Leonard Bernstein Marks His 65th with An Experimental Journey Back to Lawrence, Mass.

updated 09/12/1983 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/12/1983 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Leonard Bernstein rejected offers from the Hollywood Bowl and Milan's opera house, La Scala, to return to his birthplace, Lawrence, Mass., for his 65th birthday two weeks ago. "I haven't been here in 49 years," he exclaimed. Resplendent in a white suit, sky-blue shirt and striped tie, he was treated to a hero's welcome, a hectic day of parades, praise, picnics and, finally, concerts in his honor by two area symphony orchestras. However, everyone knows you can't go home again; Thomas Wolfe said so. Now we know why: The fireworks planned to accompany the concert were canceled for fear the wind might blow them onto spectators. And then too there were Bernstein's repetitious solos on the theme of nuclear freeze. Muttered one of Lenny's townsfolk: "I bet there aren't more than 15 people here who care about nuclear proliferation."

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