One thing I love about living in New York City is the ability to wander around and discover parts of the city I never knew about.  I was walking through West Village one day with no particular desination when I stumbled upon a little store called BookBook.  This hole-in-the-wall bookstore has a great selection of books at bargain prices.  I was really impressed!

I ended up buying The Glass Castle for a friend and A Freewheelin’ Time for myself.  There were three things about the cover that caught my eye.  The first is that it’s a memoir (a favorite genre of mine); the second is that it’s about Greenwich Village (I work in Greenwich Village); and third is that it’s about the Sixties (possibly my favorite American decade).  Regarding that last point, I mean that it is my favorite decade to learn about, not to visit.  I’m good right where I am, where black, white, and yellow have (more or less) equal rights.  But anyway, my point is that it was the perfect recipe for a purchase. 🙂

This memoir is written in the perspective of Bob Dylan’s then-girlfriend and probably first love (pictured right) about everything Bob Dylan, their lives together, and the budding popularity of raw, honest folk music.  Rotolo took me on a journey that was easy to ride and fun.  She named a lot of bars and clubs that she and Dylan’s gang frequented in those days.  One such place is called The Bitter End, which I discovered is just a couple blocks from where I work.  She describes how every Sunday afternoon, she and her friends would listen to groups of folk musicians who would congregate throughout Washington Square Park to showcase their talents.

Then of course–there was Bob.  Dylan’s youthful, buzzing energy and his unwavering convictions about his life’s purpose come alive in the story.  It was not just his talent and a little luck, but drive and pure belief in his destiny that catapulted him into fame.  This was a refreshing way to look at Dylan’s life period from when he was a nobody to a Somebody, and to see the Sixties through the eyes of someone who was just a teen during that period.  I wonder what I can become if I believed in myself as much as Bob did.

Times are a-changin’ for us too.
My rating: 4/5 stars


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