Susan June Blake
June 18, 1953 - October 2, 2007
Some people here may know Susan Blake. She created and ran the “PeaceSmiths Monthly, Topical, A-Typical, Folk Music, Poetry and Whatever Coffeehouse” from October to June since 1972. Each month, Susan booked 2 musicians and a poet (with variations such as comedians, drama groups, and group sing-alongs.) In addition, Susan set up “The Cow Game” at the Clearwater Hudson River Revival Festival each year.
Thought people here might want to hear the news. And, maybe you will want to attend the event on Jan 20th. While the event for Susan is not a festival, it is a celebration as she requested. Among the presenters will be Richard Barnhardt, Andy Greenhouse, Bob Campbell playing a song by colleague Sonny Meadows, and poets Max Wheat and Patti Tana. It is open to everyone.
Kimberly and the PeaceSmiths community
Love Song for Susan Blake: A Life Celebration
With music, song and poetry the late Susan June Blake of Amityville, peace and justice activist, will be remembered at 2:00pm, Sunday, January 20th. There will be a reception from 2pm to 3pm followed by the program from 3pm until 6pm.
The event, “Love Song for Susan Blake: A Life Celebration” is being held at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock, 48 Shelter Rock Road in Manhasset. The event is hosted by PeaceSmiths and by Susan’s family. More information can be found at PeaceSmiths, Incwww.peacesmiths.org or by calling the PeaceSmiths hotline at (631) 798-0778.
Susan June Blake died on October 2, 2007. For three decades, she was a community organizer who led vigils protesting the Vietnam and Iraq Wars, inhumane treatment at the Nassau County jail, and the onetime proposed Shoreham nuclear power plant.
Susan was involved with singing groups, working in the theater, and creating meaningful and political artistic events. As Coordinator of PeaceSmiths, Susan created the idea for the PeaceSmiths’ Monthly, Topical, A-Typical, Folk Music, Poetry and Whatever Coffeehouse which has been happening since 1972! The church, the coffeehouse and Susan Blake are all immortalized in the song “Last Church on the Left,” which will be performed at the life celebration.
There will be reflections about Susan’s life by many of her family and friends, including many local poets, musicians and activists. Pat Falk, a poet and professor from Amityville, will perform at the event. Max Wheat, Poet Laureate of Nassau County, will read a poem written in honor of Susan Blake and PeaceSmiths.
Susan is fondly remembered for setting up a game for festival goers each year at the Clearwater Hudson River Revival to teach people about the dangers of recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone, rBGH or rBST in milk. So, at the life celebration event, participants will be invited to play “The Cow Game.” The game, the program notes, and the reception will feature work from the cadre of artists who collaborated with Susan and who are an important part of the ongoing work of PeaceSmiths.
Susan Blake speaking out against the Iraq War and possible war with Iran:
“Last Church on the Left” performed by the band “Blacklisted and the Banned” with Sonny Meadows:
Directions to the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock: