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William C. Altreuter
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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

We all have our personal heroes and patron saints, and one of A's has always been Pete Seeger, who lived an exemplary life and lived like that to the very end. We should all try to live by our convictions, and Seeger did that, perhaps, at times, naively, but always with a sense of humility.
Carl Sandberg crowned Seeger "America's tuning fork." But when Bob Dylan called Seeger a saint, that was going too far.
"What a terrible thing to call someone," Seeger told USA TODAY on the eve of his 90th birthday. "I've made a lot of foolish mistakes over the years."
It is pleasing to think that this optimistic man lived long enough to see environmentalism become a mainstream cause, and stood on the  platform at the inauguration of an African-American President. If he was surprised at all by either it was probably only because he'd reckoned that these things would have come about sooner.
My job,” he said in 2009, “is to show folks there’s a lot of good music in this world, and if used right it may help to save the planet.”
The 50's that he lived in were a dastardly, cowardly time, and if all he'd ever done was to be cited for contempt of Congress that would have been a life worthy of commemoration.
“I am not going to answer any questions as to my association, my philosophical or religious beliefs or my political beliefs, or how I voted in any election, or any of these private affairs. I think these are very improper questions for any American to be asked, especially under such compulsion as this.”
Watching the embedded video just now I felt uplifted. That's what great artists do-- and great people. Sometimes the death of a hero makes us feel diminished a little, but losing Pete Seeger doesn't feel like that: it feels more like he showed us the way.



| Comments:
So long, Pete. It was sure good to know you.
 
As the Preacher says," Can I get an "Amen" to that?"
AMEN !

We just watched "Born Yesterday" for the first time in years. Garson Kanin wrote it and he, too, refused to testify in that period and was blacklisted. The '50's was when I graduated , got married and had my babies. I think I was almost as ignorant and oblivious as Billie Holliday's character in the movie. I loved Pete Seeger, I loved this movie, I was not afraid of bombs or Russia or Joe McCarthy or any of the stuff that was going down in that period but, mostly that was because I really did trust my government and my God and Americans in general to do the right thing. The 60's really shook my faith in some of that but, overall, I still believe in it all today. Seegar's songs and Seegar's messages will live on.
 

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