We just acknowledged Neal Cassady's death date (February 4) and now it's time to remember his birthday. He would have been 92 years old today. While it doesn't seem that much of a stretch to live that long these days, keep in mind that life expectancy for those born in 1926 -- like Neal -- was 55.5 for men. For those born this year it's close to 80. Big difference!
But longevity is not the only factor in a life well-lived. Quality matters. And one must admit that Neal, to borrow from an old bluegrass standard, lived a lot in his time. From Beat Generation muse to Merry Prankster bus driver, Neal crammed a lot into his 41 years of life.
So here's to Neal Cassady, fast-moving Western hero of the ages, on his birthday. In his honor, read his autobiography, The First Third, today. Or watch the documentary, Neal Cassady: The Denver Years.Or read his letters in Neal Cassady: Collected Letters 1944-1967.
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