Searching For Dylan's Ghost in Hibbing, Minn.

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July 30th 2010
Published: August 6th 2010
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Searching for Dylan

Entry Eleven: Bob Dylan Daze! Friday, July 30, 2010

Touring Hibbing with America’s Greatest Songwriter…

After leaving the Boundary Waters the previous night, blowing through perhaps the most-famous Boundary Water town, Ely (ee lee), I camped in the Superior National Forest, camping at the scene of large, exposed rocks. A 7 a.m. reorganizing of the truck took an amazing 2 hours. However, the systems were become more solid.

I drove the 2 hours, cranking Dylan all the way. I had always wanted to visit this town, as although Dylan had been born in Duluth, he moved to Hibbing at aged 5 and left after high school in 1959. Amazingly, it was only 7 years later that his career label of “folk singer” was already being replaced by his “going electric,” and recording the famous “booing” concerts in England after rockin’ in out with The Band.

Arriving in town, my first stop was Zimmy’s. This Dylan-themed bar/restaurant features photos and posters from Minnesota’s most famous son. I splurged on a veggie burger and snapped photos, asking the server what’s the most common question asked of Dylan (“Has he ever been here?” Answer: No). Next stop was Hibbing High School, which appears very much as it did in the 1950s when Dylan played his first public appearance on its auditorium’s stage. A few blocks away is his childhood home, large Blood on the Tracks album cover art painted on the garage to alert fans.

My next stop was a couple of blocks away—the Hibbing Public Library. I was in desperate need of electricity and blog postings, plus I had read before leaving Chicago that they have a Dylan exhibit. In a steady drizzle, Sophie the dog napped in the car, while I filled out a release paper stating my reasons for wanting to photograph. The “Dylan Room” is filled with, again, posters and photos. It also has timeline of his life and a copy of the talent roster of his initial show, some 50+ years ago. Having listened to countless Dylan bootlegs, seeing him in concert at least 8 times, and having read many biographies of his life, I didn’t learn anything new, but appreciated the effort and nice staff of the library. It was also neat to know that I was probably in the same building as Dylan had been—the library was open 6 years before he left town, and his house was only a few blocks away.

I ate some rusty Hibbing soil, as maybe Dylan had once trod-upon it.

Spending 4 hours in the library, I was anxious to leave the area, as I had many, many miles to travel to get to my final destination: Seattle. Next stop for Sophie the dog and me: Theodore Roosevelt National Forest in western North Dakota.

Additional photos below
Photos: 58, Displayed: 23


6th August 2010
Pheasant of some Kind

bird id
I think that pheasant is a Ruffed Grouse.
7th August 2010

Things Have Changed
i made my hajj to Hibbing the summer of 1975. At that time, there was no Zimmy's, no painted garage door - in fact, no evidence whatsover that His Bobness had once placed his bootheels upon those streets. Talking to the locals, there seemed at that point to be a bit of resentment about their native son's fame - one bartender told me that Bob's brother David was "twice the musician" Bob was, and openly scoffed lyrics which spoke of 'sniffing drainpipes and that stuff." Times have changed; there is now a "Dylan Days" event every May which attracts Dylanphiles from around the world, and I understand the name of his home's street - Howard Street - has been changed to Bob Dylan Way or something like that. I feel fortunate that I was able to see the town in its "precommercialized", pristine state, but also plan one day to attend the 'Dylan Days" in the future. Hope you enjoyed your trip to the North Country - and you trumped my own Dylan fixation with your sampling of the Hibbing soil! John Pilecki, Pittsburgh Pa.
7th August 2010

Thanks for taking the bait!
I knew that if I posted the pictures that the expert would take over! I'll make specific corrections soon!
7th August 2010

Great info!
John: Thanks for the info and comments...From my understanding, the interest in Dylan Days is weening, with fewer and fewer people attending each year.
7th August 2010

Great info!
John: Thanks for the info and comments...From my understanding, the interest in Dylan Days is weening, with fewer and fewer people attending each year.

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