Bob Dylan & Me – July 25, 2011

Dahab, on the Red Sea coast of Sinai. When I was there it was just palm frond huts for travelers, divers, etc and a small Bedouin settlement. Now they have 4 Star hotels. For me not an improvement.

Now I never knew or even met that many celebrities, you know singers, actors, politicians or athletes……I met an actor onetime, years ago. This kid named Phillip Alford, he was visiting some of his relatives that lived in Piedmont, Alabama and he’d just finished the movie ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’. He was a child actor and I reckon his part as Jem in the movie was his first movie part and I think he was in a few more productions, TV or whatever.  Anyways whatever else he was in he was wonderful as Jem and held his own in a movie also starring Gregory Peck which in my book ain’t no small feat. I’d read the book already and when I saw the movie it just blew me away. Funny it was seeing him. It was a hot summer’s day not unlike one of the hot summer days in the fictional Maycomb, Alabama in the movie. Me and my friends were all down at the YMCA doing what kids do that are 12 or so years old at the YMCA back then, anything we can get away with until Clyde Pike the man who not only ran the “Y”, he was the “Y”. He was why the ‘Y” was one of the best places for a kid to spend their time in a small town. Swimming, playing ball, games, aggravating any girls that might show up…….:-) But I’ll always remember seeing and meeting Phillip Alford, he seemed just like me, maybe I could be a movie star too, or maybe not…..:-)

Politicians? Well I always liked Franklin Delano Roosevelt though I never met him, he died before I was born. But I heard so much about him and how wonderful he was from my grandmother that I felt I’d know him all my life. I knew a city councilman onetime, he was my daddy, does that count?…..My wife Linda spoke to Senator Sam Nunn on the phone regularly in her capacity as an executive assistant to the Dean of the College of Computing at one of the south’s most well known and respected educational institutions and I’d tell you which one it was but they never knew much about Linda’s “husband” and well lets just keep it that way……:-) But it was fun to hear Linda talk about chatting with Senator Nunn. Whenever he called her office he was to be put right through immediately. When I called Linda at work I was to be put through sometime before 4 o’clock right before she left for the day, that is if she ever got my message. My call to my wife was a priority call right up there with AT&T calling wanting to know if you wanted high speed internet access when you already got it, got it from them but they still keep calling you day after day, night after night wanting to know if you want high speed internet access…….:-)

Now athletes, Oh I met tons of them. You see my goofy brother who does nothing that I can put my finger on that is really worthwhile but if he can do anything, well he can put a rubber ball in hoop from 30 feet away every time, SWOOSH……He played professional basketball in the European league for years in Belgium and Israel. I used to meet all kinds of great athletes through my brother Ralph. And Ralph would have met a lot of my friends too if I’d had any that wanted to meet Ralph but most of them said if tried to introduce them to Ralph they wouldn’t be my friends anymore, so, well you can see my dilemma. I always had lots of friends but after they heard about what kind of guy Ralph was, you know full of himself, egotistical, rude, selfish and an utterly obnoxious person Ralph was, well there wasn’t a big clamor for my friends wanting to get to know my brother Ralph anymore than just the rumors of his existence……:-)

Singers? I met one, I knew one, I spent lots of time with one, we hung out together, we partied together and he was supposed to be one of the greatest singers, song writers and spokesman for a whole generation that ever was,. Yes fellow gardeners I was friends, good friends with Bob Dylan…..Well not really. “Paul From Alabama, was you or was you not running buddies with Bob Dylan or not?” Well fellow gardeners the answer to that question is kinda tricky you see everyone around us thought that he was Bob Dylan, but he wasn’t Bob Dylan, he even talked a bit like Bob Dylan did in that you could hardly understand a word he said……:-)

Now I met this guy back in the desert hitchhiking from Mt. Sinai to the Gulf of Suez and the Suez canal…We kinda hit it off and decided to travel together along the western side of the  Sinai peninsula seeing some of the interesting sites. Well we saw ancient writings in this wadi called Wadi Kotvim, which means wadi of writings. Mostly just graffiti but a special kind of graffiti, it was made by pilgrims on the rock walls of the canyons on the way to Mount Sinai through Wadi Feiran. the languages were in Greek , Latin and all kinds of ancient languages…We saw what we thought might have been a song carved into this one wall with some kind metal stylus or knife. It was writtin in Latin and I think the name of the song was “Like A Rolling Stone”…..:-) Just kidding…..:-)

Well  we get to the this  beach oasis called Dahab after rounding the tip Sinai around Ras Muhammed, one of the most famous diving areas in the world, right up there with the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. And when we get to Dahab we talked to this Bedouin about renting one of these palm frond huts to stay in, there right on the water of the Red Sea, I mean right on the water…..So we unpack our gear and get us something to drink out of our backpacks and sit down leaning against a close by palm tree looking out over the Red Sea over towards Saudi Arabia. Now at this oasis about this time is a group of maybe 50 or so Finnish tourists, kids, young people, you know 16 to 22 or so in ages…..And as we sat there against the palm tree drinking out our canteens we start drawing a crowd…..:-)

These kids from Finland, Norway and Sweden too I guess drift up in ones, two, threes and after awhile big crowds of kids mulling all around me and my buddy. Staring at us, smiling at us, the girls winking at us…..Well my buddy anyways, you see these Norwegian folks had got it in there minds that my buddy was Bob Dylan. Now my buddy he didn’t favor Bob Dylan, he didn’t look kinda like Bob Dylan, I mean he looked just exactly like Bob Dylan and what  was even more bizarre my buddy had his mannerisms too if not his exact voice. But his voice was like Bob Dylan’s to the extent that you couldn’t understand hardly a word this kid said, he sounded like he always had marbles in his mouth…….Let me put it this way, if I’m Paul From Alabama and I am, truly I am, then this guy was Bob Dylan in the flesh……

Now the more we told these folks that he wasn’t really Bob Dylan, the more they believed and treated us like he was……It was surreal fellow gardeners…..After a while we just laughed and played it out like he really was Bob Dylan, cause like I say the more we insisted he wasn’t the more they seemed to KNOW he was Bob Dylan, the Bob Dylan…….:-) That night and the next  day we wanted for nothing, I mean nothing…….Folks would bring us stuff to eat, stuff to drink, smoke, chew, I mean we had everything……..and when I say everything I mean it literally……EVERYTHING……:-)

Every now and then I’d look at  him, he’d look at me and we’d both just burst  out laughing at the absurdity of it all…..Most of them didn’t  speak much if any English but they all knew two words or so for sure, “BOB DYLAN”, “HEY BOB DYLAN”, “YOU BOB DYLAN YES?”…..”PLAY LIKE A ROLLING STONE”, “GOT ANY NEW SONGS FOR US? OLD ONES?”…..My buddy knew as much about playing the guitar and harmonica about as much as I knew how to fix a nuclear melt  down at the reactor at Three Mile Island…..:-)

Finally the next day he finally gotten kind of tired of being Bob Dylan and I’d about had all I wanted of being Bob’s bodyguard and the whole of his “entourage” . ..So when nobody was looking an that was a good trick in itself we packed up and headed for the next oasis down the coast and hopefully folks who might have heard of Bob Dylan but didn’t know what Bob Dylan looked like…..:-)

So you see I did know, hangout with and befriend Bob Dylan. I knew he wasn’t really Bob Dylan but as long as so many people thought he was I guess I can get away telling you fellow gardeners that I really did know Bob Dylan. Now I’m going to see if I can get away with telling you about the time me and Elvis Presley climbed the pyramids at Giza, fellow gardeners? You still there? OK it wasn’t really Elvis, I was just kidding it was me and Frank Sinatra……..:-)

Paul From Alabama

The comments below were transferred from my “old” blog as was the little story above with the date of the original story as shown.

Monday, July 25, 2011

1 Comment Manage Comments for this Entry
Nell Jean
Bob Dylan wrote a lullabye. The name of it is ‘I’ll be Your Baby Tonight.””… close the door, do not fear, bring that bottle over here” — all about the demands of a newborn.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011 – 12:31 PM

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