Over my two decades covering music for the big daily in Syracuse, I got the opportunity to talk with a whole lot of interesting people.
One morning, I talked to Pete Seeger on the phone.
He agreed to the interview because he would be coming that little stretch north and west to Central New York to appear at a benefit concert for the Syracuse Peace Council.
In his 80s, Seeger was still standing up for what he believed in.
As I recall, he talked wisely during that 15 minutes or so, about his affection for his beloved Hudson River Valley, and the need for diligently making sure that everybody treated it with proper respect. He covered the state of humankind, and the obligation for making the world better for future generations.
And then I got to watch Pete Seeger perform in the Landmark Theatre, voice still rich, soul still shining.
He shared the stage with a community chorus. I watched him interact with the singers, of all ages.
It was obvious that their eyes and ears were wide open, evaluating the moment.
That’s the way Pete Seeger wanted it.
He died at age 94 Monday.
The picture and quote above is from the appreciation page posted on peteseeger.net.
Pete Seeger was a folk singer in a time when that meant he stood up for folks all over the world, using his voice, instrument, insight and platform to shine his light. He was a pioneer voice in the protest movement. He was a protector, of people and nature. He was a champion.
Remember: We Shall Overcome. Turn, Turn, Turn.