visiting jack kerouac’s grave

…there was nowhere to go but everywhere, keep rolling under the stars, generally the Western stars…

Yesterday, October 21st, marked the anniversary of the death of Jack Kerouac, one of the iconic travel writers of his generation, probably best known for his book On The Road. Kerouac was originally named Jean-Louis Kérouac, an emblem of his Québécois heritage. If he were still alive he’d be 91 years old, which is hard for me to imagine given that by the time I came into the world he was long dead, having succumbed to alcohol-related diseases in 1969.

In March of this year, my daughter and I embarked on an off-season adventure in New England. While driving through Lowell, Massachusetts we stopped to visit Kerouac’s grave. Thinking it would be heavily marked with signage, I did not research ahead of time how to find his gravestone in the vast cemetery. I drove around for almost an hour and was feeling rather frustrated with my lack of the unlikely ability to chance upon my goal.

My phone didn’t have data outside Canada, so I couldn’t solve my problem using the internet. Luckily, before leaving I had added a few out-of-country minutes to my phone so I finally called up my friend Corrine who found directions online and guided us to his final resting spot. I was shocked that it was one of the flat markers and had very little fanfare around it. Time goes on I suppose. I’m usually the only one there when I visit cemeteries, leaving me wondering about their point.

Jack Kerouac's grave, Lowell, Massachusetts

1 Comment

  1. Helen
    October 23, 2013

    cool post !

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