A quaint item – and a very early item, Allen Ginsberg’s 1943 high-school yearbook.
It appears on a segment of the popular PBS tv show Antiques Road Show later this month.
Its owner, his classmate, the charming and self-effacing Mr Katz, takes it to the expert Jason Preston for appraisal, and discovers, to his evident surprise and delight, that, signed and inscribed (and with “an original poem” as inscription) it’s worth money – close to $10,000!
Katz on Ginsberg:
“I had no indication that he (Allen) would go on to do those wonderful things that he did, you know and become as famous as he did. He was just a nice guy to pal around with”
and, later, “There was nothing put-on about Allen”
The “original poem” (hastily-scribbled doggerel) reads as follows – “The Katz Pajamas/our graduating now:/I wish to say that I’m a/graduate too, and bow/Now this is the point of my story:/this horrible fight for glory/of Commencement is/a lousy biz/But Katz you’ve conquered/I’ll meet you in Yonkers/when I go to Columbia/and you go to Rongers [sic]”
There’s also “the Class Poem” (signed by “A.G.”) – “Ready are we to meet the challenge hurled:/To battle, conquer, and rebuild the world”
Katz and Preston discuss the find on the show and Katz fills in a little of the background
The whole segment may be viewed (in advance of its broadcast date) online – here