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Re: [xmca] Silvio Rodriguez and Pete Seeger
I have a little story about Pete Seeger once giving me a ride from a
train station. It was 1984. I was the music counselor for an upstate
New York YMCA camp that brought inner NYC kids out to a woodsy and
rustic camp for a few weeks. The camp was built on the fields and
woods around a farmhouse where Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote Uncle Tom's
Cabin (1852). This farm had also been a stopover on the Underground
Railroad for African Americans who were escaping slavery on their way
to Canada. This was all in Beacon, about 75 miles straight up the
Hudson River from NYC.
It was my day off, and I was getting off a train returning from NYC,
where on impulse I had bought myself a bargain-priced old used
baritone saxophone from some ancient music shop in the Theater
District. I hadn't brought my alto with me from Seattle for this
summer job, and missed having a horn to practice - I was in music
school at the University of Washington at the time, playing both jazz
and classical sax. I had also purchased some camp song books and
other supplies for what I was doing at the camp, so I was carrying
quite a bundle of stuff when I got off that train - and wondering how
I was going to make the two-mile walk.
I'd heard from the camp director (who was also the source of the above
history) that Pete Seeger and his family lived on a property adjoining
the camp. Well, there Pete was, picking up some people at the train
station in some old station wagon. He saw me lugging that big black
vinyl case with an odd musical instrument of some kind in it, and
hefting some other bags, and asked me where I was going. He was quite
curious about the musical instrument, and remarked that it was an
unusual sight at the train station. I told him the Y camp, and about
the sax. He said hop in, he'd be glad to give me a ride, and of
course I accepted.
They asked me some questions about the camp, and we talked about the
local area, and about some of its history. I told him it was an honor
to have met him, that I'd heard him sing at anti-Vietnam war
demonstrations, etc. He was already a legend by the late 1960's, of
course. Pete and the others in the car wished me luck, dropped me at
the front office of the camp, and off they went. It is nice to see he
is still going strong at 91.
What a great honor and tribute he received from Silvio Rodriguez.
Thanks for this thoughtful link, Ulvi.
Rodriguez said about Seeger:
"For 91 years, he has been learning songs anywhere to teach them
everywhere. He has left a little piece of Cuba in the United States, a
bit of Africa in Italy, an air of Spain in Japan. Borders don’t exist
for Pete. If there’s a man who can mend dreams, that’s him. His life
has been an example of fraternity, of love towards human beings and
Nature. He is a song we should all learn."
On Jun 12, 2010, at 4:02 PM, ulvi icil wrote:
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