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LOST JOURNALS from the GREAT PEACE MARCH
Page Seven

PART TWO

APRIL 28

Who is THIS new person joining our group of singers, walking with us all morning, warbling with the best of our songbirds? What, she's challenging me to a contest? "I bet I know more songs than you do." I warn her that I know every song ever written. OK, off we go to walk apart. We sing songs in categories: who knows more songs about the sun or the moon, about flowers, animals, work or play, about states, about countries... She's got me! In almost every category she beats me. How far is it to the next rest stop! Please, let the porta-potties rescue me! Not that I have to go, but I'm seeing stars 'cause I just can't think of another song about stars! "Stars Fell on Alabama?" She's done that one already. "Are the Stars Out Tonight?" No good, she says - the name of that song is "I Only Have Eyes For You." I strain for every song I ever knew, but I can hardly hold my own with this gal.

Not only this musical challenge, but a further provocation, a playful come-on flashes from her eyes. Gazing into them I realize I am no longer Orlando, Prospero, Orsino, but Benedict. Beatrice has just entered my life!

She Sings and Loves Shakespeare!

APRIL 29

Beatrice and I walk together today crooning a bunch of old songs. And we read poetry, the Shakespeare Sonnets! Yes, it looks like yesterday, in the Utah desert, just a few days after Shakespeare's birthday, I met my match.

I'm carrying with me today letters from forty high school students in Cupertino. We read these too, Beatrice and I (she is the mail lady after all). At a lunch stop with a little grass on a fine warm day we're absorbed in these student letters so touching and amusing. We're reading them out loud into my tape recorder when smack in the middle a cry goes up. It freezes every Marcher in place. Stunned! Horrified! A nuclear meltdown in Kiev - a big, serious, terrible accident! All Marchers in prayers and tears the rest of the day.


APRIL 30

Rest day in Beaver, Utah. I manage to get a shower in town; it costs me $2.50. And I even get my laundry done, thanks to Freda and Marilee. Both shower and laundry, the two rarest Peace March phenomena, on one day!

After brunch an excellent meeting of radio people. We are still hoping to broadcast again. How briefly we were on the air! But it's a good meeting with a large turnout and we read two radio skits written by Ralph Vrana.

Ralph

The Shakespeare Society meets this hot afternoon in the shade of the Library Bus. We read Act III of Twelfth Night. To Jim Leikam, the teacher of those Cupertino high school students, I write a long letter reflecting on the Chernobyl disaster, inquiring about its effect on his students. Also letters to my father and two others back home. Excellent day but for the radioactive cloud of yesterday.