by Jerry Cimino
I was sitting by the front desk today reading a book when I saw some movement out of the corner of my eye. I piped up with my usual greeting, “Hey folks, welcome to The Beat Museum.” I looked up and saw Patti Smith staring wide eyed at all the books on the counter. “Oh,” I said as I recognized her. “And, I imagine you know quite a bit about all this.” She shook her head quietly and said, “Yes. Allen was my buddy.”
We spoke for a while. I showed her and her friends around the museum. I went to take my leave, “I don’t want to take away from your experience.” “Oh, no.” Patti said. “Tell me about this exhibit. And how did you get all this amazing stuff?” “People give it to us. They want to testify as to what the Beats meant to them. It’s a great way to build a museum.” “I’ve got some things that belonged to Allen & to Gregory,” she said. “I’ll send them to you.”
She bought a few items for herself and for some friends. She was most gracious and kind and said she’ll be back when she has more time as she was due at an event across town.
Patti is currently touring in support of her newly published book, M Train.
Here is a link to Patti performing a piece written by Jack Kerouac called “The Last Hotel.”