A Salute to Pete Seeger

Jul 26, 2014 | 1 comment

Casey at Vespers 2012

Casey at Vespers 2012

Casey Killingsworth will be singing at Vespers in Oysterville tomorrow. The service begins at 3:00 with Pastor David George presiding, Suzanne Knutzen playing the organ, and Bradley Huson doing the Oysterville Moment. And somewhere in the mix will be the late folksinger Pete Seeger. It should be an afternoon to remember.

Casey and various members of his family – children, siblings, parents – have been providing music at vespers since 1993, the year Casey became Oysterville’s postmaster. He was quickly dubbed “The Singing Postmaster” (of course!) and commandeered his brothers Monte and Sean to bring their instruments and join him summer after summer for his annual shtick at the church.

The three of them had once had a band, “the Killingsworth Brothers,” but as life became more complicated with families and responsibilities, the band dispersed and the brothers moved to the far corners. It got so their main gig each year was in Oysterville at our little church for Vespers. Even after Casey moved back to Oregon, even after Monte moved to Arizona, even after Casey’s kids married and the next generation began, they were faithful to Oysterville. It has always seemed like “Old Home Week” when they return.

Killingsworth Hootenanny 2013

Killingsworth Hootenanny 2013

Last year Oysterville Vespers became the focus of a Killingsworth Family Reunion. They came from as far as Chicago and, in a salute to their mother and father, they played the songs they had grown up with — ‘back in the day when their folks would have their music-loving friends over in the evenings for playing and singing and fun. We all sang along and some of the younger audience members (including Pastor Adrienne Strehlow of the Ocean Park Lutheran Church) learned what a hootenanny was.

This year is one of those “scattered to the four winds and too busy to get here” summers so Casey said it will probably be just himself, daughter Meagan, and granddaughter Eva. He is planning another sing-along – this time a salute to Pete Seeger.

I can’t wait. Pete Seeger is someone we all grew up with – or at least had our consciousness raised with. I have my handkerchief at the ready. There are bound to be songs that will bring tears of nostalgia. But then, Casey himself has that effect nowadays. It will be great to see him, to hear his jokes and share his laughter. It will be a grand afternoon!  See you there!

1 Comment

  1. Suzanne Knutzen

    I loved Casey’s concert. The folksongs he sang molded who I am, and what I believe. I’ve been thinking a lot of “Where Have All the Flowers Gone” lately, because of the ongoing wars and violence happening in our world. So it was fitting that he sang it as his final number. Indeed, when will we ever learn? I needed to bring a tissue box, that’s for sure! But it wasn’t all sad, it was just great to hear the old songs that I grew up with, and nobody sings them more tunefully than Casey!

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