Dylan & the Grateful Dead

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


................................................My first college house, New Paltz..................................Dylan's childhood home, Hibbing

MY OLD SCHOOL (Guadalajara wont do)

After enduring Memorial Day Weekend traffic on my way to New Paltz, I hopped off the bus and headed straight to China House. Everything remained the same: same white triangle-framed house; same tiny sign with red lettering that reads – CHINA HOUSE, same waitress. The carpets haven’t been shampooed since I first ate here twenty years ago, and it’s still two-star cuisine featuring mystery meats. The only change over the years was a sign that was put in the window about seven years earlier: “GOOD NEWS: WE HAVE BROWN RICE.” Yes, that’s fantastic news, welcome to the new Millennium.

I tried to recall some of my hazy college days when I went to SUNY New Paltz. I lived in a light blue house where I terrorized my neighbors with a constant barrage of Dylan and Garcia. This house, strikes a resemblance to Dylan’s childhood home in Hibbing (see above). Today is Dylan’s birthday

It was a lush spring afternoon in Ulster County: seventy degrees, partly sunny skies, billowing clouds, a steady breeze rustled the leaves of the trees in the valley. I celebrated Bob’s sixty-seventh birthday by woofing down three chicken tacos and washing it down with several pints of Hoegaarden at Bacchus – a dark musty bar with billiards, hippies, decent food and over 400 varieties of beer. I could wreak substantial havoc if I were to be locked in their beer cellar/ cooler overnight. When I was a student, I spent more time at Bacchus than I did on campus.

I resided in and around New Paltz for ten years – a decade of my life blew by like a puff of wind. Somehow, the Huguenots found New Paltz in 1678 and built stone houses that still stand today. I paid a visit to Huguenot Street, the oldest continuously inhabited neighborhood in the U.S. with the possible exception being some areas that are still inhabited by Native Americans. After my historic stroll, I pulled up to the banks of the Wallkill River and watched her flow.

I lined up the I Tunes for Blaise’s 40th birthday party at his Mom’s house somewhere in the sticks of New Paltz. His family is originally Woodstock – they all dig Dylan. I started the evening off with “Thunder on the Mountain,” and encored with “Huck’s Tune” (“When I kiss your lips, the honey drips”) at 4 AM. After catching a nap on the porch, I watched the rising sun return. I also saw deer, blue jays, robins, and a woodpecker doing his thing – impressive sights for a city boy.

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