I'M SO SAD ABOUT MIMI'S DEATH.
CORAGGIO TO THE BAEZ FAMILY.
Mimi touched lives by being an authentic and dedicated person. She helped people with her mere presence, as was brought home to me one day last summer, while I was driving on Mt Tam and passed a group of people picking berries on the side of the road. My husband and I had gotten lost and were wandering through neighborhoods I never knew existed. But, as one who considers being lost a means to being found, I was enjoying the ride, knowing from past experience that these lost episodes often reveal important life reminders. To my great good fortune, I found multiple reminders in the presence of the roadside berry pickers. In an instant this ordinary scene was infused with meaning when I recognized among them two extraordinary people I have admired and whose contributions have enriched the lives of many. Moments after we passed them and it registered who I had seen, I said to my husband with surpass, wow that was Joan Baez and her sister Mimi Farina picking berries with friends. Mimi has cancer I said to my husband after seeing them. Because Joan and Mimi are people that marked my youth with their ideals and I had learned just the week before that my sister, Mimi’s age, had been diagnosed with cancer seeing them felt very significant, and I immediately began to reflect on the meaning of the experience. In the aftermath of hearing that my sister had cancer I had been feeling the need for a deeper life perspective, ripe to be reminded of what really matters. I struggle, as many people do, to find my place and make a mark in the world, and yet, in the light of my sister’s possible early death all that seemed insignificant. Sighting these two famous sisters enjoying the simple pleasure of companionship touched me deeply. I realized that these women, whom I admired and who had accomplished so much in their lives, were perhaps grappling with many of the same things I was grappling with, and my heart went out to them. I also magically felt some heart of their spirit move in me, reminding me in the end we are all the same, famous and not so famous alike. We all seek to love and be loved, to know the joy of companionship, the treasure of family and friends, the rewards of work that has purpose. And even more than what we achieve, it is who we are and how true we are to ourselves that makes life meaningful. We are all special, the extraordinary are ordinary, the ordinary extraordinary. We never know how or when or why we might significantly touch the life of another. And, there are gifts we cannot yet imagine even in life’s most sad and challenging times. I was saddened to learn of Mimi’s death and her passing brought back to mind the gifts I had received from her spirit that lost day on the mountain. Angles work in mysterious and often anonymous ways, and I have no doubt Mimi Farina was an angel, able to draw those in need to her presence, even the random stranger passing by, creating simple opportunities for healing to occur.
A final reminder she has given me, don't wait, do what you want to do now, tell people that you love that you love them today, write that letter of thanks. And so I thank Mimi for living her true self, for her healing ways, for her music that made being lost a little easier to bear. May her memory, the inspiration of her work, and the ideal of her life live forever.
My very sincere condolences to her family and dear friends, may you find peace and comfort with one another in this time of grieving.
I grew up on Mimi and Joan. I worshipped them and they defined my lifestyle and the rich culture they gave me is the best part of my upbringing. I just heard the news today that she died. I met her once in 1979 and fed her a sandwich after her outside concert performance at Humboldt State University. Her final song was "Bright bright sunny day". That is what she was. Part of me dies with that beautiful lady. Her life lives on in the beautiful contribution she made. My condolensces to the family. I don't know what she passed away from but she is missed and gone too soon.
Just three days after Grace Cathedral was filled with music and laughter and tears and memories. In remembering Mimi from the vantage point of one who had the fortune of working with her, (I was both a volunteer and staff person at B&R from 1979-83) I would say that she raised hospitiality to a spiritual discipline. I am thinking about the thank you letters she wrote and had the staff write after an event. I remember the first one I received as a volunteer. There was her signature along with the signatures of the rest of the staff. A wave of being someone special then traveled through my body. Then later as a staff person, after whatever event B&R put on; whether it was the Festival of Music or a Performer Thank -You Party, Mimi had us all write thank you letters to the performers, the beverage crew, the caterers. It was something to receive a thank you letter from Bread & Roses.
As memories of performances come to mind; The Roundhouse in London, 1970; with Carol McComb at the Boarding House in San Francisco, '73(?); to my own Berkeley Coffeehouse, Sounds A'Musing, in 1980; to singing with Joan at the Greek, I now turn to ask what is one to do to honor such a life? The answer that I received in walking the labyrinth outside of Grace Cathedral before the service was twofold. We honor someone we love and lose by taking some action, by re-dedicating ourselves to our treasured heart; and secondly "dance the turns."
Thank-you Mimi, you made us feel special.
The Embler Family
Farewell to a great lady for a little while. That it is only temporary, she indicated in a conversation with her sister. We thank this sister for sharing that conversation at the memorial at Grace Cathedral. To her entire family, partner, friends and loved ones, we say, keep peace in your hearts. She is only blazing the way once again. To Mr. and Mrs. Baez, you are truly extraordinary parents ... the evidence is in your extraordinary daughters ... all three of them.
With much sympathy, love and appreciation.
The Embler family (from South Carolina and Georgia)
Corrina Cop Rain McFarlane
Yesterday I went to Grace Cathedral in San Francisco for Mimi's. I love gothic cathedrals and have taken this one as my own, my 'home' one, swinging by there whenever I have the chance. I can make Grace my home because I even happily embrace their politics, with their open admission on their church flyers that the history of the church is not a pretty one (and this goes into various specifics of horror and injustice meted out in the name of God) ..... This human frame soars in that noble architecture, and Grace I get to go to without ambivalence! So even if I have limited time I can stop long enough to at least walk the labyrinth, of which they have two, one inside and one outside. And that's what I did last week. I had just come from dancing Paneurhythmy all morning in Berkeley and I was feeling 'high as a kite' . Perhaps that had something to do with why the verger stepped towards me as I exited the labyrinth. Had I walked before? Yes, many times, and even formally brought a group to walk once. So we talked and he told me about Mimi Fariña's upcoming memorial service. I had not heard of her death and only knew of her anyway through Joan Baez' autobiography. He said Jackson Browne would come and Holly Near and, as we spoke, I began to tune into the community this would represent. I went back for the service.
This happened just days after a 3-day event for my spouse's half-century and, the first sense that struck me was that this coming-together of kindred spirits felt like the coming together we had just had at home in terms of heart community only magnified a thousand fold. We sat, tightly packed together in pews, glad of the closeness; no strangers these. More like old acquaintances catching up; effortless connecting. A gothic cathedral full of people who have been impassioned by many of the same issues over the course of 2, 3, 4, 5 decades: civil rights movement, Vietnam war resistance, nuclear disarmament, ecological, social justice issues..... Mimi Fariña founded 'Bread & Roses' for the dispossessed, the lost and forgotten of society. professional musicians perform in institutions Those that gravitate towards this are themselves re-membered.
Boz Scaggs, who sang 'My Funny Valentine' at the service, said Bread & Roses gave professional musicians a chance to give back, - The mission statement says, "Bread & Roses is dedicated to uplifting the human spirit by providing free, live, quality entertainment to people who live in institutions or are otherwise isolated in society." Recently, the organization celebrated its 25th anniversary in the San Francisco Opera House, and the event was a sell-out. Over the years, thousands of musicians have played a part in this program and for some it has become a way of life to 'tithe' in this manner. It was great to read that for Mimi, the founding of B & R was a profound turning point in her life: "It wasn't until Bread & Roses that I felt I had come into my own, that I was finally doing exactly what I was meant to do." We need to hear and share these stories of personal fulfillment and profound examples of rightlivelihood.
Bread & Roses is taken from an early 20th century poem by John Oppenheim:
"Our lives shall not be sweated
From birth until life closes.
Hearts starve as well as bodies;
give us bread but gives us roses"
Joan Baez senior (the mother) and Joan Baez the famous, took the pulpit for the 4th eulogy. Mimi is out-lived by both her parents, both Quakers, her father Mexican and her mother English. I knew about this heritage but it was still a surprise when their mother began to speak in her very English accent, thanking and acknowledging, setting the record straight that Mimi didn't actually conceive the idea for B & R but that she was the one that took off with it like a rocket! Then Joan Baez took the stand and talked about her slow realization of Mimi's stature in the world, of how Mimi had remained in her eyes as her kid sister, and how that only in these last two years did she come to see how the world saw Mimi, and how she had grown a whole new appreciation for this sister of hers, a funny thing about families and family dynamics, these die-hard perceptions of each other based on the long-withered past.... I was also thrilled to hear her describe that they got help to do a home funeral from a group called 'Final Passages'. They did everything themselves including delivering Mimi's body in the family truck when the time came.
Jackson Browne's original composition was breath-taking and, a special bit of magic for me, the refrain referred to the 'Golden Glow', a term for a reality that has been much on my mind of late... Oh the acoustics in a gothic cathedral! And I always thought these glorious spaces were wasted in dulled-down-dumbed-down-sit-down- while admonitions and thinly veiled threats rain-down....... But this: Judy Collins, Holly Near, Maria Muldaur; what voices in such a space, and the acoustic guitar, and the grand piano, and the Celtic harp. And finally, the last piece of this unforgettable memorial was Mimi's laughter on tape, already described as covering at least two octaves, it was beautifully infectious and sent waves and ripples of laughter through the gathered 'mourners', and went on long enough to start everybody off again 3 or 4 times. And lastly, an open reception on the plaza outside. I quickly drank one glass of red wine (communion) and headed up the three steep San Francisco blocks to my car suddenly engulfed in a release of intense crying. But I was happy and it was a grand occasion and that was a gothic cathedral by the people for the people of the people...
Worth a mention that I had decided that the cost of the memorial service was a parking ticket since all the slots were limited to two hours and I knew I would be gone for 3, but there was my windscreen with only wipers for decoration!
Corrina Cop Rain McFarlane, August 9, 2001
We had been away on abusiness trip for the last two weeks of July. This evening, my daughter mentioned that she thought she saw an obituary for Mimi Farina in People Magazine. I had just finished reading the recent biography (Positively Fourth Street) of the early days of the folk scene in Greenwich Village and had passed it on to my daughter. The record jacket for Reflections in a Crystal Wind was still lying next to the turntable where I had left it before our trip -- Mimi's young face peering out from behind that ridiculous, rococco, gilt frame as if to say: "I'm really here after all!"
That record has been played so long it looks like a mesh tea strainer. I took a great deal of inspiration from her playing on all of her recordings, and her indomitable spirit. Indeed, as I write this, it comes to mind that "she's still here after all!" Deepest sympathy to her family and friends. Her spirit, music and work will live forever.
I attended the memorial services for Mimi and was deeply moved.I hope there will be tv special concerning her and Bread and Roses.Perhaps Channel 9 could undertake such a project. I am sure people around the world appreciate such a show. Thank you,
I am deeply sorry for your loss. Mimi was one great lady and I heard her singing since 1966. I will keep you in my thoughts.
Martha Schecter Forsyth
"But if, somehow, you could pack up your sorrows and give them all to me, you would lose them, I know how to use them, give them all to me!"
So well I still remember the day when that song was new, and I had just stopped by to say hello to Mimi and Richard, and he excitedly sang me their newest song (words by Pauline).
I remember, too, the wonderful fruit salad you made one day, having scrounged some odds and ends and some nearly-gone-by fruit (cherries, I remember particularly) from the little grocery store next to your house on Putnam Ave. (#11, wasn't it?) in Cambridge.
Mimi, I remember when Richard died, all I could think of for you was a deep red rose. And I see that roses - like the name, "Bread And Roses" - are always used around you now.
There are many memories, and I'm sure they will keep coming. I have been out of touch with "this part of my world" lately and was not even aware that Mimi was sick, so it was quite a sad shock to receive the news of her death.
But I remain convinced that dying is not the worst thing that can happen to a person. Nor is it the most important. Much more important is that they lived, and that our lives touched.
Joan, Pauline, Joan Sr. and Albert - I am thinking of you with the greatest love.
Martha (Schecter) Forsyth
Whenever I'm depressed by some horror in the world and think humankind was a blunder of the Great Spirit, I'm forced to think of people like Mimi Farina and I can keep on keeping on.
Through our organization, Stop Prisoner Rape, Inc, which Mimi joined in 1984, she touched untold tens if not hundreds of thousands of survivors all over the country. She was there for us when we really needed someone like her in the early days of our group effort to stop this barbarism.
I weep with all of you that we will no longer see her in the flesh. But I'm sure you will agree Mimi will be with us in spirit forever.
As for you, Mimi, I hope you're having fun skateboarding around Valhalla with Richard, wearing outrageous outfits, dining on delicious delicasies,and entertaining the angels and other shut-ins when you feel like it. But don't forget us, please. Humankind needs a quantum leap in consciousness. Put in a good word for us with the Goddess. Please, Mimi.
We very much were moved by the Memorial Celebration and Tribute to Mimi at Grace Cathedral. What a wonderful event. It was another reason why her work and vision will continue. We contribute some dollars, hope to do more, and look to volunteer to help on the mundane and nonmusical tasks. Thanks to all of those who sponsored the event. And I never will be able to listen to all those versions of "My Funny Valentine" by Chet Baker without thinking of Mimi. Boz Scaggs has made it HIS and MIMI's song forever, not Chet's. What a glorious day.
I was privileged to attend Mimi's memorial service at Grace Cathedral yesterday. It made me think about my own criteria for living a worthy life, and it made me a better person to have attended. Mimi Fariña was an inspirational and inspired person who found her life's calling in remembering the people society has thrown away and bringing them love through the healing power of music.
My sympathies to Mimi's family, many friends, and her Bread & Roses coworkers, and my appreciation for an elegant service and a lovely reception.
I have written up my memories of the service and would be happy to email it to those who couldn't attend; send your request to me at <firstname.lastname@example.org<.
** Ellen Skagerberg **
I grew up in the Bay Area, listening to Dylan, Baez, and Richard and Mimi Farina. I taught myself, my sister, and my friends the harmonies of the songs in their album, and have been singing Pack Up Your Sorrows to my children for 18 years... Sweet Sir Galahad made me happy, because I knew it meant Mimi had someone again. Once, I was privileged to walk with Joan in an antiwar march on the Peninsula, from Stanford or Foothill, I don't remember which. I read everybody's books, and have admired Mimi all these years. She was a walking beam of light, and she did so much good. I am so sorry she is gone, and extend my deepest sympathies to her family and friends.
Dear Pauline and Joan: I share your grief over your sister's death. Your family has touched my life in many ways.
Mimi's light is shining bright!
The following is an article I've submitted for publication in the November issue of Acoustic Guitar Magazine.
By Rick Turner
The world got a little colder and quieter on July 18 of this year when we lost Mimi Farina¹s warm spirit, clear voice, innovative guitar playing, and unforgettable laugh to cancer, a battle she had fought valiantly for over a year and a half. Mimi packed more good work into her fifty six years than most of us would be able to do in two lifetimes, and she never stopped making life a bit better for many thousands of people who either heard her music or were the beneficiaries of ³Bread and Roses², the Mill Valley, California non-profit organization she founded in 1974.
Mimi first gained fame working in a musical duo with her husband, Richard Farina, who was one of the primary bridges between 1950¹s beatnik literary Bohemia and the folk-rock pioneers of the 1960¹s. The combination of Richard Farina¹s Celtic/Cuban rhythmic dulcimer playing and Mimi¹s sophisticated and equally driving guitar parts set the stage for subsequent waves of musicians who would blend folk sensitivity with rock¹s harder edge, allowing folk to advance into more electric times than were represented by ³Darling Cory² or ³Tom Dooley.² While Richard may have garnered a bit more attention at the time for his swirling steam of consciousness lyrics, it was Mimi¹s musicianship that really made the duo click. A listen back to the two albums they recorded for Vanguard Records, Reflections in a Crystal Wind and Celebrations for a Gray Day, reveals a fully formed and very original guitar style quite advanced for the mid 1960¹s. There were few players in the folk scene of that time able to combine Mimi¹s melodic and harmonic work with her wonderful sense of rhythmic attack. Years of training as a dancer put the beat in her soul, and it all came out in her guitar and vocal work.
In 1966 during a party celebrating both Mimi¹s 21st birthday and the release of Richard¹s book, Been Down So Long it Looks Like Up to Me, Richard was killed in a freak motorcycle accident. With the loss of Richard, Mimi turned a portion of her creative attention away from performing live music, eventually finding greater fulfillment more behind the scenes of the music business. She continued occasionally to tour, and in 1971 recorded a duo album Take Heart for A&M with Tom Jans followed in 1986 by a self-descriptive work Solo for Rounder Records. From 1973 to 1993 she toured sporadically often accompanied by former Youngbloods guitarist and keyboard player Lowell ³Banana² Levinger
In 1972 Mimi attended a performance by B. B. King at Sing Sing Prison in New York. This concert would provide the inspiration that would direct the remainder of her life for it was there that she recognized the healing power of music at work in a population of people who were cut off from society. A conversation with her cousin Skipper Henderson a couple of years after that concert mobilized Mimi to found ³Bread and Roses², an organization dedicated to bringing the human touch of live entertainment to anybody stuck behind walls or bars, unable to seek the artistic and spiritual nourishment brought by performers. Mimi then tirelessly dedicated most of her next twenty five years to the task of inventing, running, and raising funds for the first entertainment booking agency dedicated to bringing free music, dance, and other performing arts to the shut-ins, the shut-aways, and the marginalized people forgotten by the increasingly corporate entertainment industry. Bread and Roses would eventually grow from a few people working around a coffee table in Mimi¹s living room into a full-fledged non-profit with a full time staff of six who to this day coordinate hundreds of volunteers and performers. Bread and Roses puts on over 500 shows a year in the San Francisco Bay Area to audiences of as few as half a dozen or as many as several hundreds. Though Bread and Roses never went ³national², it being Mimi¹s belief that such work is best organized and accomplished within local communities, the organization did publish a kind of ³do it yourself² guide to help others do the same kind of needed work Mimi set out to do.
In the 1970¹s Mimi organized yearly folk festivals held at the Greek Theater in Berkeley to raise funds for her struggling organization. The range of talented musicians who performed reads like ten years of Acoustic Guitar covers, and helped to focus attention on the daily work being done by Bread and Roses volunteers at rest homes, halfway houses, hospitals, and prisons. A couple of bad years of money losing benefits nearly sunk the organization, but Mimi rolled with it, and devoted herself to learning new ways to raise funds to keep the work alive and growing. It is now hard to imagine the Bay Area without the Bread and Roses compassionate presence; literally thousands of lives have been touched and changed by Mimi¹s work.
Though she could project a kind of regal ³Mother Teresa² image, possessing a dignified public bearing when she needed it, Mimi could be incredibly silly, wickedly funny, and hilariously self deprecating. Her friends and family will remember her as much for her outbursts of unrestrained laughter as for the great work she did. That sense of humor was honed to a sharp edge in the late 1960s when she found friendship and companionship at ³The Committee², a comedy troupe/club from which came such comics and writers as Rob Reiner, Carl Gottlieb, Howard Hesseman, and Leigh French. One of the funniest stories Mimi told on herself was about the time she had been hanging out at the Committee¹s club in San Francisco. Manager/director Alan Meyerson liked Mimi, and offered her a job. She got very nervous wondering if she could cut it as a waitress, making change and threading dollar bills through her fingers and stuffing them in her bra while simultaneously navigating a crowded club with trays of drinks. She spent a sleepless night worrying about the job, only to find out the next day that Meyerson, also the group¹s director, had actually asked her to join the comedy troupe as a performer!
On August 7 of this year, over two thousand of Mimi¹s fans, friends, and family members gathered at San Francisco¹s Grace Cathedral for what might be best described as a ³Bon Voyage² party. The memorial service started with Mimi¹s recording of Quiet Joys of Brotherhood written by Richard Farina, and it ended with a cassette tape of Mimi laughing, egged on by her sister. That was Mimi¹s life: a full range of emotions and actions from quiet reflection, fine artistic expression, dedicated public service, but never forgetful of the healing sound of music and laughter. What has stayed with me since the Grace Cathedral service is the idea that we should all strive to leave the world a better place than it would be without our having been here. Mimi did; so can we all.
To read more about Mimi Farina and the lives that swirled around her in her early years pick up a copy David Hadju¹s new book, ³Positively Fourth St.², published by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. To learn more about Mimi¹s work with Bread and Roses, log onto www.breadandroses.com . Donations in Mimi¹s memory can be sent to: Bread & Roses, 233 Tamalpais Drive, Suite 100, Corte Madera, CA, 94925-1415 Or, for one of the best ways to honor Mimi¹s life, go play music for someone who can¹t get out, someone who needs the healing power of music in their life.
Your organizational skills and your ability to pull off the impossible were legendary. Thanks for bringing the gift of music to those who are always in danger of being forgotten. These skills will serve you well in your new home.
To touch one soul, to lift one spirit, to bring joy to one person - this is the work of an angel on earth.
To have truly made a difference for so many people for so many years, Mimi, you have surely earned the place you hold now - high above ... and forever in our hearts.
Peace To You, Lady ... and thank you.
It was a beautiful day. Every cell in my body was transported in celebration of Mimi's life today. After the memorial at Grace Cathedral, I took a hike in Mt. Tam to extend the moments. The sun was shining warm and bright and I remembered Mimi's light. The breeze was gentle and constant and reminded me of her ability to create change. The majestic redwoods helped me to remember the power of her conviction in belief that the arts can heal, inspire and comfort.
Mimi's spirit remains in my heart. My condolence, to all who love her. Thank you for helping me to "let go" of her physical presence and forever embrace her grace and vision. My gratitude to the beautiful spirits at Bread & Roses. While Mimi has shared her vision, you have painted and created, matted, framed and provided art in all its splendor. Paint on and keep me in your color pallet. - elaine
I would like to know the name of the musical piece played at the beginning of the memorial today. I believe it was Holly Near, and it had a Celtic quality. She sang of a stallion and mare. I could not see if this was live or a recording. Can anyone identify this music/ Thank you.
Martin & Lisa Fierro
The creator has a master plan. My Wife Lisa and I are both glad that Mimi was a part of that plan. We loved her and Paul with all our hearts. Mimi will live on forever in our souls. What an inspiration she is to work hard and really live out your dreams in life.
Love Martin, Lisa & little Jessica Fierro
W. W. Smith
Mimi Fariña was an exemplar of the very best in humanity, one of the few icons of her generation who was *not* a phoney. Her voice and her spirit will both be missed, and remembered.
Richard said it best--naturally. From BEEN DOWN SO LONG, Gnossos's epitaph for Heffalump, paraphrased:
This is Mimi, coming back.
Maybe, only I doubt it,
the ashes of her tinted Innocence
will anoint us all.
How lucky we were to have you among us for all too brief a time. You have touched so many lives. Rest, sing, play, enjoy those you are now able to be with again, and be there to greet those who will join you. Goodbye, for now.
Constance (Connie) Amend
Our prayers and sympathies go out to Mimi's family. While we can know that Mimi herself is now at peace after a valiant struggle, the great void her physical absence leaves in the lives of so many is very real. It is strange that while I have lived in the Bay Area for 25 years, it was through my work with a Scottish folk singer that I became aware of Bread and Roses. he knew about it in Scotland! I am now a whole-hearted supporter. Love and peace to you all.
I'm posting this to ask a question. Have you noticed that there are individuals who can look at human beings deep inside, and in one glance? Individuals who can feel love for a fellow human being regardless of who the person is aren't that many. We know that the saints for instance are some of them, but in every line of life here and there and everywhere around the world you can meet or find them. They are very rare. But they sure are around and often just get mistaken for a kind person :)
Mary Cecilia Bliss
I have been reading the new biography of Mimi, Joan, Richard and Bob. I have felt connected to especialy Mimi via the book, her music and I am also battling cancer. I wish to entend my sympathy to her family at this time. You are in thoughts and prayers.
I'm of a generation much younger than most of Mimi's fans, and only learned of Mimi's life after reading David Hadju's book last month. I was so absorbed by it, and emerged from the pages totally fascinated by Mimi Baez Farina. I had already been a "follower" of Joan's, but learning about Mimi was a wonderful new story. Then just days after finishing the book, I learned that she was dying. It was amazing to become so enamored with the idea of this woman's life, and to learn of its painfully too-soon ending, all in the matter of a few weeks - but that's how powerful her life's story felt to me. Some people touch the lives of others deeply without ever knowing or even seeing them.
Jon Hammond *member Local 6 and 802 Musicians Union, ASCAP Artist, past Bread and Roses bandleader/performer here...
I was saddened to hear about Mimi's passing recently, and so as a bandleader who has played many shows for B&R at homeless shelters and clinics as well as for the HAI (Hospital Audiences Incorporated) and Musicians Performance Trust Fund gigs in Laguna Honda Hospital and many other hospitals, senior residences and public sector gigs...I have a few thoughts I would like very much to add.
The original spirit and intention of Mimi's Bread and Roses, now that she's no longer around to guide it, should be protected as much as possible somehow from the tendancies of many well funded not-for-profits, of the pit falls of what can happen when there are so many benefactors and patrons. I have seen it many times, being involved in the world of philanthropy.
I would like to call attention to the fine example of the HAI organisation in New York, who have taken some of there funding and bought vehicles, busses and vans, to not only bring the disabled audiences out to the various venues to enjoy the shows, but ALSO to pick up the performers and their heavy musical gear to assist them in successfully doing the shows that the organisation has built its reputation on.
Being a bandleader and full time working musician, I know that many pro musicians would like to play more shows in the public sector, but when it requires picking up additional expenses above and beyond the donation of their services, it is not an attractive proposition for many of the musicians I would normally enlist. The downside of this, is that then the quality of the performers and performances goes down, because then many well-intentioned amatuers then go out and do the shows.
I sincerely hope that the original spirit that Mimi instilled in Bread and Roses will conitinue and not stray.
Looking forward to attending her memorial service at Grace Cathedral on Aug. 7th.
I invite you all to visit my homepage(s):
thank you, Mimi, for your life.
Frank Antonio Bird
What I have to say is probably a little different. I was at a crossroads in my life in 1978, both personally and artistically. I put "Reflections in a Crystal Wind," something I hadn't listened to in years, on the record player, and I thought maybe it would be good to contact this woman. The poetry, the melody, the artistic drive of Mimi and Richard's brief creative collaboration spoke to me. It was a direction I wanted to take as well.
I eventually talked with Mimi on the telephone, and she invited me to check out the music scene in the Bay area. It was the first time I traveled west, and I sort of fell in love with mountains and tidepools. Life has strange turns. I later moved to southern California-I guess I have to say that Mimi made a Californian out of me-in hopes of pursuing my interests in folk music in graduate school (UCLA), or becoming a Hollywood writer, neither of which panned out. I've concluded that not panning out is often part of being a Californian. But there are consolations-things like Yosemite granite and telemark skiing.
In the meantime, I've had a glimpse of the "other side"-in experiences following the death of my father. I can assure writer Deborah above that the afterlife is no "if". "The heart does go on," as they say in the Titanic song. Don't expect any details, but a "land of poets bright," as Joan once penned in her song to Mimi, is nice to think about.
Vicki L Berg
What to say that hasn't already been so eloquently stated. I was an office volunteer for six years until I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1999. I was acutely aware of her struggle & my thoughts were with her often during this difficult time. She made such a dramatic difference in the lives of so many thousands of people, young and older by making her vision a reality. The results of her hard work & dedication are wonderful memories in the lives of the many people she touched. My sincerest wishes to her family, close friends & office staff. She changed many lives & her memory will be everlasting.
My heart goes out to you, Joan and Joan Sr....to all your family. I met Mimi in the 70's at a fancy reception for Cezar Chavez. Diamonds & Rust had just been released. Mimi bummed a cigarette from me and we chatted. I handed Joan 2 aspirin and water, as you had a headache. Such wonderful memories. Mimi was extraordinary. She lives on within our hearts and soul...she had lots of that!
I'm so sorry to hear MiMi was died, I hope she is singing well in heaven. Bye MiMi
Deborah A. Gracia
I just found out today that Mimi died. Her music and lifestyle has been a tribute to humanity in general. Her songs with Richard Farina have for so many years been committed to my memory and the lyrics and melodies will be in my heart forever.I am so personally saddened by her passing at such a young age.I weep to think that she is no longer in this world and can only hope desperately that there exists another one where she can be rejoined with her Richard forever.To Joan, her parents and family, I send my deepest sympathies. Her light in this world will not be forgotten by those of us still here, who remember her with gratitude for her good works and exquisite music."and I'll remember your hands encircling a bowl of moonstones, a lamp of childhood, a robe of roses, because your sorrows were still unborn."
When I heard about the loss of Mimi, I was listening to David Dye's World Cafe. He played music by her and Richard. It was so lovely. We lost a great humanitarian. Thank goodness she showed us how, so that we may continue her legacy
What better message of love than the life you lived, dear Mimi. We are all grateful, all of us touched by you. You made fully alive the motto given my family by my grandfather: "Sing and Rejoice!" Thank you, thank you.
"_ the best is lost- The answers quick and keen,the honest look,the laughter,the love,- They are gone. They are gone to feed the roses. Elegant and curled is the blossom. Fragrant is the Blossom. I know. But I do not approve. More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the world."
-Edna St. Vincent Millay
garth,deke,wes,bert, and austin
We are so saddened by the news but so blessed that we were able to share her glow, her passion, and her love for music. Her inspiration was as deep as her generosity and compassion.
She will be missed.
The House Jacks
Dear Mimi, family and friends,
Though I have never had the opportunity to have met you, I feel a great loss. I recently became aware of your presence at the strawberry festival this year and would like to help in any way I can to continue your work. I am a singer songwriter and owner of an entertainment agency in Northern California for the past 11 years. Please let me know how I can help Bread and Roses. God bless you Mimi for your dedication and love for humanity.
Towards the harmony
Mrs. Baez senior was very kind to me when I wrote to Joan in the '60's. It was with a great sense of loss that I heard of Mimi Farina's passing. Her music and activities showed great compassion and insight. The world has lost two amazing people with the deaths of Mimi and Dick Farina. My thoughts and prayers go out to her family.
In 1974 I answered an ad for a secretary position in Mill Valley. There, in a tiny 2nd floor office with one desk and one telephone was the new Bread & Roses office. For the next two years I was privileged to work with Mimi and her staff. The memories made then are cherished, and I know that the love goes on.
Jeanne McKie Yaudes
Thank you Mimi for all the beautiful music. So many tears. You touched my teenage years. You have been a gift of comfort so many times, Mimi
One of my most favourite tunes has always been..Great White Horse...I just posted it on our family site...a great loss in her passing to all.
I met Mimi only briefly during Bread & Roses with my sister, Lori, who knew her quite well.
She was a beautiful spirit, loved by many.
My prayers are with her family and friends.
Another angel we know by name.
with love, Joni Kearney
Very said to hear about the loss of Mimi. Have known about her since I was a child and was moved last week when I went into Virgin Megastores in London and put "Memories" on the listening post.. "The Quiet Joys Of Brotherhood" is spellbinding.
My thoughts are with you all.
Oh, Mimi...There will never be another like you. You were the most private and at the same time, the deepest person I have ever known. To you, Mimi, I say "thank you". Thank you for the opportunity to know you. I am so glad that you had the love there with you when you passed. To you, her family and partner, I offer my deepest condolences and sympathy. Mimi, I will always love you. I hope to see you again. Until then,
Susan King and I will forever remember listening to Mimi Farina at a small pub in Inverness in the late 60s. She was a remarkable person, a lovely singer, and an inspiration to us all.
Your vision has touched so many. Those "many" are touching others--spreading your goodness and light, love and devotion forever. Thank you for all you've done--I am grateful that I had the opportunity to know you--
thank you for sharing your beautiful being. I love and miss you!
Blessings to your beautiful family and loved ones,
Mimi's unselfish and loving vision not only brings music and entertainment to audiences in the bay area, but has also inspired people accross the country to share. She leaves a legacy of love, giving, and high productivity (hard work!) - truly and inspiration and a hero, who's life exemplified standards and qualities of the highest order. A very bright light has moved on, and wonderful memories and inspiration remain. A peaceful heart to all who love Mimi.
Michael, Frankie & Jess
Our love is with you.
I lost a hero last week. Thank you, Mimi, for your music and politics and the positive affect it has had on me, in my life. Rest in beautiful, musical peace.
Th Song "Pack up your Sorrows" has meant so much to me in my life. Rest in Peace SWEET MIMI, PEACE!
I loved the music of Mimi and Richard. Just 6 weeks ago I bought CD's of the music that I loved as a young woman...Mimi and Richard, Joan, Pete and the Weavers. Music with heart and meaning. Mimi will be forever loved and forever missed. I'm grateful that we were in the world at the same time. Thank you, Mimi, for the grace and love that you leave behind.
Mimi's life was very special and her legacy will continue in the wonderful work of Bread and Roses. For those whose lives are restricted, Bread and Roses is their creative window to the world.
Mimi touched thousands, I am but one, but that one touch was a unforgettable experience. I know the light that shone in her has lit a thousand other similar lights in the people she came in contact with, and the light continues. May we never let that light be extinguished!
Working so closely with Mimi was an enriching and challenging experience that bonded me to her forever. I understand a bit of the sacrifices she made for bringing such a service into the world. She was courageous and dynamic and a model for all of us who want to make a difference. I feel badly her life ended with such pain but to die being so loved and appreciated is an honor and tribute to her life's work and her beautiful soul. Oh, to leave such a legacy. I send you love, Mimi and comfort to all who grieve her death.