Item #77 in my Kerouac bookshelf curation project is this paperback 1987 Fels & Firn Press (no printing number but only 1500 copies were made) edition of The Kerouac We Knew: unposed portraits; action shots, compiled by John Montgomery. This copy is 46 pages, 5-1/2" x 8-1/4", and in very good condition (I keep it in the plastic slipcover it came in, shown above). The provenance, I think, is that I bought it from The Bookery in Ithaca, NY, around 2005 for $25.00.
For those of you who may not know who John Montgomery was, below is a screenshot from Dave Moore's fantastic Character Key To Kerouac's Duluoz Legend (click here for the whole key).
John Montgomery was a friend of Kerouac's who, along with Gary Snyder (Japhy Ryder), scaled Matterhorn Peak in the Sierra Nevada range with Jack in The Dharma Bums (his character's name was Henry Morley in Bums, and he shows up as Alex Fairbrother in two other of Jack's books). In The Kerouac We Knew..., we find an introduction by Montgomery and then 9 essays about Jack by various authors from Gerald Nicosia (author of Memory Babe, to be curated later in the project) to Jim Christy (author of The Long Slow Death of Jack Kerouac, to be curated later in the project). There are several pictures, including the great cover shot by Jerry Bauer of Jack with one of his beloved cats.
The one other Montgomery book I'd like to own is Kerouac at the "Wild Boar" and Other Skirmishes. That would make a trifecta of his books about Kerouac for my collection. I see it on eBay and my birthday and Christmas are coming. Hint, hint....
Anyway, there are some great insights into Jack in The Kerouac We Knew..., and while it's a small book, it's well worth having on your Kerouac bookshelf.
Below is a picture of Shelf #2 of my Kerouac bookshelf showing the placement of this book (27th item from the left) on the day I started curating my collection. Next up: JACK KEROUAC: A Memoir In Which Is Revealed Secret Lives & West Coast Whispers, Being The Confessions Of Henry Morley, Alex Fairbrother & JOHN MONTGOMERY, Triune Madman Of The Dharma Bums, Desolation Angels & Other Trips by John Montgomery.
Shelf #2 of my Kerouac bookshelf