Beat Generation writer JACK KEROUAC, here in New York City's Central Park, died in 1969 at the age of 47.   Over the years, as he and his ON THE ROAD regained their acclaim, companies have traded on his name, and most anything he touched is now prized.

More than 30 years after author Jack Kerouac died in St. Petersburg, hostilities over his estate keep on.   No wonder, it's valued at more than $10-million now.
by Times Staff writer

It has been more than 20 years since retired judge Fred Bryson ran a steady if nondescript law practice out of an office downtown.   He handled traffic tickets, wills, rezonings and the like, which is why what happened that late summer morning in 1969 stands out, even across the decades.

The phone rang.   It was a friend with a law practice on Central Avenue, wanting to give Bryson's a heads-up.   They had just turned away a drunk at their door, kind of a nut.   As he stalked off, the guy flashed Bryson's business card and muttered,   "If you don't want me, then I'll give this young, struggling lawyer my business.

A few minutes later, the guy stumbled in Bryson's door.   He was drunk and smelled like it.   His clothes were a mess.   Under one arm he had a brown Publix grocery bag, which by appearances looked like the repository of all his worldly possessions.

"My name is Jack Kerouac" he said.   Bryson's impulse was to hurry this lunatic on his way, preferably without ugliness, "The next thing you're going to tell me is you wrote a book"   Bryson said.

The stranger rustled through his shopping bag and withdrew a tattered hardback.   It was ON THE ROAD, the 1957 novel that propelled Kerouac to fame as an icon of the Beat Generation.   He drew Bryson's attention to the dust jacket, to the photo of the author.

"I look at the picture and then I look at this guy"   Bryson said.   "It's obvious since that picture that this guy's hit a few bumps in the road.   But it's Jack Kerouac".

Having established his identity, the drunk stated his business: "I want to make a will"....