Life Celebration was wonderful

January 20, 2008 at 10:34 pm 1 comment

This afternoon…into this evening…PeaceSmiths and Susan’s family hosted Love Song for Susan Blake: A Life Celebration.

The event was beautiful. I learned many new things about Susan. One of the great reflections was from a friend of Susan’s from kindergarten. This friend remembered how brilliant Susan was, and that when her and Susan were 8 or 9 years old, Susan would lead conversations about “What is perception?”

I would guess about 300 people attended. There were many wonderful performances of poetry and music. Ann Christiansen read a poem that carefully described many of Susan’s expressions, ways, and contributions to our community and the world. Patti Tana read her famous garden poem, Post Humus, which Susan had asked Patti to read at her memorial event. And, Maxwell Corydon Wheat, Jr.–who had been considering back and forth the three poems he had about Susan and PeaceSmiths–read the interview poem about Susan. Max received a standing ovation. (You don’t often see a standing ovation in the world of poetry.)


The PeaceSmiths board presented Nancy Jane Blake, Susan’s sister, with a painting by Ron Thomson, which they had commissioned. The painting is a wonderful portrait of Nancy Jane Blake, Susan June Blake, and Betty Blake. Nancy seemed pleased and genuinely surprised.

Max Wheat/Blake Family painting by Ron Thomson

So many people spoke. The event lasted two hours longer than expected. And, there were many people who could have spoken, and maybe even should have spoken. Though, it is difficult to have a program last anymore than 6 hours! So, hopefully people were able to express through laughter, tears, and the many guestbooks and cards.

Among the special visitors were Roy Volpe from Clearwater, a representative from the NYCLU, and Marge Harrison, who gave an excellent presentation on Susan’s secrets of organizing. Nancy Jane Blake read a statement from Connie Hogarth, of Wespac Foundation.

Gary Ivan was the M.C. He was entertaining as usual and did a great job handling the flow. Mike Kornfeld pitched in when needed to run the AV projector. Karri ran the kitchen, with help from many people including Karen, Cindy, Brian, Rose, Barbara and Dori. Both John Phillips and Brian O’Haire videotaped. Ian worked with the UU staff to watch the soundboard.

Gary Ivan at the lectern of the beautiful Shelter Rock UU

Susan’s sister Nancy and college friend Cindy provided hummus, dessert, and tons of interesting slides and photos. There is a great photograph of Susan in her college days, dressed in a flowing, bright red costume, doing some kind of performance art with 2 other friends dressed similarly. Susan is posing in an outside space, standing on a platform.

At the event, there was lots of laughter. Some tears. And, a wonderful sense of togetherness.

As Sister Jeanne Clarke noted in her presentation: “Susan June Blake – presente.”


Entry filed under: music, performers, Photos, Susan Blake. Tags: , , , , .

PeaceSmiths Presidential 2008 Forum photos Video: Harmonic Insurgence at Life Celebration

1 Comment Add your own

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


Fri. March 9, 2018
Art & Music
Robyn Bellospirito &
Jimi Durso
Bryan Gallo
Open Mic!

Fri. Feb. 2, 2018
Tom Ryan

Fri. Jan. 5, 2018
Eli Maniscalco


Fri. Dec 1st
John Myles
Zack Reyes

Fri. November 3rd

8pm / Jazz & more
Coincidence Machine
Jimi Durso & friends
Rudel Drears, jazz piano
Open Mic!


Fri. October 6th
Bluegrass and Jazz!
Open Time.

The PeaceSmiths Coffeehouse is the first Friday of the month, from October to June.

Public Access TV

PeaceSmiths Monthly Coffeehouse and Monthly Forum can sometimes be seen on Public Access TV on the Woodbury Cable system channel 20 on the following shows:

Church of Comedy

Harmony Rising

Banner Photo

The banner photo is PeaceSmiths friends and banner in Washington, D.C. for a peace march on January 27, 2007. Susan is waving on the left, above the "e". Photo copyright Merly Thinanyi of Thihanyi Photography in Valley Stream.

%d bloggers like this: