Monday, May 11, 2009

Jack Kerouac slept here

When I was 19 and 20, living in San Luis Obispo, I learned that Jack Kerouac worked a brief stint in the trainyards there in 1953, sleeping in a hotel a stone's throw from the railroad.

At the time I was attending community college, working in a bookstore, and cultivating a fascination for the Beats. I emulated my heroes every chance I got, hopping freight trains to Oakland, wandering high or just ecstatic through San Francisco’s streets, hitch-hiking to Big Sur to camp by the river and meet wide-eyed eccentrics along the highway. I imagined that the hotel Kerouac stayed in was an earlier incarnation of "the Establishment," the funky 19-bedroom shared house that I called home, in the railroad district.

These days, I ride trains with an Amtrak ticket in hand and my interest in Kerouac and Co. has waned. Even so, I have often daydreamed about researching his time in San Luis, hoping to prove that the place he stayed was none other than the big green home of dreamers and beautiful souls at the corner of Santa Barbara and Leff Streets.

Turns out, my hunch was right...

Off the road
Jack Kerouac slept here

1 comment:

Matthew said...

The place that Jack Kerouac stayed was indeed the building that you called home