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Houston Breakthrough, Vol. 4, No. 1, December 1978 - January 1979
Page 11
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Houston Breakthrough, Vol. 4, No. 1, December 1978 - January 1979 - Page 11. December 1978 - January 1979. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. April 7, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/884/show/867.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(December 1978 - January 1979). Houston Breakthrough, Vol. 4, No. 1, December 1978 - January 1979 - Page 11. Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/884/show/867

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Breakthrough, Vol. 4, No. 1, December 1978 - January 1979 - Page 11, December 1978 - January 1979, Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed April 7, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/884/show/867.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Houston Breakthrough, Vol. 4, No. 1, December 1978 - January 1979
Publisher Breakthrough Publishing Co.
Date December 1978 - January 1979
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women
  • Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
  • Newsletters
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • Houston, Texas
Genre (AAT)
  • periodicals
Language English
Type (DCMI)
  • Text
  • Image
Original Item Location HQ1101 .B74
Original Item URL http://library.uh.edu/record=b2332724~S11
Digital Collection Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters
Digital Collection URL http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Repository URL http://info.lib.uh.edu/about/campus-libraries-collections/special-collections
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the UH Digital Library About page.
File Name index.cpd
Item Description
Title Page 11
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  • image/jpeg
File Name femin_201109_546ak.jpg
Transcript Her book on Samoan adolescents, Coming of Age in Samoa became trie first anthropological best seller. It fixed the idea that "culture determines personality" in the public mind. Dr. Mead was a unique citizen of the world who spoke and wrote with disarming honesty on subjects as varied as sex roles and gender differences to the decriminalization of marijuana possession. But it is her ideas on peace and disarmament that we wish to share with our readers: a transcript of the speech she gave to the 1977 National Women's Conference. Malvina Reynolds, who began her music career in her fifties, was also concerned with ideas of peace. The songs she wrote for the peace movement were recorded by Joan Baez, Pete Seeger and other artists. Reynolds was as outspoken in her music as Mead in her writings. "What Have They Done To The Rain" was her protest against nuclear testing. While the death of these two women makes orphans of us all, it is their work and their words we wish to celebrate. editors. in music Malvina Reynolds 1900-1978 by Thelma Meltzer Don't play that closing chord for me, baby, baby, I'll bless the grounds from whence I came. I'll make some daisy shine, Some grass grow green, And leave a sneaky dandelion To decorate the scene. Malvina Reynolds—singer, poet, philosopher and political activist—composed these lines for No Closing Chord, an unpublished song which was discovered in a file after her death. These words could be her epitaph. Malvina Reynolds died of kidney failure last March 17 in Berkeley, but her songs, like "sneaky dandelions," remain to brighten our scene still. Malvina was born in San Francisco on August 26, 1900. On her 22nd birthday, the suffrage amendment became part of the Constitution. Her songwriting career began in her fifties. We hear her words in the songs of Joan Baez, Pete Seeger, Harry Belafonte and others, but it wasn't until 10 years ago that Malvina sang her own songs in public. Malvina confronted life with complete honesty and courage, and these qualities are the backbone of her songs. She writes about her feelings for the human condition, her love of people, her abhorrence of war, the misuse of power by the powerful, and her interest in the environment. She once wrote a song about the people of British Columbia, Canada, who were protesting the building of a dam which would flood their Skagit Valley and turn it into "a mud pond to run the Coca Cola coolers in Seattle, USA." The Sierra Club published several of her environmental songs in the Survival Songbook (1971), including The Faucets Are Dripping, Seventy Miles by Malvina and Pete Seeger, There'll Come A Time, The Cement Octopus, and The Day the Freeway Froze. Malvina wrote songs against the war— We Hate to See Them Go, You'll Be A Man, and Tungsten—and other songs of social protest. Her Boraxo is about former Governor Ronald Reagan's response to a member of the Berkeley Planning Commission who once told him after an impassioned meeting of the UC Board of Regents, "The blood of the people of Berkeley will be on your hands." "Fine, I'll wash it off with Boraxo," replied Reagan, who hosted the Twenty Mule Team Borax television show during the fifties. Malvina's social protest could also be tempered with humor, as it was in Little Boxes, the song that first brought her popular success as a songwriter. "Little boxes on the hillside, little boxes made of ticky-tacky; there's a pink one and a brown one and a blue one and a yellow one, and they're all made out of ticky-tacky and they all look just the same." This song's lilting, nursery-rhyme rhythm made Little Boxes' penetrating social comment on the sterility of life on the hillsides of America not only palatable but profitable as popular music. Malvina's children's songs, too, reveal the gentleness and humor of this talented woman. Her songbook for children, published by the Schroder Music Co. which is headquartered in the front room of her house in Berkeley, is titled Cheerful Tunes for Lutes & Spoons. In her appearances on Sesame Street she sang from the albums Arti chokes, Griddlecakes and Funnybugs, Giggleworms. Malvina's own childhood was less charmed. The daughter of European emigrant parents, she learned early on the consequences of expressing unpopular opinion. Although Malvina was an honors student, she was denied her high school diploma because of her parents' outspoken opposition to World War I. Despite this, she entered U.C. at Berkeley where her scholastic brilliance brought her a Phi Beta Kappa pin in her junior year. She earned a M.A. in English and some 12 years later a doctorate in romance philology. (Fifty years later her high school invited her back, gave her the long overdue diploma and a public apology.) She worked during the depression and World War II as a steelworker, tailor (her father's trade), teacher and newspaperwoman. All her education and these stored experiences converge in the songs she wrote. Her concert and music festival appearances around the world and her breadth of understanding and compassion for human life have made her more than just an American folk hero. In November, 1968, Malvina came to Houston to perform a benefit concert for the emerging Pacifica radio station. Inez Crawford, her good friend and friend of KPFT, brought this about. Malvina came with her husband, William "Bud" Reynolds, who had been a fiery union organizer and longtime protester of inequities. Malvina, Bud and Gus and Inez had become good friends in California. Inez recalled how Malvina and Bud would have soup suppers in their home to raise money for the causes they supported. The KPFT benefit was the first of Mal vina's several trips to Houston to perform her songs of social protest. Her last visit would be for the National Women's Conference last November. Malvina and her daughter, Nancy Schimmel, arrived in Houston on the Sunday of the IWY conference, direct from a concert engagement in Chicago the night before. Malvina joined singer Margie Adams arid Sweet Honey in the Rock, a quartet from Washington, in an evening and early morning concert at the Music Hall for IWY delegates and participants. The "sneaky dandelions" she left us in her songs still have the power to surprise and delight. Her songs are replete with these images of planting and nourishing and growth. If you love me, if you love, love, love me, Plant a rose for me, And if you think.you'll love me for a long, long time, Plant an apple tree. -Malvina Reynolds A letter written to Malvina's daughter after her death shows that Malvina is remembered the way she would probably like all of us to remember her: "Dear Nancy, The day after her death we quickly cancelled our plans for a zoo trip-I instead bought an apple tree to plant in our backyard. The guy at Wesbrae Horticulture told us we were not the first that day. Far Out! So "Malvina" is bursting with leaves and birds and new growth in our yard-a small reminder that well love her for a long long long time. Love, Karen -from Sporadic Times DECEMBER/JANUARY 1979 HOUSTON BREAKTHROUGH 11