Mary Travers 1936 – 2009 R.I.P.

Peter, Paul and Mary were an indelible part of the music scene in the 1960’s, a vocal part of our nation’s cultural change and a significant part of my own childhood memories and thoughts. Mary Travers passed away yesterday at the age of 72 due to complications from chemotherapy after going through a bone-marrow transplant that successfully defeated the leukemia she had been diagnosed with in 2005.

Almost exactly a year ago I posted here about the effect that their song “Puff (The Magic Dragon)”, had on me as a child. But that song from the trio was not the only one of theirs that shaped the years I was growing up. Songs like “Blowin’ in the Wind”, “If I Had a Hammer”, “Leaving on a Jet Plane”, “I Dig Rock and Roll Music” and “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?” are strong threads in the tapestry of my memories.

Mary Travers sang the songs of change and the songs of my childhood. It was a time of protest because of the Vietnam war; a time of the painful birth of the civil rights movement. Change is sometimes traumatic, but her voice helped ease the truth of that needed change to many. Perhaps our parents would not understand, but we would and we would carry that understanding through our lives.

“I have no idea what it will be like to have no Mary in my world, in my life, or on stage to sing with. But I do know there will always be a hole in my heart, a place where she will always exist that will never be filled by any other person. However painful her passing is, I am forever grateful for Mary and her place in my life.” – Peter Yarrow

“I am deadened and heartsick beyond words to consider a life without Mary Travers and honored beyond my wildest dreams to have shared her spirit and her career.” – Noel Paul Stookey

Memory moves us past each other
Time is a ribbon without end
Love is the lesson we keep learning
Death but a moment we must spend

But A Moment – Mary Travers and Noel Paul Stookey

Rest In Peace, Mary Travers.

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