Sarah Vogelsong of Richmond, Virginia, and the Washington Independent Review of Books, an online publication, reviewed the new novel by Jack Kerouac, “The Sea Is My Brother,” published in England and the United States. Kerouac wrote the book in 1942-43, when he was 20 years old, much of it originally composed by hand while living with his parents on Crawford Street in the Pawtucketville neighborhood of Lowell. The story is baed on his experience in the Merchant Marine on the S.S. Dorchester, sailing in the North Atlantic. Her review is of the Penguin UK edition, which has additional related writings by Kerouac that are not included in the US edition, unfortunately. Read the in-depth review here.
The “On the Road” movie trailer was released today. See it here.
An incredible photo taken Thursday night by Tony Sampas
The city’s newest source of information, Howl in Lowell, has added a big chunk of new content to its site. There’s a great story and video about “Live from Studio A”, a new program on LTC. It is hosted by Jerry Bisantz and each episode features a playwright from around the Merrimack Valley discussing a play that is then acted in the studio in front of the cameras. (Telecasts Saturdays at 9 pm on Lowell’s channel 8). In the “Food and Drink” section, another great video/story combo recommends several well known Lowell bars and cafes for their comfort food – where to get the best hamburger or baked chicken dinner in Lowell? Check out this segment to find out. For those of you interested in local history, I have a story about the Lowell City Library. There’s much, much more including many features on Jack Kerouac and the upcoming commemoration this weekend of what would have been his 90th birthday on March 12, 2012. So check out Howl in Lowell to find out what’s going on in the city.
The Chelmsford Genealogy Club passed along news of two upcoming events. On Saturday, March 17, 2012 from 1:30 to 4:30 PM, the club will host a Genealogy Jam Session at the Chelmsford Library. Using the more familiar jam session of musicians as a model, this is an opportunity for anyone from the just-curious to the advanced researcher to come together to ask questions, share techniques, collaborate on projects or just socialize. The event is free and open to residents of all communities (not just Chelmsford) and refreshments will be served.
The second event is Researching Your Civil War Records which will be held on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at 7 pm, also at the library. The speaker at this program will be Dennis Ahearn who is described in the following paragraph from the library’s website:
Dennis Ahern will speak on researching individuals who participated in the American Civil War, touching on the resources available in Massachusetts, the National Archives in Washington and on the Internet. These records sometimes provide clues to an individual’s birthplace and family history through letters and affadavits in pension files. Mr. Ahern has lectured on a variety of historical and genealogical subjects in Ireland, Canada and the U.S., and has published articles in several journals. A trustee of the Acton Memorial Library since 1982, he is currently documenting all of the Civil War veterans of Acton. Born and raised in Arlington, he served as Vice President of the Arlington Historical Society from 1997-2001.
The notice from the Chelmsford Genealogy Club describes itself as “a friendly group of people who share an interest in genealogy” and emphasizes that attendance and membership is not limited to residents of that town. If you’d like more information about the club, this link on the library webpage allows you to subscribe to monthly e-newsletters.
In his opinion column today, NYTimes writer David Brooks muses about his lifelong affection for the New York Mets baseball team. As he usually does, Brooks expands from particular to universal and winds up making an observation about what makes people truly happy. In his analysis he uses two American works of art to symbolize the choices one might make: “On the Road” and “It’s a Wonderful Life.” His framing of this is a little too neat and simple, but he’s feeling nostalgic today. That he would make Kerouac’s book and story an illustration of “a core American debate” reinforces the position of that classic novel in our national culture. Something to note in the Lowell journal. Read David Brooks here, and get the NYT on your porch or online if you want more.
Last week the US House of Representatives approved the Lowell Nation Park Exchange Act filed by Congresswoman Niki Tsongas. According to a press Release issues Tsongas’ office on February 29:
The bill permits the transfer of the National Park’s surface parking lots on Dutton Street to the City in exchange for an equal number of parking spaces in a new garage to be built adjacent to the existing parking lots.
“The exchange of property between the Park and the City is needed to further the development of the Hamilton Canal area which will create new economic opportunity and thousands of new jobs in Lowell,” said Congresswoman Niki Tsongas. “Today’s approval of the bill helps to move this commonsense land exchange forward and we will continue to press for full Congressional approval of this mutually beneficial measure in the weeks ahead.”
The land where the Dutton Street lots are located is needed for the development of the Hamilton Canal District. Lowell National Historical Park is eager to provide the City of Lowell with the property but federal law requires that the National Park Service receive land of equal value in exchange. The legislation that Tsongas introduced, and a companion measure introduced by Senator John Kerry in the Senate, provides the vehicle for the mutually-agreed-upon exchange.
Below, Senator John Kerry urges a National Parks Sub-committee to pass the bill also.