A Post-Reunion Note from Nathan Wise (DC)

A Post-Reunion Note from Nathan Wise (DC)

August 27, 2017 in Notes

What a terrific reunion!  Our resounding gratitude to everyone who made it happen.  We loved visiting with the Rubacks, the Gabys, the Wolaks, and the Elliotts (Bill and Lorraine were especially attentive and generous toward our grandson, Jonathan) and also Grant, Peter, Curt, and Gary.  The most interesting thing I learned was that Paul Licalsi’s law firm represented Woody Guthrie’s daughter Nora,  fighting an unjustified attempt to put “This Land Is Your Land” into the public domain.  Woody wrote it, in 1940 (originally titled “God Blessed America For Me” in his manuscript,which I’ve seen,  as a protest against  “God Bless America” from Irving Berlin’s jingoistic World War I musical, “Yip, Yip, Yaphank” …and later recorded by Kate Smith to sell war bonds in the ’40s) — and includes my favorite verse: “As I went walking, I saw a sign there, And the sign said NO TRESPASSING, But on the other side, It didn’t say nothin’, THAT SIDE was made for you and me.”  (Emphasis is my own: a very important, influential American protest song, not just a folk anthem.)  Hope everyone is able to come to the fiftieth!


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