Launching pad for the fast-food apple turnover and the “I Have a Dream” speech…. home of the pro baseball team that cost Jim Thorpe his gold medals… birthplace of Kaye Gibbons and Allan Gurganus, Phil Ford and Julius Peppers, Mike Easley and Roy Cooper, Thelonious Monk and Kay Kyser, Buck Leonard and Sugar Ray Leonard… source of the Electra-piano played by John Lennon in “Imagine”… site of North Carolina’s first sit-down barbecue joint…writing retreat for Jack Kerouac….
Is there no end to the notable and footnotable distinctions dotting Rocky Mount’s civic CV? And here’s yet another, courtesy of Rocky Mount-reared fiction writer Megan Mayhew Bergman, blogging for Kenyon Review:
“Kerouac’s time in Rocky Mount wound its way into other Beat work.
“Allen Ginsberg namedrops Rocky Mount in his epic poem Howl, writing of those ‘who retired to Mexico to cultivate a habit, or Rocky Mount to tender Buddha or Tangiers to boys or Southern Pacific to the black locomotive or Harvard to Narcissus to Woodlawn to the daisychain or grave.’ ”