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Hit the Road Jack - Prologue Fall 2011

Hit the Road Jack - Prologue Fall 2011

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Published by Prologue Magazine
Jack Kerouac enlisted in the U.S. Navy but was found “Unfit for Service.” His records are in the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, Missouri.
Jack Kerouac enlisted in the U.S. Navy but was found “Unfit for Service.” His records are in the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, Missouri.

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Categories:Types, Research, History
Published by: Prologue Magazine on Oct 26, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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 J
ak Ka—Amia l h, kig  h Ba, ad ah  
On the Road 
—wa a Navy mil-iay i wh aild b amp. Whil m Ka bigaphi mi hi miliay xpi, h x  i wa kw il 2005, whh Naial Pl Rd C i S. Li, Mi-i, mad i pbli. I wa pa  h la  miliay l  ab 3,000 pmi Amia wh had bdad  a la 10 ya.Ka lid i h U.S. Navy Rv (h alldh U.S. Naval Rv) dig Wld Wa II. B h v- l h Uid Sa, v aw ai, ad v vmpld bai aiig.I all, h lad 10 day  b amp b big -d   h ik bay ad h h pyhiai wad 67 day. Ka’ xiv mdial ad pyhia-i valai pdd bh a lag l ad h -li ha h wa “ vi.”T qalii ha mad
On the Road 
a hg ad Ka a pwlyll, gid, ad li-ay i a h am ha dd him mak-ably iabl  h mil-iay: idpd, -aiviy, impliviy, -aliy, ad kl.
On the Road 
a b viwd a a gia xdd h lav. I-dd, h   hi -y ip la dpid i
On the Road 
 
k pla i 1947—j a w ya a hi aild miliay amp.Ti ya mak h 60h aivay  h wiig  
On the Road 
.
 
 Al-hgh h bk wa pblihd i 1957, Ka pdd h lgday 120- i ll i Apil 1951 by apig lg h  aigpap gh  h ld yp wih ipi.
Coumba Bckos Krouac Wth a Footba Schoarshp
Ka’ miliay pl l i hal a ih hik—aly 150 pag—ad dail a bld ldi-i-aiig wh llapd d miliay dii-pli ad . T d’ dig idiy ad hadw h a-, kl, impliv wadl ha haaiz Ka’ wiig.Ti l p bh a vy gid ad a vy dibd yg ma. Whil hi miliay d ild xiv mal xamiai, ial ild lla l  -mmdai. Ka ad-d Clmbia Uiviy  aball hlahip. T, h
Kerouac Enlisted in the U.S. NavyBut Was Found “Unfit for Service” 
HIT THE
road, jack
By Miriam Kleiman
 Above:
 Jack Kerouac enlisted in the U.S.Naval Reserve in December 1942because he was unhappy at Columbia andsought greater meaning at a historic time.
Left:
A letter o recommendation romthe principal at Horace Mann Prepstressed Kerouac’s “excellent reputation”and that “his record or character andcitizenship was o the fnest.”
 
 wa paid by ah ad p  hi“al billia,” lyaly, iizhip, ha-a, ad “gd bdig.”B ad aid i Lwll, Maah, K-a mpld high hl h, h p aaddiial ya  high hl a Ha MaPp i Nw Yk  a ll hlahip biig  Clmbia Uiviy. H mpl-d hi hma ya “wih ail ly i hmi-y.” H qi llg   h mha maib l a h mh. A h q  hi ball ah, Kad  Clmbia i Ob 1942, b hdppd  a mh la. I a Nvm-b 1942 l, h ld a id h wahappy a Clmbia ad gh gamaig a a hii im:I am waig my my ad my halh h a Clmbia . . . i’ b hg dbahy. . . . I am mid i h pih   ga imha i diig “Rm ad J-li.” . . . T a iig, magiim. . . . I am  y  havig -d  Clmbia,  I hav xp-id  i mh h. I hada gay, a mad, a magi im  i.B I bliv I wa  g bak  a. . .  h my,  h li addy,  h ha-dig ma,ad  h pih  h mm.I a maild l  a gilid i Jly 1942, Ka lid bl a-  liig:F  hig, I wih  ak pa ih wa,  ba I wa  killay, b  a a dily ppd killig—h Bhhd.  b wihmy Amia bh,  ha ma,my Ria bh;  hi dag b my dag;  pak  hm qi-ly, phap a daw, i Ai mi; kw hm, ad  hm  kw my-l. . . . I wa    llg wiha lig ha I am a bh  h ah, kw ha I am  g ad mg imy lil iv.O Dmb 8, 1942, a ya ad a day a hbmbig  Pal Hab, Ka lid i hU.S. Naval Rv  a -ya m  dy.
“F Mora Charactr Ad Good Brdg”
Ka’ miliay pl l ild glw-ig l  mmdai. Hi hl -d wa “  al billia bh h-laially ad ahlially,” ghd Lwll HighShl Ma Jph G. Py. Ka wa“a idal ppil wih a al mbiai billia ad ahli abiliy,” Py addd. Ad h wa a vahiv—aig 88 d-i wh ly 70 w qid  gadai.Ha Ma Pp piipal Chal C. ill-igha paid Ka’ pai i a l  mmdai wi i Nvmb, 1942: Jh Li Ka . . . had wih  am xll pai. Hi aadmid wa i vy way aiay, adhi d  haa ad iizhip wa  h .I am  ha h will b d lyal addpdabl i ay pii  pibiliy.Ka ivd a “qalid d-m” m hi Fh i a Clmbiah am mh:I d him . . . xmly apabl, p-d  a higly al illal a-paiy ad a abiliy  hik idpd-ly. M. Ka add  h qaliaia diily gagig paliy whihmak him wi id aily. H i ayg ma   mal haa adgd bdig. Hi l-lia ad -l hav b dmadby hi abiliy  d  himl, adgiv vid  h qalii  lad-hip y a dbdly kigamg y adida.B pig  bai aiig,Ka qd a a—hp-ig  pgad  “Naval Aviai Ca-d” (Navy pil) iad  “App-i Sama.” H appad b hNaval Aviai Cad Sli Badi B  a i  xamiai.Dpi ig wll i m bj(h ivd a 91 p “gal lai-ai,” 99 p i pllig, ad 95p i Eglih), hi a wa - jd. T bad d Ka “mpamally adapd  a.”I addii, Ka aild vall d “mhaial iapid”—ig j23 p  h mhaial apid .I hi mi-abigaphial vl
Vanity of Duluoz: An Adventurous Education, 1935–46 
,Ka mmaizd hi xpi:I ai  B  h US Naval AiF pla ad hy ll m ad i ahai ad ak m i I’m dizzy. “I’m  da-y,” ay I. B hy ah m  h alidmam h. “I y’ fyig a igh- had  ad h alid lvl i h  ad h, wha wld y d?”
Kerouac’s French instructor at Columbia wrote o his student’s “sel-reliance and resourceulness” and“qualities o leadership you are undoubtedly seekingamong your candidates.
Prologue
15Hit the Road, Jack 
 
“Hw h w hld I kw?”S I’m wahd   my llg da-i ad aigd  hav my hai havd wih h b a Nwp.
navy Boot Camp Dsastrous:“Bord easy, lackd Focus”
Ka pd  h Naval aiig Sa-i i Nwp, Rhd Ilad,  Fb-ay 26, 1943. T w  m ha, hwv; dig hi iiial xamiai,h wa “gizd a ily abmal  waa ial Dy a.” T ial pid did g wll; Ka’ b amp xpi wa a dia. A ly 10 day  bai ai-ig, h wa ad m h Naval ai-ig Sai  h Naval Hpial i Nwpba h had m hadah ad “ap-pad  b l, apahi, liv [
sic 
].I addii, “pyhiai xamiaidild adiy halliai, ida  - ad iid, ad a amblig, gadi,philphial ma.” Diagd wih d-mia pax (hizphia), Ka wa  h Naval Hpi-al i Bhda, Maylad(w h Naial NavalMdial C),  -h xamiai. A h Naval Hpial,d qid K-a a lgh ab hiamily, aadmi, wk,ad xal hiy. Hi lai m x-hag bw Kaad hi d.Hwv, hi - l  idad amily  a di- ppiv. Ka w  id adamily whil d b-vai. T lf Ka’ vayigp  h diag-i  v mal ill-—ai agigm jig  apig, ad v m-baig ad xalig, hi dii.T l al hw ha Ka md jy hallgig, ladig, ad v hk-ig hi d. Whil hi bhavi may havb a d mhaim  v dial, K-a did m  hav a bai dadig pyhiay; h dail dii, ympmad idia,  mal ill, dmiapax i paila. Caig hi mdiall wih hi l yild iigh i Ka’pyh a a pival im i hi li.Ka’ pyhiai aly d-mid ha hi aild miliay xpi -ld m hi ji  ahiy, d,diipli, ad .N piigly, pially giv hi la ad-v, Ka had b amp d  “hglai ad diipli.” Hi mdial hiy m h Bhda Naval Hpial  ha hbam bd aily ad lakd .
 
H “im-plivly l hl ba h had hig -h  la” ad “j a pipily” l -m jb “ba h l  ild.”“Pai bliv h qi ball  am a- h ld’ g alg i Navy, h a’ adglai, .” H qi hl “ba h lh had g all h ld m llg.”“I wa ak wih hm,” Ka admid.“I wa i a i  v ad I kw hy’dlk hm p; lik gig d m jb adgig   llg.”
“i just ca’t stad i k to b by mysf”
Iiially, Ka viwd h pyhlgi-al ig a “lly” ad a “a.” H ld himh ha i p  hadah “hy di-agd m wih dmia pax.” Kablivd h wa di, b  mally ill:“a a a I’m d I am v; I gv i a mial way b I’m  -v gh  g a dihag.”H laimd h wa xhad ba pi b amp h had b wiig 16 h aday, wkig  h vl
Te Sea is My Broth-er,
 whih h alld a “gigai aga” (hi vl wa  pblihd phmly).H did  lik bai aiig a all: “I ja’ ad i. I lik  b by myl.” I a -dad l, Ka xpaid:[I] wa laly ad imply a ma  malad- jm  miliay li. O hi, h pyhia-i ad I md  b agd i il. I b-liv ha i hi qi had dd a ha pi,my diagi wld hav b pyh-i—a vi li whih ldhav xplaid ay mb  idiyaii a pa paliy. . . . I   a big ahamd  my maladjm. I
Vanity,
Ka dail hi maladj-m a lgh:Wll, I did’ mid h igh-ya-ld kid  mh b I did mid h idaha I hld b diiplid  dah,  mk b baka,   d hi,ha,  haa . . . ad hi h bi h admial ad hi Figgi ai walk-ig ad llig  ha h dk hldb  la ha w ld y a gg  i,i i wa h gh, j killd m.
Kerouac’s handwritten resume o job experience lists his newspaper joband stint in the merchant marine and states that his record is “rather scant,because I’ve spent much time studying.”
16
Prologue
Fall 2011

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