Joyce Johnson was born this date -- September 27 -- in 1935, making her 88 years old today. She is a noted and award-winning author and appeared as Alyce Newman in Jack Kerouac's Desolation Angels. Joyce wrote about her firsthand knowledge of Kerouac in Minor Characters and in The Voice is All, both mandatory reads for any true Kerouac fan. She was there when big Beat things went down, so her point of view is firsthand. For example, Ms. Johnson was Jack's girlfriend when the rave review of his book, On The Road, was published in the New York Times in 1957. They read the review together.
In an undated 1957 letter to Johnson (then Glassman), Jack describes the time he was on a Yugoslavian freighter on the way to Tangier and experienced a big storm:
During this ordeal I heard the words: EVERYTHING IS GOD, NOTHING EVER HAPPENED EXCEPT GOD -- and I believed and still do. (Jack Kerouac Selected Letters 1957-1969, 1999, Penguin Books, p. 11)
Happy Birthday, Ms. Johnson.