Friday, July 31, 2009

Jack Kerouac Beat Travelogue

Crystal and I just got back from a week in California: a few days in 'Frisco and then a few with my son Jason. Below are some picture highlights.

No trip to 'Frisco would be complete without visiting City Lights Bookstore (Ferlinghetti's place) and Vesuvio Cafe (where Jack hung out). They are across Jack Kerouac Alley from each other on Columbus Avenue.

Here's a picture of me looking at a copy of The Beat Handbook that I had just reverse shoplifted into City Lights. (Later in the trip I also reverse shoplifted a copy into the bookstore at Venice Beach. Lots of beat characters in that place!)

Here I am at the Vesuvio Cafe.

In nearby Chinatown, every other place had the "see no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil" monkeys out front. I added my own interpretation.

During our visit with Jason we snuck out to Joshua Tree, a magical place where I spent a few days climbing with Keith, Levi, Ira, and Jason in February 2006. We showed Crystal where we camped and we scrambled some. It was 106 degrees! No climbers anywhere.

In Hollywood, Michael Jackson's star was adorned with all kinds of memorial mementos, so I left a copy of The Beat Handbook. I figure thousands of people have now seen it. Good idea, huh? I inscribed it: "Dear Michael, I hope you're digging the ride. -Rick"

One of the highlights for me happened in Hollywood. We were walking Hollywood Boulevard and a big guy next to me stopped to take a picture of Tom Cruise's star. I didn't think anything of it but the next thing I knew, Jason was talking to him like they were old friends. The guy shook my hand and Jason said, "Dad, this is Diamond Dallas Page." I about fell over. Jason and I are wrestling fans, and Jason recognized him in baseball cap and shades and without his long blond locks (he's retired). When Jason thought he knew who it was, he said, "You're awesome," and subtly made the diamond shape with his hands that was DDP's trademark and went, "Right?" to be sure it was him. DDP suggested pictures and had us pose with him in a special way. He said he might put them on Facebook

I had books with me and should have given him one, but didn't think of it until later. Check out his website: Diamond Dallas Page. He's into selling his fitness system now. I suspect that Mickey Rourke's character in "The Wrestler" was influenced by DDP, or easily could have been.

A great trip - hope you enjoyed the pics.

No comments: