The Flamingo: Kerouac’s last drink

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October 20th, 1969 was like any other day in Florida. The weather on that particular day in St. Petersburg was most likely sunny and warm. A slight hint of autumn may have hung in the air and the leaves on the lush golden rain trees were just beginning to turn. While most people were on their way to work at 8:00 a.m., a reclusive writer stood in front of the Flamingo Bar on 9th Street, waiting for it to open. The man was Jack Kerouac and he had his last drink in a quiet booth set against a wall. Right after midnight Jack left the bar and three hours later he entered St. Anthony’s Hospital on 7th Ave and died of  internal hemorrhaging. He had cirrhosis of the liver and was dead at the young age of 47.


8 thoughts on “The Flamingo: Kerouac’s last drink

  1. Thanks! I appreciate the feedback. I completely agree. Kerouac was too young to die. It was such a tragedy because he was only 47 and the only thing that stood in the way of his future was alcohol. He was a rare talent.

    • Arlen,

      So you have somewhat of a third degree of separation to Jack! Very cool. Does your father-in-law have any interesting stories about Mr. Kerouac? He was a bit of a recluse so I find interesting to research anyone who knew him and what their experiences were, even if they were casual acquaintances.

      • If you type “Jack Kerouac Harry Allison” into Google, you’ll get several references to my father-in-law and his minor connections with Kerouac. Unfortunately, Harry passed away several years ago. My wife (his daughter) probably heard him tell some stories. I’ll ask her if you’re interested.

      • Arlen,

        Fantastic! Thanks for the information. I looked up the info you provided and was thrilled to read obscure stories about Jack. Harry Allison was mentioned in an article in Life magazine. I am doing a Jack Kerouac project right now and would love to gather as many stories as possible.

    • Hey Thanks! Ginsberg was an original. He had such a profound influence on everyone around him. I really enjoy Iron Horse and The Fall of America. He was a great poet who in some ways restructured the art of writing poetry.

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