December 5, 2020:

I remember that bus station. Kerouac writes about it in The Dharma Bums. Riverside. A little café with fries that won't kill you; a little used book store with hand-me-downs from the University. I bought Benvenuto Cellini and Oscar Wilde there. The bookstore, not the café. Just passing through.

I remember the smog, too. Contrary to common opinion it wasn't the automobiles caused it, it was the gargantuan Kaiser Steel plant in Fontana, home of the Hell's Angels and the massive industrial smokestacks which filled the entire basin beneath its endemic inversion layer. Map the smog alerts over time, see for yourself. Kerouac says it cleared up in Riverside, but that's unusual. Most of the time there it was far worse.

Riverside was the transfer point for Redlands to San Diego. There was time to eat fries or browse books. No sign though of Kerouac, neither as himself nor as Ray Smith, sleeping in the riverbottom, or standing on his head. In those days I'd read On the Road but that was all. The Dharma Bums is the one set in my world, the California I know. Santa Barbara, Gaviota, Santa Margarita, 395, the Sierra towns, the Mission District and Van Ness, Watsonville, Los Angeles, Riverside. Where his version is '50s black and white, while mine is Technicolor from the 1970s.