Okay, maybe Bob Dylan wouldn't be instantly recognizable walking the streets in the rain, especially by a 20-something cop. Up close, he might even be scary.
But did his behavior warrant calling the police? He was only looking in the window of a house for sale in a low-income neighborhood, not shouldering the door open. We've learned he is apparently mellower than Henry Gates when he is not recognized.
We've also learned he's so unthreatening that he's planning a Christmas album, which will pretty much take the fun out of my little holiday tradition of doing Dylan interpretations of Christmas carols.
No, the really scary people are in group homes seeking to locate in your neighborhood.
By all accounts, the company scheduled to open a foster home in Centerville is a model operator, and it followed the law in preparing to house and supervise four teenage boys with mental and developmental disabilities. But the neighbors and some county officials didn't hear about the plan until the home was ready to open.
The poor communication with neighbors triggered fears that their children might be endangered — plus the all-purpose NIMBY response that property values will be brought down. (There's also available, remember, the complaint that property values will go up, for those cases when change comes in the form of an improvement that might attract undesirable amenity-seekers.)
Last week while I was doing yard work, a prosperous-looking couple pulled up and asked me if I knew of any houses for sale in the neighborhood. We love this area, they said. And I agreed it was a great neighborhood — well-kept homes with a creek and park nearby, easy access to freeways, less than 30-minutes to downtown by bike, express bus service and a grocery within 3/4-mile walking distance.
I did tell them about one house not yet on the market that was in foreclosure because the owner's business had gotten in trouble some years ago and he made the mistake of remortgaging his house to pull through. I didn't tell them that three of the householders on our street are gay and one family is black. Nor did I mention there are at least two group homes within the small neighborhood radius I just described.
Didn't mention it, because it didn't even occur to me at the time.
In our last house, we lived across the street from a large group home in Minneapolis just southeast of Lake Harriet. When we put our place on the market, 65 realtors showed for the open house and we had three offers on the table within three days.
I'm not saying it was the same market back then, but it won't be when the Centerville owners are selling, either.
Can you guess who stands for what in whatever this disagreement is about?