Morgantown to San Francisco

Excerpt from a letter by a good friend in San Francisco, after I had returned to West Virginia. It will be in my Morgantown to San Francisco memoir.

…. Constantly changing here—-that’s why I came here, why I stay and why I’ll leave when I do. Sometimes it’s incredible. In February, we went to see Bob Dylan. Eleven of us—-we rented a jitney bus, ate one and ½ ounce of grass in brownies, ½ tab of LSD and got dropped off at the door. —-25,000 people dressed like it was a Thursday afternoon assembly in high school…. Dylan in a three-piece black suit, white shirt, no tie—-the times they are a-changing. Dylan screaming all the lyrics ANGRY, VINDICTIVE, MOCKING like he just wrote the words…He’s doing a superstar thing right in front of everybody. The crowd is totally cued on how to behave by reading about every other night on the tour. Like a Rolling Stone is the last song and everybody knows it and knows they can surge forward. 10,000 crowd the stage. When he gets to the chorus he shrieks HOW DOES IT FEEL? 10,000 packed near the stage reach forward hands up. Everybody shrieks, the crowd goes berserk. More people yelling, running toward the stage, anticipating the next chorus…when you ain’t got nothing to lose (but a three-piece suit) you got nothing to lose (people running toward the stage) you’re invisible, you got no secrets to conceal (crowd surges forward hands up toward HIM, he’s yelling HOW DOES IT FEEL?

About Sam's Branch

I joined the Peace Corps in 1961 as West Virginia’s first volunteer. Go to Amazon.com to order my book Imagonna: Peace Corps Memories. I am the eighth generation of my family born in the Big Coal River Valley of West Virginia. My father and grandfather were underground coal miners. I have a chemical engineering degree from West Virginia University (WVU). After training to make sidewinder missiles, I joined the Peace Corps and taught chemistry and coached the track team at a secondary school in Nigeria. Since that time, I was WVU’s first full time foreign student advisor and worked in urban outreach, organic farming, construction labor, and high school teaching. I recently retired from the board of directors of the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy (wvhighlands.org), and recently retired from the board of directors of the West Virginia Kanawha State Forest Foundation (ksff.org). I am still on the board of the Labor History Association and the West Virginia Environmental Education Association and recently joined the board of the West Virginia Civil Liberties Union. I am active in the campaign to stop the destructive practice of mountain top removal strip mining in the Appalachian Mountains. You may contact me at martinjul@aol.com or my blog samsbranch.wordpress.
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