Still Blowing In The Wind.
February 10th 2012
I am now, and I forever will be a Bob Dylan fan. I started listening to his music in the early seventies; I liked it then, and I like it now. I didn’t care that some people considered him a spokesman for a generation, or a leader in the protest movement. I just liked his music. I like his old music and I like his new stuff. It moved me. It did back then, and it does now. It touches some place deep inside me. From everything I have read, or saw on TV, Bob Dylan never considered himself a spokesman for his generation, or a leader in the protest movement. For him, it was all about the music, and it was the same for me when it came to listening to it. I recently saw a documentary of his early years and a reporter asked him if he was going to attend an upcoming protest march. He laughed and said that he would probably be busy that day.
I saw Bob Dylan in concert in the 1980s and I saw him again at the Buffalo Chip Campground at Sturgis South Dakota in 2010 during the Black Hills motorcycle rally. He rocked down the house in the eighties when I saw him play then and he rocked down the campground at Sturgis. One thing I like about a Bob Dylan concert is that you get your money’s worth. He doesn’t talk; he just sings and plays his music. Halfway through the concert, he’ll introduce the band, but other than that he just plays his tunes and if you’re lucky, he’ll come back for an encore. When I heard him at Sturgis I stood among a mass of people squished together like sardines in a can. They were all cheering and having a great time. It was a time that I will remember for the rest of my life.
One of Bob’s early hits was Blowing In The Wind. What does that song mean? Was it an anthem for the protest movement? Some people thought so, yet Bob Dylan didn’t consider himself as a topical singer or a leader of the protest movement. He considered himself to be a poet, I think. We’re all searching for something, and the answer is blowing in the wind. If you are an artist, weather it’s a painter, a writer, a singer or a sculpture, you’re searching for that next painting, that vision you have in your mind, or that next story or novel, if you are a writer. People often ask writers where they get their ideas. The ideas are out there blowing in the wind, and sometimes we manage to catch one and filter them through that word processor we call a brain.
Bob Dylan was born in Duluth Minnesota on May 11th 1941. He moved to Hibbing Minnesota when he was six. In Minneapolis, they hold an annual Bob Dylan sound alike contest at the 400 bar. In my science fiction novel, Tale Spinner my main character, Brandon Merryweather goes to a bar in Greenwich Village where they are holding a Bob Dylan sound alike contest. Some of the clubs in the village where Bob got his start back in the day are closed now, but I think at least one club that he used to play in back then is still open. Below is an excerpt from tale spinner.
Life seemed good, but whenever you think you’ve got life by the tail, something always bites you on the ass. My life was no exception.
One weekend, I was sitting around feeling board. Fluffy jumped up into my lap and I stroked her fur. Kathleen and Amy were busy. Baxter was out of town. My apartment seemed as still as King Tut’s tomb. The clock’s incessant ticking was starting to drive me crazy. My stomach rumbled. Fluffy jumped off my lap.
“You know what I think I’ll do, Fluff. I think I’ll take a ride down to the village. Maybe I’ll stop at Tower Records and buy a new CD. You hold the fort while I’m gone.” So, that’s what I did. Dressed, I left my apartment, caught the bus and rode it to the nearest subway station. The warm sunshine felt good against my back. The people on the bus and in the subway seemed in a jovial mood. Everyone was enjoying their weekend. Even on the platform, there wasn’t your usual pushing and shoving. No one tried to elbow their way through. When the train arrived, I climbed aboard and settled back with a paperback to read while I rode to Greenwich Village.
It was a wonderful day in the village and I had a good time shopping, site seeing and enjoying the atmosphere. I had dinner and spent the evening at a local pub where people would get up on stage and do their best Bob Dylan impersonation. They had a contest going and gave a prize for the best performance. If Bob Dylan himself were to show up, he might not have won. Half drunk, I staggered out the door when they closed the place down that evening. Pulling my coat together at the front, I staggered down the sidewalk. Fog formed in front of my face when I breathed. The music from a street musician playing the guitar wafted on the cold night air.
Back at the subway station, I stumbled aboard the train for the ride home. Making my way through the train, I headed to the last car and took a seat on the beach near the door of the empty train car. This was a break from my pattern. Usually I sit facing the door. Listening to the hum of the steel wheels, I drifted off to sleep. The door between the cars whooshed open. The increase in the sound from the wheels woke me. My breath fogged up in front of my face. Five Cool Dogs swaggered inside. My heart rate quickened. Sweat formed up in the palms of my hands. The door whooshed closed behind them. I recognized one of the gang bangers from my last encounter. He must be their leader now. The one I stabbed must not have made it.
“If it ain’t the white boy from the other day? Where’s your biker buddy now? I told you next time you come through Cool Dog turf, you’d best be packin’” He pulled a handgun from his waistband. The one standing next to him pulled a sawed off from underneath his coat. Jumping to my feet, my breathing regulated and my heart rate subsided. An eerie calm dropped over me.
“I told you, I would be,” I said and then pulled the stub nosed from underneath my shirt. Several things happened at once. Four people materialized from thin air standing next to me. The Cool Dogs and I brought our weapons to bear. From my peripheral vision, I recognized the biker from my last encounter with the Cool Dogs. On my right stood the Mojave Kid. That startled me. They brought their weapons up. On my left stood a man that looked like he’d just stepped out of a Mickey Spillane novel. He was dressed in 1940s style suit wearing a Fedora hat. The heavyset gumshoe pulled an old Smith and Wesson revolver from a shoulder holster. A tall man with black hair and deep piercing blue eyes stood next to him. He wore a black military style uniform. Gold hash marks covered his sleeves and I saw a strange looking emblem on his shoulder. He had a silver bar on his lapel. In his right hand, he held a wired looking metallic handgun.
The world erupted into sound and light. A laser flash lit up the train car. The loud bang of gunfire caused my hearing to go away. The train lurched to a stop. The door behind me slid open. A bullet slammed into my chest. Flying backward, I felt a familiar sense of disorientation and saw a flash of blue light. The smell of burning ozone filled the air. My body came down on a metal deck, knocking the wind out of me, and I lost consciousness.
The Mojave kid looked down at the bodies of the Cool Dogs lying on the floor. Their leader lay unconscious and looked like he wouldn’t make it. The others, nursing their wounds, struggled to sit up. The Mojave Kid bent down and picked up my handgun. He glanced out the doorway of the subway car.
“He’s gone now. I reckon I’d better keep this. It could cause him trouble later.” The dark haired man in the black uniform arched his left eyebrow.
“Give it to me. I’ll see that he get’s it, all though I doubt that it will survive the temporal flux.” The Cool Dogs on the floor looked up slack jawed and wide eyed. The four men dematerialized and faded from sight.
if you would like to read Tale Spinner click the link below.
That’s about it for now. Until next time I’ll keep doing what I do best: reading, writing and riding my motorcycle. I’ll keep my net cast out, trying to catch an idea for my next novel, because the answer is still blowing in the wind.
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Monroe's Paranormal Investigations
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The Devil's Punch Bowl
Bring a Brother Home