Friends of
Peace Pilgrim

A Non-Profit, Tax-Exempt, All Volunteer Organization
43480 Cedar Ave, Hemet, CA 92544  (909) 927-7678


Harvestime, 1994 "Overcome evil with good, falsehood with truth, hatred with love" Number 22

Online Edition

Table of Contents:   (TOC)
Dear Friends of Peace Pilgrim
Braille Peace Pilgrim Books
This I Remember
Guideposts Magazine
Choose to Live
Women of Vision
Backpacker Magazine
Utah Peace Center
Irish Quaker
Spirit of Peace Documentary
Where We Go From Here
Gandhi Pacifist Memorial
Unity of Austin
In Her Own Words
Retreats
From a Bomb Designer 
Free Conflict Resolution Series
Progressive Voice on TV
Community Peace Fellowship

Friends of Peace Pilgrim Home || Newsletter Index


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Dear Friends of Peace Pilgrim, 

After a hot, dry, high-desert summer and fall I especially enjoyed my walk one damp misty misty morning. A wild cottontail bunny sat contentedly under our persimmon tree with the sprinkler right on him. Such an amazing sight I quietly went for others to see this phenomenon. He went on thoroughly enjoying his shower — you could tell by the look in his bright round eye.

Some friends have written for newsletters they think they have missed because of not receiving any since Spring. We have been too busy to produce more than two this year. Besides all the mail and phone calls for books and tapes, we communicate with friends in other countries about translations. Many friends write or send us creative ideas about how to spread her message. We are swamped and so sorry we don’t always respond to creative ideas.

Recently we received five Bulgarian STEPS booklets from Todor Zahariev in Sofia, Bulgaria. These most colorful booklets bring the number of STEPS translations to 22. Todor writes he found a publisher who printed 5,000 copies. Thank you, Todor for spreading Peace.

The Peace Pilgrim book has now been translated into Tamil. STEPS and the book have now been translated into Portuguese and help is needed to get all of them published.

The French PEACE PILGRIM book is now being distributed by Marjorie Agoston, 4 Rue Rambuteau, F 75003, Paris, France. The French publisher decided not to list our book and sold his remaining stock to us at a discount. We had them sent to Marjorie, who offered to sell them for the cost of printing and mailing. We are very thankful. Thank you, Marjorie.


BRAILLE PEACE PILGRIM BOOK & STEPS

The Theosophical Book Association for the Blind at 54 Krotona Hill, Ojai, CA 93023 has printed our books in Braille. Several years ago they surprised us with large STEPS books in Braille and recently we were astonished and delighted to receive five large volumes of the Braille PEACE PILGRIM book.

These books are free for any blind person in the world who request them from the Theosophists in Ojai. What a wonderful service! The Philippine THEOSOPHICAL DIGEST printed a 40 page condensation of the Peace Pilgrim book in 1990.

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THIS I REMEMBER

It is absorbing to read this book by George Dolnikowski, the translator of our Russian Peace Pilgrim book He was captured in Russia by the German army during World War II, was a prisoner until the end of the war, lived in Germany & Austria until 1949 when he was one of thousands resettled in the United States by the Church of the Brethren. He was brought to Juniata College where he worked as a janitor and four years later he was invited to join the faculty. He received his Ph.D at Harvard. here is his delightful account of how he came to translate our book into Russian. He writes:

I remember May 1988, when I retired after 34 years of teaching German and Russian. I received a telephone call from Mrs. Elizabeth Baker, whose main interests in life were theater and peace. She and her husband, John C. Baker, chairman emeritus of the Juniata Board of Trustees, started a “Peace and Conflict Studies Program” at Juniata in 1971 and later at Bethany Theological Seminary and Ohio University.

“George, I heard that you’ve retired from your teaching. I remember one morning when John and I visited and enjoyed your class, ‘Studies in the Historic Peace Churches: the Brethren, Mennonites, and Quakers.’” She went on:
“Since you don’t have much to do now, I thought of introducing you to a project that’s very important for our times. Have you heard of a book called PEACE PILGRIM?”

“Yes,” I answered, “I not only have heard of it but I have the book. I’ve read it and I like it.”
“Splendid,” she said, “I would like to suggest that you translate this book into Russian.”
"That is an interesting idea, and I’ll think about it,” I said. “Don’t think. Start now.”

Soon I received the texts and began to work. It was not only my knowledge of Russian that inspired me to do the translation. It was also Peace Pilgrim’s complete devotion, dedication, and service to the cause of peace — peace among nations, peace among groups, peace among individuals, and that very important inner peace.”

From the back cover: “This I Remember is Dolnikowski’s impressionistic sketch of a Russia torn by civil strife, the German invasion of the Soviet Union in World War II, and eventual emigration to Pennsylvania... an absorbing testament of human struggle, as well as a celebration of the good that can be accomplished through the kindness of just a few people.” For a copy of this book write to the Brethren Press, 1451 Dundee Avenue, Elgin, IL 60120.

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GUIDEPOSTS MAGAZINE

Articles about Peace Pilgrim have been published in hundreds of publications, mostly in this country, but also in other countries. We are thankful for these articles because readers then request our books. We have never advertised; writers who love Peace Pilgrim give our address and phone number, and we are thankful.

One of the editors of Guideposts magazine that goes out to 4 million subscribers called about printing an article about Peace Pilgrim and our offer of a free booklet. She asked us if we could really handle a large number of responses. We assured her that we could.

In the June issue of Guideposts appeared the article called, PS TO THE JOY OF DOING WITHOUT that ended with a paragraph on Peace Pilgrim’s thoughts about material possessions. More than 2000 readers have written to us asking for our booklet, and a few responses continue to come in.

We have been amazed to hear from Guideposts readers around the world asking for STEPS booklets — one from North Pole, Alaska! Here are a. few excerpts from some of the hundreds of letters:

MOOSEHORN, MANITOBA — I am in the process of adopting a principle of living with less. I strongly feel consumerism is the downfall of our nation. We are programmed to be the user of goods. I have been a journalist for many years and want to direct my writing to the exposure of what it is we spend money on, and why.

SIERRA LEONE, WEST AFRICA I promise I will share it with as many of my friends and acquaintances as possible.

SOUTH INDIA — We are a group of Poor Clares who read about Peace Pilgrim in Guideposts.

CALGARY, ALBERTA — Some years ago Peace Pilgrim was a guest at our church on a Sunday morning and then came home and had lunch with us.

ZIMBABWE, AFRICA — She was at a church in Indianapolis speaking about peace, years ago. I still remember things she said. I was quite excited to read about her again. I need peace, less work, less clutter and more time to live as God intended. Please help!

A MINISTER — She spent the night in our home in the mid-sixties. We set up a radio interview for her and she met with a couple of church groups. I offered her a few dollars to buy food if she needed it, but she refused. My children remember her well, and were remarking about her a few weeks ago in recalling childhood memories.

CORVALLIS, OR — I am in the midst of simplifying my life. Anything you can’t live without has a hold on you, SO my daughters’ Christian school garage sale, here I come. The Catholic saints had the right idea — simplify, simplify.

RIVERSIDE, CA — I am very convinced that we are all “possessed with our possessions” far too much.

ALEXANDRIA, LA — I came upon this article and felt the moving hand of God to seek more on this subject. I have felt that God was leading me to free up my life.

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA — I felt I really needed your booklet. My life is full of possessions — very little of anything else.

NEW CARROLLTON, MD — I am intrigued by the concept — have already packaged 15 boxes of clothing and household items and books. Please, please send me your free booklet.

SEQUIM, WA — Many years ago Peace Pilgrim came to dinner in our home. We had good fun and fellowship over dinner. What a blessing to have her in our home!

GREENVILLE, TX — A common thought among young people today is that what one owns adds up to who one is. I think many materialistic young people would benefit from her story. I would like to share with my friends and church family.


CHOOSE TO LIVE EACH DAY FULLY

Celestial Arts Publishing POB 7123, Berkeley, CA 94707

This book is written by Susan Smith Jones, a health consultant who gives lectures and workshops. The 365 pages of this book “Offers an empowering and inspiring collection of daily affirmations, lessons, and exercises to help you live up to your highest personal potential physically, emotionally and spiritually.” Two of the pages are devoted to the words of Peace Pilgrim. Two of her earlier books have quotes from Peace Pilgrim as well.


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WOMEN OF VISION, WOMEN OF PEACE

Dr. Nancy Potts, Peace Publishing 303 Camp Craft Road #250, Austin, Texas 78746 Tel: (512) 329-6777

From the back cover: This is a book about four women at an advanced stage of the spiritual journey. Their stories answer a call raised by many who yearn to know what steps to take in their spiritual journey and how to fulfill the deepest longing of the heart. Discover the stories of Peace Pilgrim, a woman with no formal religious training; Mother Teresa of Calcutta, a contemplative-in-action; Irina Tweedie, a Sufi; and Saint Teresa of Avila, a Christian mystic. These women take what they have experienced and give it back, one hundredfold, to those they meet, teach and serve. Their experience of the Divine has so changed them that they cannot fail to leave their mark of peace on all with whom they come in contact. These women work quietly and live with the fire of love and sense of purpose — the sense of purpose for which each of us has yearned at some point in our lives.

*****

RENO, NV — Thank you for sharing such a treasure with the world at a time when it is most needed.

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BACKPACKER MAGAZINE

Backpacker magazine printed in their April issue several stories about those who had walked the Appalachian Trail, but didn’t mention Peace Pilgrim, who was the first woman to walk the complete distance of the trail alone.

Claire Townsend, one of the three filmmakers working on the Spirit of Peace documentary, and a subscriber to Backpacker, wrote a letter to the editor informing him of Peace Pilgrim’s walk when she was Mildred Ryder. They printed her letter in the August issue which included information about our free book. More than 600 backpackers have responded since August, asking for our book, and the requests are still coming.

It has been great fun talking to backpackers from all over the country, many of them women. They are eager to know more about this amazing woman. Here are a few quotes from BACKPACKER readers requesting books:

JAPAN — I would like to know more about this woman.

ENGLAND — A friend and I are considering hiking the Appalachian Trail this spring and would be most grateful to receive copies.

PHILIPPINES — I’m an adventurer myself and interested in her quest for worldwide peace. BACKPACKER magazine should do a feature on Peace Pilgrim. She sounds fascinating.

A MARINE IN HAWAII — She seems like a modern day inspiration. When I get out I will return to the mountains to be with nature again. I like being in the wilderness — it is the preservation of life.

See a radio interview of Peace Pilgrim about her hike in NL #2. We will send a copy to anyone who wants it.

CYNTHIA LURTON, UTAH PEACE CENTER

The Peace Pilgrim Album, with the picture on the front same as on the book, consists of eight audio tapes of the book and STEPS booklet. Cynthia requested 62 albums for last Christmas giving and recently asked for 20 more. She insists, “You should really highlight the albums in your newsletter as the perfect companion in the car — soothes traffic jams on long distance driving — perfect “timeout” listening for children who need to fill their minds with constructive ideas — relaxing to put on at bedtime to drift off harmoniously — inspirational while doing mechanical housework or cooking. They lift daily life to a new high! No matter how many times people read the books, the album seems to go to the “gizzard” with new meaning and deeper conscious awareness of her magnitude in our lives.”

PHILIPPINES — It’s a very practical guide towards Inner Peace, which all people in the world are longing for.

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IRISH QUAKER FRIEND OF THE EARTH

In 1990, Gordon Kelly walked 2000 miles around the coast of Ireland in three months — from North Belfast to South Belfast “the long way round.” He was sixty and this was a retirement project.

“The idea of trying such a walk came to me after reading PEACE PILGRIM.” He left home without money or food “in faith that my needs will be met by God’s children. I suppose being a Quaker and believing there is that of God in everyone makes this easier for me to believe. I felt her message was for me personally — a concern for the planet and a message of peace.

“It is a careful spiritual journey of exploration and sharing with others my own feelings and convictions. The emphasis of my pilgrimage is my concern for what is happening to the planet and the importance I place on the Quaker Peace Testimony.”

He wanted to live a few months of his life without using more than he needed of the world’s resources. He would not use a car nor would he take rides, but would walk and live simply, interacting with whomever he met. Gordon met people of all ages and walks of life and was befriended by many. Environmentalists, theologians, joggers, cyclists, the isolated, the old, the young — all kinds of people responded to him.

He wrote, “I feel the most important encounters were with people I stayed with overnight. They might have offered a cow byre or hayshed and would come to talk to me as I settled in. After reading my pamphlet they would perhaps invite me into the house to sleep, but I didn’t take up their offer as I was quite happy to have a roof over my head. I did gratefully accept their offer of tea, which almost always turned out to be a feast. Their kindness didn’t stop there as I was always given breakfast followed by food for my journey.”

Hundreds of people all over Ireland became involved in his peace pilgrimage, offering support, prayers and hospitality, walking with him, waiting for him and questioning their own response to the environment.

His message, “Conserve the scarce resources of God’s world, waste not, do not be greedy, cycle and recycle, be kind to the earth, it’s the only one we’ve got.”

An 84-year-old woman who gave him hospitality wrote a poem and sent it to his wife:

By hillside and glen wild flowers bloom.
The scent of hawthorne lingers in sunshine and gloom.
Walking Erin’s roads, winding along the sea,
Quaker pilgrim from the north, God bless thee.

*****

GHANA, AFRICA — May you have the strength, courage and the help to continue the good work that you have started

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THE SPIRIT OF PEACE DOCUMENTARY

Just one short year ago, we were still on the road, reporting our adventures across the nation while interviewing many friends of Peace Pilgrim.

In June all that changed when we shifted gears into postproduction mode. Since then, our adventures have been confined to mastering high-tech post-production gadgetry and sophisticated editing systems with our talented and fearless editor, James Knight at the helm. Undaunted by our 120+ hours of interviews and footage, he sailed through the editing process in less than three months. Assisted by Dave Mueller, James skillfully bore through an ocean of options to produce a feature documentary less than 80 minutes long!

Far from being completely finished, our next step was to hold test screenings. We each organized several such screenings, gathering a large range of people from Peace Pilgrim fans to people who’d never heard of her before, including many industry professionals. Seven versions later, we “locked” the film down and went into the “on-line” suite where our skillful on-line editor, Lisa Gonzales, beautifully assembled our images.

The next step, composing the musical score for our film, is already in the works. We were triply blessed to have not one but three terrifically talented musicians volunteer to set the film to music. We knew all three were infused with the true “Spirit of Peace” when they offered to collaborate. Darryl Purpose, who will be writing and composing the music, heads this very special team. Steve Argila and Bob Mills (see NL #7) will be working with Darryl to create an appropriate score.

If all goes well, and it certainly has so far, we will have a finished documentary film entitled “The Spirit of Peace” by late December.

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WHERE WE WILL GO FROM HERE

This film was made in order that many more people will have a greater awareness of Peace Pilgrim and the principles that her life enunciated. Because we agree with Peace Pilgrim’s stance that spiritual truth should never be bought or sold, like the Peace Pilgrim Book and Steps, we will provide VHS copies of the film free to all who ask.

Place your orders with the Peace Pilgrim Center to receive a VHS video copy when it becomes available.


DISTRIBUTION PLANS:

The three filmmakers have decided to divide Distribution of the film into three branches:

1. Film Festivals and Theatrical Release: One of our goals is to transfer this documentary to 16mm film (Approximate cost $10,000). We feel this is an important expense as it will increase the film’s eligibility for entering into the most prestigious film festivals. (We have already submitted a rough cut of our film to the Sundance Film Festival (January 19-20) in Park City, Utah.) It will also give us a format that can be projected onto movie screens in theaters. Contact: Dave Mueller at (818) 790-2916

2. Broadcast and Publicity: Since we’d like this film to have the widest possible distribution, we’ll make it available for all television broadcast, including network, public television stations, and cable stations.
Contact: Claire Townsend, P0 Box 506, Ojai CA 93024. tel. (805) 646-8596, fax (805) 646-8598

3. Grassroots Distribution: We feel this is a unique film about a unique woman and much of the distribution will be unique as well. We intend to make the film available for Peace Conferences, Religious Conferences, and just about any other gathering of people, large or small. We encourage people to order a copy for their church, school, or public library. One of the most effective ways for the film to be seen will be people bringing friends and family together for private screenings in their own living rooms. Make sure you have lots of Books and Steps on hand to pass out afterwards! Contact: Gigi Orlowski, 1717 Camino De La Costa #6, Redondo Bch, CA 90277 (310) 791-0328

We welcome everyone’s suggestions, ideas, contacts, and participation in getting the “Spirit of Peace” publicized, distributed, and seen.

Translations and International Distribution: The logistics of making non-English language versions will be more complicated technically than mere words. Still, where there’s a will there’s a way.

In the meantime, international distribution of the English-language version will be encouraged. Anyone interested in Translations and International Distribution should contact Claire Townsend at the above address.

The Video Archive: Just as we regretted not being able to interview everyone who expressed interest in sharing their stories and experiences, we also regret not being able to put all we interviewed into the final documentary. Fortunately, everyone we interviewed will be preserved in the video archive. The entire 120 hours of footage in this video archive, on one-hour VI-IS cassettes, will be available for viewing at the Friends of Peace Pilgrim Center, Hemet.

Eventually much, if not all of this material will accompany the documentary if and when the documentary is made available for distribution in the CD-ROM format.


THANKS TO ALL

Once again we’d like to thank the many wonderful people, nationwide and around the world who have donated their time, talent, money, and support to the making of this film. We feel this is just the beginning of a new dissemination phase of the peace message that has already had such a great impact on so many of us. Peace Pilgrim summed it up best. “One little person giving all her time to peace makes news; many people giving some of their time to peace will make history.”

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GANDHI PACIFIST MEMORIAL

On October 2 1994, the 125th birthday of Gandhi, a pacifist memorial was inaugurated on the grounds of the Peace Abbey and the Life Experience School in Sherborn, Massachusetts. The pacifist memorial, the first in this country, honors all those who have worked for peace and justice using nonviolence. The eight-foot statue of Gandhi is flanked by walls upon which will be inscribed the names and quotations of 60 peacemakers —30 women and 30 men. Peace Pilgrim’s words to be inscribed on the wall are, “This is the way of peace — overcome evil with good, falsehood with truth, and hatred with love.”

Several months before the dedication of the Gandhi statue, Lewis Randa, Director of the Peace Abbey and the Life Experience School, made the following speech at the School when Maya Angelou was given the Courage of Conscience Award. (The same award we were given posthumously for Peace Pilgrim two years ago):

“The reasons are numerous for the creation of war memorials, but the chief reason begs the question: How else can a seemingly decent society justify to future generations the indiscriminate slaughter of innocent civilians; soldiers, and the destruction that comes with war?

“War memorials not only honor individuals who gave their lives in battle; in doing so they validate war itself. They are open air temples to the gospel of killing that serve as society’s nod of approval that taking the life of another human being is a time-honored vocation, worthy of societies’ highest respect and honor — and what society honors, it shall become. One need only look at the violence in our cities, in our streets, and in our schools. We are at war with ourselves.

“Those devoted to the vision of a peaceable kingdom, the next frontier in our evolution, recognize that war memorials perpetuate war mentality and will leave future generations saddled with the seeds of their own self-destruction. From our point of view here at the School and the Abbey, what is needed is a pacifist memorial — a sacred place of pilgrimage for the practitioner of nonviolence — a place that honors those who showed the way of nonviolence — a place dedicated to imbuing visitors with the insight and inspiration needed to continue on the path of pacifism.

“It is with a deep commitment to the rich tradition of pacifism that we at the Life Experience School and the Peace Abbey announce the creation of a pacifist memorial.”

Wayne-Daniel Berard, Chaplain of the Peace Abbey: “It is our hope that this Memorial, dedicated to the spirit of pacifism, will nourish the transformation of our families, our neighborhoods, and ourselves as instruments of deep and lasting peace. In remembering the heroes and heroines of non-violence, let us be attentive and mindful of our susceptibility to anger and its result, and to the opportunities for love and healing around and within us. With courage, let us recommit ourselves and our nation to the peaceful way, knowing it is ‘better to suffer injustice than
to inflict it, to love an enemy than to be one.’ And may we move out from this sacred place to fully transform our planet.”

At the Peace Abbey dedication Ramsey Clark, a former U.S. Attorney General, walked from Gandhi’s statue to another memorial commemorating civilian war victims. “It’s been the rulers and diplomats and generals who have made war.” Clark said, “And it has been the civilians who have suffered the ravages of war. So it is fitting that we honor them here today.”

The day before the dedication of the pacifist memorial about 1,000 people were at Wellesley College for a related conference called “Nonviolence or Nonexistence.” Eight panels discussed the social ills which Mohandas Gandhi believed lead to violence in society. The 51 guest panelists included local dignitaries, scholars and authors, and various national figures such as peace activist Dave Dellinger, CBS correspondent Bob Arnot, and Fr. Daniel Berrigan.

Keynote speakers were Arun Gandhi, the grandson of Mohandas Gandhi and the director of the Gandhi Institute in Tennessee, and Helen Caldicott, an Australian physician who spent the 1970s and the ‘80s in the United States trying to waken the world to the dangers of nuclear war.

We were so thrilled to learn this was going to take place that we sent the Peace Abbey 280 hardcover Peace Pilgrim books to be given out freely at Gandhi’s birthday celebration. Let us know if you would like hardcover books for church, school or public libraries. Also they make great gifts.

*****

I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary and the evil it does is permanent.   —    Gandhi

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UNITY OF AUSTIN

Timothy Nobles requested 1000 STEPS, 300 books, two of all tapes and album, for a special meeting. “During our discussion period, a young woman stood, and in a somewhat choked voice, with great courage, described what an encounter with the PEACE PILGRIM book about four years ago had meant to her. She had been greatly drawn to the book and had studied it deeply. Some time later she was out walking and the voice of Peace Pilgrim came to her, told her to quit her job that she hated, move to Seattle, and start doing the work she was supposed to do. She did exactly that, and she is now happy and successful as a freelance writer in the field of education. She had never heard or seen any of the tapes and was intensely grateful to get to see them. We are working to schedule more showings of the videotapes at the Quaker Meeting, the Unitarian Church, and a Methodist Church.”

*****

HEALDSBURG, CA — I was left speechless after reading STEPS that I picked up in a local market recently. It’s the most poetic and beautiful.

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IN HER OWN WORDS

Peace Pilgrim stayed with us five times when we lived in Whittier, California. In 1978 her friend, Mary Eubanks, and I arranged over 100 speaking engagements for her. For nearly two months I had the privilege of taking her to schools, churches, colleges, clubs and homes where she had been invited to speak. People waiting to talk to her often told me she should write a book. We thought so too, but she wouldn’t take time from her pilgrimage.

Hearing her many inspiring talks, including an intimate one in our backyard when Barbara Reynolds asked her to speak to us about prayer, I was profoundly moved. I saw how deeply other people were also affected and I wanted the whole world to hear her message. What better way to start than to write a Peace Pilgrim article for a magazine. I hadn’t seen one for a long time, so I decided to try to write one.

Since I have always loved the ocean, John left me in a trailer on a quiet beach for a week — with nothing to eat but watermelons and nothing to do but write. Once before I had a delightful, energizing few days on a ‘watermelon flush,’ eating a piece whenever hungry.

How inspiring! — breaking waves, sand, sun, seagulls, and 20 PEACE PILGRIM’s Progress Newsletters to read, written during her 28 year pilgrimage.

But I couldn’t seem to get much done. Whatever I wrote was-either understated so it didn’t do her justice, or overstated so no one would believe me. The more I studied her newsletters and thought about her talks, the more I realized that some of what she wrote and spoke was pure poetry. All I could seem to do was to write a long poem, using mostly her own memorable words. Peace Pilgrim made a few minor changes and wrote that I had caught the spirit of the pilgrimage. But no magazine would accept it.

An important realization came to me by the sea — no one could tell her story as well as she had already told it — at least I couldn’t.

April 20, 1981 I wrote to her, “We have come to feel the very great importance for world peace for your words to be in print. Your basic message, all your other messages and your stories.”

John wrote to her, “The thought that often comes to us is that it would be good to have a book published by you, combining your message with some of your personal experiences in a style that will hold the attention of the average person. I would like very much to see a book written by you, for I suppose you won’t be in this world forever and I would like to see your message widespread.” She wrote back, "I have really written enough material for a book — it is just not in book form.” Two months later she made her “glorious transition.”

August, 1981 we were visiting our daughter and family in New Hampshire when our grandson called with the news that Peace Pilgrim had died in July. I called Peace Pilgrim’s sister, Helene, about this unbelievable news. She confirmed it and said some contributions were coming in from around the country. I suggested, and she agreed, that it would be good to save all gifts to publish a book in her own words.

A lawyer friend suggested that Helene call together a few old Quaker friends of Peace Pilgrim to be a Foundation and invited us to attend. We picked up Peace Pilgrim’s Progress Newsletters and mailing list from Molly Tenbrock in Pennsylvania who wanted them taken to Helene and Eugene Young. They were being swamped with mail from friends of Peace Pilgrim around the country and invited us to help. I began answering Peace Pilgrim mail and have been doing it ever since.

The Foundation considered various ways to use the donations coming in from friends of Peace Pilgrim, such as a Peace Chair in a university. We all finally decided it would be best to use the money to publish a Peace Pilgrim book in her own words.

Richard Polese invited Peace Pilgrim’s friends to a memorial retreat at his Santa Fe, New Mexico home. Twenty-five from around the country and many local friends came. We joyfully shared tapes, letters and our experiences with Peace Pilgrim. (See NL #6)

We saw we had enough material for a book. Richard kindly offered his home for four of us to compile the book while he was on a business trip. Richard joined our efforts when he returned.

We were thankful that the five of us were in agreement with Peace Pilgrim’s old friends and -her sister — to compile a book in Peace Pilgrim’s own words. Compiling the book with three other friends of Peace Pilgrim was truly an inspiring experience, and for John and me one of the highlights of our lives. The reception it has received around the world, and continues to receive in ever widening circles, is far beyond our expectations.

To paraphrase Peace Pilgrim, “Isn’t it wonderful that God can use little people like us!” — Ann with John


RETREATS

Peace Pilgrim’s outreach is expanding at the Red Victorian Peace Center Bed and Breakfast in San Francisco. Thousands have been introduced to Peace Pilgrim through the book on their bedside table. Sami Sunchild, the owner, and Cheryl Canfield, co-director, are lcading activities during three-day B&B mini vacations.

Cheryl and Richard Polese, both compilers of the Peace Pilgrim book, are sponsoring and leading a 7-day canoe Peace Pilgrim wilderness retreat on the Green River in Utah in September, 1995. This year they will explore the Arches National Monument. Also in September, Cheryl will lead a women’s wilderness retreat and a weilness wilderness retreat. She lead her first retreat in 1989 after a terminal cancer diagnosis. Alive and well she delights in sharing experiences in the healing process. If you are interested in going on any of these retreats or mini vacations and want more information, contact: Cheryl Canfield, 1589 B East Avenue, Napa, CA 94559, telephone (707) 254-1202.

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Confessions of a Nuclear Engineer — This is the second article by Theodore Taylor who has distributed many Peace Pilgrim books.

FROM BOMB DESIGNER TO DISARMAMENT ACTIVIST  

Presented to Nuclear Dialogue Project Meeting Princeton, NJ. October 21, 1987 by Theodore B. Taylor, P0 Box 662 Wellsville, NY 14895. The following are excerpts from his talk:

On July 9, 1986, I had a deeply emotional experience at Moscow’s Red Square, the afternoon of my first day in the Soviet Union. I was there to attend an international conference on stopping nuclear tests, organized by the Soviet Academy of Sciences. Galina Orlova, from the Institute of Biochemistry, had been asked to serve as my guide and interpreter. She had taken me to Red Square soon after our arrival at the hotel, and was explaining how wedding parties often visit the tomb of the unknown soldier and Lenin’s mausoleum immediately after the wedding. We were standing about halfway between them. She then excused herself to check with a nearby ticket agency for some performances.

While she was gone I had a flashback to November 15, 1950, nearly 37 years earlier. I had been working at Los Alamos on a much more powerful fission bomb than people had thought possible, and was sent by the Laboratory to Washington for several weeks to try to understand the military basis for giving us requirements for new nuclear weapons. [In 1950 Ann Rush was in Washington on a weeks prayer and fast protesting the development of the hydrogen bomb]. I had spent a day at an intelligence office, poring over aerial photographs of Moscow, placing the sharp point of a compass exactly where I was now standing and drawing circles corresponding to the distances at which moderate and severe damage would result from our dropping a 500 Kiloton bomb several thousand feet above that point. I remembered being disappointed when none of the circles included all of Moscow.

I suddenly came back to the present, looked around, saw perhaps a couple of thousand happy looking people, including several wedding parties, walking about enjoying the sights. There came over me an overpowering sense of the insanity of what I was doing more than 36 years ago, and that other people like me in the U.S., the Soviet Union, and at least three other countries were still doing. I started to cry, just before Galina returned. She asked me what was wrong. For nearly an hour, drinking cokes at an outdoor stand nearby, I told her where I had come from that led up to my emotional outburst that afternoon.

In the summer of 1964 I was offered a job as Deputy Director of the Defense Atomic Support Agency to direct the Defense Department’s laboratory work and nuclear tests related to understanding the effects of nuclear explosions.
During the next two years, working most of the time in the bowels of the Pentagon, I did a complete about face in my attitude toward nuclear weapons. From that time, 22 years ago I’ve not wavered from a conviction that every nuclear weapon that is made makes the world a more dangerous place. When I resigned my job at the Defense Department I vowed that I would use whatever energy I have left to try to stimulate the total abolition of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, if at all possible sometime within my lifetime.

Since that time I’ve tried to reconstruct exactly what happened during those two years that led to this extreme turnaround. In the last several years I’ve come to the conviction that addiction to nuclear weaponry — in fact addiction to weapons of any kind, is a disease. Like true addiction to alcohol or other drugs, the disease is incurable. Though incurable, addiction to weapons can be controlled. The only effective control is total abstinence. To make the vow of abstinence also requires what people call “bottoming out” so completely that there is no alternative but to admit the addiction publicly and, day by day, maintaining total abstinence. I’ve come to believe that I bottomed out during that time at the Pentagon.

Much of my work since leaving the Pentagon has been on things that can be done that will not threaten anyone, and that will show we are really coming to grips with the many severe problems facing societies all over the world. A specific example is widespread use of solar energy probably by use of solar electric cells, to produce hydrogen by electrolyzing water. I’ve spent about half my time for the last five years on engineering designs, field tests, and economic analyses of several ways to use this process. There are countless other opportunities for intensive constructive action, not by any means only technological.

I see a connection between such projects and the nuclear arms race, the threat of nuclear war, and a realistic possibility for effectively outlawing all nuclear weapons. This connection is in the displacement of dependence on the threat of massive destruction to deter military aggression by what my good friend in Washington, Lewis Bohn, calls intensive constructive action. This action can be undertaken cooperatively between nations or, in many cases, unilaterally. It has the result that it so improves the human conditions to which it is applied that those leaders who are credited with pressing for such action will be recognized for doing something that everyone wants, threatens no-one, and will therefore help keep them in power.

If we can find ways to intensify such actions, globally, it will become much easier to reject any dependence on nuclear, biological, chemical, or other weapons of mass destruction. I’m convinced we shall then begin to see a new path we can all take that will lead toward a future that will be welcomed by ourselves, our children, and our grandchildren, rather than, as it is now, viewed, if at all, with despair and foreboding.


PEACE EDUCATION CENTER PRESENTS A FREE CONFLICT RESOLUTION SERIES

Elise Harvey now lives at this Center in Lansing, Michigan and is the “Virtue Chair.” She recently gave a workshop on Peace Pilgrim in the Conflict Resolution Series. Elise writes, “In 1956, when I was 18 years old, I met Peace Pilgrim and I wanted to go with her. She said, ‘No, you have to do your own thing.’ I didn’t know what my “own thing” was; that’s why it seemed easier to follow someone who was doing something so wonderful as walking and talking for peace.”

We’ve had several articles about Elise, the Peace Crane songwriter and teacher of Peace Crane folding (See NL #8) to hundreds of children while they learn about Sadako and the thousand cranes. She has truly found her OWN PEACE THINGS to do — singing and playing the autoharp in hospitals to older ones and to little ones who have cancer, and corresponding with a prisoner on Death Row. Through it all for the last ten years she has been giving out PEACE PILGRIM books and gathering people together to talk about peacemaking.


PROGRESSIVE VOICE ON CABLE TV

Will Mische coordinates a half-hour public access cable TV program once a week called PROGRESSIVE VOICES. “He asked for our half-hour Peace Pilgrim video to include in their program. He writes:

I met Peace Pilgrim at least three times in St. Cloud during her summer routes in the northern states. She usually stayed at least overnight. The first meeting, I was passing the local public library and saw her sitting on the huge granite side steps, talking with young people. Her blue tunic with its inscription intrigued me, and she greeted me with her warm smile. After questions from me I invited her to a picnic, scheduled at a park on the banks of the Mississippi. I introduced her to my friends and asked her to speak. She captivated most with her message.

The last time she stayed in our home, I had the next morning free and after breakfast discussed with her, at length, various issues — war, peace, sex and the need for social justice. The dimensions of her understandings amazed me, but her commitment to continue reaching people, while depending on true daily poverty, especially impressed me. St. Francis had long exemplified my image of an ideal teacher, and Peace Pilgrim filled the requirements. On the one hand, she wasn’t pushy with her message. But it was difficult for a listener to reject her manner of presenting the message. It may have been that she totally surrendered to the judgment of others, and the forces of hatred or bias which others might have held were neutralized and became powerless. I still haven’t figured out her touch.

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NIGERIA — I personally found these books to be uncommonly treasurable and worthy of keep.


COMMUNITY PEACE FELLOWSHIP

If you want to start a Community Peace Fellowship with friends of Peace Pilgrim in your area, we will list your name, phone number and/or address. Peace Pilgrim suggests starting with a Peace Prayer Group for seeking the way of peace. (See p.123 in her book, p.31 in STEPS) Here are friends who have asked to be listed:

Marke Blackmore, Flat 12, Thomas Moore House, Reigate Road, Reigate, Surrey RH2 00W, England
Marilyn Elie, Cortlandt Manor, NY 10566, 914-739-6164
Gene Barber, 3929 Stanford Drive, Oceanside, CA 92056, 619757-5545
Judy Nonella, POB 1480, Arroyo Grande, CA 93421
Rex Miller, Tampa, FL, 813-988-2737
Eileen O’Donnell, 2510 Alder Street, Philadelphia, PA 19133
Diane Shea, Organizing Arts, 4215 1/2 Idaho St, San Diego, CA 92104.

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SAN DIEGO, CA — A friend and I have a great thing going, giving out Steps. We go in the crack district and say, 'Are you looking?’ This is what they ask when some one is looking for crack. So we say it to them and they say ‘Yea man, whatcha got?’ and we say, ‘Jesus’ and give them a Peace Pilgrim Steps booklet and go on our way, laughing and praising the Lord. Allalula! — Joy St. Cloud.

*****

HOLLAND — Six of us arc going on a two month Peace Walk in prayer for all people in Rwanda. eace Pilgrim’s wisdom is so simple and fully experienced and that makes it so convincing.

*****

NEW YORK CITY — What better gift than the Peace Pilgrim’s message to those we care for?

*****
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