Log in

No account? Create an account
Previous Entry Share Flag Next Entry
moi 1946

Pete Seeger

At the age of 94, Pete Seeger has died. This is the story of my connections to him.

When I was in ~4rd grade, a relatively unknown folk singer came to sing at an assembly at my school, (The Dalton School). He was most well-known to us because he was the brother of the geography teacher, John Seeger. John was my favorite teacher of all time.

I always admired and followed Pete's anti-war and civil rights actions and the manner in which he did them.

I went to a summer camp in Vermont, Camp Killooleet, which is still alive and well. My first year there was 1948 and the next year John and his wife Ellie became the owners/directors. After I outgrew this camp I went to another camp and became a counselor there. When that camp went out of business I retuned to be a councelor at Killooleet.

At this point, the folk music influence was strong at Killooleet principally because of Pete's influence. My co-councillor was Ed Badeaux, a good friend of Pete, and a serious banjo player. He made various recordings on Folkways Records. On the way home from camp that summer (1959) I bought a used 5-string banjo. Once when I took it in for some repairs the guy said that is a Benary, perhaps a Celebrated Benary which was made in the 1880's - 1890's. I still have the banjo - it isn't in very good shape and I can't really play it at all due to its condition and the lack of calluses on my fingers - plus some other finger problems.

I visited Ed once after camp when he was house sitting at Pete and Toshi's house in Beacon, NY (near where my parents' summer home was).

I last visited Killooleet in 2010 for a memorial service for John. The camp is now run by John's daughter, Kate Seeger and her husband, Dean Spencer. I posted this and this after that weekend. It was a wonderful weekend. I saw people I hadn't seen for 50 years. And I got to do some nostalgic camp activities such as riflers and archery. Ag the memorial service I as well as many others got to speak about John. As a special highlight for me, Pete was there and I got to chat with him for a while.

From left to right, Tony Seeger (John's son), Dean Spencer, Pete, and Kate.

  • 1
I'm so glad you got to have that connection to the Seeger family and to folk music. We certainly did as well, through church camp and progressive parents, though I never got to meet him. Saw him in concert once with Arlo, in the mid 70s.

How wonderful you had that connection to Pete!

That is s splendid connection to Pete Seeger.

Always liked him & his music.

it's so cool to read this--what an amazing experience that must have been!

  • 1