Monday, February 28, 2011

Launch Day, March 1, 2011

This is a comment blog for my memoir, A Strange Place Called Home: My Walk Across America on the Great Peace March, which you can find at:
http://astrangeplacecalledhome.blogspot.com

As you read the memoir, please feel free to leave comments here... about nuclear disarmament, political action, march magic, songwriting, living in tents, walking for peace, building communities, et cetera...

All respectful comments welcome!

Looking forward to hearing from you!

25 comments:

JD Stillwater said...

Amazing. I'm going back through my old poetry notebooks from the March this evening, and here's what looks like a song lyric in my handwriting, but I'm pretty sure it's not mine. It's good, so I type the first line into Google, assuming it is some obscure folk song, and bang!, it hits your blog, which you just launched YESTERDAY! Coincidence?

Come spinning down to the emerald...

It appears that I loved your writing even way back then, enough to copy the whole thing down, though I have no memory of it.

"May the light of stars surround you," Laura. Feeling wonderfully connected right now.

JD

melaniemrome said...

Hi Laura:
If only you knew just how close you were to me when you were in LA. White Oak & Victory? I live just off of Lindley, south of Ventura Blvd, since 1983. I am looking forward to reading about your journey. Hope all is well with you.
Melanie Thompson (Rome)

Laura Monagan said...

JD, what an amazing story! An old poetry notebook? I'm intrigued. How about a blog of your GPM poetry and song lyrics? I'd love to see them! Tag, you're it!

Laura Monagan said...

Hello, Melanie, I wonder how your life would have changed had you wandered down to the peace march encampment in the valley. Amazing that we were so close! Let me know how you like the book. Until then, all the best!

Laura Monagan said...

A Strange Place Called Home hit a milestone today: 5,000 page views since it was launched. Significant numbers of page views have come from the US, Germany, Canada, the UK, Russia, Slovenia, Ukraine, Croatia, the Netherlands, and Denmark. Many thanks for reading!

Reinard Knutsen said...

Laura, I started reading your story a couple of hours ago and am now starting chapter 7, unable to stop. Thank you for sharing it. I was a 22 y.o. cook in Memphis when I saw a story about the GPM on the news and I remember being electrified... and thinking "Wow what a great adventure, I would love to do something like that but probably never will." A year later I joined my first peace walk - The New England Walk for Nuclear Disarmament and began two decades of working non stop for nuclear disarmament, peace and environmental justice - including over 10 years of living in Las Vegas to help stop nuclear weapons testing and waste dumping on Western Shoshone lands. Even though I was not on the GPM, I still feel like I am a child of the GPM movement that inspired the American Peace Test and successive nonviolent direct action groups including Seeds of Peace that organized the New England Walk for Nuclear Disarmament and many other walks as well as continuing to provide logistical support for events and actions.. Many of my good friends came from the GPM. I look forward to reading the rest of your story. You inspire me!

elifair said...

Laura, What a wonderful achievement to have captured the March so vividly. I'm going to make sure my aunt Niki reads this. I'm loving reading about people I didn't get to know and things I didn't do. Thanks for the memories. And the music.
Elizabeth Fairchild

Darryl Purpose said...

Laura,
You were an unintentional role model back then, and this story is thrilling to read now. Thanks so much for putting it together in this format and allowing me to feel inspired again.
Darryl

Laura Monagan said...

Reinard, thank you for your kind words. You spent ten years working to stop nuclear testing? YOU inspire ME! You have made a pact with the earth, one that few people have the courage or dedication to make. I would love to know more about your story!

Laura Monagan said...

Elizabeth, Please note the pseudonym for my aunt in the NJ chapter! Smile!

Laura Monagan said...

Darryl,
Thank you for your nice note. If you are inspired by this story, I can only hope it will lead to another beautiful musical composition. You were part of my story, and I'd be honored to know I was part of yours. Much love to you, dear friend.

Robert Allan Schueler, artist said...

So excited to devour your words, experiences, memories, perspectives...having such a blast re-living via The Second Great Peace March and your website is a gem along the way.

So excited that the peace revolution, is in FULL SPIRAL....twenty-five years...so much to share and teach. Hugs and hugs of thanks and gratitude.

GordonPolatnick said...

I love everything about this strange place of yours. Your writing is so fluid and enjoyable.
Congratulations on this major accomplishment.

Peace,

Gordon

Donna said...

Following here and there. Wanted to let you know I posted to my Face book page. I am a new follower GFC and hope you visit my blog and follow. Look forward to reading more here. Thanks. Donna

http://mylife-in-stories.blogspot.com

Patricia said...

Hi, Laura -
I just read your post on Book Blogs. It is very intriguing - for many reasons - but suffice it to say I would enjoy accepting to be one of the reviewers. Just one question - are you on a time line for this review? Please let me know.
Regards,
Patricia

sandy said...

Thank you so much for your story of the Great Peace March for GND. It brought back many memories for me and renewed my spirit for peacemaking. I read it after learning of the 25th anniversary celebration this week in California. My husband, our 3 yr. old daughter and myself were involved in Ohio, hosted marcher in the home and came to Washington D.C. to march. Thank you again, great story!

Laura Monagan said...

@Robert: The Second Great Peace March? Now there's an idea I could get behind... to take down the remaining 23,000 nuclear bombs. So glad you enjoyed reading and living the trek.
@ Gordon: Had to get it out of my system... it didn't work.
@ Donna: Welcome to the Great Peace March! Thanks for your support in posting the link. I look forward to reading your blog.
@ Patricia: Time is something of a joke with us peace marchers. In fact, we called it "peace march time," which meant it would get done when it got done. : ) So, no rush.
@ Sandy: First, grateful thanks to you and your family for taking us into your home. Marcher-in-the-Home kept us sane, connected, and energized to continue on our trek. And thank you for swelling our numbers in DC. To hear you say that reading my book renewed your spirit for peacemaking... well, what better feedback could I hope for than that? Copious blessings on your peacemaking! I'm interested, if you want to tell me about it.

David Moss said...

Great article, bad comment about Moss Tents - The photo captioned "impracticable" is certainly accurate seeing that the Moss item in the photo is not for camping - back then a host of appropriate models would have fit the need. This is likely a donation from Moss for it appears to be a prototype for sheltering functions. Beggars shouldn't be choosers and a disappointment to my father's legacy. David Moss

Laura Monagan said...

One of the benefits of publishing a book as a blog is the ability to go back and correct the record. Thank you for your comment, David. I have no idea how the Moss tent was acquired, whether by purchase or by donation, apparently in the early ProPeace days. In all fairness, though, the Moss tent did come to serve as a backdrop for speakers and special events, and I failed to mention that fact in later chapters. I have made that correction in Chapter 23 (“Cherry, Merry, Lobster”) where I describe Tiny Tim’s appearance on the march. Thank you the opportunity to correct the record.

Pamela said...

Thanks for sharing your remarkable journey with us! This must have been akin to the experience of giving birth for you (it took at least 9 months!) The word journey made me think about other related words like “journal” and “journalist”—all of which derive from the French “jour” meaning day. You did truly live “in the moment” on a daily basis. Your honest and self-reflective memoir is a great example of the familiar adage about how what matters most is the journey itself and not the destination. One of the aspects of your personality that has most appealed to me is your ability to “see” things that many of us miss. Your book is replete with examples of personal experiences and lessons learned which less observant, open or distracted individuals might not have registered. I am amazed that you remember events and experiences so clearly after 20 + years! Even though I had heard many of your stories before, and even joined the march for a time, this account gives a vivid “step by step” (excuse the pun!) melody-filled description of life on the march. It will surely be a treasure for many of your fellow marchers!

Stephanie Nichols said...

Laura,
I have finally read your memoir from beginning to end and can't thank you enough! Your writing is a pleasure to read, and you have captured the experience of the Peace March with wit and intelligence. I'm so impressed by the level of detail you conjured up, but more importantly, by the compelling way you reflect on the significance of the march. Thank you! I am awash in memories, and feel like I can now layer *your* march over my version. Lovely.
Can't believe we did it.....
With love, Stephanie

Laura Monagan said...

Hello, Pam! Thank you for your kind words. Your visits to the GPM were a highlight for me. I wonder what specific moments you remember. Were there event or scenes that have stayed with you over all these years? Thank you for all your help in writing the blog!

Laura Monagan said...

Thank you for writing, Stephanie, and for you kind words about my memoir! Isn't it amazing to read another person's version of events you lived and witnessed? Any number of times I've heard fellow marchers talking about events, and I'm thinking, "Wow, I don't remember that!" It makes me wonder just how many hundreds of events were actually happening simultaneously. Is that history? I would love to hear your version some day, too. When you have time! I'm so glad you enjoyed reading the blog. All the best to you!

Dick Heiser said...

Reading your blog was a great treat; you did a great job! I remember so many people were going to journal and document the march! I was too; even dreamed of typing on a laptop while marching by using a tray hooked around my neck. Oh yes!
Congratulations on actually coming through with it!
Also, congratulations on polishing it so carefully and keeping it so frank and honest.
I wished you had named names instead of protecting people's privacy, but wonder if some names are unchanged. It's great to see familiar faces in the photos.
I have recommended your blog with a link from my homepage: dickheiser.info
Thank you for making this blog!

BOOGIE CHILLEN said...

HOLA !!! I'M A OLD PEACE MONGER NEAR SAN FRANCISCO , GOOD WORK ON THAT MARCH !!! MY PEACE ACTIVITIES USUALLY INVOLVED ROCKS AND BOTTLES IN THE STREETS OF BERKELEY OR FRISCO !!! HAHAHAHAHA !!! I DID HELP SAVE THE REDWOODS UP IN HUMBOLDT ??? I WAS WONDERING IF YOU STILL HAVE YOUR VE-25 NORTH FACE GPM PINK TENT ?? I'M A CLIMBER AND COLLECT OLD CLASSIC GEAR AND HAVE A MINT PINK GPM TENT . I ALSO FOUND A NEW BLUE NORTH FACE PRO PEACE GPM TENT , BUT IT DOESNT HAVE ITS FLY SHEET . DO YOU HAVE ANY LINES ON PARTS FOR THESE ? OR DO YOU KNOW ANYONE WHO WANTS TO SELL THEIR PEACE TENTS ? PEACE !!! VERNON