It is not often that many 83-year-olds like myself have the chance to have someone older than themselves to look up to and to spend time with, as well to as collaborate with musically. Now I won’t have a chance to play with Pete Seeger any more but I will still continue to look up to him every day of my life.
I first heard Pete 65 years ago when my mother took me to a Henry Wallace rally in 1948 when I was about to turn 18.
All the hundreds of times I have played with him over the years since then have always been a joy as well as an honor.
Ever since he chose his path, he has stayed on it and walked the walk he talked and inspired generations to raise our voices in song, to always think of others, to respect ourselves and all who cross our paths and to share whatever blessings we have with others.
He shared his incredible gifts as an artist with anybody and everybody and set an example to all musicians of what our job is all about … to make a contribution while we are here, to honor young people and to show love and exercise responsibility to our blessed planet earth.
I was fortunate enough to be able to say goodbye to him during the last two hours of his life. As Guy Davis, Pat Humphries and I played some music for him and his family in his hospital room, we could feel his spirit fill our hearts with that endless energy he shared with the world for 94 years.
Now he is gone. We all have to honor his memory, his music and his ideals of bringing the world together the way he brought people together with the power of song.
We must all think of his beautiful family and send them a prayer and offer love in anyway that we can.
His voice will remain in the hearts of the millions who have heard him.
It was a blessing to know him.