Wednesday, September 7, 2011

( James Broughton )

kerouac  pronunciation

Dilley (Texas):

In the final passage of On the Road, Jack Kerouac writes about finding himself standing alone on the hot summer road under a street light in Dilley, Texas. He heard footsteps in the dark and a tall white-haired old man clomped past him with a backpack. He uttered the phrase, " Go moan for man." Its exact meaning was a mystery to Jack, but he thought about it philosophically and used the phrase in the book as if it were a command from another world.

the above quote is the epitaph on James Broughton's tombstone in Port Townsend, WA

this all taken from Bill Morgan's primo road galaxy of Beat travel

Beat Atlas (City Lights), with excellent by-line state by state

character by character, terrific photographs throughout

and dirt under the fingernails when done reading.


What a surprise, it's raining again.

Vermont Governor Shumlin is asking second home owners in the state to give over their homes for many folks lost with nothing after Hurricane Irene. I can hear a pin drop.

Where we are today, just over the border in New Hampshire (crossing the new big muddy Connecticut River) you can hear the flood talk flowing constantly from passersby.

Back home, in Guilford, our road is now the only road officially closed in town. Many have worked on the road over the past week to get it into a one lane path hobbled over river bed stones, but there is nothing "through" about the road. You come and you arrive. It once traveled down along the river to Massachusetts but that once scenic drive took a Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde turn for the hairy beast during Irene. You can get there by bicycle if you like to carry your bicycle. By vehicle is out. On-foot is blessed as ever. I haven't heard when the two towns plan to put their work crews together to meet at the new promontory point (the border) to rebuild the road, but it may not be before winter.

Selfishly, I adore the quiet. But that's just me.

Yesterday, a flotilla of dumptrucks were working the road north of us, up river, and beefing up the neighborhood-made one lane. A hard rain has been falling ever since. It was mudpie and bare rocks showing when we juggled out this morning in the dark at 5AM. The river roaring is making for bad dreams for man and animal alike.

Like everyone else, we might just scream with delight when the sun returns and stays out for maybe a pair of days. Wouldn't that be nice.

Still no phone. I can point to you in the river where our phone line is a half mile up river from our house. If I pick up a stone and throw it, then pick it up and throw it again, same direction, and heading toward that downed phone line, the house where that stone has landed closest to has phone service. Meaning between our house and the phone line in the river, that house has phone service. We don't. Don't try to figure it out. It's quite typical Vermont-we'll-get-it-to-you-service. That house is being fed from another backhill direction, ours is coming along the river. I remember when the phone line, such such as it was (I didn't have a phone), was stapled to trees. We've come a long way, we now have poles. Until Irene took them.

Try to laugh. It beats feeling sick.

During all of this rabble, Matthew Fluharty was kind enough to send to me a link to his wonderful site on all things rural & curious. Here it is:
He has fashioned a piece on Longhouse et al., and I just heard there is a second piece about my Back Road Chalkies. Thank you, Matthew, and I hope all enjoy.

There is a poet in Chicago, I forget her name right now out here on the lam, but she has a poem about hummingbirds where she writes (a very short poem) that those with the smallest hearts, like a hummingbird (like flood victims, I say), beat with the mightiest of wings.

a great map for back road news: