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Memories of Kerouac from a Relative named Raymi

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Award-winning Canadian blogger Lauren White, aka Raymi, was kind enough to take us up on our request to write a few things about Jack Kerouac on his most famous book's birthday.

My great grandfather was Jack Kerouac’s first uncle, so my grandfather is his first cousin or would be if Jack were still alive today.

All my life I overheard mention of this fact, Jack Kerouac, famous beat writer, poet, artist, revolutionary – it was not until I grew up some, did I begin to investigate it.

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So I attempted to read the Dharma Bums when I was in grade six, I got to the cross-legged poncho drug digging it part and was like, NEXT. It wasn’t until my last year of high school did I finally give Kerouac’s work a try again.

For our final assignment in my OAC (grade 13) English class we were to select any author with the same initial as our surname, my last name is White, my father’s last name, my mother’s maiden name is Kerouac so I plead to my teacher that I wanted to use this opportunity to read Kerouac and said my mom’s last name was Kerouac blah blah he was impressed and said sure. So we were to read two books by our chosen author and cross-compare them, fine.

I chose On the Road and Big Sur, took them out of the school library and off I went.