The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Pete Seeger tribute set for Sept. 30


September 7, 2017

To The Eagle:

As a kid growing up in the 50’s/60’s I listened to music on my transistor radio. A lot of music. Those two decades brought us an eclectic assortment of songs and songwriters. Who can forget Purple People Eater, Wake Up Little Susie, Ahab the Arab and Surfin Safari? The mid 60’s was all about the British invasion and the Beatles, Rolling Stones and The Who battling it out with American rock bands The Doors, The Byrds and The Grateful Dead. In 1965 we heard the amazing American Folk/Rock duo of Simon & Garfunkel bring us The Sounds of Silence.

The wonderful thing about transistor radios was they had a dial that you can turn to get a different station. One day I turned mine off the Top 40 and found a station featuring American Folk Music. I heard Peter Paul & Mary, The Kingston Trio, Arlo Guthrie, Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchel, Donovan and the incredible, Pete Seeger. Their lyrics were powerful and made me think about the world around me. If I Had a Hammer, Where Have All the Flowers Gone and To Everything There Is a Season (Turn, Turn, Turn) are the anthems of my youth. Pete Seeger started writing songs in the 1940’s and was still writing in 2010 at the age of 90. After the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico he wrote God’s Counting on Me, God’s Counting on You.

Once called America’s tuning fork, “Pete Seeger believed deeply in the power of song,” President Obama said in a statement. “But more importantly, he believed in the power of community,” to stand up for what’s right, speak out against what’s wrong, and move this country closer to the America he knew we could be. Over the years, Pete used his voice, and his hammer, to strike blows for worker’s rights and civil rights; world peace and environmental conservation. And he always invited us to sing along. For reminding us where we come from and showing us where we need to go, we will always be grateful to Pete Seeger.

Pete Seeger left us in 2014, but a tribute to his music is coming to our community on Saturday, September 30, 2-4 p.m. The Pioneer Community Association is hosting the talented Hank & Claire performing and honoring Pete Seeger: The Man and the Music.

Tickets are $15 and available at The Bank of the Pacific and the door. If you want to hear the story and sing along, plan on being at the Pioneer Community Center. Well, I’ve got a Hammer and I’ve got a Bell and I’ve got a Song to sing!

Suzanne Holmes

Puget Island


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