Tuesday, February 2, 2016
things that pop up
I wasn’t going to write about this – I don’t like sharing my personal life that is about people in my life unless they live or have lived under my roof – but then something popped up on Facebook tonight.
An article that Pete Seeger, age 94, had passed away. In truth, he passed away two years ago on January 27. But if you are on Facebook much, you may have noticed that things pop up from who knows where or when. This particular snippet, however, was sent directly to me for this express purpose of this blog.
Pete Seeger, for you younger folks, was a folksinger in the 1940s and 1950s, writing songs such as “If I Had a Hammer” and “Where Have All the Flowers Gone”. His song “Turn, Turn, Turn”, based on the book of Ecclesiastes, helped to inspire my memoir, “A Time for Every Purpose Under Heaven”. But he was also a rebel for his time, protesting war and admitting to being a communist. We think sometimes we live now in times of protest and rebellion, but it has been going on for years, and people like Pete Seeger led the way.
But that’s not who I’m writing about. Thinking about Mr. Seeger, naturally reminded me of Woody Guthrie. Which of course won’t mean much to many of you. Woody Guthrie, born in Oklahoma in 1912, was the original American folksinger and a friend of Seeger's. He would travel throughout the country during the 1930s, writing countless ballads about life in the Dust Bowl. His most famous song, “This Land is Your Land”, was sung in lots of elementary schools during my childhood, I don’t know if it still is.
If anyone reading this, remembers Woody Guthrie, you may or may not know what claimed his life at the young age of 55. Huntington’s Disease. I won’t copy and paste, so you can read about it here.
The personal part is that my Uncle Bob died from it in 1978 and my cousin Phil in 2000. And yesterday, Phil’s beautiful 30 year old daughter, sweet Erin went to be with them.