Visiting the Harker School in San Jose, CA

Harker School Visitor Pass

The new Beat Museum on Wheels II just returned from our very first school visit! We drove to the Harker School in San Jose, California to deliver a new presentation called “Jack Kerouac Centennial 1922-2022” to the student body.

Picking up the refurbished trailer from Dale at S&S RV in Richmond
Picking up the refurbished trailer from Dale at S&S RV in Richmond

A week prior, we’d just picked up the refurbished trailer. Dale at S&S RV in Richmond, CA had just completed the refurbishment of the very same trailer we used with the original Beat Museum on Wheels back in 2004 and 2005. He installed new rims and tires, new LED lights, rewired all the electrical and even added brakes to the trailer for when we’ll need to carry those heavy loads of books down the Grapevine on our way to Los Angeles or over the Rocky Mountains toward the East Coast.

In those days, John Allen Cassady and I traveled in a 1987 Airstream. It was a magnificent rig and quite spacious as well, but given its age it seemed to break down a lot, and every time I asked a mechanic to look at it I was quoted $1,000 just to open the hood. Add in the fact the Airstream only got 4.5 mpg, and you can see why we opted for something smaller this time around. 

We drove out of San Francisco last Wednesday to pick up the new magnetic signage for the RV from SpeedPro in San Carlos. They did a great job, and the new graphics look terrific on the rig. Later we drove through Saratoga to the edge of the Santa Cruz mountains and overnighted in Sanborne Park in Santa Clara County.

Rehearsing aboard the Beatmobile
Rehearsing aboard the Beatmobile

After a late afternoon hike in the redwoods, Estelle and I had one final rehearsal aboard the RV in the campground Wednesday evening. On Thursday we were up bright and early for the short drive to the Harker School.

The Beat Museum on Wheels arrives at the Harker School

The students greeted us as we proudly drove the new Beat Museum on Wheels into position near the cafeteria. Charles Shuttleworth brought his class by and other faculty and students alike visited and asked questions about the Beats. The most common question was “Why is Bob Dylan on the side of your trailer?” Soon we were off to Nichols Hall for the live presentation.

It’s an auspicious beginning!

If you’re on the West Coast and want us to make an appearance at your high school, college, or community venue, please contact us: