This weekend at a Berkeley cafe, I met a man who had met Jack Kerouac. (I think he overheard me talking about my recent reading of The Dharma Bums.) He said he met Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady in Big Sur around ’61 or ’62, and he was surprised at how “physical” Kerouac was, “like a lumberjack.”
He also said he Kerouac and Cassady punched and hugged each other a lot, so he thought there was a “homoerotic” relationship between them (what can I say? He’s a psychiatrist.). He also mentioned that he knew Gary Snyder. He said Snyder used to collect seashells in his hat as a way to pick up women. I still can’t figure out how he used seashells in his hat as a pickup line, but apparently, it worked.
Gotta love Berkeley!