Bob Dylan, Bringing it All Back Home

Subject: Newspaper article on Hibbing and Dylan
    Today's copy of the local (Madison) morning newspaper, the Wisconsin
State Journal, has as its main article in the feature section a story
called: Bob Dylan, Bringing it All Back Home. Mount Horeb woman helps
Hibbing honor rock's bard. It's by Mike Meyer.

Three pictures: 
  1. 8-1/2x5" color shot of Dylan house at 2425 Seventh Ave. East. caption: Bobby Zimmerman, aka Boy Dylan, was at home once--at least physically--in Hibbing, Minn., though you can barely tell it by the town. This is the house he grew up in. Efforts to make it a museum have failed, however. It is privately owned.
  2. . 2x2-1/2" B & W head and shoulders picture of Bob pulling sunglasses down, apparently to look at something close-up. Or maybe he is putting them back on.
  3. 2x2-1/2" sepia tone picture of Bob in cowboy hat and cowboy shirt, with arms folded in front.
some excerpts, without permission:
"If you're a Bob Dylan enthusiast, consider heading north, back to his roots. "Drive to a hamlet named Hibbing, where it took a Wisconsin woman to make a community recognize its most renowned son.... "Way out on Highway 61, nestled in the Mesabi Iron Range amid pine forests, lakes, churches and liquor stores, stands Hibbing, Minn. A town 80 miles northwest of Duluth, Hibbing is home to 18,000 people who look like characters straight out of "Our Town." But this town's startling cast of alumni exceeds any Thornton Wilder's dream [mentions Keven McHale, Roger Maris, former Minnesota Gov. Rudy Perpich, Jeno Paulucci (millionaire owner of Jeno's food company), Greyound Bus]. But Hibbing doesn't want you to know any of this. A sign greeting passers-by reads only "Home of Gov. Rudy Perpich." No mention of McHale, Maris, Greyhound or the largest open-pit mine in the world, dubbed "The Grand Canyon of the North." And oddest of all, no mention of Hibbing's most famous son: Bobby Zimmerman. Or Bob Dylan, to the rest of the planet. And his fame, beyond that of Hibbing's other famous offspring, hangs like an albatross around the neck of a blue-collar town where the times, they never changed, and where the only thing blowin' in the wind is the rusty dust of the almost-busted mine. They say you can't go home again. Some people just don't. Like Dylan, who has only returned a handful of times since he left town in 1959. And while away, he rarely credited Hibbing as "home," instead crafting his image as folk roadster runaway with stories of a vagabond youth hopping trains from Cheyenne to Sioux Falls to Burbank. It made for better liner notes than "I was a 'B' student, and my family owned the first TV set in town." Dylan's snub of the town perhaps explains why his boyhood home isn't designated as a Minnesota historical landmark or museum, as many parties--including Rolling Stone magazine--have implored. Or why no streets bear his name....Or why Hibbing's Chamber of Commerce has only a brief, half-page biography of the man many call rock's biggest influence on file for visitors. "Eleven Outlined Epitaphs," a poem in the notes of "The Times They Are a-Changin," is a rare reference by the hermity Dylan to Hibbing in words. It begins: "The town I was born in holds no memories...I have carried no feelings up past the Lake Superior hills." And that suits this town just fine. "We like him, sure," a pair of grungy [Hibbing High] seniors said in front of the school. "But everyone up here listens to country or heavy metal." They boasted a friend's family recently bought the Zimmerman home, which included a 1965 poster of himself he sent to his mother as a souvenir. It hangs on the student's wall in what was Dylan's old room. The sale of the house to a private family, killing plans to transform it into a museum, created a minor furor as far away as Denmark. Griped one Hibbingite at the time, "It's the old story. Nobody recognizes their own. It's like Roger Maris. They'll wait 'til he's dead." Down at Zimmie's, a new bar annexed to a historic restaurant, the young bartender admitted, "I didn't even know Zimmerman was (Dylan's) real last name until last week." Claiming to have a Dylan theme, the bar features a handful of framed magazine covers and posters of Dylan, mostly recent ones. And the jukebox? Choose from "Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits" or "Under the Red Sky." This day, Stevie Nicks is a popular choice. Over at Erickson's Music, like Zimmie's, situated on the main drag of downtown Hibbing, the selection is as weak. No Bob Dylan songbooks. And for discs, choose this year's "World Gone Wrong" of ...This year's "World Gone Wrong." As Dylan prophetically ended "Epitaphs" stanza about Hibbing: "I learned by now never to expect what it cannot give me." Not so fast, Bobby. The public library has at long last done something, if only at the urging of Linda Knudsen, formerly of Mount Horeb (she recently moved to Soldiers Grove). The result: The Bob Dylan Collection. Though opened a year late, the collection features film, recordings, posters, books and articles that span the artist's career. The library has published a directory, and is happy to dig up any information a visitor wants to see, including Hibbing Daily Tribune articles as innocent as "Writer declares Bobby Dylan great talent" and as hilarious as "Soviet press says Dylan money-hungry capitalist." The collection was a "labor of love" for Knudsen, 40, who over four years worked on the 30 posters that chronicle Dylan's career. Knudsen defends Zimmie's lack of memorabilia, pointing out that it's difficult to find Dylan mementos. In fact, their scarcity is what literally started her on the road to Hibbing. Reading a 1989 New Year's Day article about collecting as a good investment, Knudsen, then in Vermont, contacted a New Hampshire collector of Dylan memorabilia. That contact netted her a few of Dylan's tour schedules, and she went on the road, picking 10 shows to attend. When that leg ended, Knudsen decided to go back to the beginning--Dylan's, that is. Knudsen headed for Hibbing....With a laugh, she recalled her philosophy at the time: "If Bob lived here, I can live here!" She did more than that. Disappointed with the town's indifference to a "national treasure," and "spellbinding songwriter" Knudsen began work on an exhibit chronicling Dylan's life in order to present it to the town in celebration of the singer's 50th birthday in 1991. Knowing the Zimmerman family's wish for privacy, Knudsen approached the project with caution. Whatever fears she may have had of trampling on sacred ground were erased, however, with a call to Dylan's godfather, who when told of the project declared, "It's about time!" And while Dylan himself has never acknowledged the collection, Knudsen said, an employee in his business office anonymously sent various press releases and articles. The town, to, appreciated her effort, which she called "a birthday gift for Hibbing." Usurping the hallowed spoils of hockey trophies that clogged the hallway cases at the high school, the exhibit united a community around a figure they've long ignored. "It's pretty isolated up there," [Knudsen] said. "And kids should know that they can do things, they can get out." The 50th birthday exhibit has evolved into the collection's current form, which recently was set up in a basement conference room at the library. Terry Moore, the library's director, reports that quite a few people have passed through--mostly out-of-towners. While even Knudsen admits that Hibbing "will never have any idea how influential Dylan is," the exhibit makes an effort, however modern. Many write-ups in the collection are concert reviews form the late '70s and '80s, which are more trivial than meaningful. And the bibliography lists the date of the seminal 1964 "Times They are a-Changin'" album as "197?" But it's a start, and not a bad one for this city that, quite frankly, doesn't give a...darn. Well, maybe just a little. But should it? In a '91 editorial commenting on the controversy over the sale of the Zimmerman home, the Daily Tribune, which once banned the mention of Dylan in print because he refused it an interview, wrote: "It would be fair to say that many of Bob Dylan's lyrics don't make a lot of sense to a lot of local folks. We doubt that the times will ever be a-changin' enough so that Dylan becomes a local music favorite. Maybe if he did a polka album.... "His popular career may be waning, but his impact on a generation of people and his lifetime contribution to folk and pop music will long be remembered. People will wonder what sort of community could produce such an artist." A day in this deep-rooted community turns that wonder into respect. Then, with a tinge of either guilt or gumption, the editorial concludes, "Maybe no man is a prophet in his hometown."

story inset--- If you're going - Dylan house: 2425 Seventh Ave. East - Library: 2020 E. Fifth Ave. Dylan collection hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday. For information, call (218)262-1038 voice; (218)262-3214 TDD; (218)262-5407 fax - Hibbing High School: Eighth Avenue East and 21st Street