|Al Hinkle (R) with Jack Kerouac|
Al Hinkle, who readers know was Big Ed Dunkel in Jack Kerouac's On the Road and who also appeared in other Kerouac works, died on December 26, 2018. I believe Al was born in 1926, although I don't know the month and day, making him 92.
At the time of his death, Al was the only living person who had been in the car with Kerouac on any of the road trips Jack wrote about in On the Road. Hence the name of the book, Last Man Standing, which we curated here on November 2, 2018.
We had the honor of interviewing Al for The Daily Beat. That post appeared here on January 31, 2012.
I had the privilege of meeting Al one time. It was at a beat poetry event at Sweetwater in Mill Valley, CA. We posted about that here (it includes a picture of Al speaking at the event). I remember that he was kind and gracious to me.
Here's a little bit about Al from Dave Moore's excellent Character Key to Kerouac's Duluoz Legend (available here).
Everything that has a beginning has an ending, but that doesn't make endings any less sad. RIP, Al. You left a mark on this world.
I'm picturing Al walking through the pearly gates and the Beat Generation is alive and well in heaven, with all the guys and gals still hanging out and looking great. RM
What a reunion it must be!
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