Jerry & Brian Prepare for the Drive East
The Beat Museum on Wheels roared into Pennsylvania
Monday night after a 2800 mile journey that took us
from the Pacific Ocean in Monterey, California to the
International Airport in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Along the way we saw great sights, had good times and
met some wonderful people as we averaged over five
hundred miles a day over five and a half days.
John Cassady had some personal business that precluded
him from making the drive east. He arrives by plane
on Thursday, September 8th just in time for our first
performance in Windber, PA on Friday night September
I was prepared to make the trip myself and as I was
readying the Beatmobile for the three month trip my
good friend Brian George (builder of the Beatmobile)
asked me one night, “You’re not making that trip by
yourself, are you?”
“Well, yeah. I’ll be OK.”
“But you really shouldn’t do all that driving
“Well, I know, but I’ve got to be in Pennsylvania.”
“Yeah, but that’s an awful lot of driving for you to
do all by yourself.”
Brian’s eyes gleamed and finally a switch went off in
my dull head and I asked, “Brian, do you want to go?”
So Brian joined me on my drive east. We made great
time and the Beatmobile ran strong and true – not so
much as a hiccup.
Along the way I hatched a plan to take advantage of
the fact I had the Master Builder of the Beatmobile on
board. I’d been looking for an opportunity for months
to make some modifications to the trailer portion of
the Beat Museum on Wheels to make for faster and
easier set-up and breakdown when we do our events.
As Brian and I clicked off the miles we penciled out
designs and we cooked late dinners and slept at truck
stops or Wal-Marts or campgrounds. I figured if we
could get into Pennsylvania Monday night we could make
all the modifications on Tuesday and still allow Brian
to fly out of Pittsburgh and back to California by
Wednesday and just in time for John to arrive on
Along the way Brian and I saw some great sights, met
some nice folks and I blessed all the people who
contributed to our Gas Fund as I saw each fill up of
the 80 gallon tank balloon to over $200.00 a tankful.
In Cheyenne, Wyoming we got off at a Rest Area to
change drivers at 9 PM and two women, Sara and
Rosemary, knocked on the glass. They’re both big
Kerouac fans and they’d followed us off the highway to
see what we were all about. When we said we were
looking for a truckstop to crash Sara insisted we park
at her house twenty minutes away. Turns out both her
husband and her son are big Beat fanatics and we had
dinner with all of them and enjoyed a home cooked
On our final day of driving, when we arrived in
Washington, Pennsylvania, we stopped at a Home Depot
so we could make our purchases for the modifications
to the rig. Just as we stepped off the Beatmobile we
were met by Marvin who runs the Garden Department at
the Home Depot. He asked what we were all about and
when we told him how we had just arrived from
California and of the shows we do and the plans for
the building modifications, he said, “Then you guys
need to stay on our lot tonight and we’ll help you any
way we can.”
Marvin told us of how he had hitchhiked from
Pennsylvania to San Jose, CA just two years ago and
how wonderful everyone was to him as he traveled. At
one point a trucker and his wife bought him a bus
ticket to San Jose so he wouldn’t need to thumb the
rest of the way. Later, when he missed his Greyhound
Bus connection at a stopover in Nebraska he was a
little concerned being a black man and a stranger
stranded in Nebraska, when a kid in a cowboy hat in a
convertible screeched to a halt and shouted, “Need a
ride?”. The kid drove eighty miles an hour and caught
the Greyhound bus a few towns later.
What a great country!
The Open Road with a Moose Head in the Sky
Brian 'On The Road' in the Beatmobile.
Ashton, Sara and Jason in Cheyene, WY
Sara LOVES Neal Cassady!
Route 80 is the same trail the Mormons blazed in 1846.
Gas Prices in Nebraska were an Arm & a Leg.
Jerry Singing as We Make Great Time.
Brian Navigating While Jerry Drives.
The Cornfields of Nebraska.
It Rained a Little in Ohio.
Brian Navigating Again.
Every Time I Bought Gas I Blessed Our Gas Contributors.
The Home Depot in Washington, PA Became Our Home.
Brian Prepares for the Modifications.
Picking Out Building Supplies.
Doing The Heavy Lifting.
Brian's in His Glory in a Hardware Store.
Marvin Stopped By to See How We Were Getting Along.
We Worked Late Into The Night.
I said, 'Brian, You're Going to Kill Yourself & I'll Have to Explain
It To Your Wife'.
Putting On The Finishing Touches at 1.30 AM.
Dinner Was at 2.00 AM & Brian Caught His Flight Home at 6.00 AM.