The New York Times reports that Suze Rotolo, artist, author, teacher, and activist, died this past Friday of lung cancer, at age 67. The author of “A Freewheelin’ Time: A Memoir of Greenwich Village in the 1960’s” (2008), Rotolo was known to millions as the girl walking arm-in-arm with Bob Dylan down Jones Street on the cover of his album, “The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan.”
I was lucky enough to first meet Suze several years ago when she generously did a program and bookreading for GVSHP (images HERE). Suze was a great supporter of GVSHP’s work, and a passionate advocate for preserving the Village. This was especially so for the South Village, which GVSHP has proposed for historic district designation, and which includes the block of Jones Street she and Dylan made famous, as well as many of the other locations they both frequented in the 1960’s. Suze spoke at our rally in 2009 calling upon the City to move ahead more quickly with landmark designation of the South Village (images HERE), and frequently lent her voice to preservation efforts (if you’d like to help get the South Village landmarked, click HERE).
About a year ago, I had the privilege of participating in an interview with Suze at the Cafe Cino for a South American magazine, where she discussed her experience of the Village in the 1960’s, and compared it to the neighborhood today. As always, Suze was insightful, witty, and warm, and extremely generous with her time and knowledge.
She will certainly be missed.
Addendum: Suze’s full obituary appears in the NY Times HERE.