Monday, October 24, 2016

So long, Tom Hayden

So long, Tom. May the roads rise up to meet you...

I got to hang out with the “Chicago 7” anti-war activist Tom Hayden at the Santa Anita Irish Faire, in 1997, his anthology, Irish Hunger just came out. I tried to buy it, he said No, poets shouldn't have to pay for this book. And he signed it with a flourish.

I used to run into Tom when we lobbied for the arts at the state capitol in Sacramento. Tom's office was always open, a refuge for artists. Tom, former husband of actress Jane Fonda (17 years), tried to make change from within politics. He was a real mover and shaker.  The radical inside the system. He worked both sides of the floor. Tom was elected to the assembly in 1982, and in 1992, Hayden was elected to the state senate.

We kept in touch via Facebook and Twitter, but he'd been quiet for a while, he had a stroke in 2015, I guess it was a long illness. He died year minus a day just shy of Maureen O'Hara (2015).

Wow, 2016, helluva year for our cultural icons. May the righteous roads rise with him and may he rest in justice.

Hayden legislated the Great Hunger be included in curriculum 1997 

Tom Hayden, antiwar activist of the 1960s dies at 76. PBS

The radical inside the system': Tom Hayden, protester-turned-politician, dies at 76LA Times

Tom Hayden, Civil Rights and Antiwar Activist Turned Lawmaker, Dies at 76 NY Times

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