A Big Thank You

I tell this story by way of saying thanks.

This past week, I received a letter thanking us for putting on the Pete Seeger Tribute. With the author's permission I am posting part of the letter here.

Dear Lani Jo and Roger,

I attended the Pete Seeger birthday gathering at the CST last Saturday, May 3rd. It was an extraordinary experience which I would like to share.

I am a long-time activist and lover of folk music. Pete died in January. I wanted to go back to New York for his memorial, but my sense of responsibility with the family's money prevailed. That left me wanting for a truly meaningful way to mark the great man's passing. The event you hosted met those needs.

It wasn't as simple as just show up for a concert for me. I needed to treat the event as a pilgrimage. What does that mean? I walked part way. I paid attention and was open to whatever happened. A song circle was going when my wife and I arrived. Twenty-five years ago, I used to participate in song circles. I watched for about 45 minutes before getting up the gumption to sit in the circle, knowing that my couple of songs were unpolished. But I sang them anyway. The first was "Where Have All the Flowers Gone." Little did I know I would be sitting across from the author of the last two verses of the song I had learned in Summer Camp forty one years ago. I'd heard of Joe Hickerson, but not in this regard, and not in this century. Little did I know he would do an in-depth retrospective presentation about that song. As you can imagine, the convergence of my journey and Joe's has been the source of much reflection. To put it simply SOMETHING HAPPENED.

Add to that the opportunity to see Pete's performance of "Waste Deep in the Big Muddy" on the screen. Add to that a "concert" that revealed the vast range of Pete's career. Add to that a couple of meaningful conversations. Add to that a fundraising dimension for the Willamette and Columbia Riverkeepers. Add to that the fact that the theater owners, you, did not charge a dime for this extraordinary event. Add to that a generous meal....

I tell this story by way of saying thanks.