In memory of Al Baez

The memorial service for Al Baez will be 5/24/07 at 4:00 pm at Stanford Memorial Church, on the campus of Stanford University. I believe it will be under the care of Marin and Palo Alto monthly meetings.

I met Al once, when he came to SF meeting to talk about Vivamos Mejor, the nonprofit he founded to promote interchange between California Friends and a small Mexican community. He was what you'd expect from an older Quaker who was doing a project to build bridges of material and spiritual goods across borders of politics, ethnicity, and class: kindly, gentle, caring, committed.

The SF Chronicle ran a nice obit for him: Albert Baez -- scientist, author, father of Joan Baez. Here are a couple of excerpts that stood out to me:

"Mr. Baez was a scientist, a physics professor and a pacifist who refused to use his considerable expertise to advance the nuclear arms race during the Cold War.

"But he was best known as the father of folk singers Joan Baez and the late Mimi FariƱa....

"The invention in 1948 of the X-ray reflection microscope vaulted Mr. Baez into the upper echelon of American physicists. When the Cold War arrived in the 1950s, he had to choose between a career in education or a lucrative career developing weapons of mass destruction.

"Mr. Baez was a lifelong pacifist who chose a career in education and humanitarianism....

"Cavener said, 'He was honorable. He led by example and, as a Quaker, he wasn't worried about anybody frying in hell.'"

No comments: