Moments after hearing about the death of 94-year-old singer and activist Pete Seeger, June Atley, 39, sat on her Chapel Hill, NC porch reminiscing about growing up with 70s-era union rep parents. Pete Seeger—whose five-string banjo twanged out the backdrops to the civil rights, social justice and labor movement—provided the family soundtrack. “I remember sitting in the back of our Volvo station wagon belting out 'Bring ‘Em Home' and 'Wimoweh,'" Atley says. “Pete Seeger was a hero to me, and I’m going to start living in a way that respects that.” Atley works in software marketing, but she’s going to cut back her hours so she can start volunteering at [...]
It is almost impossible to conceive of just how much history Pete Seeger both observed and was a part of during his lengthy and extraordinary life, but even a brief summation gives you an idea of its scope. Also this: "Before Seeger's confrontation with HUAC, people sometimes regarded his optimism as childish, and unrealistic, as a habit of mind inconsistent with the moral rigor of a serious person. Afterward, he became a figure of undeniable stature. He had stared down jail time. He had stood amid peril for his beliefs. He had typified the principles of all the brave people he had sung about." Seeger was 94.