Hippie Jim’s Peace Prize

Byy On

On Sunday, May 3rd 2009, Bellingham joined cities around the world celebrating Pete Seeger's 90th birthday with a concert entitled, For Pete's

Sake, Sing! Seeger was being nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. Bellingham's event, sponsored by the Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship, included an open mic hosted by Kevin Murphy, a Seeger- inspired singalong with Laura Smith, Richard & Helen Scholtz, and Flip Breskin, and individual acts including Tom Rawson and Linda Allen - and I sang a song too.

Hippie Jim cashiered and the $2400 the event raised went to Bellingham Food Bank.

New Years Day, 2010

"Obama didn't stop the wars. That peace prize belongs to Pete Seeger,"

Hippie Jim, sailor and bit-of-a-bum, grumps.

April 13, 2009

Sailing down my golden river, Sun and water all my own, Yet I was never


Posing in the mist, the Zig Zag man waits for me on the corner of the next block. Camo-green-brown boater's hat pulled down over long dark hair,

dew-drizzled beard, drab-green Army surplus coat. I roll my yellow Volvo up beside him and Jim leaps in, wafting tobacco and cedar.

Sun and water, old life givers, I'll have them where e'er I roam, And I was not far from home.

"Got the bookstore and that coffee shop there," Hippie Jim murmurs.

"Everyone let me put the flyer in good spots."

"Thanks for helping with the concert."

"Do anything for Pete Seeger," says Hippie Jim.

Sunlight glancing on the water, Life and death are all my own, Yet I was never alone.

A mile further, Hippie Jim declares, "Pete deserves to win that Nobel Peace Prize. Here! Let me out here! I'll run these posters into those stores."

I pull over and Jim jumps out. The Volvo noses back onto the street and round the block.

Life to raise my sons and daughters, Golden sparkles in the foam, And I was not far from home.

May 3, 2009

Sailing down this winding highway, Travelers from near and far, Yet I was never alone.

"If you have tickets I'll take them here, and if you need to buy tickets head over there. Hippie Jim will take care of you."

Ten minutes to showtime and hundreds flood the upside-down wooden ark sanctuary of the Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship. "Will you take tickets for

me?" I inquire of an old friend coming through the door. "I need to organize a crew to heave chairs up from below."

Happy to serve, five volunteers - the people close at hand who must have heard my words - lug folding chairs up steep stairs.

Exploring all the little by-ways, Sighting all the distant stars, And I was

not far from home.

"Use your computer - or go to the library and use theirs," Jim encourages attendees. "Google 'Pete Seeger and Nobel Peace Prize' and help get him that prize!" He receives piles of bills and simultaneously welcomes people to slip past him at no charge.

Like Hippie Jim, I'm grateful to live on the same planet with Pete Seeger. Thinking about how he told McCarthy and the communist witch hunters of the

1950s to go to hell. Those were his words. How he campaigned for worker's rights with Woody Guthrie, marched with farm workers and Martin Luther King, protested war, and how he cleaned up the Hudson River. Happy that Pete lives to see ninety and to witness seas of people in every city across the U.S.A.

packing halls, singing together. Happy Birthday, Pete. Thanks for the songs and for facilitating singing. Thanks for your dedication to serving the poor

and oppressed. Bless you for working so hard and getting so much accomplished and for being so very, very brave and humble.

Sailing down my golden river, Sun and water all my own, Yet I was never


Hippie Jim is a handsome hobo, except for the tobacco stained lonely front tooth he flashes when he laughs at something said to him. Jim handles money

like he handles ropes on boats: deftly, gracefully - efficient and calm. Going at his own pace, never rushing, never slowing.

Jan. 1, 2010

"Obama didn't stop the wars," Hippie Jim repeats stormily. "Don't know, and no longer care what those Nobel Peace Prize judges think.

Just know that Pete Seeger wins the Hippie Jim Peace Prize, and I'm not alone!"

And I was not far from home. And I was never alone.

*Sailing Down My Golden River: Words & music by Pete Seeger, 1971, in support of his work with the sloop Clearwater on the Hudson River.

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About Kamalla Rose Kaur

Notifications • Bellingham • Member since Jul 12, 2009

Comments by Readers

Paul deArmond

Jan 11, 2010

Hippie Jim is right as usual.

I suggest you all get together, make up a nice award for the Hippie Jim Peace Prize, get everybody together, hold an awards ceremony and send the thing off to Pete.

You don’t need a king around to create a public award.


Kamalla R. Kaur

Jan 12, 2010

All get together? Get everyone together? You go Paul! Last May it was Linda Allen who labored the hardest to honor Pete Seeger with a concert here in Bellingham. I’m happy to help you too.

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