With all the talk about the On The Road manuscript I thought it might
be interesting if the Sixties List could see and read the last letter
Jack Kerouac wrote before he died.
While reading it remember that the Sampas family ended up with the
entire collection and have kept it private--with a few exceptions.
Jack Keroauc wanted his entire collection to be public. Wanted it
housed in a major library where people would have access to it.
The Sampas family has been selling off the collection piece by piece
for years. When Jan Keroauc was alive, and broke and ill and in need
of the royalties that were rightfully hers the Sampas family cheated
her--she never got what was rightfully hers.
You might remember Johnny Depp reading from Mexico City Blues on
national TV. The rights belonged to Jan Kerouac. She was never paid.
Depp's agent said the fee was paid. Jan told me it was not and Jan
was not a liar. Probably ended up in a Sampas pocket. At the time she
was desperately ill in Albuquerque.
It's a long story and a sad story, Jan died, she left her rights to
her ex-husband, who made a deal with the Sampas' and the law suit,
filed by Jan, to prove that the will Jack's mother left was a
forgery, never went to court in St. Pete, FL.
The Sampas' family ends up with millions and the public, the
students, the scholars, the writers, may or may not have access to
the primary collection.
Years ago, when I first posted Jack's last letter on my web site, the
lawyers for John Sampas threaten me with a law suit. They claimed it
belonged to the Keroauc estate. I ignored them because a few years
earlier they proclaimed it was a forgery. In fact they accused Jack's
nephew Paul of forging it.
Of course it was not a forgery and Sampas and his lawyers have been
forced to recognize that the letter is REALLY Jack Kerouac's last
This is what he thought of the people who ended up with his collections:
"'Dear Little Paul:
This is Uncle Jack. I've turned over my entire
estate, real, personal, and mixed, to Memere, and if she dies before me, it
is then turned to you, and if I die thereafter, it all goes to you.... I
just wanted to leave my 'estate' (which is what it really is) to someone
directly connected with the last remaining drop of my direct blood line,
which is, me sister Carolyn, your Mom, and not to leave a dingblasted
fucking goddamn thing to my wife's one hundred Greek relatives. I also plan
to divorce, or have her marriage to me, annulled. Just telling you the
facts of how it is....'
Jack Kerouac to Paul Blake Jr., October 20, 1969.
I do not have all the Keroauc material on my site at this time
because I'm reorganizing everything I have so it will be easier to
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon May 14 2001 - 20:56:58 EDT