What a hen house can mean.
John Henry Bosworth, late in sixty-eight, decided that the time had come to settle his estate.” Bosworth, better known as Noel Stookey, who is even better known as the Paul of Peter, Paul and Mary, did just that. He shaved off his famous beard, unpacked his suitcase, and hung up his clothes—in his own closet. First-class jets, hotels, strawberries-and-champagne breakfasts, and the isolation of stardom became things of the past. He’d been on the road too long. He no longer knew who Noel Stookey was. And who were his young daughter Elizabeth and his wife Betty? he asked himself. In 1968 he settled his estate and started the greatest adventure of his life, an adventure that instead of taking him forward would in a sense take him back to a little boy he’d left behind in the Midwest.
That someone as well known as Noel Paul Stookey would undertake such an adventure—become a Christian—was unthinkable in the midsixties. Christians were odd men out; Peter, Paul and Mary were definitely in—the best in folk music. They had a soft, close blend that was easy to listen to; their style symbolized the brotherhood that they sang about in “Because All Men Are Brothers.” Their lyrics, many of them written by the poet and folk singer Bob Dylan, had to be listened to. It was the beginning of the protest years of Viet Nam and civil rights. Students were moving from a lackadaisical attitude toward life to an aggressive shoulder-shaking position. PP&M music affected that generation; the group became a highly visible symbol of young, earnest politics of the left. (And not just in secular universities. They sowed some of the seeds for a strong though small movement on Christian campuses for Eugene McCarthy first and later ...1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 65+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more