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'His Own Miscreant Deeds'
Ron West's Queer Chicken Dinner pages 41-42


11

My chapter 11 first impression is, Kerouac displays ignorance of the local culture now that he has made it to San Francisco and calls it ‘Frisco.’ To locals from the ‘Bay Area’, San Francisco is known precisely as “San Francisco” or “The City.” Having hooked up with Frenchman Henri Cru (Cru’s book alias or fictional character is Remi Boncoeur) and working a security job together, Kerouac displays good sense in his handling of Okinawa bound migrant workers during their drunken bouts at the barracks he is responsible for, criticizes Cru for scheming to steal from them, but then helps Cru burglarize a cafeteria they should be guarding. In two pages time (chapter 11 is a real chapter, not a snippet story) Kerouac had been sneaking a view of Cru’s naked girlfriend sunbathing but in his Benzedrine psychosis while writing, has already forgotten and states: “I kept my promise to Remi [Henri Cru] and averted my eyes.”

During this several weeks period he’s employed, Kerouac claims he’d sent forty dollars every week to his mom. If this is true, the only question is not whether, but only the extent to which he’d subsidized this largesse, by engaging in petty crime.

Kerouac burns his bridges behind him with Henri Cru, one wonders how many of his own miscreant deeds Kerouac projects onto a man who, by Kerouac’s admission, would have nothing to do with him for years.

He then conjures up Allan Temko from nowhere and pins a consistent theme of what can only be his own boorishness on someone he does not like (too many other folk are behaving like a cloned personality ‘B’ jerk, when Kerouac’s been heavily drinking), getting thrown out of a fine restaurant, to close out chapter 11.

Our Rocky Mountain’s grandfathers were the peer generation of Kid Curry, and a frontier legacy of bad men/outlaws does not disappear in a generation. I’d known plenty of kids who’d committed criminal acts and in our territory, more than just a handful had wanted to give our outlaw legacy a try, at least once. Consequently, when planning a robbery, they did not mess around.

Like the time a few of our local boys hijacked a fork lift from the adjacent saw mill, and then drove it over to and through the large plate glass window at the B & B department store at Columbia Falls, Montana. Using the machine to remove the locked office door, in short order they’d lifted the shopping center’s safe and driven it back out, into the parking lot, the safe was dropped into the back of a pick-up truck, where they’d abandoned the fork lift and made their get-away. All this happened within a few minutes time and only a few blocks from the police department...

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