Hello Darkness, my old friend: The touching story behind Simon & Garfunkel’s “Sound of Silence”

Sonny Melendrez
3 min readSep 12, 2022

It was their first week at Columbia University in New York when Sandford “Sandy” Greenberg and Arthur “Art” Garfunkel met.

As roommates, they made a pact to always be there for each other in times of trouble, no matter the extreme.

A few months later, Sandy began to lose his vision, eventually going blind when glaucoma destroyed his optic nerves.

The son of Jewish immigrants, with no money to help him, Sandy had to drop out of college and give up on his dream of becoming an attorney, returning home to Buffalo, New York.

He plunged into depression, refusing to talk to anybody.

Then, one day, Arthur flew in, saying he had to talk to him.

“You’re gonna come back, aren’t you?”

“No. There is no conceivable way!”

Garfunkel insisted, “Look I don’t think you get it. I need you back there. That’s the pact we made together: we would be there for each other in times of crisis. I will help you.”

Upon returning to the university, Sandy became dependent on Arthur’s help, walking him to class, bandaging him up when he fell, reading to him, and filling out graduate school applications.