I recently received two striking letters at the RFC. Although they are very different in almost every regard - tone, content, and the personal histories of the authors - taken together I believe they illuminate the core of the RFC and our work.
This June 19th was the first anniversary of my grandparents’ executions I observed as the Executive Director of the RFC. While I’ve been here for other anniversaries, this was the first time supporters from across the country contacted me (instead of my father) to share their thoughts and memories of that day.
I was so moved by the many stories people sent me of either being in NYC on June 19, 1953 or of learning about my grandparents, some times decades later, from their own parents or other family members. I wanted to share some of their memories with you:
We woke up this morning to the news that Pete Seeger had died.
My (Robert’s) first memory of Pete was seeing him and the rest of the Weavers at Carnegie Hall just before Christmas in 1955. I was eight years old. My parents, Abel and Anne Meeropol, who knew the Seegers, took me to visit them at their home in the Hudson River Valley of New York the following year.
We’re in the midst of making our fall grants. During my six-plus years as granting coordinator this was both a favorite and difficult time of the year. I enjoyed hearing from the families we support, especially since many of them include updates about both their situations and their children with their requests for funding. But it’s also difficult to read the stories of hardship and on going trauma to children and families.
I recently received two very moving communications. The first was a letter from one of our younger donors and the second was an email about one of our oldest.
Bea, who faithfully supported the RFC since she first learned of our existence in the early 1990’s, passed away earlier this month at the age of 91. Her son emailed us a summary of her life, portions of which I quote below: