A Story about Gates — and Bob Dylan’s Gates

Bob Dylan viewed through gears wearing a welding helmet.

“Gates appeal to me because of the negative space they allow. They can be closed but at the same time they allow the seasons and breezes to enter and flow. They can shut you out or shut you in. And in some ways there is no difference.” – Bob Dylan

My dad has a plain ol’ farm gate at the end of his driveway. It’s usually open, but it’s there to signify the difference between the road and his property. In fact, it comes right after the END OF ROAD sign. It’s has a NO TRESPASSING sign on one post and PRIVATE PROPERTY painted boldly on a watering can attached to the other.

It’s the gate people drive through and find themselves sitting in front of his garage, pondering, “What happened to the road?” If I happen to be there, two large dogs are barking at them while they attempt to figure out how their sign-blindness allowed them to drive to such lengths. Or why they trusted their GPS over logic.

Dreaming of Gates

Ever since I saw a fence made from gears, chains, tools, and such, I’ve imagined constructing a new gate from parts and pieces of this and that. I find myself in what I have officially labeled my “mid-life craft crisis.” I’m not diving into the cult of scrapbooking. Exacto knives, stickers, and such don’t have the right potential for injury. I’m buying tools. I’m looking into welding classes.

“Give me your scrap, your remnants,
Your discarded trashes yearning to be free,
The random refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the random, tempest-tost to me…”

Looking at things destined for the recycling bin or garbage, I imagine their next lives. I’m cutting glass bottles. (And wearing bandages.) I Tetris-ed together random pieces of scrap wood to build a step for @’s fort. I’m rescuing tools from garbage-can abandonment to integrate into projects.

Back to Bob Dylan

And then, traipsing through the interwebs as I sometimes do, I came across gates made by Bob Dylan. Yes, that Bob Dylan. Imagine Bob Dylan working in his shop, welding parts and pieces of this and that into… gates. Magnificent, amazing, repurposed-for-a-purpose gates. Gears, fans, tools, oh my. His shop looks like a candy store filled with all shapes and sizes of metal goodies. I can smell the rust.

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