Monday, May 26, 2008

U. Utah Phillips -- Rest In...Struggle?

OK, I know I haven't posted in a long, long, time, and many things have happened in the mean time. I've thought about it, really I have.
What has prompted me to post, however was hearing the sad news that Bruce "U. Utah" Phillips died Friday evening of heart failure.
You can read more about this amazing songwriter, tall tale teller, union organizer, and general friend of the working man here and here as well as some obits around and about. Sadly, the story doesn't seem to have been picked up many places yet.
This being a blog about end of life, I found this quote particularly interesting:
"he made a conscious choice not to seek out a heart transplant that might have prolonged his life; not simply because he couldn't afford it and had no health insurance, but in part because of quality of life issues."
I started to say "rest in peace" but that doesn't seem to be Utah's style. Work, struggle, love, laugh, sing, tell stories, but never, never fall into complacency. I hope he's having a great time where all old radicals and fokies go--hanging with Woody Guthrie, and Kate Wolf, and Dave Van Ronk, Joe Hill, Mother Jones, and all the others who won't stop singing and speaking for what they think is right.

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