TABLE OF CONTENTS

Because blog posts are often organized in reverse chronological order, it can be difficult to find what you are looking for without a lot of searching. This is particularly true when the menu style is inadequate, as ours is. Hence this “Table of Contents.” It will allow you to access the Narrative Posts from first to last, though you may have to scroll through the page to find the post you want.  The posts correspond to each day of our trip, from July 11, 2012 to July 28, 2012.

Regarding photos:  The first batch of photos appeared after Narrative Post #3. We played catch up with the first three days. From that point on, we posted the photos for each day right after the daily Narrative Post. To access these photos, you can find them “above” the Narrative Post you just read. To see them, you might have to scroll a bit or click the “Newer Posts” button if the daily series of photos begins or continues on the next, “newer, ” more recent page. If you wish to go directly to where the photos begin for each day, you can use the photo links below.

*  *  *

NARRATIVE & PHOTO POSTS 

• PRELUDE: Bob, We Are Coming!

http://searchingforbob.wordpress.com/page/17/

• DAY 1: JULY 11, 2012/ Becket MA to Woodstock NY

http://searchingforbob.wordpress.com/page/17/

• DAY 2: JULY 12, 2012/ Woodstock NY to Bethel NY to Ithaca NY

http://searchingforbob.wordpress.com/page/17/

• DAY 3: JULY 13, 2012/ Ithaca NY to Ashtabula OH

http://searchingforbob.wordpress.com/page/17/

Photos /Days 1-3: The photos for the first three days begin at the following address. Since older newer posts are stacked on top of older posts, press the “Newer Posts” button to see if the photos continue onto the next page.

http://searchingforbob.wordpress.com/page/16/

• DAY 4: JULY 14, 2012/ Ashtabula OH to Cleveland OH to Chicago IL

http://searchingforbob.wordpress.com/page/15/

Photos/ Day 4: The photos begin at the following address. Press the “Newer Posts” button to see if the photos continue onto the next page.

http://searchingforbob.wordpress.com/page/15/

• DAY 5: JULY 15, 2012/ Chicago IL to Madison WI

http://searchingforbob.wordpress.com/page/15/

Photos/ Day 5: None

 DAY 6: JULY 16, 2012/ Madison WI to Duluth MN

http://searchingforbob.wordpress.com/page/15/

Photos/ Day 6: None

• DAY 7: JULY 17, 2012/ Duluth MN to Virginia MN to Hibbing MN

http://searchingforbob.wordpress.com/page/15/

Photos/ Day 7: The photos begin at the following address. Press the “Newer Posts” button to see if the photos continue onto the next page.

http://searchingforbob.wordpress.com/page/14/

• DAY 8: JULY 18, 2012/ Hibbing MN to Minneapolis MN

http://searchingforbob.wordpress.com/page/14/

Photos/ Day 8: The photos begin at the following address. Press the “Newer Posts” button to see if the photos continue onto the next page.

http://searchingforbob.wordpress.com/page/14/

• DAY 9: JULY 19, 2012/ Minneapolis MN to Iowa City, IA

http://searchingforbob.wordpress.com/page/12/

Photos/ Day 9: The photos begin at the following address. Press the “Newer Posts” button to see if the photos continue onto the next page.

http://searchingforbob.wordpress.com/page/12/

• DAY 10: JULY 20, 2012/ Iowa City IA to Springfield IL

http://searchingforbob.wordpress.com/page/11/

Photos/ Day 10: The photos begin at the following address. Press the “Newer Posts” button to see if the photos continue onto the next page.

http://searchingforbob.wordpress.com/page/11/

• DAY 11: JULY 21, 2012/ Springfield IL to Memphis TN

http://searchingforbob.wordpress.com/page/11/

Photos/ Day 11: The photos begin at the following address. Press the “Newer Posts” button to see if the photos continue onto the next page.

http://searchingforbob.wordpress.com/page/10/

• DAY 12: JULY 22, 2012/ Memphis TN to Greenwood MS & Clarksdale MS

http://searchingforbob.wordpress.com/page/9/

Photos/ Day 12: The photos begin at the following address. Press the “Newer Posts” button to see if the photos continue onto the next page.

http://searchingforbob.wordpress.com/page/9/

• DAY 13: JULY 23, 2012/ Clarksdale MS to Oxford MS to Nashville TN

http://searchingforbob.wordpress.com/page/8/

Photos/ Day 13: The photos begin at the following address. Press the “Newer Posts” button to see if the photos continue onto the next page.

http://searchingforbob.wordpress.com/page/8/

• DAY 14: JULY 24, 2012/ Nashville TN to Bristol TN

http://searchingforbob.wordpress.com/page/7/

Photos/ Day 14: The photos begin at the following address. Press the “Newer Posts” button to see if the photos continue onto the next page.

http://searchingforbob.wordpress.com/page/7/

 DAY 15: JULY 15, 2012/ Bristol TN to Washington DC

http://searchingforbob.wordpress.com/page/6/

Photos/ Day 15: The photos begin at the following address. Press the “Newer Posts” button to see if the photos continue onto the next page.

http://searchingforbob.wordpress.com/page/5/

• DAY 16: JULY 26, 2012/ Washington DC to Baltimore MD to NY, NY

http://searchingforbob.wordpress.com/page/5/

Photos/ Day 16: The photos begin at the following address. Press the “Newer Posts” button to see if the photos continue onto the next page.

http://searchingforbob.wordpress.com/page/5/

• 17. JULY 27, 2012/ Greenwich Village-New York City

http://searchingforbob.wordpress.com/page/3/

Photos/ Day 17: The photos begin at the following address. Press the “Newer Posts” button to see if the photos continue onto the next page.

http://searchingforbob.wordpress.com/page/3/

• 18. JULY 27, 2012/ New York NY to Brookline MA

Narrative & Photos/ Day 18: None

• 19. HIGHWAY 61 REVISITED: Postscript

http://searchingforbob.wordpress.com

• 20: WHAT WE LOOKED LIKE WHEN WE SET OUT

http://searchingforbob.wordpress.com

• 21: A MAP OF OUR JOURNEY

http://searchingforbob.wordpress.com/2012/07/30/map-of-our-journey-4/

• 22: AFTERWORD: Closing the Circle

http://searchingforbob.wordpress.com

Photos/ The photos begin at the following address.

http://searchingforbobdylan.wordpress.com


SPECIAL POSTED COMMENTS

Comments and replies that were self-posted on the blog can be found in the comment section below the menu or under the posts. However, we received a few comments via email or Facebook, and with the permission of three of the authors we have posted them here. The Dylan quote had already been posted on the Internet. Here are the addresses:

• Two of Bill’s Former Students Share Comments

http://searchingforbob.wordpress.com/page/15/

• A Strange Tale

http://searchingforbob.wordpress.com/page/12/

• Special Guest: Bob Dylan On The South

http://searchingforbob.wordpress.com/page/8/

• A Comment From China

http://searchingforbob.wordpress.com/page/3/


OTHER ARTICLES & COMMENTARY

• Column in Iowa’s Des Moines Register, Aug. 22, 2012

http://dmreg.co/O4TNdW

• “Two buddies go in search of Bob Dylan,” Boston Globe,
Nov. 25, 2012

http://bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/travel/2012/11/25/two-buddies-search-bob-dylan/mjog5hmrhpaZJmx4kgd3PJ/story.html

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IN THE WHITE HAT…OUR MAN…APPREHENDED

IN THE WHITE HAT...OUR MAN....APPREHENDED

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THE MOUNTAIN PARK-HOLYOKE MASS. CONCERT

THE MOUNTAIN PARK-HOLYOKE MASS. CONCERT

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CORNERING OUR QUARRY

CORNERING OUR QUARRY

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AFTERWORD: Closing the Circle

After tracking him for almost three weeks and over 4000 miles, we finally caught up with our elusive quarry just down the Pike, only 90-minutes from our home town. We couldn’t find him on our trip or turn the clock back to Newport 1963-65 (and we couldn’t even get into Newport 2012–sold out!), so we did the next best thing…we bought tickets to see Bob in concert on Sept. 7, at the beautiful Mountain Park venue near Holyoke, Massachusetts.

At the outset, we’ll confess to some trepidation, because, let’s face it, Dylan can be hit or miss in his performances these days. Here’s the big news: he did not disappoint. In fact, he was damn good. The playlist was memorable, with startling new versions of Blowin’ In The Wind, All Along The Watchtower and other classics, as well as offerings from his more recent work.  It’s hard to believe that this 71-year old indomitable tour machine could remember all the words from Desolation Row, one of the most complex songs ever written, and do it in a new style yet. Dylan seemed to be dipping and slipping into every known musical tradition, from blues to reggae to rock to honky-tonk. The voice has grown gravelly. The piano has replaced the guitar.  “At the request of the artist,” there were no large screens. But Dylan played for two hours straight out…no break…high energy all the way. We agreed that he seems to have found a new musical footing and a level of comfort with his evolving voice. No, this wasn’t the incandescent stuff from ‘62-‘66, but it was really good. Naturally, apart from band introductions, he had zero to say to his adoring fans, preferring to let his music do the talking. Well, that’s the Bob we know and love, is it not?

A half-continent and a month later, we knew, finally, we had our guy.

Mission Accomplished.

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MAP OF OUR JOURNEY

MAP OF OUR JOURNEY

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WHAT WE LOOKED LIKE WHEN WE SET OUT ON JULY 11, 2012

WHAT WE LOOKED LIKE WHEN WE SET OUT ON JULY 11, 2012

We didn’t look quite this crisp when we returned on July 28, 2012

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‘HIGHWAY 61 REVISITED’: Postscript

We traveled 4700 miles through 16 states in search of Bob Dylan, which is another way of saying we were seeking a deeper appreciation of his genius, of how he developed as an artist from earliest days, and what manner of man he was and is. That his music has had a profound and continuing impact on us and so many others we already knew. His music did more than serve as the soundtrack of our lives or reflect back to us what we were feeling. It helped to shape our sensibility, as well as that of our culture and the times we lived through.

To this end, we spent 18 days playing his music and reading articles as we traveled around the country to places associated with him, with various the songs he wrote or with the music that influenced him. And so we went north to Minnesota and south to Mississippi, and to many points in between. Many strangers smiled when we told them what we were up to and quite a few turned out to be Dylan fans, whether at the Free Style Realty office in Woodstock, NY or in the Hot Rocks Grille in Ashtabula, OH.

So what did we learn, and would we have done just as well if we had stayed at home, reading and listening to CDs?

We don’t think so. We certainly wouldn’t have had the crazy adventures and chance meetings that were not only fun, but also helpful in illuminating our quarry, Bob Dylan.

Here are a few last words from Bill:

“There are Bob Dylan songs that I love. Many songs. But I never had the chance to “see” them arrayed on the vast canvass that our country provides. It was as if I had long been mesmerized by a few details in a Picasso painting, and only now had the opportunity to stand back and see it in its entirety. So many styles. So many different melodies. So many varied poetic and lyrical languages. The magnitude! The extent! This work came from the artistic vision of a genius whose creative forces slowly gathered within him as he grew up in Hibbing–both because of his life in the town and  despite it.  He had the good fortune to come of age as a teenager “in the nick of time,” just as R&B and Rock (and later the Beats and Folkies) began to crack the crust of a stultifying conformist culture. Part of his gift is that he had the ability to absorb our diverse musical traditions like a sponge. He would also have several eureka moments of epiphany, among them hearing Buddy Holly and Elvis, meeting Woody Guthrie, listening to Bertolt Brecht’s “Pirate Jenny,” and reading Allen Ginsberg’s poetry. He emerges as a hardworking man who determinedly lives in the present,  consistently rejecting commercial definition and following his artistic vision whatever the cost. Of course, this is nothing less than what is required of all true artistss. And he isn’t finished yet.”

Here are Larry’s thoughts:

“Bob Dylan’s music and life, is like an ocean, vast, with many currents, colors & waves. His body of work continues to change, shift and influence the rest of the world, sometimes stormy, sometimes restless, sometimes calm, like the ocean. Our Dylan journey exposed me to many roots of Dylan’s music that I had not paid close attention to. Especially seeing his birth town of Duluth and hometown of Hibbing provided an experiential richness that provides a base for the many moods of his songs. Traveling around the U.S.A. “in search of Bob” led us to many places of the 60’s, and Bob’s voice echoed everywhere. From 1963, when I first heard Peter, Paul & Mary singing “Blowing in the Wind,” and soon after got my first Dylan album, “The Times They Are A-Changin’, until now, I have been amazed by the power and precision of his words. Why do these words and emotions persist over almost 50 years? And why does music that hits our brains in teenage years stay with us, maybe more strongly than any other? These are still questions to be answered. I found that Bob’s voice and words about social justice still ring out to many people around the globe, and his poetry continues to reach me like no other.”

Some of you may say, as one of Bill’s colleagues did, thinking she was paying a compliment, that we were kind of like groupies chasing a favorite band. She had done that herself once. Is that what all we are, two aging groupies with too much time on our hands? OK, partly, we’ll give you the aging part…. But we’d hasten to add we were searching for meaning, in this case regarding one of our greatest poets. (Those who have named him Walt Whitman’s successor as our new national bard aren’t far off, in our view).  We were exploring the nature and source of his genius. And yes, we were also searching for those vibrations that might help us make, in Ginsberg’s words, “the ancient heavenly connection.”

We didn’t spend a lot of time analyzing lyrics or speculating what this or that image might mean. Here Whitman’s thought was helpful: “The meaning of my words, nothing. The drift of them, everything.”

But what would Bob have made of our efforts? Don’t jump to conclusions and think he would simply have dismissed our cross-country ramble as just silly celebrity chasing. In fact, he was once asked if it bothered him that people were making pilgrimages to Hibbing and snooping around. Historian Douglas Brinkley had this exchange with him in a Rolling Stone interview: “I asked Dylan if he minds people visiting Hibbing or Duluth or Minneapolis searching for the root of his talent?” “Not at all,” he surprisingly says. “That town where I grew up hasn’t really changed that much, so whatever was in the air before is probably still there. I go through there once in a while coming down from Canada. I’ll stop there and wander around.”

Moreover, Dylan’s response is not surprising given the fact that he seems drawn to exactly the kind of historical time-traveling what we were engaged in. It turns out that while on tour, he has taken the time to visit the homes or hometowns of John Lennon, Elvis, Roy Orbison, Buddy Holly, and Bruce Springsteen. In some cases, he has felt the need to wear a disguise so he could be alone with his thoughts.

One of his experiences stands out. While in Ontario, he decided he needed to see the boyhood home of Neil Young. In short order, two old guys appeared milling about on the house’s lawn, which the owner thought was somewhere between suspicious and bizarre. When queried by the owner about what he wanted, Dylan identified himself and politely asked if he could look around inside. He particularly wanted to see the window that the young Canadian musician looked out of when he was strumming his guitar.

Bob, as we looked out of your own window at 116 West 4th in Greenwich Village, we felt we caught a glimpse of a kindred soul. We are still struggling to understand, however, whether the deluge that almost washed us off the highway on our way back to Boston, a mere day after we had crossed the mystical threshold into your old apartment, presaged the kind of apocalyptic destruction wreaked on those who had dared to open the Ark of the Covenant in “Raiders of the Lost Ark.”

Gosh, what’s next?

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JUST A REMINDER…

The post about New York can be found under these photos. Keep digging. Thanks for your interest!

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BILL THANKS NICK’S DAD

BILL THANKS NICK'S DAD

A fellow retired teacher, he helped us track Dylan to his lair. Ok, so we were 50 years too late.

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