Saturday, May 18, 2013

happy birthday, Pete Seeger, and thanks!

~~ facebook~The Great Hudson River Revival

On May 3rd Pete Seeger turned  93.
A post on Facebook invited us to wish him a Happy Birthday, un well I had a fe "thank yous" to add to it.

Not sure when I first heard of Pete Seeger, probably way back in the early 60's when along with everyone else I learned about folk music.  At that time there was an interest in  Appalachian culture, and tradition, the treasured family quilts came out of the cedar chests where they were stored being to precious to discard even though they were  from way of life, considered out of date to some and backward to others ;  and were again displayed on the wall and beds. It was OK again to sing the old songs that Grandma sang,   During the Depression era  Pete Seeger was one of the people who along with his father and Allan Lomax and others collected and committed to paper and audio recording these songs.  One among  many public works programs during the depression that documented the people, land and traditions of the American people.
 Pete Seeger taught me that it is important to remember tradition. and perfectly OK if not outright good to build on it  using it in your life.
He made the rounds of various talk show of the 60s and 70s talking about his views, but somehow he was different, there was a sustainability in his ideas, something that could if enough people were willing to work at it could be achieved and maintained.   I remember him demonstrating  using   an ax to chop through a log on one of the talk shows, I think the lesson therein was something like "you can do it, but you have to know what you are doing and keep working at it."    His idea of getting people to  come down to the banks of the Hudson River by presenting concerts on the decks of the sloop Clearwater,  so that they could see how poluted the Hudson River had become,and as people became aware of how the Hudson River had become  a dying river, they also became aware that they could clean it up, an effort that continues.  
Pete Seeger taught me about sustainability.
What I think of most when I think of Pete Seeger are  his recollections of history, his directions for doing something, his beliefs put into words, and the stories her told to entertain us.   Somewhere between a Bard and a Town Crier, he gets his message across, informing and entertaining us. 
Pete Seeger taught me about the art of communication. 
Pete Seeger taught me about the art and purpose of the Storyteller.    

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Silebt Sunday befor Memorial Day