Mayim Bialik Visited Hibbing To See ‘Personal Mecca’ Bob Dylan Home, Went To The Wrong House
Maybe she should have asked for better directions.
The Northland - specifically Hibbing and the Iron Range - received some national attention the other night when a Hollywood celebrity talked about the "personal mecca" she made with her father while appearing on a late night television show.
The Northland also rolled its collective eyes because the A-list actress made a major misstep and visited the wrong house she came to see.
Actress, author, game show host, and Doctorate of Philosophy in neuroscience Mayim Bialik was on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on April 5, touting her new project. The film "As They Made Us" is a self-written, self-directed piece that honors her late father. Mayim Bialik and the late Barry Bialik were huge music fans - with a special devotion to Duluth-born and Hibbing-raised Bob Dylan.
Along with screening clips of the movie project and telling the back story about the film, Bialik also brought along a couple of personal family photos that related to the story. Two of the photos especially caught the attention of careful Northland viewers.
Bialik shared that she and her dad had made four father-daughter trips to various locations when she was younger. One of those trips brought them on a "personal mecca" to Hibbing - to soak in the Dylan vibe and attractions; that visit included the stereotypical drive to the house that Dylan and his family lived in.
In the first photo she shares, you can see a much-younger Bialik and her dad posing next to a Hibbing highway sign. Looking at the sign - which includes a Highway 37 designation along with a "right lane" direction on it, leads me to surmise that the sign was from the Highway 37 turn off from Highway 53 on the way north from the Twin Ports. Directionally, that would make the most sense - and more than likely, Bialik and her father were traveling north to Hibbing from either Duluth or Minneapolis (guessing that they flew in to one of those two airports).
It's the other picture that immediately made me look twice.
That second picture is the one that Bialik told Colbert was of her outside of Dylan's childhood home. Except that it isn't his house.
To any Northlander, that house is immediately recognized as not being the correct one.
I did a bit of sleuthing to try determine how she got it wrong - i.e. was she across the street, at the wrong end of the block, etc. I did manage to determine which house she was standing outside of in her decades-old photo; she wasn't very close. It turns out she was four blocks away, at a house that faces a different direction from the one Bob Dylan spent his adolescent years in. I won't give the actual address of the house she mistook for Dylan's (for privacy reasons), but even with the change in shrubbery that the years have made on the yard, you can easily compare and see that the house shown below is the same one she shows in the video.
Here's a Google Street image of the home that Bialik was standing in front of:
This is a picture of of what Bob Dylan's actual childhood home in Hibbing looks like:
To Bialik's credit, there are no signs outside of Bob Dylan's childhood home to draw tourists. But, anyone in town can give easy directions to the spot - it's relatively easy to find - on a main, busy route. Maybe she got wrong directions, wrote them down wrong, or misinterpreted them.
Here's a map showing just how far "off" she was:
Mayim Bialik did hedge her proclamation of it being Dylan's house when she talked about the picture with Stephen Colbert. You can see in the video from her segment that she says "This is Bob Dylan's childhood home - or so they told us. I'm going to believe it is". Colbert chimes in that "There is no sign or anything" to which Bialik offers "It is a small town; they're like 'go to that corner, that is his house'; we did; we took a picture".
You can watch Mayim Bialik's appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert in this video. The Hibbing references and pictures start about 4 and a half minutes in:
Poor Mayim Bialik; no doubt the mistake wasn't intentional. But still, it would be hard to learn decades later that the picture you traveled thousands of miles to take is outside of the wrong house. Maybe we won't tell her.