In researching for my thesis on the publishing history of On the Road for my out of control English class, I’ve falling truly, madly, deeply in love with Jack Kerouac. I’ve always been pretty convinced that I was supposed to exist during the fifties as a housewife with a wild side, but I’m more convinced than ever that I’m a reincarnation of one of his muses—I think maybe Edie Parker.
So I’m doing all this research on Jack, reading 1957 New York Times reviews, navigating the original scroll, planning my own roadtrip, when I get to a blurb about the Shepherd. The Shepherd was a bar I frequented in high school with my then musician boyfriend. I really dug it then- it’s a dive with a huge bookshelf, and an owner who (when you’re really trashed and feeling intellectual) will read you passages from his book on the duality of man. It turns out, however, that the Shepherd is an official shrine to Kerouac. Also, it’s right next to Paterson, where Kerouac started his On the Road trip. This clearly is a sign that our love was meant to be.