Edward D. “Sandy” Ives, Director of the Northeast Archives of Folklore and Oral History [NAFOH], taken on stage at the Folksongs in February Festival held in Hauck Auditorium at the University of Maine at Orono on Feb. 11th and 12th, 1977. Photo taken at the end of the Saturday night performance of February 12th. Gordon Bok and Margaret MacArthur are in the background. (Photo courtesy of the Maine Folklife Center, UMO.)
I’m not pronouncing him a saint. He just had a delightful sense, multiple twists even, of irony, satire and bombast that just about tickled every contradictory part of you. The cynic, the skeptic, the believer and the dispossessed were all touched by his insights into our fallacies and delusions as well as into our strengths and dreams.
He had a haunting yet soothing tenor voice. While enthralled with his folk singing, I was equally astonished at how he could put you so much at ease in his presence. He could do this in the company of one, or in the congregation of a hundred. He had this effortlessness to him. In many ways he reminded me of my Uncle Bob in the infectious delight he could summon within himself as well as in those around him. There was no sense of an inflated ego or false pride about him.
Sandy was the understated master of ceremonies. He encouraged each artist to share more deeply what each one was feeling. Looking back at those moments now, I think he encouraged us to understand more appreciatively the community we shared with one another. It was one with an ancient tradition of artistry traveling a number of timelines into the past, through the present and into the future of human experience.
Sandy, if you are out there and listening still, like only you can do, thank you for the lessons you so generously shared with all of us.
Thanks respectively, to Dr. Jim Bishop, and to Dr. Pauleena MacDougall, Director, Maine Folklife Center, for some of the fact checking that went into posting this reflection.
Dr. Edward Dawson “Sandy”Ives:
Dr. Ives Bibliographic Work during the Time Referenced in the above Post:
Lawrence Doyle: The Farmer-Poet of Prince Edward Island. Orono: University of Maine Press, 1971 (Maine Studies No. 92).
Larry Gorman: The Man Who Made the Songs. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1964. Reprinted New York: Arno Press, 1977. Reprinted Fredericton, N.B.: Goose Lane Editions, 1993.
Folksongs and Their Makers. (co-editor) Bowling Green, Ohio, 1970.
Joe Scott: The Woodsman Songmaker. Champaign: University of Illinois Press, 1978.
Buber, Martin. Ich und du (“I and Thou”). Trans. Walter Kaufmann. New York: Charles Scribners, 1970. Print.
Maine Folklife Center:
If you enjoyed reading this post, please share it with others.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products or services that I have mentioned here. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”