Kerouac, Jack (1922-1969) Typed Letter, with Manuscript Additions, [18 February 1940.]
Two sheets, single-spaced typing on all four sides. To George J. Apostolos, written from Kerouac's time at the Horace Mann School in New York, with descriptions of a recent blizzard, and social exploits; with additions in pencil at head, foot, and intertextually, on marigold yellow paper, 8 1/2 x 7 5/8 in.
This letter was composed just after the Valentine's Day blizzard that hit New England on February 14, 1940. In it, Kerouac describes his social interactions with wealthy school classmates from Horace Mann School, including seeing a friend's beautiful younger sister, with whom he is quite smitten. Kerouac also mentions seeing Glenn Miller at the Hotel Penn. On a literary note, an anecdote that may have grown into a story from Kerouac's Vanity of Duluoz also appears here. "About the snow storm. It was raging outside with a 70-mile gale. I decided to get a taste of the Lowell trips I used to make through the fields during big blizzards. I dressed up well and ventured out. I went down by the docks and listened to the ships in distress on the bay and on the East River. Later, I stopped into a waterfront bar for a stomach-warming beer. Here I studied various characters. Then I went out and went on the Brooklyn Bridge. There I stood alone, with the gale full in my face, the only man on the Bridge on that night. Once in a while, a blast would almost blow me over, but I resolved to conquer the fear I had for a while. I did conquer it, for I could stand there and laugh out loud after a while. I don't know why I did it, but I do know that it was the first adventurous experience I've had in a long time."
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