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Photo Album:  Vintage Pix

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These pictures are part of series taken by my good friend, Steve Curcuru, on Long Island back in the summer of '66.

Steve was a fellow student at the College of William & Mary who became the manager of the Minutemen when we started the group back in '63.  Steve was from the Boston area, but his parents had a place out on Long Island, too.  That summer, I headed north on an odyssey, playing a few towns and making lots of new friends.  I went from busking on the boardwalk with an old blind banjo player and his dog in Ocean City, Maryland, to playing venues in Wildwood, New Jersey -- a genuine "beat" coffeehouse one night, and then a button-down preppy college folk club the next.

After two weeks in Atlantic City, New Jersey, someone broke into my Ford Falcon and stole all of my stuff.  All I had left were the clothes on my back and the instruments in the trunk.  Then, in Tom's River, the ol' car finally gave up the ghost and broke down.  I left it at a repair shop and hitchhiked the rest of the way to NYC, where I spent a week or two with Bruce Farwell in the village -- read some of his reminiscences here.  Bruce had been with the Bitter End Singers, but was going solo at that point.  Eventually, I took the Long Island Railway out to visit Steve and spent a week there.  It was sort of a last hurrah for me, "Bob's last ramble" before going back to Norfolk to manage the Folk Ghetto, and then on the service and CGC Sebago.

The clothes I'm wearing were all I had left after the robbery, but they were some of my favorites.  The striped shirt is from my Kingston Trio "daze," and I added the vest because the one with the most pockets wins.  The longneck banjo is an Ode I acquired after seeing Pete Seeger live for the first time.  It was '62, in Norfolk Virginia, at the old gymnasium in Old Dominion College's Old Administration Building.  After taking a city bus down Hampton Blvd., Pete came loping across campus, his backpack slung over one shoulder, carrying a long-neck banjo and a 12-string guitar.  He came into the gym and sat down on the edge of the stage, legs dangling over the side, and commenced to transform a room full of strangers into a group of old friends, through the power of song.

That banjo served me well, keeping me company right through my hitch in the Coast Guard, until 1968, when the Sebago took a roll and a radioman stepped on it.  I tried to glue it back together but it never sounded the same.  I have an identical one now, but that's another story, a reminder of another friend gone too soon ....

 

Outstanding in my field ...

A boy and his long-neck banjo.

Many miles to ramble ...

 

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