Thursday, January 24, 2008
Old Friend Resurfaces
A few weekends ago, my longtime friend Hills came up from San Antonio with Caralyn, whom we've both known since high school. My family moved in next door to Hills when I was 5 and we've been friends ever since. Caralyn I met in 1968, and she introduced me to Donovan's music. Really, she was the first hippie I'd met. Anyway, Hills and I have always kept up over the years, but one of our very best friends in those formative years, Rob, we hadn't seen since then. Rob is the one who turned me on to Dylan. I was over at his house, and he had just bought "Another Side of Bob Dylan" and told me I had to listen to it. I remember when "Blonde On Blonde" came out, Rob and I went to U.V. Blake Records, and sat in one of those listening booths where they pipe in the LP of your choice. We were particularly awed by "Stuck Inside of Mobile (With the Memphis Blues Again)" and laughed at all the cymbal crashes at the end of the song, that wouldn't seem to end.
He's been living in Ft. Worth for the last 25 years, and is somewhat reclusive. But he came to see us that weekend, and it was almost like we hadn't skipped a beat in the last 35 years. He's had an interesting life. A few years ago, Rob quit his engineering job after an epiphany that he wasn't really enjoying his life. He is now making the most incredible clocks, which you can see at this website.
When Rob was an engineer, he had to get top security clearance from the Dept. of Energy to do some work for the government. He was told it took about 2 years to get clearance, but he got a call to come to Washington 2 weeks later! When he walked into the office, they handed him his clearance. Turns out, he was involved in a Viet Nam war protest at Texas Tech University in 1970, and the FBI had had a file on him ever since! Man, my own friend on Nixon's enemy list!