Dear Jack Kerouac,
I first heard your name when I was a freshman in college. With grades like mine, I had no business even being at a university, but there I was. I did have the sense, however, of listening to the sage advice of one of my professors who suggested that I attend a poetry slam at one of the local taverns. There I overheard someone speaking about crossing the country with a copy of Jack Kerouac's 'On the Road' stuffed into their back pocket. I thought, who is Jack Kerouac and why would anyone carry his book around in their back pocket? After suffering through another hot Florida summer, I especially liked the part when his character, Sal Paradise, approaches Denver by car after traveling a great distance.
"The man and I had a long, warm conversation about our respective schemes in life, and before I knew it we were going over the wholesale fruit markets outside Denver; there were smokestacks, smoke, rail yards, red-brick buildings, and distant downtown graystone buildings, and here I was in Denver."
I made that same kind of journey many years later, though not in search of kicks, jazz, or transcendence. I was just looking for a place to start. It was beautiful for you then, and you'd be happy to know that many of your old haunts are still around. And though so much has changed, it's beautiful for me as well. Thanks, Jack!