Earth Day/Birthday — The Recycled Edition

Today, April 22, is Earth Day!  It’s the 43nd Anniversary of the very first Earth Day.  Here for Angie of Childhood Relived (because I am her primary new source) is Walter Cronkite’s report on the first Earth Day, 1970:

It would also be my late sister Judy’s 61th birthday.

Whoever made the decision to turn Judy’s birthday into Earth Day chose wisely.  Judy was a born environmentalist and recycler.

On the first Earth Day, Judy was a new, very young mother who believed in saving the planet.  She was the first “environmentalist” I ever knew personally, and well, I thought she was nuts.  There was a recycling bin in her kitchen for as long as I can remember.  And this was back when recycling took effort.  She believed in gardens, not garbage, and she made life bloom wherever she was.

I’ve got kids,” she’d say.  “It’s their planet too!”  

But years later, Judy took recycling to a whole different level when she helped people recycle themselves.  In the 1990s, Jude, who was then living in Florida, began working with the Homeless, assisting at shelters.   Then she actively began trying to help homeless vets find food, shelter and work — to enable them to jumpstart their lives.

When she died in early 2000, the American Legion awarded her honorary membership for her services to homeless vets.  A homeless shelter was named in her  honor.  So she’s still doing good works, my sister is.  That would make her wildly happy.

Jude also gave me the Beatles.  So it is very appropriate that they wrote a song for her.

You see, the night the Beatles were on Ed Sullivan, it was MY turn to choose what we were going to watch.  And we were going to watch the second part of The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh starring Patrick McGoohan on the Wonderful Wide World of Disney.  My four (all older and MUCH cooler) siblings were furious with me.  But I was quite insistent.  You might even say that I threw a Class I temper tantrum over it, but I wouldn’t admit to that.  But hey, I was seven.  And it was my turn to choose.  Fair is fair, especially in a big family with only one TV.

Somehow, Judy talked me out of my turn.  She was always very persuasive.  Thanks Jude.

Hey Jude, Happy Earth Day-Birthday.

*     *     *

If this looks/sounds familiar, it’s because I recycled this post from last year.  Because you should never use fresh when you can reuse something already written.  And you can never get enough of “Hey Jude.”

66 Comments

Filed under Family, Global Warming, History, Holidays, Humor, Music

66 responses to “Earth Day/Birthday — The Recycled Edition

  1. You’re right that I can never get enough of Hey Jude and the young doe-eyed Paul McCartney. What a beautiful tribute to your sister — I read it last time around and I hope you will publish it next April 22nd.

    If I didn’t tell you last time, the video was a nice touch 🙂

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  2. Thank you for sharing your sister with us!

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  3. I’m so glad someone got the memo to honor Judy by making her birthday Earth Day…it couldn’t be any other way considering her foresight. I just love that the shelter is in her name so she continues to make a difference. Great tribute!

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    • Jude probably sent the memo!

      Isn’t that amazing about the shelter. She made many mistakes throughout her life (which is why she died so young). But clearly she did some very important things just right.

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  4. What a lovely tribute. I’m sure she’d approve of your recycling.

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  5. The perfect day for recycling. It sounds like Judy was ahead of her time. I love that she is still changing lives. Amazing.

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  6. This is new to me…..upcycled I would say 🙂 A great way to honor your sister, who I would have liked as much as I do you. My first foray into journalistic greatness involved a neighborhood newsletter I typed on my mother’s old Underwood typewriter. Feature article: lyrics of Hey Jude.

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    • What a lovely coincidence! Judy’s last journalism project was working with homeless vets on publishing a local newspaper. They earned a little money and learned a skill. (Of course there were still newspapers then.)

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  7. Well, think of all of those hours of energy you didn’t burn by recycling your ‘recycle’ article. You are positively green!

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  8. The name is all wrong. Earth Day. The earth ain’t going anywhere. Now we humans may render it uninhabitable for human life – which I know is the essential thrust of ED – to knock that crap off if we want to hang around for an extended period of time. Let’s call it Short Sighted Progress Day, or I Don’t Care What You Do To The Air And Sea As Long As I Have My Wide Screen TV Coffee Maker And Bleached White Toilet Paper Day. Although the marketing for that last one may be problematic.
    Happy Birthday Jude.

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    • Well, we could blow up the planet, or cause it to explode somehow. There are so many ways we humans can destroy this planet.

      But Cooper, I’m willing to give up many things to improve the earth. But as a woman with GI issues, I’m afraid I will not give up Charmin. I wish I were joking. Sigh.

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  9. Happy Earthbirthday to Judy, indeed. I’m sure she’s smiling down on you from heaven, Elyse.

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  10. I thought this seemed familiar . . . Happy Birthday Jude!

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  11. snowowlsings

    I never get tired of seeing this post. Happy birthday to Judy. I hope she’s soaking up all the warm and fuzzies being sent her way. -M

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    • I can’t believe it took me so long to figure out who you were — people I know NEVER leave comments! I’m sure she’s up there on a beach somewhere in the sun, listening to the Beatles!

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  12. You can recycle this post every Earth Day because I will never tire of reading about your amazing sister!

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  13. Sisters are great, right? 🙂 I love mine too. She amazes me because we are so different. Hey Elyse, do you recycle? lol
    Lovely tribute to Jude!

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    • I recycle as much stuff as I can. But it took me years longer than it did Judy. I think I started in the mid-80s when I moved from DC to VA — the nation’s capitol was way behind the rest of the country in having places to take your recycling.

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  14. Moe

    Hey, Elyse, keep posting Judy’s story every April 22. She’ll always be an inspiration.

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  15. Your sister sounds like she was an amazing person. What a lovely tribute to her. And I suspect she would have even used cloth diapers despite the convenience of Pampers (were they around when she had kids?)

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  16. J

    Happy Birthday, Mom! I miss your warm presence every day. Hope you and the Lorax are still working on making this a better planet… because nowadays you’d say “I have grandkids”! Love you

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    • I was dry-eyed until now …
      BUT, your Mom was clearly involved in choosing the icon that goes with your comment — one tooth!
      Love you kiddo.

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  17. She was a woman ahead of her time! What a great story to share ~

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  18. Beautiful tribute, Elyse. Sounds like you had a beautiful sister, caring, loving, making a difference, and with vision that extended far ahead of most of the rest of the world.

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  19. Happy Jude Day, Elyse. I love your tribute. Both years. 😉

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    • Just to let you know. We Canadians have been blocked from the “Hey, Jude” video but I for one will be heading to YouTube to listen to it.

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      • Thanks Michelle. And why are you guys blocked??? How rude. But actually maybe it happens with all of my song clips — according to my stats page, nobody has ever clicked on one! But since folks comment on them from time to time, I’m figuring that’s a glitch of a different sort.

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  20. moi

    Looking at the mess this planet is in it is a pity that every day isn’t Earth day and people actually so something about it… nice post though. I like that Beatles tune too.

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  21. Happy birthday, Jude!!

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  22. This post couldn’t be any better–tributes to your amazing sister, the Beatles and Earth Day.

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  23. Recycling on Earth Day is always appropriate.

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  24. Nice tribute to Earth Day … but a great tribute to your sister ….. However, I have a difficult time imagining you as insistent.

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  25. What an amazing force your sister was! With vision and energy she helped unleash a movement. I can imagine in your household you think of her often and are motivated to continue her work. I love hearing of folks who were pioneers in efforts, discovered something way before it was “cool” just because they recognized the common sense, the necessity, the beauty or practicality of it. You sister was awesome, Elyse. Thank you for sharing her with us.

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