Thursday, March 26, 2009

Caroline Kerouac Blake Tribute

Jack Kerouac's sister Caroline died in 1964. For years her grave was an unmarked spot below an old Maple tree in Greenwood Cemetery in Downtown Orlando. Members of the Kerouac Project arranged to have a stone marker placed on the spot on March 13th of 2009. Yesterday a small group of Kerouac supporters gathered to honor Caroline, who Jack had nicknamed Nin.
It was a beautiful morning. As I searched for the site I saw several squirrels scrambling between headstones and then up a tree. The birds were chirping joyously. Once I found the site. I leaned my artists chair up against a tree, leaned back and started to sketch. I knew the dedication would not take long so I had to lay in the background and stones fast. Bob Kealing who was going to pay tribute, had been called away on a news story, he had to cover the Casey Anthony case down at the Orange County Court House. Kim Buchheit took his place and did a wonderful and moving job. David Amram, a multi talented performer, played a hand carved courting flute whose warm tones drifted through the morning air.
This days events left me with an impression that art leaves behind a life affirming and ever propagating force that spurs the next generation to keep creating. Get out, find people with amazing stories and listen and learn. David Amram now 78 years old and Pete Seeger about to turn 90 years old are proof that some creative flames burn bright well into old age.
Caroline Kerouac Blake
October 25, 1918 - September 19, 1964
Mother, Daughter, Sister, Wife
World War II Veteran
JE ME SOUVIENSTI NIN ( I remember little Nin)

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at


Tessa said...

I am really glad to hear this and read your blog. I've always felt that Nin should have been moved to New Hampshire to rest with her parents and Gerard..(Jack too for that matter). It's nice that people care about the Kerouac legacy and and act upon it in his name.

John Pierro said...

Well written account, and a wonderful sketch as always Tom.

Anonymous said...

as i'am one of the only kin to blakes left ,beleve me the story at the time wasn't told in that way.i'am glad someone told me what really happened.
thank you,
jerry ray blake nephew