|Copyright © Nobel Media AB 2015. Photo: Pi Frisk.|
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Our ceremony in the Hibbing High School auditorium began with the Star-Spangled Banner, followed by a warm welcome from retired Hibbing teacher Craig Hattam who then introduced State Senator David Tomassoni. The senator seemed to relish the task of introducing Governor Mark Dayton to mark the occasion. After a short speech it wasn't long before the governor stripped off his suit jacket to join the rest of the T-shirt clad locals from the Hibbing Dylan Project. When in Rome, do as the Romans do, right? Leave your stiff shirts and britches in Scandinavia.
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State Senator David Tomassoni's speech may not have conveyed the same gravity as Professor Engdahl's Award Ceremony Speech in Stockholm, but it was perfectly suited to the occasion. After being introduced by Craig Hattam, whose Facebook post set in motion the Hibbing Dylan Project and an avalanche of activity here these past eight weeks, Senator Tomassoni got right into it.
SENATOR TOMASSONI'S SPEECH
So as I was driving down “Highway 61” my brother Dick called me. Now, Dick and Connie Perpich (God rest her soul), as well as many others, have been promoting and pushing for some type of Bob Dylan exhibit or statue or museum or even all three of them for quite some time. In fact, one of the places that Connie requested memorials to be sent to is the Bob Dylan Fund.
When Craig posted his comment on Facebook, things started happening as there are Dylan fans all over the world and it was clear that something was “Blowin in the Wind!” So while the family doesn't like the statue idea, everything is negotiable so who knows, but we do have to do something to put in place something special honoring Hibbing’s favorite son, Bob Dylan, because people will come from all over the world to visit a tribute to Dylan. So maybe a Self Portrait, maybe a statue or maybe a museum. I know we have to “Handle with Care” and “Maybe Someday” we can “Ring Them Bells” and say “Congratulations.” Hibbing is “Never Gonna Be The Same Again.”
So Dick asked me why I was driving down “Highway 61”... I said, “I was having a bit of the “North Country Blues” and I hadn’t “Revisited Highway 61” in some time. He asked where I was on “Highway 61” and I said, “Down Along the Cove!” He asked me if “There Was a Slow Train Coming”, but I said, No It’s a “Long Time Gone!”
So Dick said, “The reason I am calling is, “As I Went Out This Morning” I just heard about Bob Dylan getting the Nobel Prize for literature. I said, “What Can I Do For You?” Dick asked me to call Governor Dayton and ask him to proclaim today, Bob Dylan Day in Minnesota.
I said, “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right,” I’ll make the call. Now, I have to believe when the Governor sees an Iron Range phone number come in on his caller ID, he probably thinks, “Can’t Escape From You?” But I know the Governor is A Man of Peace. So I left him a message and told him not to worry cuz this was going to be an easy request, “It’s all Good,” Governor… We would just like you to proclaim December 10, 2016, the day Bob Dylan is receiving the Nobel Prize for literature, Bob Dylan Day in Minnesota. The Governor called me right back and said, “Can’t Wait!” to do it. He said, There’s some “Odds and Ends” to clear up, but he would be coming Down the Highway himself to present the proclamation in person. I said, “You Don’t Have to Do That!" He said, I “Got My Mind Made Up!” See you there….
So without further ado…Let’s Give Governor Mark Dayton a big Iron Range welcome.
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|The Governor mentioned The Shadow Blasters and The Golden Chords.|
In good Iron Range fashion the crowd took their time dispersing with a portion finding their way to their man from the Capitol for photos or autographs. It became apparent that the governor, who prefers to be punctual, needed to escape to another engagement.
So did the locals. There was a party waiting for us at the Androy Hotel. The night was still young.
For another good reader check out What Bob Dylan Learned In Harvard Square.
Official: the Governor's State of Minnesota Proclamation.
If you look real close you'll see some of the folks here walking with a little extra spring in their step this week. Meantime, life goes on... Just keep breathing.