Goodbye, Pete Seeger.
I can’t say we hardly knew you, because of anyone who could be labeled a celebrity, you were the closest to ordinary folks any of us ever met.
That’s because you were just plain folks. You carried a banjo and a song in your heart — but the song didn’t stay there very long. If you were within hearing distance of an audience, you invited them to join in the song and you wouldn’t take no for an answer.
You sang to support labor, you sang to support clean rivers, and you sang for and about the common man and woman.
We were lucky, here in La Crosse, to actually have Pete visit our town for the annual folk festival.
That was one of the neat things about Pete. The size of the audience didn’t matter. He was just as dedicated and charming and unstoppable here in La Crosse as he was when I saw him from far, far away on the main Summerfest stage in Milwaukee.
Audience small or large didn’t matter because it was all one big campfire to Pete Seeger.
Pete truly made the world a better place in which to live and along the way he helped many of us appreciate our surroundings a bit more.
If I had a hammer, I’d hammer in the morning, just like Pete Seeger sang so many times. Well, I do have a hammer and I got it out and pounded a piece of horseshoe molding back into place in the dining room. I think Pete would have liked that. But even more, he’d want all of us to wield the hammer of justice.
So let’s keep working on the environment, working to keep jobs in America, and working to feed and house the hungry and homeless. Pete Seeger would do no less.