Pete Seeger is dead. If there was one person I thought would be immortal, it was Pete Seeger. It seems like he would never quit, but at the age of 94 I guess he felt it was time to leave us.
Pete Seeger was a big figure in my youth and young adulthood. I still sing along to recordings of “If I Had A Hammer”, “Turn, Turn, Turn”, and “We Shall Overcome”. “Where Have All The Flowers Gone” still brings tears to my eyes. His idealism and conviction to fight for civil rights, for human rights, made a deep impression on me.
He was my introduction to folk music as political protest, a way for all people to have their voices heard. From him I found Leadbelly, Woody Guthrie, Odetta, Peter, Paul and Mary, Bob Dylan and Judy Collins.
He also made me love the banjo, and learning to play it is still on my bucket list.
I think I love him best for his incredible gentleness and strength, as well as for his smile. It could light the darkest corner of my world.
Thank you, sweet soul, for being a part of my life.