Good morning gentle readers.  Im up exceedingly early today as i’m still sick as hell and last nights meds wore off (and i cant type for chit).

I found out yesterday, or the day before that Mary Travers has passed away.  Who is  Mary Travers you young kids ask?  She is the Mary, of Peter Paul and Mary – one of the best folk bands ever.  *im crying so bear with me*.

While, as you know, i’m a deadhead (with closet headbanging tendencies lol) i love almost all genre’s of music (its all about the music) yet i am exceedingly fond of folk music.  Its simplicity and politicalness (ok, antiestablishment) has always “called me” for lack of a better way of putting it.

In the 60′, political protest was de rigeour, (sorry for the misspelling lol) – that loosely translates to The Thing… lol along with civil disobedience.  If not for the courageous men and women of hte 60’s who stood up for what they believe in…. much change would never have happened.  (I however have no patience for the idjits who protested the nam war – grumpy is  a nam vet and was spit on and called a baby killer when he finally came home, grrrr.  Dont get me started on Hanoi Jane…  traitorous bitch).

Peter Paul and Mary’s Puff the Magic Dragon became one of the ulitmate protest songs (why, i have no clue lol) for the activists of that time.  (still not sure why lol).  But their other songs, If i had a hammer, Blowin in the wind… are some of the all time classics!  Their music and harmonies simply can not be beat today!

Why does this song (and band) mean so much to me?  I remember loving the song as a child in the 70’s and i think we learned it when i was a member of the district chorus in 5th and 6th grades (we also learned Dona Nobis Pachem and Spinning Wheel…. LOVE THAT SONG).

But back to civil disobedience and protests…  I remember as a teen in the 80’s (boy was i an angry jenny then – the music sucked lol) hearing about protests and wanting to be there in the worst way, to my pops eternal amusement and displeasure (back then, he was THE uber conservative republican lol).  I strongly supported the imprisoned Bobby Sands of the IRA and his hunger strike, which resulted in his passing.  I strongly supported anything that was antiestablishment and well hell – anything lol.  I am still that way now, but just cant do the tea parties (thanks you health issues – damn you!!!).

Fast forward oh say 15 years.  My dad came home with tix for the Peter Paul and Mary concert at the Valley Forge Music Fair (now long gone and a supermarket for cryin out loud).  He wanted me to go with him in the worst way, but seeing as i couldnt be seen with pop at a show, i didnt go – to my eternal regret.  If wishes were horses, beggars (and I) would be riding. Pop, i am so sorry i didnt go with you, it would have been a wonderful evening and you may have learned something about my psyche.

Fast forward another many years lol – i now have kids and i’ve tried to teach them that protest and civil disobedience is a way to correct or bring attention to the wrongs that they see in society.

My teaching worked with minime, better than i could have hoped for.  You see – when she was in highschool, thanks to the actions of a bunch of losers, the school decided to do away with gym class (um, isnt that a federal requirement???).  Minime came home enraged!  She loved gym class and was at a loss as to what to do about it.

Mom, with her inherent civil disobedience tendencies – told her to protest.  Peacefully.  God bless that kid, she listened to me. She organized, with some of her other friends and the ok, support and guidance from trusted teachers (who they spoke with to gain support), a school wide protest.  At a certain time, every kid in school was to calmly get up, leave class and assemble in the gymnasium to protest the removal of gym class.  I told her that i supported her completely and would stand behind her if she got suspended (the school does NOT want me to come in there, angry lol).

I taught her about civil protests of the 60’s and how there were songs sung by the protesters – Kumbaya, We shall overcome and Puff the Magic Dragon, and begged her to sing those songs while protesting!  (she didnt and i’m still a bit bummed by that lol).  But above all, i told her that the protest MUST be peaceful, as you get more flies with honey than you do vinegar.

The day came and i had my electronic leash at the ready in case i got a call from school.  I waited and waited – but no fone call.  I wasnt sure if that boded good or ill for my kids!  When i got home from work that day, i couldnt wait to find out how the protest went!

She told me that at the agreed upon time by all kids involved (most of her class and then some) they all got up from their seats and quietly left classes and assembled in the gym.  (no, they didnt sing puff… grr lol).  After a bit, the prez of the school showed up at the gym to see what was up – and saw minime and her cohorts doing what any respectable kid who’s been wrong does.  And naturally, he pegged minime and some of her friends as the ringleaders (oh i couldnt be more proud!!!).  If memory serves – he said I should have known you’d be behind this, to minime lol.

He pulled minime and the other “leaders” of the protest out of the gym for discussion (negotiations lol).  The kids presented their case, and did it with style and class.  They informed the boss that they shouldnt be penalized for the actions of a bunch of losers and were not going back to class until this was resolved.  I can only imagine the bosses reaction lol.

I think the negotiations lasted a few hours, but…. they got their way!!  They ceded to him the request that gym class would be suspended for the rest of the month, then would resume as normal, and they would no t be suspended for disrupting the school.  (woot woot woot).

The kids then went back to the gymnasium and informed the protesters that they were successful in their cause and cheers abounded!  (Minime took her lessons to heart and already is causing trouble at college – i am so proud of her, the kid knows how to stand up for what is right!!!).

I forgot where i’m going with this lol.  Remember, im sick as hell. Ah yes, Mary Travers passing.

We’ve lost one of the premier voices of a turbulent generation not to mention one of the finer singer/songwriters who’s voice and harmonies have not been matched to this day.  And i am sad.  Very sad.  But their legacy lives on – and what more can an artist ask for?

So – in honor of a beloved musician, i’m giving you the links to Puff and If i had a hammer (i hate blowin in the wind lol).  Please watch and listen to some of the finest music you will ever hear!

Rest in Peace Mary – you will always be loved by me!

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Puff The Magic Dragon

If I Had A Hammer

im still crying at our loss – the loss of a generations voice!

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