Thursday, March 12, 2009

Jack Kerouac's Birthday

Jack Kerouac was born March 12th, 1922. Were he alive today he would be 89 years old. He died at the age of 47 which is how old I am today. In his memory I went to the house where his sister Nin lived through the late 1950's at 1219 Yates Street in College Park. Jack often came to stay starting in 1954 for varying lengths of time. When he was here in 1956 "On the Road" was about to be accepted by Viking Press for publication. Jack then rented rooms in a house for himself and his mother around the corner on Clouser Avenue. He soon shipped out to Tangier.
Ed White suggested to Kerouac that he sketch the streets like a painter but with words. Kerouac filled 15 pocket sized notebooks with "sketch poems". After completing "On the Road" Jack sat down at his typewriter and wrote the manuscript that came to be known as "Book of Sketches". As an artist who has also taken to the streets I identify with that endeavor.
This house sits in an old quiet neighborhood. Weeds sprout up between the sidewalks and curbs are broken and worn with age. Children are at play everywhere. Three girls next door ride there bikes and scream to each other until mom calls them in for dinner. A train whistle can be heard in the distance.

Do you know what this homestead,
this ranch is? -- what
my statue and responsibility, in it
is? It's a footing from which I can
be my childlike self forever.

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

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