A friend was musing on Facebook the other day about how her mother and Jack Kerouac were about the same age, yet it was hard to picture her mom as someone from the "beat generation." I said I had no problem with it and just threw it out there that my mom, being quite a gadabout in her younger years as the wife of a prominent hotelier and frequently visiting NYC, probably had a fling with Jack. Another friend on Facebook asked, "Was it in early 1955?"
That started the wheels turning. Where was Jack in March 1955 (nine months before I was born)? Where was my mom?
It's not inconceivable that they both were in NYC at the same time. I think Jack was living with Memere in Rocky Mount, NC, having moved there to be with her in February 1955. But he probably made some trips back to NYC. Interestingly, almost exactly 9 months to the day before I was born on 12-11-55, Charlie "Bird" Parker died (March 12, 1955). That would have bummed Jack out, being such a huge fan of the Bird and jazz in general. What did Jack do when he was bummed out? Drink and bar-hop. I doubt there was too much opportunity to do that in Rocky Mount. So he probably heard of Bird's death and hopped a bus to NYC to catch up with friends and do some serious drinking. This is all speculation, of course.
Let's speculate further. Maybe mom was in NYC with dad for some convention he was attending. He would have been tied up all day, and mom would have been shopping alone during the day and meeting dad for dinner that night. They took me with them one time, and all I remember is that I tried eating ox tongue at a dinner and it wasn't half bad. Maybe mom shopped all morning and decided to get a quick drink at a local tavern. She wasn't a bad-looking woman! Here's a pic of mom and dad at the Paramount in NYC around that time.
Anyway, guess who she runs into at the bar? Why, Jack, of course. You can fill in the remaining details yourself.
So, as Paul Harvey used to say, "And now you know . . . the rest of the story."
And now we know why I'm so obsessed with Jack Kerouac!
Seriously, folks, I'm just having fun here . . . wait a minute . . . I wonder what an heir to the Kerouac estate stands to inherit in on-going royalties?
Hmmm . . . .
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