If you are of certain age, you remember Richie Havens and his soulful voice as a Woodstock icon and alumni but some of his most important work was his overall contribution to children’s love of the natural world through his interests in ecology and the ocean. I met Mr Havens through work in the late 1980s when he visited my then office in NYC. Tall and unassuming in a long coat, he took up a lot of space and quite frankly, I was star struck and a bit shy of him. He asked me what I liked to do outside of work, putting me at ease. I had just finished a long sailing trip (and missed a day of work, much to the chagrin of my boss,) so we fell into a conversation about the power the ocean and how it can effect your mood and influence your work. He said that the spiritual feeling that he felt around the ocean inspired his music and writing.
I didn’t know until today that he had founded the North-wind Undersea Institute and had also created the Natural Guard, an environmental organization to educate children about our natural world. Today I am mourning a musical steward of the ocean. RIP Richie Havens