17 years ago on July 13th Jamie and I met at an Indigo Girls concert. That may seem cliché’ but as a 32 year-old divorcee , it didn’t seem to me that I would be dating a woman, let alone see one that appealed to me so much.
I was an Indigo Girls fan beginning in 1994 with their third album, Swamp Ophelia, and went to my first concert in Woodstock, when I lived in New York. Jamie was a fan long before I.
I will forever be grateful to my college friend Karla, for turning me on to them. I passed on the favor to my brother with their second album, Indigo Girls.
Each summer the Indigo Girls come to Portland, and sometimes even more often than that. We try to never miss them. They always have great concert in an outdoor venue. In fact it seemed fitting that Eleanor’s first big concert was the Indigo Girls. (But that’s another story.)
Historically speaking, I know who Joan Baez is. But I really had no idea what a force she is. She is beautiful, 72, full of poetry, and has a real sensitivity to our humanity. Her art form is prodigious and forceful like a stream against an earthen bed; lovely to behold and hear, but over time it makes its statement.
When I posted on Face Book, that we were at the concert, my friend Keith had a very compelling comment. I’d like to share it here.
Joan Baez (and husband, or husband to be, David Harris) visited with 15-20 concerned & scared kids facing the draft at SJS in 1969 or 1970. Their sincere convictions (and the music of the times) had much to do with my future choices. Her donation of albums to Safford’s prison camp (“Out of college/Money spent./See no future/Pay no rent./All the money’s gone… Nowhere to go”) had much to do with me making it through a difficult time. As a woman of integrity and vision, songwriter, savior of our folk heritage, and a great interpreter of others’ songs, she and Pete Seeger stand with the civil rights giants of the last century who have championed human rights. She, like Pete, deserves Presidential recognition for her contributions to our future.
Thank you Keith. I love that you shared your experience and Joan’s significance. Jamie and I realized we were not only in the presence of genius with Joan and the Indigos, we also knew we were enjoying a moment in our personal histories that we would remember as important.
Now I’m going to revisit some of Joan’s music. http://www.joanbaez.com/discA.html