Skip to main content

Mary Travers

Yesterday, one of my heroes passed away. Mary Travers died at the age of 72, due to complications of chemotherapy when she had Leukemia.

I grew up having the privilege of seeing Peter, Paul and Mary ever summer in concert at Wolf Trap, since I was 10 years old. The only summers we did not see them were summers they canceled, one summer I was at camp, and one summer my mom forgot to get tickets, and they were sold out by the time my mom tried to get them. This past summer, less than a month ago, I got to see Peter, Paul sans Mary. The concert was billed as “A Tribute to Mary Travers.” I was sitting in the second row. Peter and Paul waved and smiled at me. Both of them were crying through most of the concert, knowing that their friend was much sicker than they were letting on. Before the concert that night, there was the largest rainbow that I have ever seen. I kid you not, the rainbow went over the Filene center….The WHOLE thing. I still hold that the rainbow was Mary’s rainbow (and my rainbow…that God holds us dear, but that is a story for a different time).
PPM was so integral to my childhood. Summer was complete after I saw them in concert. I could go back to school for the fall because I got to sing “Puff, the Magic Dragon” under the stars at Wolf Trap. I don’t remember a time when I didn’t know the songs “No Easy Walk to Freedom,” or “The Wonderful Toy.” Every time I got onto a plane, I sang “Leaving on a Jet Plane.” I learned harmonies for camp songs by listening to their songs.
I learned how to play chord changes on the guitar to “If I had a Hammer.” I have seen the joy that their music brings to kids of all ages at camp. Every time I see plastic handcuffs, I think of Mary telling stories of being arrested with her daughter and granddaughter for civil disobedience, and being cuffed by plastic cuffs not being as cool as metal cuffs before singing “Have you been to jail for Justice?” When I was in Israel/Palestine/Jordan in March 2009, I could not get the song “River of Jordan” out of my head (The Lifelines version, so there were generations of folk singers in my head!). Regardless of what was happening outside of Wolf Trap, for a fleeting moment, we all had hope in the world. Those of us present could take on all of the injustice in the world after singing “We shall Overcome” with PPM, one song at a time, with Mary leading the way. I can still hear her at the end of “Blowin in the Wind,” saying her line...."The answer is still peace, justice and equality, and all of us working for these things together."
There is a semi-joke in my tiny little family…There are only two family traditions. One of them is going shopping the day after Christmas. The other one is seeing PPM every summer. By virtue of that, over the years, Mary Travers became a member of my extended family through the music. Her voice was another part of my small family, and my family is now deeply saddened by the loss of a great woman. I will continue to sing, in honor of her, and to teach her music to the generations to follow.
“And if you take my hand, my son, all will be well when the day is done.”

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Anita's Cheerleaders Part Deux

So, I'm going through some serious transition times.  Yes, it hasn't and won't be easy.

I am thankful that I have awesome friends who are super supportive.  And I am going to need some support along the way.  I want to get back into running.  I just did the Color Run.  (I highly suggest that you do this sometime in your life.)  My friend Laura Kay did this with me, and we did it in 53 minutes, which is a really good time for me.  I just figured out the start to a book that a professor suggested I write.  I want to get back to writing.  

So, what am I asking for?  I'm asking for cheerleaders once again.  It doesn't matter where you live.  I just need folks to cheer me on and keep me on track.  I need to remember that I have support from all over the world.  
So here's the job description...Weeks begin November 4.  The last week begins December 30.  So, friends, pick a week, and let's do this.  


Job Title: Anita’s Cheerleader
Classification: Seasonal, Weekly
Purpo…

God and Dog

Click to Play This is a video I made for class.  It's a draft, and it's a start. Please let me know what you think and what I should add.  

Blogging with Pen and Paper…..

Or it’s equivalent….. Writing this blog in MS Word feels like writing with pen and paper.The internet is down at my apartment.I feel like something is missing.I cannot check IMDB at a moments notice.I cannot check Facebook, MySpace or e-mail.I cannot watch YouTube, check up on blogs, look for plane tickets, look for answers to all the random questions I have while watching TV, research (read: play Webkinz.I do read actual reports too...) and play Scrabulous.I cannot instant message or Skype!What am I going to do with myself?Well, I’m blogging with MS Word.I started to clean my desk.I’m watching shows on DVD that I haven’t had time to watch since I got them.(Star Trek: Voyager and The Muppet Show, yes, I am a geek.)I never realize how the internet has revolutionized how I live until it’s gone.I depend on it for research, communication and recreation.I wonder what is going to happen over the next 5, 10, and 20 years how it will continue how to revolutionize how we live.How will the inte…