With all the hoopla that surrounded the arrest of Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. last month perhaps he could learn something from music legend Bob Dylan.
Only 11 days after Gates arrest, Dylan found himself being questioned by authorities while in Long Branch, New Jersey. Dylan was taking a walk in Long Branch, evidently searching for a house where Bruce Springsteen once lived. When he wandered onto a lawn with a For Sale sign, the occupants became uneasy and contacted the police about an "eccentric looking old man."
You might recall the Sgt. James Crowley of the Cambridge Police Department was chided for failing to recognize the eminent Professor Gates. Well, it seems that Long Branch police officer Kristie Buble didn't recognize the internationally famous musician either. While Dylan identified himself to her he did not have identification to verify her request. So she asked him to step into her police cruiser.
Instead of bellowing "this is what happens to eccentric looking old men in America"; Dylan complied with Officer Buble's request. As Buble herself commented, "He was really nice, though, and he said he understood why I had to verify his identity and why I couldn't let him go." Of course, Dylan knew all along the answer would be blowin' in the wind. Professor Gates, on the other hand, couldn't see that times they are a changin'.