Happy birthday dear daughter...

Thirty two years ago, my first child was born in Los Angeles amidst a Farm Worker campaign. As has been her way since that day, she took her time coming into this world - about 36 hours of labor - and then she chose not to nurse for a bit, too. She has always been her own person and always operated on her own timetable. She is brilliant, sensitive, beautiful, so damn funny I can't control myself and one of the truly sweetest people I have ever met. It is a privilege to be her Dad.

Over the years we've danced to Elton John (when she was a baby I would rock her to sleep to "Bennie and the Jets" and Joan Armatrading's "Love and Affection.") and the Stones (she went to see them with me in Cleveland.) She is a hard core Springsteen fan but helped me appreciate both U2 and Iron and Wine. Her first concert, before turning 1, was the first Bread and Roses gig in Berkley with Odetta, Tom Paxton, Joan Baez, Richie Havens and the Incredible String Band. She can dance like nobody's business, teach tough little city kids how to open their minds and hearts and love her crazy-assed family, too. She is a blessing.

Today, after marrying a world-class young man (and giving me the honor of performing the ceremony), she is a middle school teacher in Brooklyn, NY. She's been a PK (pastor's kid) and a student, a helper in a bakery and a knock out student in both undergrad and grad school. She's been all over the place - mostly the UK and Italy - and is an incredible dancer and artist. I always knew she was remarkable but when she was 14 she danced a version of Copeland's "Simple Gifts" that set a new standard for poetry in motion and spiritual integrity.

As you can tell, I love her dearly and wish her many, many years of joy and good health. Happy Birthday, dear daughter...

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