Literature often describes places we are curious about, regardless of whether we know them or not. This blog maps the journeys laid out in selected books and offers reflections corresponding to the various stops. Happy traveling!

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I was born in Eureka, California and adopted when I was 2.  I grew up in Fort Bragg, California, and graduated high school in 1982.  I finished a BA in English at Santa Clara University, and then did two years of volunteer service with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in inner-city Milwaukee.  I lived in Milwaukee from 1986-1995.  I got married in 1995 to Megan Kamerick and moved to San Antonio, Texas where I worked for a non-profit organization while I picked up an MA in International Relations at St. Mary's University.  In 2000, I started a Ph.D. program in Political Science at the University of New Orleans and we lived there until 2004.  Megan accepted a job in Albuquerque 2004, and we have lived there up to the present.  I completed my Ph.D. in 2008 and am currently working at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine.

Monday, April 16, 2007

On the Road: Mill Valley

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On the Road: Mill Valley, California

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Blogger Ben said...

Mill City as described in On the Road (OTR) is undoubtedly Marin City (MC), the name being a typical Kerouac conflation of "Marin City" and "Mill Valley."

MC's population was nearly all African American until around the end of the 1980s, when real estate values got so high in Marin that developers started to put up houses on the hills above MC proper.

Many blacks moved from the South during WWII to work in Sausalito's shipyards and other war enterprises. Barracks-style housing was constructed during the war to accommodate them. Many stayed on after the war.

I don't believe Kerouac had met Snyder when he wrote OTR. If you want details of that meeting of the minds, read Dharma Bums.

I grew up across the street from the shack Snyder lived in. THAT was in Homestead Valley, an unincorporated area west of Mill Valley. Snyder's character is named Japhy Ryder.

1:19 AM  
Blogger Michael L. Hess said...

Thanks for your comment and clearing up some mysteries.

12:37 PM  
Blogger Sara G. said...

Thank you. I was wracking my brain trying to figure out where this was. Lived in the Bay Area my entire life. I used to live in Hunters Point but did t know if there were ever shacks there.

4:36 PM  

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