While the world was watching for white smoke from the Vatican chimney, the undisputed master of American songwriting in the post-Tin Pan Alley era was himself inducted into an exclusive club. Officials of the American Academy of Arts and Letters announced that Bob Dylan had been elected, the first rocker to make the cut for a stuffy Academy that may be trying to remake its image. (In fact, as the Associated Press pointed out in its story about Dylan's election, "the academy once was designed to keep the likes of Dylan away, shunning everyone from jazz artists to modernist poets. Even now, the vast majority of the musicians come from the classical community, with exceptions including Stephen Sondheim and Ornette Coleman.")
On a February afternoon 38 years ago, I walked down Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley with Bob Dylan's voice blaring from speakers in every record store (remember those?), bookshop and café. Dylan was scheduled to perform that night with The Band at the nearby Alameda County Coliseum Arena - the next-to-last stop in his first tour since his near-fatal motorcycle accident 8 years earlier - and it seemed that the whole San Francisco Bay Area was celebrating.
Sad, and true: the Skipper's "little buddy," Bob Denver - who also starred, unforgettably, as Maynard G. Krebs in The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis - died.
Old guys and baseball were in the news over the weekend . But while Roger Clemens got most of the attention, he much better old-guy-and-baseball story played out in Los Angeles, where Vin Scully, who has been announcing Dodgers games on radio and television since 1950 said that he'll return to announce the games again next season.
If I needed one more reminder of what we have to celebrate on the 4 th of July, I got it last week - when the Daily Telegraph reported that Kate Middleton is required to curtsy to her husband's aunt and female cousins, unless (of course! I should have guessed!) her husband is with her. (Whether he's with her or not, she must always curtsy to the Queen and Prince Phillip, which I'm sure is every granddaughter-in-law's idea of how to adjust to a new family.)
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