Sunday, April 20, 2014
Dylan, "Desire" and the (other) Story of Hurricane: A Lesson In Fatherhood
Reading of the death of former pro boxer Rubin "Hurricane" Carter today awoke an old memory which reminded me how lucky I was to have, what in retrospect, was a pretty cool father. I should add by "cool" I do not mean some kind of "over the hill hipster" who, in a desperate attempt at trying to stay relevant smokes pot or acts in some other immature, out of character way. No, I merely mean a father, that despite whatever busy schedule he may have, when he senses that something is of importance, at least to his kid, takes the time to listen and if possible, act on his child's request or concern.
The time was the mid-late70's (circa 1976-77) and my father had a new job working for the LEAA after years working as chief counsel of a Senate Judiciary subcommittee and later as a staff counsel for the full judiciary committee. The Law Enforcement Assistance Administration (LEAA) was a short-lived U.S. federal agency within the Justice Department. It administered federal funding to state and local law enforcement agencies, and funded educational programs, research, state planning agencies and local crime initiatives. My father really had no qualifications for working for the LEAA other than being one of the principal authors of the Senate's Amendment to the Omnibus Crime Control Act and needing a job.
At the time I was a long haired, anti-establishment teenager with a new favorite lp, Bob Dylan's "Desire". My motivation for purchasing this album was the wordy but endearing protest song which was the album's featured single, "Hurricane" written by Bob Dylan and Jacques Levy:.