The Characters
Neal Cassady
Beat Timeline
The Sex Letter
Jazz List

Dean once suffered a year of steady employment as a railroad breakman. He made $400 a month–even managing to save a little money. During this period from the autumn of 1947 to the winter of 1948 he also managed a period of steady domesticity with his second wife, Camille, and their new daughter in San Francisco. One day he and Ed Dunkel were walking down the street and saw a '49 Hudson for sale. Dean impulsively blew his entire roll on the Hudson. He made crazy excuses and empty promises to Camille and off he flew, with Dunkel, across the continent to find Sal and embark on another great adventure.

Sal Paradise is Kerouac's autobiographical character in the great American novel "On the Road." If you have read the book and can't dig it, there may be little hope–you are almost certainly a "lost soul." On the other hand, you may have endured a sheltered, conventional existence and somehow managed to not read "On the Road," yet have an itch for something real–a desire to know the planet sans the packaging. If so, all your preconceived notions and programed future are subject to revision. Offer no excuses, protests or hesitation–let the journey begin.

Is it possible to understand the context of transformation, freedom and non-conformity that characterized the middle decades of the 20th century without knowing Kerouac and the Beats? Probably not. "On the Road" was to become the manifest for cultural change that would impact generations of Americnsa for decades.

This web page is remarkably similar to an endless roll of paper. It encourages thoughts, ideas, images–whatever seems interesting to flow forth in an uninterrupted stream–the way Kerouac liked to write. In fact, Kerouac taped sheets of paper together and created his manuscript in a roll so as not to interrupt the flow. If it relates to the road, art, jazz, literature, language, Americana, the Beats, the fifties, sixties and seventies, things that have changed, things that ought to change... you might find it here.