Bill Moyers again tonight provided me with a wonderful conversation with Jane Goodall, you know the woman who lived with the chimpanzees in Tanzania, Africa and studied them and intrigued the world with the knowledge that these animals have a great deal in common with us humans. What a wonderful lady she is. She now devotes her time to going around the world talking to young people about the environment and what they can do to preserve it. They treat her like a rock star and really honor her where ever she goes.
She talked about the extinction of her beloved Chimpanzees and elephants as well and admits there have been extinctions like the dinosaurs and many other species that have gradually disappeared. But she maintains that the industrial revolution and our human impact on the planet has had a tremendously damaging effect. Many people say that it is just a trend and that it is just happening. But she believes each and every one of us can do something to stem the tide. And that these young people can do whatever they set their minds to just as she did. She was a girl - wrong sex--but her mother fostered her interest in animals and in science. Makes you wonder what each one of us can do as well.
Afterward, Wisconsin Public Television showed The Great American Songbook. It told our history during the middle of the century--the 30's. the 40's, and the 50's with examples of the music America produced then. Music started in this time with sheet music that was passed from one to another with singers like Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald. And then Edison invented the phonograph and a way of spreading the music to everyone. Soon we imported some writers from Europe and we had George M. Cohan, Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern and others writing musicals and music we all were humming like As Time Goes By, Night and Day, In the Mood---many many great songs. We were in WW II with all the big bands and singers and big productions out of Hollywood and the sad songs like Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas and White Cliffs of Dover, and Sentimental Journey. And Bill's and my favorite song, I Only Have Eyes For You.
When the local station came on with its spiel about donations to the station etc. this one volunteer said how much she had been enthralled by this music even though she had not been born yet. It gave me a new feeling that I have never felt before. I felt grateful for the fact that I had been there. That I had lived during all those times. Except for the 30's music, I could sing along and knew all the words to all of them. And I thought that so many times when we are older, we don't appreciate the fact that we lived through that history. We were there. And it was a privilege to have been there. We may envy the young, but we have something they will never have . Memories of a part of the history of this country.