Over 40 years ago I met a group of people when I became an education activist -- read "real reformer" -- in the community I taught in and in the UFT. A bunch of us have remained friends over these years. Losing one of the core members is a big blow. So today's (and tomorrow's) wake for Gene Prisco is a very sad affair. Our little group is heading over this afternoon and it is still hard to believe.
How to even begin to describe the levels of inspiration that Gene and Loretta provided? Committed educators, representative of the best of NYC and it's radical traditions, wonderful friends offering help and comfort to those around them, people full of humor and the life force... Farewell, brother: you lit the path before us and made it a little easier to go forward... Michael Fiorillo
It was over 10 years ago when I had a party at my house, inviting the 70s group and a newer group of people I met though Ed Notes -- people like Michael and John Lawhead -- and later on, Jeff Kaufman and James Eterno and Lisa North and Gloria Brandman --- the old guard and the newer guard bonded very easily -- with many of the same views -- and that is what made the formation of ICE feasible. And since Gene had already retired, it gave him a forum and an opportunity to introduce his strong voice to a larger audience.
It was hard to not talk about Gene and Loretta though I pretty much kept saying, "oy vey." I am truly devoid of eloquence. Unfortunately I can't make the funeral on Tuesday morning as I have an important appointment with my dentist to fix a broken tooth.
Gene's wake will be today and tomorrow at Harmon's funeral home on Forest Ave in Staten Island from 4-7.
Purely due to coincidence, since we ordered the tickets a long time ago, last night 5 of us went out to see Garrison Keillor's "Prairie Home Companion" at Town Hall, the first of 4 New York live radio performances. (It will be rebroadcast today at 11 AM on NPR 820am radio. I recommend going to this if you can get tickets.)
We enjoyed 2 hours of laughter and a fine meal at a Thai place on 8th Ave off 42nd St. Now back to reality.
If you want some eloquence, here are some great comments at the ICE blog.