Patricia Hamilton drove up from Pacific Grove to my house earlier this week, and even before we started on our Northwest Book Tour, we celebrated by walking the mile to Capitola Book Café where Terry Tempest Williams was to read from her newest book, When Women Were Birds.
I met Terry Tempest Williams in 1986 when the Great Peace March was in St George, Utah. She came out to our campsite to encourage us and subsequently wrote a lovely description of us marchers for the Salt Lake City Deseret News. On page 69 of Walking for Our Lives, I quoted that article. (more…)
Twenty-six years ago, the Great Peace March for Global Nuclear Disarmament was camped at the brand new Green Valley Resort in St George, Utah. Below is a quote from Walking for Our Lives, the chronicle of the three peace walks that I joined in the 1980s.
The resort invited us to enjoy the swimming pools, Jacuzzis, tennis courts and showers, and served us a poolside breakfast of individually prepared omelets. The townspeople accepted our invitation to visit the camp, to meet us, and listen to Peace March musicians perform original songs. At the same time, two representatives of the Environmental Protection Agency visited to try to explain away the effect of nuclear testing upon the residents of southern Utah. (more…)
For several months I have wished that Walking for Our Lives might be the subject of a feature story, several columns in a weekly paper. And then, through a series of introductions, a lovely young freelance writer wrote the feature story that I had been dreaming of. A page and a half plus a photo of the book!
In the evening of the same day, I presented at the Capitola Book Café. I arrived 20 minutes early with my publisher and friend, Patricia, to be greeted at the door with, “Where are the books? People are here asking for them!” We walked into a group anxious for me to start my presentation and reading. (more…)
Twenty five years ago today The Great Peace March for Global Nuclear Disarmament stepped across the fifteenth state border and walked into Washington, DC. We had done what “they” said couldn’t be done. An event originally budgeted for $20 million came in at under $1 million. A dream that fell apart in the Majove Desert became a grass-roots movement of 400 people who walked all the way from Los Angeles to Washington in nine months. On November 15, 1986, we had grown to 2,000 marchers and 15,000 supporters. (more…)
Earlier this month, The Great Peace March for Global Nuclear Disarmament held its 25th reunion at Emma Woods State Park in Ventura, California. When I arrived, about a dozen other marchers were already there, including my friends Ann and Dick.
When the three of us arrived at dinner, it felt as though 25 years had been erased. All 150 people in line were almost the same as they had been – the same quiet, happy faces, same consideration and grace, no clutching attitude about “my place” in line.There was, however, a lot of searching for names, and some salt and pepper in the hair of those who were 20-somethings on The March. Many brought their spouses and children. Their children were bright, serene, confident, and talented. As I talked with one, I asked her age and she held up four fingers. I told her, “Can you believe that I am almost 80 years older than you are? Isn’t it amazing that someone that old can still walk and talk?” Her eyes were big and so was her smile as she exclaimed. “You belong in the Guinness Book of Records!” We shared a delightful laugh. (more…)
Last weekend, I drove down to Ventura to join the 25th reunion of the Great Peace March. At Emma Woods State Park, 150 of us gathered to renew our well-forged friendships. I had attended only one reunion in the past 25 years, and I was blown away by the camaraderie, compassion, consideration and good humor of everyone there. We lined up for meals as we did on the Great Peace March, we sang songs as we did, about a dozen people presented a goofy wedding skit, similar to skits on the Great Peace March, and we had an ice cream social. The predominant feeling I had was one of delighted awe: we were a large family full of highly developed individuals – not a wimp in the bunch! (more…)