Thursday, September 13, 2007

Beat Hotel.

The Colburn Hotel on Capitol Hill has a storied past. It features into Jack Kerouac's seminal novel On the Road: poet Allen Ginsberg, Denver car thief Neal Cassady, and his future wife, writer Carolyn Cassady, spent lusty, Summer nights there in 1947, inspiring characters and situations within Kerouac's book -- a fact which fires the imagination of a character within my own novel, A Western Capitol Hill.

This year, On the Road celebrates the 50th anniversary of its publication. This past January, the Denver Public Library exhibited the original scroll upon which Kerouac typed his manuscript. As part of the festivities, Carolyn Cassady attended. Here she is with architect Ed White (who inspired the character of Tim Gray within On the Road), left, and her son with Neal (who inspired the character of Dean Moriarty), John Cassady, right:

The story of Carolyn Cassady bedding both her husband, Neal, and their friend, Jack Kerouac, also inspired an atrocious movie from 1980, Heart Beat. The less said about that, the better.

But as for the 120,000 words of On the Road typed by Kerouac in 20 days? Whew!

If you're ever in Denver, have a drink at Charlie Brown's Bar & Grill at the Colburn Hotel, and salute its, as musician Slim Gaillard would have put it, history-arooni.

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