18 06 2007

I was looking at a blog about strange maps and I came across a hand drawn map of the USA by Jack Kerouac. That got me doing some research on the guy.

I have read half of “On the Road,” and enjoyed the half I did read. I only stopped reading because I found a job and had no time for it anymore. That was almost 4 years ago this summer. The book is still on my shelf, with a little plastic thing for a bookmark. You know, those little plastic tabs that are used to attach tags to clothing at stores. I wonder if those have an official name.

Back to my point, which is that I have found many parallels with Kerouac’s life and my own.

For example, today I read that Kerouac’s parents lived in Ozone Park, NY, which was where I was born. From what I remember of “On the Road,” Kerouac would return to his mothers home in NY when he wasn’t wandering the country. I had no idea while reading the book that he was going to Ozone Park, the city where I was born and lived for the first 12 years of my life.

During his wanderings, Kerouac spent some time in the Central San Joaquin Valley, around Mariposa, Madera, Fresno, Selma, and Bakersfield. Most of that is documented in “On the Road,” and from what I remember he ended up picking grapes and digging ditches with migrant workers, which is what he had become. I have also resided in Madera and currently live in Fresno.

I also found out that Kerouac was discharged from the Navy for psychiatric reasons, much like myself. Although I was never discharged from the Navy for psychiatric reasons, there was an attempt made to get me discharged for reasons that could only be explained as “psychiatric.” Or maybe it was “psychotic,” I always confuse those two.

So there is but a fragment of the parallelization’s that I share with Jack Kerouac. I’m sure there are more, but I haven’t found any yet. And I probably should finish “On the Road” if I am going to find any more facts of interest.




One response

19 06 2007

I read it years ago and every once in a while think about reading it again. But then I look at the huge pile of books on my nightstand, all of them with bookmarks sticking out, and realize that it’s just not going to happen.

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