Al Hinkle

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Al Hinkle
BornAlbert Clyde Hinkle
(1926-04-09)April 9, 1926
Florida, U.S.
DiedDecember 26, 2018(2018-12-26) (aged 92)
San Jose, California, U.S.
OccupationRailroad brakeman, conductor
NationalityAmerican
Alma materSan Francisco State College, Stanford University
Literary movementBeat

Al Hinkle (April 9, 1926 - December 26, 2018) was a childhood friend of Beat Generation icon Neal Cassady who was the inspiration for the character of Ed Dunkle in Jack Kerouac’s On the Road. In December 1948 Hinkle contributed $100 to the down payment on the 1949 Hudson automobile that Cassady drove across the United States, the journey memorialized in Kerouac’s novel.[1][2]He was also the real life inspiration for characters in two other Kerouac books: Slim Buckle in Visions of Cody and Ed Buckle in Book of Dreams.[3]

Hinkle is credited with convincing Cassady to move from Denver to the San Francisco Bay Area to work on the Southern Pacific railroad. Kerouac followed, and briefly worked as a brakeman. Poet Allen Ginsberg, another Hinkle friend, also came out from New York. The independent thinkers formed the nucleus of what became known as the Beat Generation, a precursor of the San Francisco-centered counterculture movement in the 1960s. [4]

Hinkle never sought fame or fortune from his association with famous friends and lived in relative obscurity until the weekly Metro Silicon Valley placed him and his wife Helen on its cover in 1992. [5] In 2012, Hinkle published a small book of recollections based on an interview with Stephen D. Edington entitled “Last Man Standing.”[6]

"I love having lived my life with liberty and freedom. I guess Jack was right; here I am today, 85 years old, the 'last man standing' as they call me, only with my own Facebook page instead of a bench outside the Silver Dollar, telling my tales to a whole new generation of 'youngsters' from all around the world who understand and respect what the Beats stood for. I am honored to be a part of it all," Hinkle said.

Death[edit]

Hinkle out-survived his contemporaries and died of heart failure at the age of 92 at a Los Gatos, California hospital.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Cimino, Jerry (December 27, 2018). "Al Hinkle: Last Man Standing Passes Away at 92". Kerouac.com. Beat Museum. Retrieved January 28, 2019. “Al was with Neal Cassady in San Francisco in December 1948 when Neal spied a brand-new ’49 Hudson and found himself $100 short for the down payment. Al pulled the cash out of his pocket then and there so Neal could purchase that legendary car.”
  2. ^ Whiting, Sam (December 28, 2018). "Al Hinkle, railroad man and character in Kerouac's 'On the Road'". sfchronicle.com. San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved January 28, 2019. “A longtime resident of San Jose, Hinkle died Wednesday of heart failure at a hospital in Los Gatos, said his daughter, Dawn Davis. He was 92.”
  3. ^ Wills, David (March 2008). "Who's Who: A Guide to Kerouac's Characters". beatdom.com. Beatdom Books. Retrieved January 28, 2019. “A longtime resident of San Jose, Hinkle died Wednesday of heart failure at a hospital in Los Gatos, said his daughter, Dawn Davis. He was 92.”
  4. ^ Whiting, Sam (December 28, 2018). "Al Hinkle, railroad man and character in Kerouac's 'On the Road'". sfchronicle.com. San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved January 28, 2019. “Dad is the reason Neal and Jack ended up in California,” Davis said.
  5. ^ Dunn, Geoffrey (December 17, 1992), Dan Pulcrano (ed.), A Couple for the Road, Metro Publishing Inc.
  6. ^ Wills, David (May 26, 2012). "The Last Man Standing: Al Hinkle". Beatdom Literary Journal. Beatdom Books. Retrieved January 28, 2019.
  7. ^ Whiting, Sam (December 28, 2018). "Al Hinkle, railroad man and character in Kerouac's 'On the Road'". sfchronicle.com. San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved January 28, 2019.