Winter 1999 Chelsea New York City
We put on some records that she had lying around. When I put on the Mississippi John Hurt she asked if I knew of a band called New Lost City Ramblers. Of course, I had a couple of their records, they were big heroes of the early sixties folk revival here, before Dylan. Then she told me that John Cohen, one of the founding members, was one of her best friends and best clients, she’s his agent, maybe I can meet him while I’m here.
I thought to myself, Bob Dylan stayed in his loft in 1961, there´s a great book of photos taken by Cohen in that period when Dylan was trying to break away from his Woody Guthrie image, taking off the corduroy cap, getting into some Verlaine and writing Hard Rain´s A-Gonna Fall. And there on the back of the book of Dylan photos, Deborah Bell Photographs.
Even that picture on the back of Self-Portrait, Dylan looking up at the trees, that was John Cohen too. This guy was a legend, and she not only KNEW him, she was one of his best friends and close professional confidantes. He was close friends with Harry Smith, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Gregory Corso, Patti Smith and other luminaries. He even helped those crazy Beats make that crazy short movie called Pull My Daisy.
My birth mom Charlane smiled and turned to her sister Debora with a big smile. She knew what had just happened, that the circle was being completed, that blood has a memory and intuition, a will and voice of its own.