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Lowell Revisited 10/30/04

Lowell – revisited

October 30, 2004

by Jerry Cimino

So we blew out of Maine like a cold winter wind! It was a great gig and we met some terrific folks and the high school kids loved us but we had a lot of miles to roll so we rolled. We stopped through Lowell again – this time on a mission.

See, the Red Sox had just won the World Series a few nights before and we knew Jack had always been a big Red Sox fan. He was also a Yankee fan, too, but alas… those were simpler days!


Visiting Jack's grave after the Red Sox won the World Series.

But one of the observations made by one of the TV commentators immediately after the Sox won their fourth game was, “Entire generations of Sox fans have lived and died without ever seeing a World Series Championship”. We quickly realized Jack was one of those fans - born in 1922 and died in 1969 so he obviously fell between those two famous wins – 1918 and 2004.


Jack loved baseball as a child.

The flag marks Sammy Sampas' grave.

So on our drive out of Maine we determined to bring a little Red Sox cheer to old Jack. We called up Steve Edington in Nashua, NH to hatch the plan! Steve and his wife Michelle would tour us around Lowell again for the umpteenth time – this time to celebrate the Red Sox win with old Jack. We went to Edson Cemetery, 9 Lupine Road, the house Jack was born in as well as the Stations of the Cross at the Grotto made famous in Dr. Sax and also St. Jean Baptiste Church.


The house Jack was born in - 9 Lupine Road.

The Grotto from Jack's childhhood.

The cross Jack would often kneel before.

John lights two candles at the Grotto - one for Jack and one for Neal.

The candles on the altar at the Grotto.

Archambault Funeral Home where Jack was laid out.

At Saint Jean Baptiste Church

The Choir Boys!

After the day’s tour our friend Eileen led us all over to the Worthen House, one of Jack’s favorite drinking spots. They have Kerouac memorabilia on the walls and we learned that one of the things the place is really famous for is the fact that Edgar Allen Poe wrote The Raven upstairs. I have a special connection with The Raven. It was the first scary movie I ever saw at a movie theatre. My brother Jack took me to see that damn thing when I was like five years old. I still have nightmares about it! I can’t blame Jack, though, he was only eleven and it’s not like they had a PG-13! rating system back in 1960. I think this is the reason to this very day I don’t like scary movies – but I digress…


The Worthen House - one of Jack's favorite hangouts.

Inside the Worthen - see the Kerouac poster on left.

So, we’re inside the Worthen toasting a few to Jack’s memory (as if we needed that for an excuse) when we meet these couple of guys and strike up a conversation with them and it turns out they’re from out of town like North Carolina or some place and they had just left Jack’s grave like five minutes before we got there and decided to go to the Worthen as well. The one guy didn’t believe John was who he said he was and asked to see his license to prove it. We had such a hoot with these guys, everyone buying everyone else drinks etc etc.

You really ARE John Allen Cassady!


Later we made it to Eileen’s for a big dinner and a night of story telling. A friend of hers named Andrew stopped by and he and John hit it off famously. You ever know someone who has to have the last word in a conversation and won’t stop until they do? Well, that night we had two of those people in the room and the conversations kept going and going and going!! When all the goodbye’s had been said out on the parking lot, instead of two rams butting heads John and Andrew were hugging and laughing. Andrew even gave John his tie as a going away present – none of us know why! All’s! well that ends well, though, and when the dust had cleared there was no blood on the floor so that was a good thing.

Another night in Lowell. God bless us, everyone.



Reading fortune cookies at Eileen's house.

Garland makes a new friend!

John and Andrew trade good natured barbs.




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