The Dharma Bums, by Jack Kerouac

by Derwood Hunsdale-Talbot on September 17, 2009

the-dharma-bumsOpening line:
Hopping a freight out of Los Angeles at high noon one day in late September 1955 I got on a gondola and lay down with my duffel bag under my head and my knees crossed and contemplated the clouds as we rolled north to Santa Barbara.

Mr. Derwood Hunsdale-Talbot’s comments:
As a boy, I found myself in Santa Barbara. Though no more than four or five years of age, I easily recall, with flawless diamond clarity the image of father at the wheel of our Lincoln Continental Mark IV. We were heading up the avenue, away from the marina. In my hand, I held a teardrop-shaped, gumdrop-sized lead fishing weight. I had tied it, as best as my not-yet-fully-developed fine motor skills would allow, to a long piece of monofilament fishing line. Surreptitiously, I dropped the weight “over the side” of the limousine and carefully fed forth the attached line. There were no cars immediately behind, and I watched with glee as the weight bounced along the pavement. After a minute or so, eager to see the effect of the trip on the weight, I dragged it in. It was gleaming with scrapes, dents and other abrasions. I felt I had accomplished something secret and important.

Ronald Reagan lived in Santa Barbara.

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