Thursday, September 17, 2009

Mary Travers

Mary Travers died.

I saw her sing a few years ago at Ravinia. She was on tour with Peter and Paul. Big crowd. Lots of memories. She couldn't hit the high notes anymore but the three of them together ...Peter, Paul, and Mary ...well, it didn't matter.

I first saw the trio perform many years ago in Minneapolis. They were singing at a political rally for someone who, for sure, was an anti-war candidate. I think it was either Eugene McCarthy or George McGovern. Peter, Paul, and Mary were deeply convicted about matters of peace and justice. They were folk singers in the Peter Seeger tradition, troubadors who had a message. And it was hard to resist singing along.

It's hard to lose people who influenced you. In high school we sang Peter, Paul, and Mary songs. I used their songs at retreats back in the day. They were articulate and passionate voices for the things they believed in. Noel Paul Stookey met and still walks with Christ. That conversion created some tension within the group that I don't think was ever completely resolved.

I don't know where Mary Travers was at spiritually. My prayer, of course, is that she found peace in Christ as she neared the end of her life. I know she was dearly loved by God, as we all are whether we be saint or sinner or some curious mix of both.

Peter, Paul, and Mary helped shape a generation. Helped shape me. I was saddened when I heard of her death. Mary Travers was someone who made an impact for good. She and her singing partners got me thinking, singing, wishing, and praying. She made an impact. I thank God for her life.

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