Monday, March 5, 2012

Planning for Jack Kerouac's 90th birthday

Jack Kerouac's 90th birthday is one week from today. I'm feeling compelled to do something for Jack's 90th, but I'm not sure what. I originally had intended to see if some bar or coffeehouse would allow me to host a party, maybe with readings and musical accompaniment. I asked one place and didn't get a response, and then I lost my oomph and didn't pursue it. Besides, up here in Maine, I don't think a Kerouac bash would attract much attention. I also like the idea of a Kerouac flash mob, but that's way beyond my organizational skills.

Which leaves me with no particular plans for Jack's 90th. I suppose I could make a trek to Lowell, but I'm just not feeling it given that I work until late Friday afternoon. Nevertheless, as a public service, click here to find out what's going on in Lowell to celebrate, starting on Thursday March 8. I encourage you to go, especially if you're a Kerouac fan and you've never been to Lowell.

If you're out San Francisco way, The Beat Museum is doing it up on March 11 and 12 ( the latter being Jack's actual birthday), with appearances by Beat notables like Al Hinkle, John Allen Cassady, and Brenda Knight. Click here for details.

I'm of a mind to celebrate on Jack's birthday, not around it, but there's no way I'll be in San Francisco on the 12th. Whatever I do, it should involve his favorite drink, but that's a matter of disagreement depending on which resource you tap (no pun intended). Many websites say his favorite drink was a margarita (which I can get down with since I love them), but at the same time I don't remember his characters drinking them in his novels (I'm willing to stand corrected). I remember poor boys of Tokay wine, beer, and I know he drank whiskey. My friend Keith (my "Neal") always told me Jack drank Jack Daniels and ginger ale, but I can't confirm it (although I'm pretty sure he was no stranger to his namesake).

Perhaps you find it ironic that I would lift a glass to Jack in the first place. I find it necessary.

Another essential ingredient is, obviously, reading some Kerouac. I do that every day, so I will have to find a special passage to read.

A little quiet time out under a tree would be a nice touch. And petting a cat would be another Kerouacian touch.

Maybe I'll just come home from work, sit quietly in my easy chair, look at the trees outside my window, turn on the Beverly Hillbillies, pet my cat as he sleeps in my lap (his usual place), read a passage from Visions of Gerard, drink straight out of a bottle of Old No. 7, and croon Happy Birthday in my finest beat voice.

Because, after all, it's the thought that counts.


Rick Dale, author of The Beat Handbook said...


Sissy said...

don't forget to eat some
"Wheaties by a pine breeze kitchen window in America"...

Rick Dale, author of The Beat Handbook said...

Nice, Sissy!