There is always one singer that your wife would have left you for if only he would have asked; that singer is always nobler, more poetical, more talented than you ever could be. For me that singer was Phil Ochs and the girl is a freckle-faced, strawberry-headed, the-world-is-here-for-me-to-fix girl named Patty Steenberg. It's easy to understand her preference for Phil Ochs. Sometimes when I listen to Phil's songs today (forty years after he wrote them) hot tears stream down my face. They are not tears for Phil but for the vivid hope his songs evoke that a better world is possible. They are tears for the naivete of youth and the kind of world we have today. We seem to have learned very little. The Iraq war has replaced the contra wars in Nicaragua, and Nicaragua followed Pinochet and Chile. The list of man's inhumanity to man in just a few centuries of New World settlement has been a long one founded on genocidal wars, slavery and ethnic cleansings. All that ever seems to change are the participants in the human folly.

They are tears born in hope.

To Patty Steenberg who has been my comrade in arms in all the ways that matter.

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