Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Remembering Pete Seeger, Milwaukee's Bill Brown

Certainly sad today to learn of the death of the legendary musician, civil rights advocate and peace activist Pete Seeger, but look at the long - - 94! - - and meaningful life he led.

I first heard his records with The Weavers on the radio during the folk revival in the early 1960's, and I could care less if that dates me.

I'm sure there are others here in Milwaukee, and in networks across the state, who will sense the similarities with the recent passing of another much-loved public citizen and man of peace, 92-year-old Bill Brown, who's life and work and unfailingly welcoming spirit was celebrated last weekend.

Bill and his wife Sandra were long-time Quaker activists. She and others memorialized Bill's life-well-lived with tributes, funny stories, even song and poetry at a warm service Saturday at the Friends Meeting House in Riverwest.

I was in a position a few years ago to help Bill get around town after he'd quit driving. At the time I had a little convertible inherited from my father; regardless of the weather, Bill would sit tall and straight upright, and with a smile of delight on his face as we bopped around (as my Dad would have put it) the East side.

A lot of fun.

It was a relief to hear that Bill, though frail, had gone through all his routines in the days before his death on January 10th, and had simply gone to sleep without waking up.

Fitting and fair that such a peaceful and serene person would be able to leave this life without suffering.

So as in their lives and deaths, R.I.P. Bill Brown and Pete Seeger.

Let's honor these unusual people by trying to match their example.


nonquixote said...

Family xmas gift 1965 was a Zenith "portable," stereo, on a wheeled cart with open LP wire rack storage beneath the fold down turntable and the swing out, detachable speakers. First album I ever purchased with my summer job money was Pete's "Waste Deep in the Big Muddy, and Other songs of Love."

An unassuming giant in so many respects. RIP Pete.

Betsey said...

94 Reasons Pete Seeger Matters

Tried to link this, but you'll have to cut and paste to access the link: