Tag Archives: Northome

THE MANY-FACETED MR. DYLAN

I SWEAR THERE WERE A FEW UNDER-60s IN THE AUDIENCE...A FEW.
I SWEAR THERE WERE A FEW UNDER-60s IN THE AUDIENCE…A FEW.

 Last Tuesday night, my friend and I went to see Bob Dylan at the Kiva Auditorium in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Friend Bob has been a Dylan fan since age 18 or so when he heard his first Dylan song; he doesn’t exactly say it changed his life—but close. This is around his tenth Bob concert and he knows most of the lyrics to everything The Bob has written.

I was a little older when introduced to the famous Bob from Minnesota and that was mostly from With God on Our Side which, as I’ve said previously, was my teaching aide for 6th grade social studies class, and from Peter, Paul and Mary’s version of Blowin’ in the Wind.

 As I drove home Tuesday night, neither slightly inebriated nor stoned—as might have been the case in the past—it became clear to me I had in the space of that hour been attentive to several Dylans. Let me explain:

First there was Bob Dylan, practically a home town boy from Hibbing, Minnesota; my town Northome just a few miles and a lifestyle or so away, the difference between a mining town and a village of Norwegian lumberjacks. Given the remoteness of northern Minnesota from the rest of the world, and the fact Bob Dylan and I are almost exactly the same age, I choose to claim kinship and listened to that gravelly voice with thoughts of both of us coming home from school in the snowy dusk of a January afternoon. I wanted to get out too but my escape was Minneapolis and then Florida and marriage. Bob did much better—the Village and folk singers’ heaven and fame and fortune.

Those thoughts alternated with the pleasure of watching that famous old poet/song writer and Nobel Literary Prize winner  gyrating a bit stiffly on stage and actually appearing to be having fun. So it’s okay to be an elder in this crazy world—having lived through some pretty stimulating times and not having to face the long future riddled with Trump-alikes.

Then there was the background music introducing me to my Albuquerque life. While not specifically Dylan, it was rock n roll of the folk variety generally, and it was playing when I moved to Albuquerque and met the ‘cool kids’ working in politics and for George McGovern. So, Tuesday night when I couldn’t understand a word being sung in some of the numbers, I metaphorically closed my eyes and drifted back there…

How many roads must a man walk down
Before you call him a man?
How many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand?
Yes, and how many times must the cannon balls fly
Before they’re forever banned?
The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind

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More Prancing Ponies, Fewer Bare Butts

Not a movie horse exactly  but living out his pretty pink years at the Crazy Horse Museum in the Black Hills
Not a movie horse exactly but living out his pretty pink years at the Crazy Horse Museum in the Black Hills

SOMETIMES WE GOT TO GO TO THE SHOW. We didn’t call them movies or films or talk about the cinema. We just drove into town and went to the show. Usually westerns I think. But since all of the shows worth my 10-year-old while revolved around horses maybe I’ve just blanked out the occasional musical or romantic comedy to which I must have been subjected.

Have I written about this before? How I tore a picture of Janice Rule out of Susie Olson’s movie magazine and then claimed otherwise.

How I could go to the same show six times when I stayed with my cousin Audrey who sold tickets at the Royal Theater in Northome, Minnesota. Ah…so many Westerns, so many horses, so many years ago.

Now it’s 2014 and there aren’t nearly enough horses in the movies anymore. The Oscar nominees this year were full of bare butts and stupid people tricks, a stolen baby and a rambling old man, a goofy romantic in love with an imaginary girlfriend and a Minneapolis limo driver dramatically in tune with his imaginary cousin, a Somali pirate. And the worst movie of all—full of floating debris and floating Clooney and floating Bullock. And the best movie of all, “Twelve Years a Slave,” which, by the way, was the only one with horses!  See what I mean. Okay so “Dallas Buyers Club” had horses but they couldn’t save it for me—too much Texas all around them.

The second annual Oscar/Food party of 13th Street is now over and a pretty good time was had by all. The food was excellent as was the company. And seeing the pretty Hollywood people is always fun. Somehow though it all seemed rather anti-climatic after two months of cinematic gorging and the frantic last minute viewing of “Her” unfolding at my house as the beautiful people started down the red carpet in California.

Maybe this year I’ll show up at my neighborhood theater once in awhile and avoid a January 1915 binge. Or not.