Image credit: Michael Isabell
Steve Schwartz is a longtime captain of the sloop Woody Guthrie. In this episode, he talks about Pete Seeger’s vision to bring people closer to the Hudson River as expressed through sailing. He tells the story of the sloops Clearwater and Woody Guthrie, both replicas of the working boats that once numbered in the thousands in the mid-Hudson region.
“Pete’s idea was to create an object that was so beautiful and magical and attractive that groups of people, diverse components of the community, would come together for the opportunity to sail on the boat for free,” he says. “Particularly people who don’t necessarily have the wherewithal to have their own boats, or the time that it takes to be able to keep a boat or ability to be a member of a yacht club.”
“He came up with this idea that the Woody would be so attractive that it would get a large group of people that were dedicated to keeping it together just so they could sail on it, and in the process would learn to work together as a cohesive unit, a functional unit, that can solve whatever problems issues and necessities owning a large wooden boat presents. Those are mighty I can tell you.”