza King, the Bossey Drive-In, Burger Express and Burger Mania. We'll chow down at Viva Villa, Jose's, Las Palmas and El Taco Loro. Nobody's going home hungry.

Maybe we can get a few local bands to set up here and there. Do the street music thing.

If we can't get bands, we'll hand out kazoos and rattles to the vagrants. Hey, everyone gets to fly their freak flag at this party!

These are public streets and sidewalks and business establishments, and we are going to put them to public use in a positive way. We don't need a sponsoring organization. We don't even need permission. And we sure don't need registration papers or sign-up sheets or check-in vouchers. We don't need no stinking badges.

There might not be a formal Rendezvous this year, but there is going to be an informal one. Smaller, yes, but just as fun. Maybe more fun. The way it used to be.

Take away our Rendezvous? They can try. But we're taking it back.

Read more John Weeks at http://sbsun.com/johnweeks.

Contact him by email at john.weeks@inlandnewspapers.com.