One More for the Books: A 2-Volume Collection of Dylan-Themed Blog Posts
An opportunity arose. I accepted. A reference librarian from the Duluth Public Library asked if I might like to have my blog posts about Bob Dylan bound and placed in the permanent archives. The library routinely collects and preserves books by local authors for posterity, but in this case not only would it be a collection of blog posts by a local author, the subject matter was Dylan and Dylan is, naturally, a Duluth Native Son.
For my part I had to come up with a title for the book, which in retrospect now feels unwieldy and cumbersome, but here it is. A title page was produced, for which I did the layout. Following this I produced a dedication, preface and introduction. For better or for worse, this is my contribution to the library's archives.
I did make one special request, since the original set would not be available for circulation. Kris, the retiring reference librarian, lobbied on my behalf and sure enough there's a second set that will reside on the public shelves in the biography section. Thank you, Kris.
Reflections from the North Country, 2007 – 2015
Notes, observations and impressions about the music, art and life of the Northland’s Bob Dylan
To the many new friends I’ve gotten to know these past several years as a result of our common interest in Bob
Everything here has been pulled from a blog that I initiated in June 2007 called Ennyman's Territory. I began blogging for the purpose of seeing how useful the social media platform would be as a marketing tool for AMSOIL, the company I’ve worked for during much of my career. It immediately became my new morning ritual. My initial blog posts were relatively brief. I would extract a quote or insight from my 30 years of journal writing, and make a few brief observations about it.
My first Dylan post took place on July 26. Little did I know that I would keep returning to this theme for eight more years, occasionally with great frequency.
It was seventh grade when I first began taking time to write every morning, keeping a diary of my dreams. At that time, upon waking and before school I would record my dream in a notebook. Over time I could remember three, four and five dreams from the night, pulling out details from that foggy realm between waking and sleeping. By the time I graduated high school I’d produced hundreds of pages of material.
After college I resumed journaling, though no longer for the purpose of keeping a record of my dreams. Journaling served more of a spiritual and therapeutic function at that time. In the 1980’s my writing moved from avocation to profession, and ultimately a career in advertising. As the Internet evolved I began evolving with it, seeking to understand its value both personally and for marketing purposes.
Blogging became a natural bi-product of several decades of habit. Habits play a major role in what we do and who we are. In 2007 I made a decision to utilize my morning hour to share my thoughts and observations publicly, via blog, rather than privately in my journals. From then till late 2015 I published a daily blog entry about all manner of topics and insights that I felt compelled to share with others. A surprising number revolved around the music and life of Bob Dylan which have now been assembled here in this volume.
Being a Dylan fan is something akin to being part of a fraternity, or an extended family. This book would not have been possible without contributions from many others whom I have come to value and appreciate for their encouragement and support in various ways over the years. Foremost of these would be John Bushey, host of KUMD’s Highway 61 Revisited for more than 20 years. I don’t believe there’s ever been a radio program that I listened to more faithfully since Gene Shepherd in the ‘60s when I was a teen in New Jersey. (“Flick Lives.”)
Thank you to “Magic Marc” Percansky for providing rare and original content for numerous blog entries, stories that may have been otherwise lost to history. A similar thank you to Nelson French, who serves on the board of the Armory Arts and Music Center, for pointing out stories worthy of further investigation and broader distribution, and for sharing my Dylan content with the wider universe of Dylan fans. Thank you to Bill Pagel, for contributing a number of photos I used to illustrate these entries, among other things. (And, of course, for your indispensable Boblinks.com.)
Getting to know everyone associated with Dylan Fest has been rewarding, especially Zane, Don, Brad, Mark and all those affiliated with the Historic Duluth Armory, where young Bob had his close encounter with Buddy Holly at the Winter Dance Party a couple days before the latter’s untimely passing.
There are a host of others who have also been helpful… authors of books and the maintainers of other Dylan blogs and websites that fans have frequented these many years since the dawn of cyberspace, chief of these being Karl Erik Anderson for his work maintaining expectingrain.com, a wonderful ongoing resource for following all things Dylan.
It's probably appropriate that this collection of blog posts is being published the year of Bob Dylan’s 75th birthday. May his spirit keep us all forever young.
* * * *
Whether it's chairs, chalk or cheese, you can find out if I've written about it by Googling “Ennyman + that topic.” I apologize in advance of any errors of fact, or for errors in grammar or typos that you find here in this volume. Much of the content on my blog was written with haste. Fortunately in the digital age one can go back and fix mistakes when they've been noted or noticed, which I've often had to do.
Ennyman’s Territory has been a labor of love. I don’t consider myself a Dylan scholar as there are so many others more fitting for that title. I’m grateful for those who have shared their research and done all the work for others to sift.
I didn't realize how much I was into Dylan and his music until I looked back at how much I’d created “under the influence” – which includes nearly three dozen paintings and drawings, produced initially for the purpose of illustrating my blog content.
Although there are many more important books on Dylan, this one is my story, in that I’m sharing the impressions his music made on me, the experiences that his music is associated with in my life, and how I myself rightly or wrongly interpreted the lyrics in his songs.
All artwork in this collection is original work by Ed Newman unless otherwise cited in the blog post.
Ennyman is a Life Under Construction. Writer, artist, philosopher, friend... visit www.ennyman.com to put your mind at e's.