Part 1, Chapter 13 Notes from On the Road

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On the Road Part 1, Chapter 13

Sal and Terry are together for fifteen days in L.A. They decide to go to New York but linger in L.A. even though Sal doesn't like it there, where the "beatest" people live. They go to Hollywood to try to find work, but they can't. At Terry's friend's house, they get drunk and Sal tries to buy some 'tea' but it turns out to be only tobacco. They can't get any rides so they get a hotel room. After this, they go to Bakersfield to pick grapes, but there isn't any work, so they get drunk and Sal gets stoned. They sleep in a hotel and the next day Terry retrieves her child and brings her brothers around. Her brothers have a scheme to make money by hauling manure for farmers in their truck. Rickey, one of her brothers, gets a bottle of liquor. They drink, and pick up manure.

"Everywhere in America I've been in crossroads saloons drinking with whole families. The kids eat popcorn and chips and play in back. This we did. Rickey and I and Ponzo and Terry sat drinking and shouting with the music; little baby Johnny goofed with other children around the jukebox." Part 1, Chapter 13, pg. 92

They eat dinner and sleep in a motel room. The next day, they rent a tent and her brothers come back too drunk to work. Ponzo sleeps in the tent with them. Sal is worried that Ponzo wants Terry. He gets work picking cotton for two dollars per hundred pounds. He picks from sunrise to sundown for an old Okie family.

"We bent down and began picking cotton. It was beautiful. Across the field were the tents and beyond them the sere brown cornfields that stretched out of sight to the brown arroyo foothills and then the snow-capped Sierras in the blue morning air." Part 1, Chapter 13, pg. 96

They pick cotton all day but earn only about a dollar and a half. Okies kill a Mexican worker and Sal begins to carry a stick because they consider him Mexican too. In October, the work stops and the weather gets cold. Terry goes to see her family and Sal has to hide. She suggests that she'll pick grapes and they can continue to live together. Her family is gone and Sal hangs out in their four-room shack, but he stays in the farmers' barn when the family returns. Terry brings him food from her family's dinner. Sal plans to go back to New York. Terry wants to go too, and fights with her parents. They make love underneath the tarantula in the barn. He leaves the next day.

"Emotionlessly she kissed me in the vineyard and walked off down the row. We turned at a dozen paces, for love is a duel and looked at each other for the last time." Part 1, Chapter 13, pg. 101

Although they promise to meet in New York, Sal knows it will never happen. Sal's aunt has sent him money in Sabinal, a few towns over, and he goes there to pick it up. He hitches a fast ride and arrives in L.A. in four hours. In L.A., he makes 10 sandwiches for the cross-country trip and steps on the bus with only a dollar left.

Topic Tracking: Beat Generation 6
Topic Tracking: Generosity 5
Topic Tracking: Father 3

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