[I composed the second song your hear, “Song For My Father”,
in '81 or '82, and I sang it for my father that Father's Day
in the Mt. Diablo Unitarian Universalist Church,
Walnut Creek, California.]

In Celebration of his Life

The Drummer
strikes the drum
a heartbeat sound
walks and chants the call for peace
na mu myo ho ren ge kyo.

Each year the drum
more frayed, more patched
sounds a little softer –
no less determined
                              a whisper

Each year the chant
more quavering
sounds a thinner tone –
no less compelling
                              a whisper

Each year the step
more halt
walks a little slower –
no less committed
                              a whisper

The drum is silent now
except as it echoes
in the ears of those
who heard with him
a different drummer

© 2000 Carolyn S. Scarr
Posted:  Thu, 17 Feb 2000 00:40:31 EST
Reprinted by permission

        "I can visualize Abe as he stands before the Pearly Gates of Heaven. Rather than begging to get in, he is beating his Buddhist drum while protesting heaven's policy of discriminating against sinners and non-believers."
               –Arne Westerback in a tribute to my father in the March 2K Peace
               Gazette of the Mt. Diablo Peace Center (Website ~ E-mail)

         Thank you for visiting my father's Page, and for your patience in letting the above photo load. As I have the time I will write of the beautiful memorial service that paid tribute to his life.
          And if you have not done so already you may peruse the little intro I wrote on my folks' Life & Times for a celebration sponsored by the Mt. Diablo Peace Center a little while back.

There was a beautiful Buddhist ceremony for Abraham Sunday, March 19 at 10:00 am at the Nyoshinji Temple 2631 Appian Way in Pinole. I'll have a page on that as soon as I am able.

          Regarding the photograph: It is from the front page of the Oakland (California) Tribune and the headline read: "War Weary", an apt description of the last year or so of his life.
          It was January 17, 1992, a year and a day after Bush launched his "thousand points of light" on the people of Iraq. My father was praying in front of the Concord Naval Weapons Station, wearing that Martin Luther King, Jr. button on his beret marking the birthday, January 15, of the Rev. King. The irony was not lost on Abe. Today a U.N. health organization's figures tell us that between five and six thousand children die each month as a direct result of our destruction of the Iraqi infrastructure.
          When I first wrote this, I apologized for the poor quality of the photo. Upon reflection, the surrounding captions and text lend power to the picture. And my father was not glossy – he was wrinkled, creased, had texture. I do not apologize for the way he looked to the world. He was an Old Testament prophet in a New World. There are those whose mission is to comfort the afflicted; his was to afflict the comfortable.
          As I write this new text, I have found the photo, taken by Tribune staff photographer, Gary Reyes. You may view it by clicking on: Abe, and it's companion by clicking on Vigi.
          Please, my friends, work for the lifting of sanctions against Iraq, if for no other reason than the memory of my father who lived his life that we may study and wage war no more.

          As I write this, this morning's Contra Costa Times published a wonderful article on my father's life. You may read Joan Morris on Abe.

          I will be building this Website as I am able. Please keep my father alive in your spirit and in your words and in your deeds and the power of his life will remain undiminished.

I invite you to add your thoughts to our Guestbook by clicking on the “quill” below:

You may go to the Guestbook by clicking on the “book” below: