Friday, January 05, 2007


This week's NDT front page gives a clue to the excitement within. Top story: "R2 to R1 draws big crowd." It's a residential zoning story; I'd explain, but your heart couldn't take it.

Below the fold: "Lake obtains IB candidate status." This one begins:
Lake Middle School, perched on the former indigenous meeting grounds overlooking Sloan's Lake, boasts an eclectic architecture that borrows its styling from European baronial mansions, its fixtures from Scandinavian Viking ironwork, and its brickwork from solid, red Colorado clay. Like its architecture, the student body at Lake comes from all walks of life and as world citizens these middle school students are in the initial stages of receiving an International Baccalaureate education.
Translation: from now on, Lake students have to take a foreign language.

Other features in this week's NDT:

  • A guest editorial: "Recycle your X-mas tree."

  • A "Police Crime Beat" (why'd they add the "Police"? Are the cops doing the crimes? Again?), "by Kristen Jacoby, Denver Police":
    There have been some incidents in this neighborhood related to bars and drinking. If you are out with friends at a bar, please be aware of others around you. While the holiday season is enjoyable, it may also cause increased stress--which may come out when an individual has been drinking. Alcohol has the ability to increase an already tense condition. So please by careful in these situations.
  • And news you can use: "Beginning January, the Denver Public Library will host a collection of program and events as well as displaying author Jack Kerouac's original 120-foot scroll, on which he wrote On the Road."

    That sentence is kind of "Beat" itself. There are events all this weekend to celebrate the scroll's arrival, including a showing of Pull My Daisy and a three-hour "urban hike through Downtown, Five Points, Curtis Park, Lower Downtown and Rail Yard neighborhoods highlighting some of the most important literary settings for both Kerouac's and Neal Cassady's works."

    Well, the scroll will be here for a few months, anyway. I'll check it out sometime, maybe even get some pictures. Lucky you.

  • Update: The reverent treatment the scroll is getting reminds me of the rod.

    Update II (1/9/07): Alan Prendergast remembers a 1982 gathering of beats and hippies at the Naropa Institute in Boulder:

    The occasion was the silver anniversary of the publication of On the Road, an excuse for a ten-day literary conference sponsored by the Naropa Institute and its Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. It was an opportunity “to indulge,” as Allen Ginsberg put it, “in delicious orgies of nostalgia” concerning the glory days of Beatdom, and everybody who was anybody was there: Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Gregory Corso, Ted Berrigan, Ken Kesey, Paul Krasner, even Timothy Leary and Abby Hoffman. The only ones missing were, of course, Kerouac himself (who drank himself to death in 1969) and his pal Neal Cassady (barbiturates, 1968) . . . .

    Defying Nancy Reagan’s just-say-no campaign, LSD guru Leary declared, “There are no bad drugs.” That prompted me to seek out the author of Junkie and Naked Lunch, to see if he agreed with Dr. Leary.

    “I wouldn’t go along with that,” Burroughs muttered. “There are certain drugs that are a hell of a lot worse than others. Ether, for example.”

    The best zinger, though, was delivered by a young member of the audience, who asked the assembled panelists, “Why are Jack and Neal dead? You all are up there, but they’re not.”

    Nobody had a good answer.

    A quarter-century later, all the major luminaries of that conference — Ginsberg, Burroughs, Kesey, Leary, Hoffman — are all dead, too. But On the Road, at fifty, is still holding up just fine.

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