- Essays: On The Road (And A Little Off)


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Panama's Saint Pete Blues

March 19th or so. It is Monday---The Cabbie and I rolled outta bed about noon. He'd been up all night catching up on thirty-year-old St Pete dirt with our host/benefactor Flame.
I'd played the Kerouac benefit at the Flamingo on Saturday night, and tho I'd been promised a little something to help defray my expenses, no lagniappe was forthcoming as it was felt more appropriate to spend money on renovating the house inherited by the late literary giant's brother-in-law, who hated him, than to see to the upkeep of a living literary dwarf who'd come 750 miles at their request to spill his musical guts out onto MLK Street in the middle of the night.
What should happen and what the money should be spent on is of course a movement to get the City of St Pete to eminent domain the joint and make it a small museum - hell, they've spent a million or more on Salvador Dali who never had a single drink at the Flamingo.
Jack's house is very small; I can see it now, the interior roped off to deter the souvenir collectors.
Here's Jack's TV which he watched all the time to avoid talking to Stella, Here's Jack's desk, chair and Smith-Corona typewriter where he was unable to put on paper a single thought that wasn't jammed with "fear and hate and doubt" as Ronny Elliott says, in Jack's St Pete Blues.
Well, what the hell, Jack didn't really make a dime while he was alive, either.
Tomorrow (Tuesday) night my good friends Pat Barmore and Pete Gallagher have put together a really good show at Beak's Old Florida here in St Pete on Central Avenue, at which I, that is to say, me, will be appearing. You should come.
Au Renoir, Panama