My guest this past week on KOWS Wise Woman Storytime was Beverly Riverwood. Bev has had many careers over her long life as a teacher, potter and stone carver. She founded the Marin Women Artists’ Collective and Marin Women’s News Journal. She opened a successful riding school in Marin where children traveled the trails between Pt. Reyes and the Golden Gate. She has a degree in law, sings with the Occidental Choir, plays the harp and writes. She is one of the 9 members of the West County Writers’ Circle who just published their first book, Stories From the Left Coast: Nevertheless They Persisted.
In the late 1960’s Bev moved with her husband and young children to Denver, Colorado expecting an idyllic, serene and laid back lifestyle in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Surprised by a series of earthquakes that were not part of the natural geological order and unsettled by a suspicious notification in a local newspaper, Bev did a bit of delving and discovered a dangerous dark cloud looming over her new home. Her subsequent actions, inquiries and organizing ultimately preserved the health and vitality of the Rocky Mountains and the humans and creatures who live there while forever altering her life path.
I invite you to listen to Bev’s story and learn how she and a small cadre of young women successfully challenged the Atomic Energy Commission, The Bureau of Mines, the gas and oil industry, local and state governments and halted the use of nuclear bombs to frack oil out of the Rocky Mountains.
Margaret Meade said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
This story took place over 40 years ago and is as relevant today as it was yesterday. Bev’s story demonstrates how a few passionate and determined people can fight injustice, challenge the system, and indeed make a difference. There are many lessons here for all of us. I invite you to listen.
By Roberta Teller