The Janesville Gazette has been running its annual “50 Who Matter” special section that shines a light on local individuals who make a difference, and in it I read the bio of Sue Nelson, a nonprofit administrator and peace activist who is “not too old to dream about a peaceful future.” I thought she sounded like an interesting person, so I wanted to know more about her favorite book (“The Naylor Sonnets”) and her role model (Maurine Ryan), since neither was familiar to me. It also seemed appropriate because March 30-April 9 is Peace Week.
UWW’s Library does not have a copy of There is a spirit: the Nayler sonnets, a small volume penned by economist and peace activist Kenneth E. Boulding that has been in print since it was published in 1945, but it is available to UWW students and staff from other UW campus libraries by using the free Universal Borrowing service. Each of the 26 sonnets is inspired by a four- to sixteen-word portion of 17th-Century Quaker James Nayler‘s dying statement.
Maurine Ryan, according to Sue Nelson, is a 102-year-old Washington State environmentalist who once chained herself to a redwood (at age 72). This seemed especially interesting to me since Arbor Day is coming up this month (April 24th). Apparently both Maurine and her husband Al were very active conservationists in the Washington State area, and they have been honored by having a portion of South Whidbey Island State Park, a park that features 347 acres of old-growth forest, named for them.