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If you look carefully at the stationary on this note to me from Pete Seeger, you will see a monster on the left, labeled "pollution," and what could only be the Good Sloop Clearwater coming to the rescue.

The backstory is under the squiggles:

In 1982, when I was just out of college and toying with the idea of becoming a topical singer/songwriter, there was a murder with racial undertones here in Brooklyn of a man named Willie Turks. I wrote a song about it, and when there was a demonstration about his death, I sang it a cappella to the organizers over the phone. They were moved enough by it to put this young, white kid -I think I was the only white person - on the agenda.

A few months later, Pete sang at Brooklyn College, and mentioned this incident shortly before intermission. During the break, I scuttled backstage, gained rapport by mentioning my elementary school music teacher, Margot Mayo, who had introduced the two of them to each other at a square dance (Margot also became the Godmother of their children), and told them that I had written this song. I offered to sing it to them, but Pete asked me to send it to him instead, and gave me his snail address (the only address possible in 1982). His reply is above.

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Just for the heck of it, I found the flyer for the rally at which I sang the song.  It went over well....

Unfortunately, there was an incident in Howard Beach not long after this, so no one remembers Mr. Turks much anymore.

And that is ironic, because the song was about how we tend to forget the names of those who were slain, but rather remember the numbers killed: when we think of 9/11, for example, or Newtown, or Aurora, to name a few tragic events since, we remember the numbers, not the individuals.  It was titled, "Remember Their Names."

UPDATE 1/29/2014

I'm humbled to make my first Rec list!!!!

THANK YOU!!!!

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