There are voices that are a part of your life. One of mine was Pete Seeger.
My parents were old school liberals, shading over into the radical at certain times. My marched on picket lines, and spoke out against McCarthy and the Red Scare. My Dad was anti-nuke, even when it hampered his career, and helped shut down the White Citizens Council in Sacramento.
I was raised with Pogo comics, liberal politics, and Pete Seeger music. His children’s albums were the backdrop of being a kid. I rediscovered his work with the Weavers when I got to college. I cheered when he played President Obama’s first inaugeral.
I learned to love stories from those songs — those long, rich, passionate songs telling stories not just of young love, but of men and women around the world, living and dying, winning and losing. This was my first exposure to poetry, and it came to the sound of 5 string banjo and 12 string guitar, and it came with the idea that there should be justice in the world, and where there wasn’t, it was our job to change that.
It was tough to pick a recording to end this with. There are so many. But I’ve chosen the one that got him blacklisted. Okay, one of the ones that got him blacklisted.
So long, Pete. Truly, it’s been good to know yuh.