'On The Road'

10/10/07 - posted by jb

" We keep on living in hopes of catching it once for all." ~Dean Moriarity

It slipped by me like a cab on a rainy Saturday night but today, as I was getting an extra key made for the Vette, an article in The Smithsonian caught my eye. Most dealerships are not this sophisticated and I was right...it was left by a generous patron who probably dropped it, along with the $2,000 it took to fix a switch under his dash. But it was pure gold...An article on the 50th Anniversary (man, is everything turning 50 this year?) of the publication of Jack Kerouac's "On The Road"

All I ever wanted to be was Holden Caulfield, but Dean Moriarity ran a close second. Actually, he outran first-place, high on octane, amphetamines and the next moment. The article was actually sad in many ways because the "beats" were gone before they really arrived. I recall the freak show in North Beach with people wearing sun glasses and Bermuda shorts at night when we'd dine at Pete's Place or the New Tivoli. I remember my folks feeling almost subversive about going to the Hungry I or the Purple Onion. What I didn't remember is that it was Herb Caen who named them "Beatniks."

Kerouac claims the term comes from "beatific" (having a blissful appearance ) and I ain't about to argue with a guy who has a street named after him in the City. It seems that once we name something, be it a street, a group, a theory, a state of mind...it loses something that made it special to begin with. Define and Conquer seems to be the mantra of post-modernism.

Wow...didn't mean to go off on some tangent...just really wanted to know if any of you remember the Beats in the City?

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