Digging up Bob Dylan’s Minnesota roots exposes an icy truth
Travel: On the Road in Minnesota
If you want to understand the story of a man named Zimmerman, visiting the northern town of Hibbing, Minnesota offers stone cold insights into the emotional desolation and snowy emptiness that shaped the Nobelaureate's inner space and artistic obsessions.
By Rod Mickleburgh
On a bleak, wintry weekend in November of 2014, my brother and I made a pilgrimage to “the north country fair, where the winds hit heavy on the borderline” in search of the roots of Bob Dylan. It was an unforgettable trip that richly increased my understanding of the mysterious forces that shaped a relatively ordinary teenager in the Minnesota town of Hibbing and helped turn him into the Shakespeare of our age.
We set out Friday morning from my brother’s home in Thunder Bay. Once across that “borderline,” we travelled south along Highway 61 (Revisited). There was no sign of a promoter putting some bleachers out in the sun. We were soon in Duluth, where Dylan was ...
Before we had the ‘Beforetimes,’ we watched baseball — and it was good
Column: A Long Day's Journey into COVID awareness
Last March, Ex-Press staffer Charles Gordon was in Dunedin, Florida when COVID-19 cancelled Spring Training, and forced his family on an angst-filled road trip northward. A year on into the pandemic, we look back at the moment when everything, and everyone, changed.
A memoir from March 21, 2020
By Charles Gordon
We had already decided to come home before the call came officially from our government. For one thing, a prescient friend had announced, on the Tuesday before, that he was leaving: he had a respiratory infection and the Coronavirus could be fatal to him. A bunch of us were at the Florida restaurant where he told us that and we made light of it on the way back to the hotel. “Should I go straight to the hospital?” I asked, to general chuckles, as we got into the car. Still, it made me think. Here I was, an older Canadian, pushing 80, and a long way from a decent health care system.
For another thing, they cancelled ...
Boundaries Refuses to Keep Its Distance
Movie Review: Boundaries
Shana Feste smashes a piñata full of dysfunctional family cliche and finds enough sweet stuff to keep Vera Farmiga and Christopher Plummer busy on the road to forgiveness.
Hello Tokyo, How You’ve Changed
Globe Trot: Tokyo
Returning to Japan's teeming metropolis after a 60-year absence offers a distilled glimpse of technological progress and the immutable Japanese character
By Charley Gordon
(November 22, 2016) In the busy Asakusa neighbourhood of Tokyo is the Senso-ji Temple, a major attraction.
Thousands of people jam the narrow street leading from the gate to the temple, which is lined with dozens of shops selling just about anything. Not everything sold relates to religion. In fact, there is a store that sells cookies that are made right in front of you by a machine. Japanese, unlike North Americans, don’t eat on the streets but those cookies are a temptation. Hence a sign, in the kind of Japanese English that has always held a peculiar charm:
"This street is not able to eat while walking."
After being away from Japan for 60 years, it was encouraging to see that some things haven’t changed. The Japanese do things their own way, no matter how much Western ...