When I was ten years old, I read Laura Hobson’s book, "Gentleman’s Agreement." It changed my life and my course and direction was set that early. Social justice—I didn’t even know there was a name for it. At ten, I called it "playing fair."
Later, when I met Mary on Bleecker Street, I had found people that I could talk to and discuss issues with. The bond through music was so strong—it was our own language. Greenwich Village was a second home to me. These people were educating me and I became very involved in Upper Westside politics. Buses from NYC to Washington, D.C. left from my apartment. I served breakfast to 60 people at a clip.
There was singing on the bus, just like in the movies. The music of my heart was a harder edge, but I have and had a great appreciation for the music of Americana, which defined us in another way. At the memorial for Mary Travers it was like a reunion, a diverse crowd. (By the way, the sound was perfection. Thank you, Peter Yarrow. Knowing him you know he is about a great sound check and perfection. He could make you nuts, but he is correct).
I am grateful for Peter for sending me a "family" ticket, and to Sue Leventhal, who made sure everyone was included and felt welcome. So many folks from my past and present came over to say hello and just to sit or stand next to me for a moment, as if to say, yes, we will always stand together.
Of course, the music was sheer rapture. The speakers included John Kerry and George McGovern. You cannot compare them to anyone. They always inspire as forthright and upstanding citizens. The art of public speaking and debate—along with ethics—used to be taught in schools. It’s now forgotten, but I know it when I hear it.
Thank you to Noel and Peter, and Mary for holding the group together and for staying the course. Making music together is as intimate as making a baby together, both make me laugh and scream.