It's October again, my favorite month, and Kerouac month in my personal literary liturgy. And no better way to kick off Kerouac month than with 'sweet gone Jack' reading from "October in Railroad Earth" from Lonesome Traveler, 1960. Steve Allen provides the wonderful piano accompaniment. I have the Grove Press Black Cat 1970 paperback edition. I bought it on Bourbon Street in New Orleans, 12 April 1973.
I was travelling East by thumb to check out East Coast graduate schools where I had been accepted, but mostly I 'rode the dog' (Greyhound bus), a mode of transport I wouldn't put up with today: two guys behind me chain-smoked and talked all the way from Los Angeles to Phoenix. New Orleans proved to be memorable, including the flophouse on Carondelet I stayed in for $2. It was there that Lonesome Traveler joined On the Road in my rucksack.
I never before had seen Tabasco bottles so big as on the tables of the Bourbon Street bars and eateries. Exulting in the beat quiddity of the scene, I couldn't help but share my enthusiasm for Nawlins with a lady of the evening, not sampling her wares, but just talking to her on the street, she thinking me naive, and I was.
Here is a long excerpt (7:10), which contains the whole of the first two sections of "October in Railroad Earth," pp. 37-40, of the Black Cat edition.
You don't know jack about Jack if you don't know that he was deeply conservative despite his excesses. The aficionados will enjoy The Conservative Kerouac.