|All Roads Lead to Rocky Mount by Dan Barth Page 4|
"I say all this to show you that of the South I can speak. I have known--I mean, man, I dig the South."
~ Jack Kerouac, On the Road
The next morning we were all up and et 'em. Helen bustled around the kitchen like Aunt Bea, fixing breakfast. After breakfast there was a consensus--time to head for Rocky Mount. All right!
The pictures here are from our first stop on the tour, the little house at 1328 Tarboro Street where Jack and his mother Gabrielle stayed with the Blakes in the late 1940s. This is the house in "Testament, Virginia" that Dean Moriarty, Marylou, and Ed Dunkel unexpectedly pull up to in a new Hudson just before Christmas of 1948 in On the Road.
The little girls in the pictures were living there in the summer of 1996. They ran inside and asked their daddy if it was okay for us to take pictures. He sent back word that it was. None of them had ever heard of Kerouac.
Across from the house were a cleaners and a bakery outlet store. Not far away was a worn looking Twin Cinemas. There was nothing new and modern about this part of Rocky Mount. It was sleepy, funky, Southern, nice.
Copyright © 2005- by Daniel Barth. All rights reserved.
Opening of Desolation Angels: "THOSE AFTERNOONS, those lazy afternoons, when I used to sit, or lie down, on Desolation Peak, sometimes on the alpine grass, hundreds of miles of snowcovered rock all around, looming Mount Hozomeen on my north, vast snowy Jack to the south..."
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