In a great last day of the month maneuver I went to the local high school English class at the behest of the teacher and talked to them about the current class topic: the Beat Generation, and was able to hip them to the score, surprising them with the lore, it wasn't Jack Kerouac who coined the term although he did talk about being beat in the beatific sense of the word; it was John Clellon Holmes, his friend, the author of two great books: GO, about the Beats, and Horn, about the last day of Charlie Parker, both novels, names changed to protect the innocents; anyway, it was Holmes who told Kerouac, "We are a Beat Generation," and Jack informed him, "That is true but we are not the originals, the Russians were the first, in a slight alteration of language and spelling of course."

"Oh? How so?"

"Borscht you know is made from beets which are red but originally borscht was made from cow parsnips which are white. So in the Civil War following the Russian revolution back in around 1918 it was the whites versus the reds and the reds triumphed and trod upon the whites shouting, 'We are a beet generation!' and from then on borscht was made with beets."

"I see."

Jack Kerouac reading from
"San Francisco Scene"