Last month I wrote that June would be a busy month and indeed it was. Even a slow month generates a full calendar of Zoom meetings: study groups; AFM Local 1000 & People's Music Network (PMN) coffee hours; staff meetings with Grace; various sanity sustaining and friendship maintenance meetings. Stir in the weekly volunteering at the local food bank and it’s a rare day with nothing on the calendar. But June brought so much more.
I’m on a diversity working group for Local 1000 that began monthly meetings. Our Wilder Brook Farm CSA sent out the call for wonderful garden-fresh produce pick ups each Tuesday. Ten close friends have for years been meeting two Sunday nights a month under the title “home church,” and June saw us moving back from Zoom to in person with a hybrid transition or two. Two major music conferences were held this month: The People’s Music Network Virtual Summer Convergence; and the Annual Great Labor Arts Exchange (GLAE - also virtual). Both brought friends new and old as well as a wealth of songs and spoken word creations, many from young and rising stars. And then there was the road trip…
Since the pandemic shutdown on March 13th, 2020, we’ve rarely strayed from home or logged any miles on the road. But June saw us on an 8-day swing to see family and friends, finally OFFLINE! The essential destination was Louisville, KY to visit our two granddaughters (7 & 10) and their parents, Jamie & Jessica. A highlight of that visit was a trip to the Speed Art Museum, which included a riveting, 3-room exhibition on the life and death of Breonna Taylor.
We stood in front of photos of street protests as our granddaughters pointed to the friends they had made at vigils and marches, and we could sit and contemplate the reflections of Breonna’s mother, Tamika Palmer.
It was so good to be back in Louisville, catching up on family news and hugs. We rounded up the road trip returning through Cincinnati and Frederick, MD to visit longtime friends and family. I also realized that at age 74, 10 hour long drives were not as invigorating or restorative as they were at 24.
Other June travels included day trips to Rhode Island, Connecticut and to the family cottage in the Myles Standish State Forest - once again, long-delayed visits to friends and family. All in all, a much appreciated month of loving, in-person adventures.
Lindsey Wilson & I opened the month with our “Let Justice Roll Down” performance. Then Lindsey and I got to organize and host the Friday night kick-off concert for PMN’s Convergence, which you can view here. In the midst of the GLAE I slipped out for a Friday night concert with Julie Beutel and Bob O’Brien of Detroit, sponsored by the safe energy group Alliance to Halt Fermi-3. The following night I was invited to sing my Park Cannon song, “She Would Not Stop Knocking at the Door,” at the Saturday Night Concert. Then the Death Penalty Action’s “Starvin’ for Justice” Fast & Vigil included me (virtually ) in the lineup for songs on the 1st & 2nd of July. Finally, one of my songs, "Thank You, Anita" appears in the Hulu/FX documentary series PRIDE. Click here to see the entire series and listen for my music in episode 3 (Hulu subscription required).
A mile and a half from our door is Arms Cemetery. It’s beautifully maintained and has a wonderfully varied assortment of trees. Some of them are downright odd (anybody able to identify the arboreal wonder on the right?).
Paths cut through the cemetery and a circular track runs about a mile around. So walking there and back and circumnavigating the track amounts to a 4 mile jaunt with some gradual slopes built in. Candace and I try to do it, or its equivalent, every day we can.
And as summer arrives and the pandemic recedes we have re-opened our local tourist attraction, the Bridge of Flowers. It’s a welcome part of each hike we take and brings in folks from all over. Y’all come!
July brings more exciting events, the first being my first in-person live concert since February of 2020. I'll be playing at Camp Kinderland, where the kids are consistently one of my best audiences, jumping around and singing along with each song. I also have some virtual shows lined up, so check out my whole calendar here for details.
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