“All he needed was a wheel in his hand and four on the road.” – Jack Kerouac

I was always a reader as I came from a family of readers. They passed down to me the books that had been meaningful to them, both classics and those of their contemporaries. It wasn’t until my early ‘teens’ that I became aware of the art, music, and writing of my own time: Pollack and deKooning, The Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan, J.D. Salinger…and Jack Kerouac’s ON THE ROAD.

Kerouac’s rambling and rambunctious narrative was fresh air, my first beer, my first kiss. It was speaking the way I was thinking, his open road opening my eyes and mind. I read On The Road straight through without a sense of my own time and space, only Kerouac’s. Looking back now, it was writing both of its time and timeless. It was more than 50 years ago that I read On The Road, and even though I’m far removed from that 14-year-old whose voice had yet to change, it is as fresh as this morning, and inspires me again.

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