Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Curation #3 from my Kerouac bookshelf: Kerouac grave rubbing

Charcoal rubbing from Jack Kerouac's grave made by Charlie and Chris in 2009

This is the third item from my Kerouac bookshelf curation project. It's that mysterious tube I teased about previously (see pic below). Click here for that reference.

Indeed, this is a charcoal rubbing from Jack Kerouac's grave in his hometown of Lowell, Massachusetts. When we visited the grave during Lowell Celebrates Kerouac 2009, two fans from Michigan -- Charlie and Chris -- were there making charcoal rubbings and they gave us one! It adorned my office wall at work (tacked to my bulletin board) from 2009 until 2017 when I retired, and now it sits unfurled atop my Kerouac bookshelf. Why don't I display it? I don't know -- it's a hassle for one thing. It's gets everything around it dirty when it's unfurled. Plus, I don't have a good wall space for it. I took the above picture by weighting it down on my workbench using what I could grab -- a can of WD-40, a can of Liquid Wrench, a propane cylinder, and a pair of pruning shears (cropped from the photo) -- on the corners. Now you know the status of my workbench: cluttered. At least I had enough space to spread out the rubbing!

Click here for pictures of Charlie and Chris (scroll down when you get there) and the "rest of the story."

For kicks, here's a pic from my first visit to Jack's grave in December 2005. You can see that the symbol of the dove is actually to the left of the inscription, not underneath it as in the rubbing. Charlie and Chris had to get creative because of the limits of their paper size.

Rick Dale at Jack Kerouac's grave, December 2005
Below is a picture of the top shelf of my Kerouac bookshelf as it existed the day I started curating it. The next post in this series? My Jack Kerouac bobblehead....

The top of my Kerouac bookshelf and the mysterious white tube

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