Monday, November 29, 2010

Day 13 : Band or Artist that has Gotten you Through Some Tough Ass Days. (write a letter.)

Take care of all your memories; For you cannot relive them.--Bob Dylan

Dear Bob,

Yes, Bob, you were the one.  You were the one who helped me through some pretty drying times.  You gave me strength when I was about to fail.  Many, many years ago I wasn't the person I am today.  Back then I was a scared little country bumpkin trying to find my way in the big city, and you were there for me.  Your songs, they spoke to me.  As a young woman coming of age in the 1960's, I felt there was something missing in my life.  I wasn't content to marry and have children as my classmates were.  I wanted more out of my life;  I wanted a chance to see the world.  Oh, I knew that one day I would settle down and have my family, but first I wanted to sow my wild oats.  Men did.  What was so wrong with a woman doing it?

"Come gather 'round people
wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You'll be drenched to the bone. 
If your time to you
is worth savin'
Then you better start swimmin'
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin."
--Bob Dylan, "The Times They are A-changin"--

Sink like a stone. Had I stayed, I was going to sink like a stone,  and I knew it.  I was different from all the rest.  Even my choice of music was different.  While the others were listening to pop or country, I found myself gravitating to folk and singers such as Joan Baez, Woody Guthrie, Peter, Paul and Mary, and of course, you, Bob, my idol and my mentor....singers who spoke of real people, of the real world.  I wasn't my mom seemed to believe. I remember her telling me over and over again that she didn't know where she had gone wrong and even drug me to a psychiatrist who said, Your daughter is it was something criminal, sinful.  Mom, there is nothing wrong in wanting to be wanting to choose another other path.  My goodness, Bob, you knew,didn't you?  You knew that the status quo was just not going to be good enough for some of us anymore.   Yes, the times were a-changin.  In those days I was called a rebel; I was scorned.  Today when a young woman chooses to venture off to find herself in the world, everyone wishes her well. 

And, when I finally made the decision to move to the city, I lived in the East Village, in the same transient hotel, The Hotel Earle at 103 Waverly Place, where you and so many other folk artists had stayed.  I tried to get your old room, 305, but it was already taken, so instead, I got a room which looked out over Washington Square Park.  

Now you’re smiling out the window
Of that crummy hotel
Over Washington Square

-Joan Baez, Diamonds and Rust--

I frequented the coffee houses (we called them houses back then) and clubs such as The Bitter End, The Village Gate.  Discos and dancing weren't for me.  It was a different time back then, a quieter time, a time when one felt safe.  If you found yourself wide awake at 3 am, you could slip on your clothes and take a walk in the park.  You'd always find someone to sit and chat with, and if you were really lucky, you'd come across with a guitarist singing your songs...Blowin in the Wind, Rainy Day Woman, Like a Rolling Stone...I finally felt as if I were a part of something, and Bob, it was you who helped me along the way.

(Beautiful, isn't it?  My window was just on the other side of the archway. This was the place to be in the 60's and 70's,  Within the circle,  there were singers, musicians, etc)

 Ah, but those days are long gone, Bob.  They lock the park up at night; it's gotten far too dangerous out there.  The Earle Hotel is gone as well.  It's now called the Washington Square Hotel.  And, while it may be  true that we cannot relive our memories...they will always be our hearts.   

Oh, and before I forget, Bob, I have to tell you a little story.  Long after I moved from there, I still continued to frequent the park.  After all, that was my first home in the city.  One day, while I was sitting on a bench, a man happened along.  "Would you mind if I sat here?" he asked.  I looked up from my book and shrugged, hoping this wasn't some pickup line. I had just come out of a bitter marriage and most certainly was not looking to get into another relationship.  I wanted to take some time to get to know myself.   Well, something happened when I looked into that man's eyes.  I realized that I had found my soul mate.  That was 19 years ago and we remain together today.  That man is my husband....a chance meeting in the park bringing together the love of a lifetime. 

With love,