This may end up being one of my most personal posts ever. My childhood was not “father knows best” I mean it started out that way. Rural Virginia with all the social clubs that come along with it. My mother was in the “Home Demonstration Club” (as if displaying feats of housewifery could keep her or any sane woman totally satisfied) the “Garden Club” (not much gardening from my youthful perspective, a lot of sitting around and gossiping). My father was a Mason (made the rank of Master) a volunteer Firefighter and a member of the Rescue Squad, (a license to drive down country roads at breakneck speed with no fear of the law). My mother defied her diagnosis of MS for several years and from the outside it all appeared like the perfect American sitcom family. There was even church going, …the Methodists… just center enough to keep up the facade.
Then came the change, it started slowly. An hour of the Smothers Brothers show here and there, a visit to a synagogue with friends. But the slow ebb into change hit a huge brick wall when my father was transferred to upstate, New York, Schenectady to be exact. For an eight year old girl with a southern twang it might as well have been Mars. Within a year we were Jewish, my mother was a full time college student and working outside of the home and the TV that had once shown the Smother’s Brothers didn’t even make the move from Va (wicked irony when you consider my dad’s first job out of the Air Force was as a television repair man) Blue jeans became the norm and music… all at once there was music. Pete and Joan, Peter, Paul and Mary, Woody, Arlo, The Kingston Trio, Judy with her blue eyes, they become the soundtrack of the change, of that period in my life when the walls shifted.
My Parents are gone now as is Pete, but I know they were with me yesterday at Seegerfest. I know because I knew every word to every song and I heard them, not only in Judy’s or Peter’s voices, but in the voices of my mother and my father… strumming along.
The following shots were all taken yesterday at Seegerfest, part of a five day tribute to Pete Seeger put together by his Grandson. I could go on and on about the experience of waiting in line and the usual NYC hiccups but not this time, instead here….. So many memorable names and faces, how many do you know?
So, next time then…