Daydreaming at Jack Kerouac’s House in St. Petersburg Florida

The modest brick house at 5169 10th Ave. in St. Petersburg  sits unnoticed by everyone but the beatniks of America. A huge tree weeps shiningly in the front yard.

I walked up to the house and knocked on the old white screen door anticipating Kerouac to answer. He greeted me with open arms.

Jack Kerouac’s house in St. Petersburg, Florida. Photo/Kendra Yost

I told him he was the reason I choose creativity.

I asked him to tell me stories about his travels. Ones that I hadn’t already read.

I looked his lumberjack arms up and down and craved for them to be wrapped around me.

I asked him to tell me about Columbia and football, Neal Cassady and Mexico.

I did all these things in my mind, of course.


10th Avenue in St. Petersburg, Florida. Photo/Kendra Yost

He might of thought it peculiar, a small woman knocking as his door professing her love for all things Kerouac. He might even have told me to get the fuck off his property. He despised the spotlight after all.

The front door was the last one Jack Kerouac walked through as he made his way to St. Anthony’s Hospital where he died the next day on October 21, 1969 at age 47.

Internal hemorrhaging from a lifetime of heavy drinking, an untreated hernia and unfortunate bar fight took the brilliant writers life.

The house in still owned by his family and everything inside still looks like it did when he lived there. His old chair remains covered with a tacky sheet.

The closest I’ll ever get to Kerouac now is the Flamingo Sports Bar on MLK Blvd.  where he was a regular.  They serve the “Jack Kerouac Special:” a shot of whiskey and a beer to wash it down with for $2.25.


7 thoughts on “Daydreaming at Jack Kerouac’s House in St. Petersburg Florida

  1. It’s such a tragedy that his love of drink seemed to overtake his love for writing and finally his love for life. I am not judging him, but just making a sad inference===and I could be totally wrong. He is my favorite writer.

    • Kerouac isn’t from Florida. He moved to St. Pete in the later years of his life to get away from the fame. In St. Pete nobody really knew who he was and he liked that.

      The bus? You mean Ken Kesey’s bus? I have no idea.

      Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment!

  2. Wow! Visited here back in 2000. Walked up to the house and took some vital photos. Was thinking of the neighbors tree that had been cut down shortly before Jack died that he wrote of being distressed about as he use to lay in the back yard listening to the wind through the leaves. Actually was a bit Kerouac Krazy and looked up Joe Chaput who drove him to the hospital but he had died and I spoke with his daughter though. Brilliant visit though total melancholy trip of sorts.

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