January 20th, 2014


My very indirect connection to MLK

In 1965-66 I used to go to a UU church in Wellesley; one of my roommates had been on the AMC Trail Crew and one of his colleagues was the organist there. (This was the only regular church/temple-going experience I ever had). The minister there, Ira Blalock, was a civil rights activist and among other things went to Selma with another minister friend Gordon Gibson and they ended up in jail. Here is a picture (from the Knoxville News Sentinal) of them standing with MLK (Gibson on the right). This article has the story.

When Meg (a friend of one of the other trail crew members and who I met at this church) and I got married we wanted Ira to officiate, but he had moved away and suggested his colleague Gordon Gibson. I recall when Meg was filling out a form for her hometown newspaper her answer to the question "How did you meet/choose your minister?" she replied "He was in jail with our minister". Meg and I got divorced many years ago but we remain good friends (and next-door neighbors).