Toshi-Aline Seeger, wife of folk giant, dies at 91


Toshi-Aline Seeger, wife of folk giant, dies at 91

They were a match since they met at a square dance in 1938.

Pete Seeger, later the composer of “Turn Turn Turn” and “If I Had a Hammer,” was a tall, gangly troubadour; Toshi-Aline Ohta was spirited, opinioned and 17, three years his junior. She said she would help him organize a collection of labor songs. “Now we know what volunteering can lead to,’’ she once quipped.

Her seven-decade union with Pete Seeger would offer joy but little respite. He would achieve fame as a folk singer in the late 1940s and early 1950s but be blacklisted for his activism. Starting in the 1960s, he would re-emerge as one of the greatest folk singers and protest icons of the century, winning some of the highest honors the country and the music industry can bestow.

Toshi Seeger, a filmmaker and music-festival pioneer who died Tuesday at 91, would spend years raising three children in a log cabin without electricity or running water, often by herself while he taught banjo or played gigs at faraway schools for months at a time.

His outspoken equal, she pushed hard for civil rights, against nuclear power and for cleaning the Hudson River, near their home in Beacon, N.Y. And she would lead the way for an annual festival for their environmental group, said their grandson, Tao Rodriguez-Seeger.

“Without my grandmother, there would be no Pete Seeger the way people understand it,” Rodriguez-Seeger told the Associated Press.

“Without Toshi, Pete would never have had the foundation and freedom to do the work that made him so legendary,” according to Sing Out, the magazine the Seegers founded more than six decades ago. Her husband attributed her steeliness to her upbringing and heritage.

“It’s a family joke that Toshi has always said, ‘If only Peter had chased women instead of chasing causes, I’d have an excuse to leave him,’ “ Pete Seeger told The Washington Post in 2008.

Throughout the years, Toshi Seeger was a grounding force for her in-demand husband. Once, she bellowed near the phone when he was on a call to Washington, “Tell Mr. E.P.A. that you have housework to do.”

Michael Kors sues Costco over ads

NEW YORK — Michael Kors is suing Costco saying that it illegally used pictures of its luxury bags in its ads in order to lure in customers without being authorized to sell the designer’s wares.

In a federal lawsuit filed in New York, Michael Kors accused Costco of a bait-and-switch scheme. It says Costco advertised the bags as starting at $99, but didn’t actually have any to sell.

Michael Kors says the ads intentionally exploit the popularity of its bags, which can retail for several hundred dollars, and lure consumers away from authorized retailers.

Costco has also been sued recently by Tiffany & Co. for alleged illegal use of its trademarks.

The lawsuit seeks a halt to the ads along with damages.

Costco Wholesale Corp. officials didn’t immediately return an email seeking comment.

Stop frying eggs, Death Valley officials say

DEATH VALLEY NATIONAL PARK, Calif. — It gets so hot in Death Valley that you can fry an egg with sun power.

That’s what one Death Valley National Park employee did last week, when she took a frying pan to the pavement and posted the video online.

Park visitors park were quick to imitate her, but they didn’t use skillets and left gooey messes. The park then issued a plea on its Facebook page to crack down on the egg-frying fiasco.

Death Valley highs have been hovering around 120 degrees, and on Wednesday the park marked the 100th anniversary of the world’s hottest day on record — 134 degrees — set there in 1913.

Park rangers say the egg frying has since stopped due to rain and clouds that have rolled across Death Valley.


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