Hibbing, MN

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Bob Dylan’s childhood home

I am a huge Bob Dylan fan. Huge.  Which is why I am writing this from his hometown of Hibbing, Minnesota. The family and I just did a walk by his boyhood home, albeit very discreetly.  I didn’t want to be one of those tourists that stalk old haunting grounds of famous people. So I begged Noel to put the camera away so we could just blend in. But I have to admit, I am one of those people. I got a thrill being on the steps where MLK gave his I Have a Dream Speech then felt an incredible sadness standing at the ledge where he was shot down. I felt a similar feeling walking Dylan’s hometown.

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The hotel where Bob Zimmerman (Dylan) had his Bar Mitzvah

Bob considered himself a gypsy of sorts and concocted and crazy stories of his childhood. But Dylan’s boyhood was both normal and stable and deeply entrenched in this area.  So the idea that he roamed these streets, slept in that house and developed his history here makes me feel connected somehow.  While travelling, the idea of home and place is more vivid for me.  As we move further from home and all things familiar it puts you into a sort of out of self-place.  All the things that help to define you are gone, and your free to be something new. So meeting people, hearing their stories, sharing your own is one of my favorite things.  Finding out how folks end up where they do is very intoxicating so when we meet people, the first question is “Where are you from?”, which always begins a conversation of history, or the reason they got where they are.  Usually the answer is for love, but there were other crazy stories of adventure.  We have met and heard many stories along this trip, and usually the farther we get the more I realize how similar we all are.   One reason why I love Dylan is that his songs are steeped with tales about all kinds of folks. At first glance the words might seem disjointed and out of place, but if you take a deeper look they become a rich tapestry. Same is true for our own stories because as different from each other as they might initially appear, there is still ultimately at least one connecting thread. So, very soon we will be back in our home.  With our people.  Continuing our story.  Although it’s always fun to step outside of oneself, my second favorite thing about the journey is coming back home.      

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The only Dylan display we found in Hibbing. It was in a library basement behind a locked door. We had it to ourselves and were told to shut off the light and lock the door behind us when we were done.

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Looking down Howard Street in Hibbing, MN

 

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Hibbing, MN

  1. ❤ ❤ <3! What a cool tribute to Dylan and an amazing way to tie it in to the big picture of your trip, your travels and life. Your essay hits the essence of the life enhancing power of why we keep returning to the road. As a born and raised Duluthian, and Minnesotan, your words and photos make me see Hibbing, a town I've been in numerous times over the last 40+ years, with new eyes. Thank you for that! If you've not passed Dylan's birthplace city of Duluth already, here are some more Zimmerman-esque things to enjoy at the tip of the world's largest (by surface area) freshwater lake: http://blog.thecurrent.org/2014/05/bob-dylan-and-duluth-ten-things-to-know/ Check out the tall ships and the world's largest rubber ducky this weekend, too. Happy travels and a safe journey home to you all!

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