It’s so much fun to attend Lowell Celebrates Kerouac and visit this great American literary icon’s old stomping grounds, many of which still exist today. However, much of Lowell has changed over the years. The streets are smoothly paved. There’s a color television in almost every home. UMass Lowell continually expands its presence. New restaurants serving delicious food have opened up. Even new communities of immigrants have moved in. Instead of rotary phones plugged into the wall, people have iphones with apps. A new family lives in Kerouac’s birth home. Experiencing Kerouac’s Lowell is about more than just dots on a map. You have to step back from the tour group, close your eyes and really listen to the rush of the Merrimack River. You have to imagine a time period when chocolate chip cookies were a novelty, Art Deco looked crazy modern, and women used menstrual cups instead of tampons. You have to imagine the Great Depression. You have to imagine a gallon of gas costing 10 cents. You have to hear swing music. The NFL draft is a new concept. Ball-point pens are invented. And you are just a kid soaking it all in. Jack Kerouac was born in 1922 and was a kid growing up in Lowell in the 1930s. Here are a few nostalgic photos of Lowell….