Monday, April 27, 2009

My Rainbow Race (Pete Seeger)

So... our Pete Seeger 90th Birthday Celebration yesterday was a total success - below is what I posted to our local folk discussion list:

Thanks so much to Tony Thomas, David Engels and Ellen Bukstel for weighing in on today's Pete Seeger 90th Birthday Celebration - I pulled into my driveway about 10 p.m., after breaking down (the church, not mentally!)... cleaning up and driving a few people home...

Let me first thank everyone for their patience, their enthusiasm and their willingness to stay... long after our 2-hour projected concert time frame came and went - who knew we'd end up with anywhere near that many people?!? (about 300, by our count). It was a loaves-and-fishes moment - just when you didn't think we'd find any more chairs... or any more room to put them... we did (magic... on so many levels!)...

Each and every performer (Allan Aunapu, Amy Carol Webb, Arlene Boumel, Bob Singer, Ellen Bukstel, Jack Lieberman, Matthew Sabatella, Ray DelPapa, Rob Koppelman, Rod MacDonald, Rudy Delgado, South Florida Raging Grannies, South Florida Solidarity Singers, Vanessa Gilyard and Tony Thomas) was prepared and professional... not to mention inspiring - as I said from the stage, they donated their time, treasure and talent to help make this event happen. We are incredibly lucky to have such gifted artists "in our own backyard" - I do confess to weeping during We Shall Overcome, as everyone in the room stood up, linked arms, swayed and sang so beautifully together...

Additional thanks to the sponsors, who brought literature and petitions and reminded us of Pete's ongoing legacy: of ecology, of activism, of the power of hope - they donated some great raffle prizes too!

After expenses (minimal), we made $1606 (from the gate, raffle ticket sales and caterer donation), which was split 50/50 between the Clearwater Next Generation Legacy Project and the Unitarian Universalist Church of Ft. Lauderdale, our gracious hosts for the afternoon - also... many people stayed afterwards to eat cake, watch Allan's film... and/or participate in the song circle... :-)

It was a pleasure working with the Birthday Committee (Bob and Patty Bender, Vicki Ryder, Virginia Anderson, Dan Isaacson, and Ray DelPapa)...and I'm proud of ALL of us for organizing, facilitating and supporting such a community-building event - the Power of Song indeed!


I meant to post this last week... but you can hear our radio interview that aired Sunday, April 19 (with Rod MacDonald, Allan Aunapu, Vicki Ryder and myself) here...

(After Rilke)

Spring has returned! Everything has returned!
The earth, just like a schoolgirl, memorizes
Poems, so many poems. ... Look, she has learned
So many famous poems, she has earned so many prizes!

Teacher was strict. We delighted in the white
Of the old man's beard, bright like the snows:
Now we may ask which names are wrong, or right
For "blue," for "apple," for "ripe." She knows, she knows!

Lucky earth, let out of school, now you must play
Hide-and-seek with all the children every day:
You must hide that we may seek you: we will! We will!

The happiest child will hold you. She knows all the things
You taught her: the word for "hope," and for "believe,"
Are still upon her tongue. She sings and sings and sings.

QUOTE: "There is hope for the world." ~ Pete Seeger


  1. That sounds fabulous! Glad it went well! Also, thank you for your cheerleading the other week. (=

  2. Hey, Amy ~

    It was amazing - made me so proud to be involved!

    You're very welcome - hope all's well with you (and you know where to come for extra pom-pom support, if not... :-)