Me and Sal Paradise, by Charles Rammelkamp
Ah, youth! Charles Rammelkamp’s ME AND SAL PARADISE is a poetic tale of the hitchhiking adventures of a young man in his early twenties. It’s the early 1970s, when Jack Kerouac’s influenced America’s youth with his romantic tales of cross-country adventures by car. One sequence of poems illuminates a 1971 hitchhiking adventure from the Midwest to Montreal and back, a pair of friends crossing Canada and New York state. Another sequence relates the solo adventures the following summer, also originating in the Midwest, of the author who this time heads to San Francisco, where his twin brother is living in the famed Haight-Asbury district. Through these journeys, we contemplate with the narrator the meanings of youth, friendship, and inevitably personal destiny.