Last summer the Woodstock chapter of Veterans for Peace and A Jewish Voice for Peace hosted a benefit for the ‘2018 Freedom Flotilla for Gaza.’ An ex member of the IDF and one of the founders of Combatants for Peace, and a Hebrew Scholar from CCNY were the key note speakers. I started my routine as soon as I got there: staring at the people in the room. I could not ignore the age demographic. Most of us were between 60-90+ years old; long time activists, still wanting to challenge and shake up the world. There was an unspoken battle cry in the air that night, asking for younger voices to take up the call to action. It was clear – we will not be around forever. I wanted to get closer to the elders, and with my camera look more deeply into their faces and their lives.
Stella was my early inspiration. What a jewel. She arrives in the spring from the west coast when my daffodils pop up, and is a popular member of this community. Gaining an audience with Stella is not easy, you have to get in line. She’s alive, full of humor, sass, wisdom, and a background in activism that goes back to the Civil Rights movement and union organizing. She’s not stopping any time soon. I’m in the process of transcribing an interview my husband Jim and I did with her this autumn, and will eventually share some of her words.