“The key to the future of the world is finding the optimistic stories and letting them be known.” – Pete Seeger, 1994
I was fortunate enough to hear Pete when he dropped by to play several informal concerts at the high school I attended during my sophomore and junior years. Not even really “concerts” – they were too informal and intimate for that. He sat on a folding chair with his banjo and sang, talked, joked and got us to sing along. It should be clear to those who read this blog that I am not the sing along type, but it was different with Pete Seeger.
He had a presence, an authenticity, a naturalness that won us over. He was instantly “one of us,” and this in an era when we said, and really believed, “Never trust anyone over 30.” We had seen betrayal. We knew what it looked like and felt like. But Pete was one of us. “We’re all in this together,” he seemed to say, “as brothers and sisters.” You wanted to sing along, be part of a moment like that.
Just “small events” that I’ve never forgotten. The memory jumped to mind when I heard that Pete has moved on from this world. Our good fortune is that he gave us so many anthems to remind us that we are still in this together.