Sunday, October 5, 2008

Report from Lowell Celebrates Kerouac! : The graveside event

This is the second in what will be a series of installments from our absolutely wonderful weekend in Lowell, MA, attending Lowell Celebrates Kerouac! It was so freaking cool hanging out with other Kerouac fans and celebrating his writing in a variety of ways and settings. If you're a Kerouac fan, mark your calendar for next October. Stay tuned for a report on Friday night's screening of a brand new documentary film, One Fast Move Or I'm Gone (about Jack's time at Big Sur), Saturday's adventure at B & N, Saturday night's pub crawl, and Sunday's marathon reading of The Dharma Bums (and book sales!). Already told you about Friday night with David Amram (wow!).

But first, the graveside visit. I've been there before and regular blog readers will remember that I got the idea of leaving my book there in December 2005 from another fledgling author who was writing a novel. Plus, my practice is to visit my favorite authors' graves, read their work, and drink some Bushmills in their honor.

This trip I had a copy of my book, The Beat Handbook, along with a copy of The Dharma Bums and a bottle of 21-year-old Bushmills. And Crystal was along, making it all the more special!

We left for Lowell Friday morning and checked into the Doubletree. Then we headed right out to the grave in Edson (my given middle name - how about that for a coincidence?) Cemetery. It was sprinkling, reminiscent of my trip three years ago.

We both read outloud from The Dharma Bums - see video at Rick reading at Kerouac’s grave, drank Bushmills, took pictures, and just generally reveled in the fulfillment of a promise made three years earlier. I've got goose bumps writing this.

Here's a picture:

That's me reading from The Dharma Bums. You can see the copy of The Beat Handbook - specially inscribed - that I left at the grave inside two plastic ziploc bags (that was for rain protection - for this picture we let it get a little wet). And the bottle of Bushmills. And other things people had left. Two flags with written elegies, and a handwritten poem.

More to follow.

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