HAPPYTOWN 


;Note the interconnectedness of all things: Jack Kerouac drove through the night in 1957 from his house in College Park to New York to read The New York Times' review of his groundbreaking book On the Road. At the same house, now a writers' residence dedicated to his work, Kerouac wrote Dharma Bums, another heralded work published in 1958. And now the manuscript for that book is coming home.

;;The Kerouac Project of Orlando, which runs the Kerouac House writers' residence in College Park, is partnering with Orange County Regional History Center to display the original Dharma Bums manuscript as part of the History Center's ongoing "Orlando Remembered" exhibit. The manuscript — the first literary artifact of its kind in Orlando — will be displayed along with formerly lost photos of Kerouac taken by Fred DeWitt in 1957 while Kerouac was working on Dharma Bums in College Park. The manuscript will be handed over by the Kerouac Project Aug. 9, and goes on public display Sept. 21.

;;In case you haven't read the book, and you should because it's a great read and it's short, here's the Happytown™ Classics summary: Dharma Bums is about Kerouac and his friends hoboing across the country and getting into discussions over whose brand of Buddhism is more enlightened. It encapsulates a generation's tempestuous relationship between city and country life, Eastern and Western religious traditions and mankind's struggle between hedonist and anhedonic behaviors. Class dismissed.

;;

;And now it's time for another installment of What's Up With Ric?™, our attempt to keep you up to date on the comings and goings of Orlando's favorite Congressman, U.S. Rep. Ric Keller!

;; This week's episode finds Ric standing strong for the Lord, and not so strong for the sick. On July 19, he voted alongside 259 of his House colleagues — mostly Repub-licans — for the Pledge Protection Act of 2005, which would keep those dastardly liberals from removing the phrase "under God" from our Pledge of Allegiance. (Never mind that the phrase was added to the pledge in 1954, and the pledge's author, Francis Bellamy, a socialist who ultimately rejected organized religion as a form of jingoism, wouldn't have wanted it there.) In fact, Ric was also one of the bill's 137 co-sponsors!

;;In Installment Two, our portly congressman voted against an unsuccessful House bill to override the president's veto of federally funded stem cell research. You see, protecting cell clusters that are about to be destroyed is way more important than finding a cure for Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's. James Dob-son says so.

;

;Thanks for helping keep us on the straight and narrow, Ric!

;;; ; ; ; ; ; ;
; No. 34;
;
On Saturday, July 22, Orlando cops responded to a homicide call at 5381 Rosegay Court, where, according to a police report, five males dressed in black clothing had shot two victims and fled the scene. One victim, Evan Vincent, 46, died. Another shooting victim, 54-year-old Lenox Salazar, sustained non–life-threatening injuries. As of press time, police hadn’t made any arrests.
;

;Yo, thugz: Orlando police have a deal for you.

;;On July 28, from 7 a.m. to noon, OPD is teaming up with Crimeline, Real Radio's Monsters and Reebok at the Citrus Bowl to get you to trade your gun for new pair of shoes. Pistols, shotguns, rifles … even BB guns for kids 16 years old and under, it doesn't matter; hand one in and you're eligible, no questions asked.

;;Real Radio ran the "Kicks for Guns" program for six years in a row and collected over 300 guns a year at the peak of the program. Katherine Brown, Real Radio program director, says they haven't done the program in a couple of years, but when OPD came and asked them to start it back up, they did. Come on, Orlando, turn in your Glocks and get some new Reeboks*!

;;* For rhyming purposes only. Actual brand of shoe not guaranteed.

;;

;And where do the best gay;ballroom dancers come from? Orlando, baby!

;

;;Stuart Nichols and Richard Lamberty, the subjects of a fabulous cover story in this very newspaper ["Who leads?", March 30] took first place July 20 at the Gay Games VII in Chicago. Wearing variations of their costumes designed by Best of Orlando winner Marcy Singhaus, the light-footed duo created a stir with follower Lamberty sporting a lengthy float of hot pink chiffon that twirled and swirled as leader Nichols steered the couple through their routine. Nichols reports that the competition was "a blast" with all of the yelling and screaming from the crowd and the horde of media coverage at the Grand Ballroom of the Chicago Hilton.

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;Nichols notes that he and Lamberty were the "short guys." They were also the old guys, dancing against much-younger competitors; Nichols is 42 and Lamberty is 47.

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; Next stop, the OutGames, July 29-Aug. 5 in Montreal, where Nichols and Lamberty will take on dancers from around the world. You go, boys.

;;This week's report by Jeffrey C. Billman, Lindy T. Shepherd and Issac Stolzenbach.

 

;;;;; happytown@orlandoweekly.com

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