As a volunteer for B&R for more than 15 years, I saw that Mimi was a light in thousands of lives of people she never met. Almost everyone who has been a volunteer can recite at least one "Bread and Roses moment", where the joy and feelings that the music and attention brought to those caught in the vagaries of life that were, even for just a minute, transported to the world Mimi helped create.
I urge anyone reading these heartfelt messages to keep the spirit and message going, whether thru volunteer work or a check to keep Bread and Roses going, and to keep the dream alive.
Mimi was an inspiration to me, spiritually and emotionally, and I look forward to more of those "Bread and Roses moments", and hope the dream and message continue for years to come.
It disturbs me that I never heard of Mimi or her cause until her last few days, and then only on NPR. Joan has been a huge influence on my sense of morality since my early teenage years. Perhaps there are others like me who will be inspired to help the beauty grow that Mimi started, because of her tragic loss.
I just want to express me deep sadness for the world in losing not only such a wonderful singer and songwriter, but a wonderful human being. My mother raised me listening to folk music by Mimi and Joan, and I have even been lucky enough to see Joan in concert twice, even though I am only 20 years old. Mimi will be missed greatly in my family, and her family is in out thoughts and prayers.
A few weeks ago, I picked up David Hajdu's new book. When I began the book, I was reading about a living person, a young woman who battled the times and remained full of hope. With the book not yet finished, and having heard only about Joan's music in recent years, I went online to see what Mimi has been doing, and I found the Bread & Roses site, and found it to be a wonderful idea, fully consistent with what I had been reading about Mimi and Joan. By the time I finished the book, without yet realizing it, I was reading about a person no longer living. It was a dull shock when I saw the story in TIME magazine. I've never met anyone in the Baez or Farina families, but I felt like I'd lost an old friend. My heart goes out to Mimi and those who loved her, in ways that those who only know the book and the songs can never truly know.
Magic Jeanne (Jeanne Fields)
Just recently I was fortunate enough to become part of the Bread and Roses family of entertainers. I would like to take this opportunity to express my deepest regret to the family of Mimi.
Mimi & Richard's music was among my greatest inspirations as a young folkie -- & has remained as a tender, heart-close memory through the years. The soul healing power of music is tremendously powerful, and the echoes of music carry us all on our journeys, physical & spiritual. Mimi, thank you for sharing your spirit. Godspeed.
Last Sunday morning I opened the Sunday Times from London and saw a beautiful photo of Mimi--I knew at once. My heart fell for a moment. Memories from my first interview with Mimi published in 1978 to all the wonderful Bread & Roses concerts to the anti-nuke/peace rallies to the last interview with Mimi in 1997 for a book in progress. She talked of her hopes and dreams and of her love of her work, friends and family. As I walked along the beach later, I felt the water swirling around my feet. I looked down and saw my footprint. I thought of Mimi's footprint. I cried for a moment and felt a tremendous peace. Her life meant so much...and always will. My husband Kevin O'Farrell and I send our love to you all from the west coast of Ireland. We will be with you in spirit on August 7th, and will keep a place for Mimi in our hearts.
I am deeply moved hearing about the death of Mimi. My thoughts are with you all and what more can I do than listen to a record of Mimi and Joan.
May God embrace you Mimi!
"If ever was a heart that longed to fly/If ever was a soul that longed to bloom/If ever was an angel, it was you/So close your eyes and say goodbye..."
- Janis Ian
Thank you, Mimi, for the years of selfless giving and for your voice which still echoes in my ears. You will be greatly missed, but your song will continue to be sung...
Your bright light it will shine
Shining all around the world
Burning bright inside the hearts and souls
Of everyone you've touched
You gave so much from your heart
Shared your songs and love and laughter
And though your light will shine forever
I know we'll miss you oh so much
THERE ARE 2 YEARS AGO I WROTE TO MIMI AND CALLED TO HER ONCE TIME AND I WAS THE HAPPIEST TO SHARED
WITH HER A SHORT MOMENT BY THE PHONE AND TOLD HER HOW I WAS ONE OF HER FAN WITH HER MUSIC, HER VOICE WITH RICHARD AND SHE WAS AMAZED TO KNOW I WAS STILL FAMILIAR WITH RICHARD AND HER. SHE SENT ME ALL HER SONGS AND GUITAR MUSIC. I REMEMBER HER VOICE AND I WAS HAPPY TO SHARE A VERY GOOD TIME LAST YEAR IN SAN FRANCISCO FOR THE BREAD AND ROSES SHOW. IT WAS MY FIRST TRIP IN CALIFORNIA AND I WILL NEVER FORGET MIMI ON THE SCENE THROWING ME A BEAUTIFUL RED ROSE. I STILL HAVE IT AND MIMI IS AND WILL BE IN MY HEART ALL MY LIFE LIKE A PRECIOUS SOUVENIR IN AMERICA. THANK YOU MIMI AND KISS RICHARD FOR ME PLEASE.
BYE AND LOVE MY DEAR STAR :-°°°
GO AND SEE NOW... THE PEACE AND LOVE WORLD...
I felt a kind of shock when I heard that Mimi had died. Like many others I had recently read Positively 4th Street and so she and Richard were circulating in my brain more than usual. I am grateful that I had a chance to see her in concert in the 70's. But I am most grateful for the music. The songs that I have been singing for almost 35 years - letting my voice run parallel to her beautiful harmonies. They are eternal as is she. The world is a poorer place without her.
So touched by mimi's music since I was a little girl...I am now 44 and thanks to my 3 older sisters who raised me on folk music. I still sing mimi's songs. A friend of mine, over 25 years ago wrote an additional verse for the swallow song ---I still sing this verse and teach it to others....and I wanted to share it in tribute to mimi It goes like this:
you know the swallow's love by giving others wing
you know the freedom they then own
you know their spirit keeps them heading for the sun
and you know acceptance is their home.
much love and warmth,
I would like to add my voice to the others before me in expressing my sadness upon hearing of Mimi's death. I was very much influenced by her work with Richard and have deeply valued their recordings to this day. Even though I never met her, I feel as if I have known her all of my life. Her quiet and steady presence on those recordings and her dedication and work for Bread and Roses have been and continue to be very inspiring. She will live on and continue to inspire through all of the lives that have been touched by her example.
I first heard Richard and Mimi Farina in 1999. It was refreshing to know that I could have fallen so deeply passionate for a style such as theirs amongst the loud and impersonal sounds of much of my contemporary musicians today. I once wrote a long letter to Joan Baez waiting for the Max train in portland oregon. I was distraught and musically zombified. I wrote to Joan to tell her how much I loved her sisters music and how an album created in 1966 could float down the cosmic stream and into my ears in 1999. I feel what she has done has inspired my own folk-songwriting and I will truly miss the fact that I will never meet her someday to say thank you.
I had the good fortune of meeting Mimi in the 70's, in Mill Valley. I will always remember the warmth of her smile and the great regard I have for the fine things she accomplished with Bread and Roses. Our world is such much smaller without her.
Thank you for your kindness, love of human kind, and for your being. You made the world a better place.
Mimi has blessed all our lives and her loss is a great sadness. I worked with Mimi as a graphic designer helping to develop materials for Bread and Roses. Her beauty was both inside and out, just being in her presence made my spirit leap. I think we all dream of making a difference somehow on this planet. Mimi truly did.
In 1976 I was living in MillValley where I met Mimi, she was the reason why I became a musician that had a special purpose not just an entertainer.
I was playing in Mirasol a band that was born in Mill Valley and she hired us to play for the elderly, we all had a great time and she was a blessing to all of us. Blessings to all of you.
Thank you for the beauty of your spirit, and the inspiration of your courage. Your music with Richard in the 1960s helped show us the way through the Darkness of those days (when we were all the "Children of" it). Your bright light carrying on without him showed us even more. Your beauty illuminates the Grey Day forever. I know you can sing again with Richard now, and it was not after all so very long. Your joy and grace now shine in Infinity from whence they came. Rest a while -- "And I'll remember your hands encircling a bowl of moonstones, a lamp of childhood, a robe of roses, because your sorrows were still unborn."
With deepest respect and love to your Companion, your two Sisters and to all of your Family, and Family of Friends, Namaste
thank you for all your wonderful music, commitment to others and sharing a dream of equal rights to all. thank you for being a role model these past 30. thank you for having been. you will be greatly missed
I was saddened to hear about the death of Mimi Farina. I am a long time fan of the music she made with her husband Richard, and had only recently finished reading "Positively 4th St.", but I had no idea of her being ill. As a nurse at a State mental hospital who daily deals with people like those for whom she helped create Bread and Roses, I am grateful that her legacy will include your organization. I hope her soul flies now with Dick's, tho I knew neither, in my heart I loved them both.
Dear One & All - Upon the transformation of our mutal friend and Committee member John Brent, Wavy Gravy wore a t-shirt that read: "Grief Be Far." Perhaps he is wearing it now. The last time I was with Mimi was during the 80s at The Committe Reunion. Her vibrant smile and rememberance that day made me fall in love all over again - and I carry that smile of hers with me now - writing these few words of rememberance - of condolence and strength to all who where lucky enough to have known Mimi.
Bole Nath Ki Jai - Namaste Dear Friend, Namaste - I send this to you.
"Been Up So Long"
For MIMI FARINA
As it has been,
Some petite flowers
Climb the hardest walls
Of Bread & Roses -
Of sweet time unstaged
And we can see the trees from here.
When I reflect on the path of my life and where its taken me, I always think of Mimi...it was your love and care and deep sense of what the forgotten of this world must feel that led you through the gates and locks that clang shut behind you when you enter a prison and can do nothing but smile back at all the prisoners whose hearts are so uplifted in knowing you cared enough to come...there are many kinds of prisons in this world, and Mimi knew them all. It is through your example that I walk through those gates and hear the locks clang shut behind me...it is because of your love for others that I receive such joy when I embrace an imprisoned friend who hasn't seen freedom in over 30 years. It is your voice, your words, and the melody that was (is) all your own that play in my mind...it is the vision of your dancing and doing cartwheels at the Celebration At Big Sur that makes my heart feel alive, and it is your smile that can brighten the darkest of days. Having just lost my aunt, my mother's baby sister, right before you were called Home, and having lost her at the same age she shared with you, I'd like to imagine in my heart that she has someone to laugh with right now...someone to sing to her...someone to shine brightly for her and all those who passed before you---you will always shine for those left behind. Love and Blessings for your family and loved ones...Jesus said, "Why not come home with me today Mimi"...and she took His Hand and went to Paradise.
Over the years I always got the impression that Mimi Farina felt professionally overshadowed by her older sister, Joan Baez. What I do hope is that at some point Mimi realised that her own life's work, dedication and talent for bringing music and a lot more to those in distress clearly demonstrates that she and her sisters are all part of the same generous and loving heart that is the Baez family. I pray that the pride that her family and friends must have in Mimi's achievements will one day help them over their grief at her passing. May God bless them all at this sad time.
I know you are now in the land of poet's pride.
Dear Mimi - Thank you for the influence you've had on my life, musically and morally. You showed that is always so important to do the right thing with the talents you are blessed with. And if we are to lead by example, if we "let our light shine in front of others" to lead the way, then you have done this, and done it well! I also thank you for responding to my letter (personally) about dulcimer construction and of course, "Grey Day" and "Crystal Wind". Even though I never knew you personally, I counted you as a defining signpost on my own personal (and musical) journey. My truest, deepest condolences to the Baez- Farina families on this sad, sad loss to the world.
Vaya con Dios, mi encanto.
"Farewell - Thou art too dear for my possessing,
And like enough thou know'st thy estimate:
The charter of thy worth gives thee releasing;
My bonds in thee are all determinate.
For how did (sic) I hold thee but by thy granting?
And for that riches where is my deserving?
The cause of this fair gift in me is wanting,
Thyself thou gav'st, thy own worth then not knowing;
Or me, to whom thou gav'st it, else mistaking;
So thy great gift, upon misprison growing,
Comes home again on better judgement making.
Thus have I had thee as a dream doth flatter,
In sleep a king, but waking no such matter.
- William Shakespeare, Sonnet No.87
The only way I can hold the loss of someone so lovely is to simply imagine that her work is done for now. And that she has been released into something far more splendid ... and luckier.
Thank you for everything. I'll be there at Grace.
Vio con dios
Such is the scope of her work that I am sure Mimi never knew how important a contribution she made to my life, a leaf on the tree of her vision. I am grateful for the opportunity to give to my community thru Bread & Roses, who always made the experience one of elegance and warmth.
My thoughts and prayers go out to Mimi's family, friends and staff at Bread and Roses. I never had the pleasure to meet Mimi, but I have had the honor of working as a volunteer host for Bread and Roses for the past 2 years, something I am hoping to do for years to come. I see the joy of her vision in action at every show. Her spirit will live on through this amazing organization.
When I learned of Mimi Farina's passing I was shocked and extremely saddened by this news. I had no idea that she was sick and felt that she was too young to pass on. I have grown up on the music of Joan Baez and Mimi and Richard. I have been a great fan of Joan for 30 years wherein I own many of her albums and have seen countless concerts of hers throughout my lifetime. I was introduced to the music and poetry of Richard Farina when I was about 15 years old. The one album I am familure with which Mimi and Richard put out, Reflections in a Crystal Wind, was an album that I loved so much and have always listened to and been extremely moved by its magnificent poetry, beauty, and wisdom. I even named my dog after Richard and Mimi when I was eighteen. His name was Farina in honor of their great poetry and artistry that inspired me greatly. I am now forty years old and am thinking back to most of my childhood and reflecting on how wonderful people like Mimi, Richard, and Joan have been on my life and how it is that they gave me and much of the world such a beautiful gift of profound inspiration, beautiful artistry and a magnificent compassion which will move the world for many times to come. My heart goes out deeply to the family and friends of Mimi and to everyone else who shared in the appreciation and celebration of Mimi's life.
On behalf of myself and the Cultural Heritage Choir, I want to wish you all the very best of futures and thank you for aollowing us to help bring Mimi's vision to life by participating in the Bread and Roses program. Losing a loved-one always leaves feelings of sadness, emptiness and sometimes joy for their release from pain. We send prayers of Love and Hope to Joan and all other family members.
Al Crisalli, Jr.
My heartfelt sympathy goes out to the Baez family and to all who feel loss in the passing of this remarkable woman. For over 30 years my own life has been greatly enriched through her music. Mimi's concern for the sanctity of all life has served as inspirtation for all of us and she will be greatly missed.
Elaine B. Holtz
I was saddened to hear the passing of Mimi and even more saddened to hear that at such a young age she had cancer. I have an old album with her and Tom Jans - unfortunately it is scratched - do you know how I can get that albumn. She is a person that will be long remembered.
In love and compassion
Karma Ying Chukma
Thank you, Mimi, for all the love and joy you brought to others! May your buddha nature live on and your path be clear.
My heart goes out to Mimi's family and to the staff of Bread & Roses as we all grieve that she has gone. She leaves so many sparkling, magical and musical memories, rippling out around the world, touching so many lives. Bread & Roses is a wonderful legacy, and it has been a joy and an honor to share in Mimi's vision by performing for some very special children through the organization. Perhaps one day we will be able to create a similar organization here in Hawai‘i (Poi & Plumerias?) to share music and aloha with those throughout the Islands who so desperately need it. Mahalo, Mimi, for sharing your music and making your dreams real so that your light and love will sing on forever.
Kate Schuerch and Pacific Heart Players
I didn't know Mimi Farina at all but I miss her; I think she did wonderful work, and I loved her singing with Richard and by herself (I first saw them singing and he playing the dulcimer on TV in the 1960s). I admired her greatly and am sad that she is gone. I send my best wishes to all her family.
Mimi's music and presence will be missed by many like myself, though I doubt she'll have trouble with the transition; she always was an angel.
What nice tributes so many have already left in memory of Mimi. For every message, there are a thousand others she touched at one time or another. I first met Mimi just before we both turned 40, and she had already firmly established Bread & Roses. This was her life's work, a fully and truly unselfish calling which brought moments of joy to so many who otherwise had lives with few such moments.
Many people pursue good works for the acclaim which might accrue to them for doing good. I never sensed that about Mimi. Sure, she could enjoy hosting a benefit concert and basking in the friendship of the many admirers of the work Bread & Roses undertook - as well as its untiring leader. She also got great satisfaction out of the unheralded shows that have always been the mainstay of Bread & Roses.
There are few people who could work for as many years as she did without burning out. Let us hope that the inspiration she has provided so many of us burns for many years to come.
God's light will shine on your face forever, Mimi.
I was so saddened by the news of Mimi's passing. I never met her personally, but I loved her music and knew of her work. My 2 sisters and I once did a small folk music performance in the very early 60s for the residents of the old Agnews mental hospital near Alviso. I will never forget with what pure joy our crude attempt at entertainment was received. I always wanted to go back and do it again, but never managed it. God bless you, Mimi.
Mimi is in our hearts. I would like to take her inspiration and start a similar organization as Bread and Roses in my town of Hartford, CT.
Love is in many forms.
And to quote a line from a Mary McCaslin song, "And in the hearts of those befriended, burns a candle with a silver flame."
And I mourn your passing, Mimi - but the candle in my heart will always burn, but the candle you brought to the world to make it a better place will burn equally as bright. Thank you, sweed lady, for giving us all a part of you.
To the Baez family - your pain and sorrow must be awesome; my own is nearly unbearable and I only had the joy of knowing Mimi less than two hours in person. But what she was about, and her music, her humanitarianism, and inspiration to us all was a gift from her to our lives.
Robert Main Ellen
I aam sadened to hear of Mimi Farina passing . I never heard her music and her obituary in The London Times was unfortunatly my first contact with her name and her spirit. I will make an effort to find some of her music and feature her and her charity on The Medicine Show our Radio Show in The Highlands of Scotland.
I am inspired by her vision and your efforts I have long believe the music is our best hope healing element in our disenfranchised world. and your efferts are a wonderfull example of this at a very hands on level.
I am secretory of a local musicians group in the Highlands and would think we could have much to contribute to a scheme such as yours in this area.
I would think Mimis legecy and your work would have been of great solas to her and will continue to be so to her family and loved ones.
Dear Mimi: All of the people whose lives you touched by your warm heart, generosity of spirit and tireless efforts in providing for those in need, will miss you. You were an inspiration to those of us who knew and respected your work to try to follow your example by reaching out a little more and reaching ever higher to become better than we were yesterday. While we miss your presence in our lives, your memory is forever nestled in our hearts.
Ain't no sunshine when she's gone...
I live in Slovenia (former YU) and I am really sad that Mimi is no more with us. I play her music on my Radio Show.
Peace to the family and friends of Mimi. Her sprit shall live on in all the people her music touched.
I first read about Bread and Roses through an ad in Acoustic Guitar magazine advertising for performers. I had somehow missed the first fifteen years of this wonderful organization. I had never performed in front of people but I gathered my courage and auditioned. I've been a fan ever since.
Mimi was always very sweet to me and very generous. Her vision and her ability to bring folks together to bring joy to others is an inspiration to me. She will be missed. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family and all the people in the world that this lovely person touched.
I was inspired when I heard Huey Lewis talk about Bread & Roses on "Who Wants to be a Millioniare" tonight (7/22/01).
When I logged on to read more about Bread & Roses I read where Mimi had passed away.
My condolance is with her family and friends.
The reason that I was inspired by what she had done is because I serve on the Board of Director's of the Alzheimer's Association * Tampa Bay Chapter (Florida) and I am interested in knowing more about Bread & Roses.
I first became involved with the Chapter when my father had Alzheimer's and I was looking for help.
After attending a Support Group meeting in Tampa I received a note from a very nice lady who wanted to know if I would like to attend a meeting in the small community that I live in (Brandon) and I responded and that was in September 1987 and I have served on full term on the Board (then off one year as required) and I am now serving out my second term.
There is such a huge need for so many differnt orginizations but not many people devote their efforts for the elderly and this is what moved me when I heard Huey speak tonight.
With Deepest Sympathy,
My family and I express our deepest sympathy and condolences on Mimi's passing. I have long been inspired by her talent and character. Blessings, Randy Wisener
Mimi, dawlin', you were a beautiful, old soul, This planet will long suffer the loss of your immediate presence. God Bless You, chere. II will forever miss your sweetness, but I know that all is well, because you are Goin' Home.
With deep affection and respect,
Grace, Peace, and Love,
To All the Friends and Family of Mimi Farina,
As I sit here "reflecting" upon your life. I could only think of you as one of the most influential humanitarians our world has been graced with. I feel so fortunate that you have left your legacy, your work, and your voice. Thank you for sharing and making our world a better place. My most deepest sympathy to all of you.
Helen L Brewer
For all the folks at B&R my thoughts and prayers are with you as well as with Joan, Gabe, Pauline et al family and friends. I never got the chance to hear one of your concerts live, but I did get some recordings. I have some of Mimi & Richard's albums from years ago. I have been a Joan Baez fan for decades and reading these messages for you about Mimi and what a strong but gentle spirit she was, I must say Joan is much the same - I love Joan Baez for her integrity and compassion as much as for her music. The lives of all the daughters is a tribute and reflection to and of the parents. I send each of you a big hug and thank you for the work you do. To the Baez family and friends, to you and all who share her vision, please know you are not alone. And should you ever feel like quitting, remember Mimi and her laugh and just "pack up your sorrows' - I love that song. Thank you for the work you do - many lives are touched by it even if indirectly.
God Bless and keep you. Smiles,
I was blessed to meet and work with Mimi in the 70's and 80's via the music venues I founded: Amazingrace in Evanston (Chicago) Illinois and The Community Center for the Performing Arts in Eugene Oregon. Of course she was a great performer and person, but i will always remember one of her acts of kindness. After a particularly slow show on a blizzardly night, she asked me if we had broken even on the concert. I said that we probably had... just. She said that in order to "make it right" she wanted to give back some of her performance fee. And with that she wrote a check for $500 back to the production company. Nothing we could say would stop her (you know how she could get). In my twenty years of concert production, she was the only artist to ever inquire as to whether a show had broken even, let alone rebate part of her fee. Thank you Mimi for all your graciosness, your love and your wonder.
Judith A. Cartisano
Mimi and her sister Joan were two of my guiding lights in the 1960s. Her family kindly answered a number of my letters--heady stuff for a teenager!Their actions made me feel that what I held in my heart was valid and moved me to political action on behalf of all those who are oppressed. I was so sorry to hear about Mimi's death, but how many of us can leave this lifetime knowing that we've done our best to alleviate the suffering of others?
To the family of Mimi Farina,
She did so much for so many. Please know prayers of the heart are with you as we wish Mimi's beautiful soul a safe journey to her secure place in the arms of God.
Germán R. Santanilla
I've just heard Richard and Mimmi sing "A swallow song"; I am sad for your loss, so sad.
I first heard the names Richard and Mimi Farina in around 1969, Within a year I had my own first dulcimer and have been playing it ever since. I have played 'Best of '& 'Celebrations for a Grey Day' thousands of time.... Mimi was like this angel from heaven in my mind and I felt sad that she had lost her Richard . To me Richard Farina was and always will be 'the God of dulcimer players'! Now I have heard Mimi has gone on to meet him again. I hope they cause a folk music revival in Heaven!
For all her great good works may she be greatly blessed and remembered with loving fondness by all that knew her or were touched by her. I myself will always celebrate their life's and really because of them it will never be such a Grey Day as it could be....Love ya Mimi and lots and lots of warm Aloha for these Hawaiian Islands.......Aloha
From the music of Dick and Mimi, to Mimi's albums, like the one with Tom Jans, and her Solo album, to an inspiring work in the formation of Bread and Roses, all who heard and met her, however briefly, felt a lift, an excitement, a deep pleasure. Sadly she will be missed, but I am very grateful her spirit stayed a while and shared with us.
You know, Mimi, you have left us far too soon and what you left here for all and for all time is the gift of your sparkling brilliance in everything you did.....
But most of all i shall miss your exquisite laugh. I have never known anyone else who had a more roguish, whole hearted, joyous laugh. And I am ever grateful to have shared so many of those crazy, silly , wonderful moments with you when all else around us seemed so damned serious.
And though my heart breaks at your early departure from this earthly plane, I know you shall not be up there looking down here without seeing the funnier side of our fumblings and having yourself a good chuckle in your ever sophisticated style!!!!!!
Thank you for touching my life so profoundly. I love you.
The death of Mimi came as a blow to me as I had not known she had been sick. So young and with so much still to give. But she leaves a wonderful legacy in song and especially in Bread & Roses. May her legacy continue to burn brightly in the work of Bread & Roses. Bless you, Mimi.
I heard the epitaph for Mimi on NPR, weeping in my car. Mimi and Richard Farina have been important to me since I first heard them in 1967. I came home and taught myself how to play "Reflections in a Crystal Wind" and "Pack Up Your Sorrows" on the accordion. They sound good on that instrument because they are so sweetly harmonious. Thank you, dear Mimi, for bringing harmony into this so-often painful world, and Godspeed. Love to all you whose hearts must bear her leaving; I know she is still close.
Dear Bread and Roses:
On behalf of the Berkeley Community Chorus I would like to tell you how sorry we were to hear of Mimi's death. We love giving Bread and Roses' concerts and Mimi's spirit and inspiration have lit our performances.
We send you warm thoughts at this difficult time.
To the Board of Directors and Staff,
I was so sadden today to learn of Mimi's passing. As a former Board member I want to express my sincere sympathy to the fine organization she founded for the loss of your spiritual leader. I know she will long be an inspiration to you and to all those who knew her. This world is truly a better place because she once was here... I have asked the Dean at St Mark's Cathedral here in Seattle for prayers on Mimi's behalf.
I always remember the Berkeley Bowl at that special time of year for B&R, the best in the business brought together by one of their own...
Gratitude to all who carry her spirit onward.
Mimi. Thank you for sharing your beauty, love and joy with us in this place that is cold, dark and heartless so much of the time. Your work and presence has proven that good can over come evil and inspired so many others to that fact. You are now gone, but will never be forgotten.
Lakeside, Arizona, U.$.A.
My deepest sympathies to the Baez family, loves and friends of Mimi's. Having recently also lost a family member (after a long illness) I share your emotions. Having grown up in Palo Alto, I was fortunate to know and experience the music and wonderful soul and inspiration of Mimi. She was someone I always carry in my heart and soul through life as a touchstone of inspiration. Her creation of Bread and Roses was a natural progression of her life.....it is who she is. I knew Mimi was battling the demons of cancer, but believed she would carry on. Her passing is only a further inspiration to me of the strength, courage, and compassion that was her essence in life. For the past ten years Bread and Roses has brought inspiration, courage, and compassion to the residents of the nursing home where I work in Menlo Park. I will always remember the last time I heard Mimi sing with her sister Joan in Mitchell Park, Palo Alto, a summer evening several years ago, as they raised funds for the hungry and homeless in our communities. Thank you Mimi, thank you Bread and Roses. I'm so sad that Mimi had to leave us so soon. She will always be our shining star of inspiration...she will always be "forever young." A special message of sympathy to her sister Joan.....you are also a beacon of strength, courage, compassion, and inspiration to your sister, and all of us.
redwood city, ca
I was saddened to hear of the passing of Mimi Farina. She did a lot of good work, and I know that here legacy will live on in the wonderful organization she founded. My heartfelt condolences go out to the family and friends of this amazing spirit.
Grace and peace to the family, and gratitude for this generous soul, Mimi Farina.
I am so very sorry.
My heart & soul goes out to your family but also my smiles that you were blessed with such an amazing woman in your family. How Mimi chose to live her life by giving faith & music, & in essence "rehabilitation" to these prisoners will forever be on a pedestal of utmost beauty. Thank you to Mimi for giving me hope & a reminder that true goodness still exists. God bless you.
mimi, i've been saying a prayer for you and your family.
I mer Mimi when she and I were fifteen years old. The Cambridge folk revival had just gotten underway thanks largely to Joan. Mimi came with a friend to one of our middle school parties and showed us some chords on the guitar. In doing so, she opened up a new world for us, one in which care and concern for others might be an alternative to the self-centered competitiveness that defined the world we were growing up to take our place in.
I saw Mimi perform with Richard and afterwards. Each time, her presence rung with gentle power. I last saw her more than twenty years ago when she was going through some hard times. Even then, her spirit lifted us up and put us back in touch with what was best in us. I hope she knew how much her grace and beauty inspired us for the good. If not, I'm sure she knows that now.
I loved her and I fell heartbroken.
Many thanks to Mimi, and to Bread & Roses, for the wonderful work over these past 25 years. May the group long continue the spirit of sharing inspired by Mimi.
I was very saddened when I learned of the passing of Mimi. I have been a silent fan since I was 12 years old. I am now 45 and will always have a place in my heart for Mimi, Joan and her family. I pray that the love of God will sustain them through this difficult loss. May God bless you and may you know that many of us feel your pain with you.
I was thrown into some dark abyss upon hearing the news of Mimi's passing. I had not known she had been ill and I send my deepest deepst sympathies to her beloved sister, Joan, her Mom and Dad, Joan and Albert, and those at B & R as well. What a mighty woman! What a kind, compassionate light she shed upon the downtrodden, the forgotten, the cast asides that others gave little or no thought to or of. She brought me joy and gladdened my heart with her music and her purpose. She shall be missed more than one can say, she is loved beyond comprehending. At last, she is Home and surely the brightest star shining in the sky. Look.....there she is still, shining on.....We love you Mimi, we miss you and you will never ever be forgotten.....Namaste!
Hello, It seems like only a few days ago that I sent a get-well message and now I hear Mimi has passed on. I will always remember her as a devoted human being, musician, wife, and leader.
My sincere condolences.
There is a Tewa poem:
"Hold onto what is good
Even if it is a handful of earth.
"Hold onto what you believe
Even if it is a tree which stands by itself.
"Hold onto what you must do
Even if it is a long way from here.
"Hold onto life
Even if it is easier letting go.
"Hold onto my hand
Even when I have gone away from you."
Traditionally, people with violet eyes are shamans; Mimi was the case who proved the rule -- what I will remember most, I think, is her ability to materialize the magical energy of the honest, open heart into action and connection in the outer world.
May the spirits who be bless her and bring her back to us soon.
This world is a better place for Mimi's having lived in it. Deepest sympathy to her family, friends and colleagues.
I grew up listening and going to concerts and meeting Joan Baez. I did hear an album and saw some footage of Mimi's and was struck how beautiful her voice was. I also was aware of Bread and Roses. My immediate reaction of hearing of Mimi's passing was of sadness and shock. I lost my sister a year ago from cancer and it seems so unfair to lose her and now a person who was so compasssionate like Mimi. My thoughts are with the Baez family, her partner and all who were touched by her.
How is it that someone that we never met can impact our lives so fully and completely? I first knew of Mimi Farina through her recorded work. After being enchanted by her lovely voice, I wondered what had happened to her and what she was doing with her life (the music I had heard was recorded in the sixties and it was now the nineties). A friend mentioned the Bread & Roses Organization and through this website came to understand what she was doing with her life. Now I realize that the music of Mimi Farina was merely a siren's call, it lead me to the oasis of volunteerism and social commitment. I am sure that Mimi's voice will lead other sailors to destinations of great spiritual bounty in the future. My sympathies to all of Mimi's friends and family.
Bonnie Petito Chlipala
To Mimi's Family, My heartfelt sympathy goes out to you. I'm shocked at the news of Mimi's passing. I just finished reading "Positively 4th Street" and have had her and Richard's music very much in my thoughts (and dreams) these past couple weeks. I even went out last week and bought the Best of Vanguard CD, as I long ago lost track of their albums that I once had.
Being one of three sisters, I send up special prayers for Joan and Pauline at your loss. I was a 15 year old girl, back in the mid-60s when I first discovered Mimi and Richard's music. It was so different. Mimi was so beautiful and her life (Carmel, Paris, the folk elite) seemed like a dream to this ordinary suburban girl. Her work with Bread and Roses is inspiring.
I'm very sad tonight and my thoughts are with all of you.
Thanks for this opportunity.
Bonnie Petito Chlipala
Dear Bread and Roses,
As a folk-music loving fifteen-year old, growing up in California in the 60's, I remember Mimi and Richard Farina playing at the Ash Grove in Los Angeles (I think it was the Ash Grove?) and after Richard's death, Mimi performing with the San Francisco Mime Troup, if I remember correctly. Their music is every bit as fresh as it was thirty-five years ago. I remember I was listening to the radio and heard about Richard's death, and yesterday, thirty-five years later, again listening to National Public Radio to hear of Mimi's death. Their social and political consciousness, and unique musicianship will thankfully continue through the albums, books, and Bread and Roses. A great loss...
I find myself at a loss for words when someone of such strength, grace, and light leaves us so early in their life. I once accompained her on my harp while she sang at a fundraiser. Her professionalism, easy collaboration, and joy that she shared in preparing and performing the music will be a lasting memory with me. Her smile warmed my heart evertime I saw her. Be at peace Mimi.
Scott R. Kirkman
Dear Folks at Bread and Roses,
I wanted to jot you a note expressing my sympathy for your loss of Mimi. Also I wanted to say thank you for the opportunity she and your organization provided by allowing me to perform.
In reviewing my past work for Bread & Roses, I wished to pass on a story of my favorite performance. I played in a folk-acoustic trio called the Phlounders from November of 1987 through January of 1999. The Phlounders was made up of Bill Sleeper, Larry Peters and myself, Scott Kirkman. Some time in 1993 we joined Bread & Roses so as to be able to perform more and help others. I believe in the spring of 1995 we played a gig at a county facility on the San Francisco Penninsula. I regret that I can't remember the specific place or date. After we finished our standard 45 minute set of covers and originals we started to leave. Someone asked if we would come back to one of the rooms. There we found a late 20's to early 30's year old man with bright red hair and a great smile. He was paralyzed due to a motorcycle accident. He could smile, blink his eyes and move his toes but that was about it. The attendant asked if we'd play a couple of songs as he'd not been able to get to the community room due to his injuries. We then knocked off two decent cover versions of CSN&Y's "Teach your Children" and Don McLean's "American Pie". I can't describe to you the feeling we got when we saw the guy smile and wiggle his toes. We left there thankful for what we have and hopefuly he felt a little better as well. In thinking about my past 32 years playing guitar I'd say that has to be the top performance I've ever given.
The opportunity to play those songs for that man came about as a result of a very special woman, Mimi Farina. Her ability to transform compassion to music was a rare gift. I regret that I could not thank her personally for the joy she's brought to me. It has made me a better person and life's road traveled a little better for those less fortunate whom we played for.
Her spirit and good work will live on through the music any of us who played at a Bread and Roses show perform in the future.
Right now Bill Graham and she are putting on one heck of a gig in a better place. Thanks for listening.
Scott R. Kirkman (aka Phred Phlounder)
I'd like to imagine that Mimi is with her loved ones again: singing with Dick, listening to one of Tia's stories, gigling with Chris. Maybe, by now, she's even run into that old family friend, Kay Boyle, who wrote these words long ago for someone else who died too soon:
"What torches can we carry?
My grief is not a flower
It is a stone
With no place wide enough
Or deep enough
To set it down.
Do I value courage too tenderly in this bleak season,
Hearing the petals of its speech fall
In one fierce moment from the broken stem.
I can hear you say, as you often do,
'The stone, that stone, beloved coward,
Is not as heavy as your heart.
Carry it further.
It will serve.
It sill remain".
Mimi was a light in my life from the mid-70's onward ...we've lost some fine ones lately, and one is touched by all such losses, but with Mimi...it's like losing a close friend I never met. We id exchange some email about three years ago, when I was looking to see if another community had interest in a local version of B&R. She was of course generous in her responses and I value that. But more than that, I value the singer, the instrument that she was and is in my life and my own private music. I'm so sorry she's gone.
Wow! What an inspiration! I never knew her, but knew of her work. Incredible what happens when one person has a vision and has the perseverance and courage to fulfill it. An inspiration to us all.
How sad I am to hear of the death of Mimi Farina..as a young girl in the 60's I was very much touched by the music of Richard and Mimi Farina..I have their music on cd's and listen to them often. I send her family love and blessings.
Karen I. Olsen
I just heard of Mimi Farina's passing yesterday on NPR. I was not very familiar with her music, but certainly knew of her partnership with the late Richard Farina and with the organization of Bread and Roses. I am quite disturbed that the news has been rather buried in the local papers, in both print and online editions. The mission of Bread and Roses is such an important one, and I would love it if they would start a branch up here in Seattle--I am a local folk musician and volunteer concert promoter (seeking professional work in that field), and would love to participate in the musical services that this organization provides! From all in the Seattle folk and activist communities, we send our love to Mimi in her crossing-over journey, our celebration of the life-essence she shared with so many, and love and best wishes to all her family and friends!
I had the good fortune to volunteer for Bread & Roses and get to know Mimi, the great folks in the office, and some in "the field". I remember, one day,meeting with Robert Stapp and Mimi to sort through years of B&R photographs. Very simple, just working together, chatting. Meeting by chance on the beach at Stinson, walking the beach, an activity we both loved. We saw each other in the office about once a week for a good five years. Her presence always gentle,strong,lovely.
Bless Mimi and those who love her.
Words escape me. Thank you for the love and concern expressed by your short time on this planet, Mimi. Thank you for the happiness you brought into the lives of so many through your work and your music. Give Richard a big ole hug and we'll try to pack up our sorrows...
I met Mimi in Toronto in the early seventies introduced by a friend who was roadie for Gordie Lightfoot. My friend Wally had dropped me in it by telling Mimi that I used to share a flat in England with Elton's record producer and that maybe I could get back stage passes. When Mimi called me at the boutique where I worked the next day saying she wanted to go I was speachless. She was so kind and genuine when I explained that I hadn'd seen Gus Dugeon since I'd left the U.K several years before sying that if I wasn't successful perhaps we could simply have some dinner. I succeded and will never forget standing by the stage of Maple Leaf Gardens with the most beautiful girl there at my side, listening to Reggie singing "Don't let the Sun go down on me." After the show Mimi suggested we go back to her hotel and order some food.(She knew I was an impoverished Englishman with no money!!)We talked of phsycotherapy that we had both explored. She suggested I read "How people Change" by Alan Wheelis. I wrote Mimi a letter that Christmas and I still have her reply. Throughout my life I always hoped we'd meet again. Alas, now I won't be able to. I've often told that story of the most beautiful date of my life. I grieve with you for this tragic loss.
Mimi Farina will always be a source of inspiration for me. Since I first heard her sing in the 60's and when she started the project of Bread and Roses she has continued to inspire my own work as a musician, singer/songwriter and teacher. I recently booked my daughter's band for a concert through Bread and Roses and told my daughter, this is important. This organization does great work. She agreed. It was a success.
Creativity with vision and energy gave the community of San Francisco and surrounding areas a new approach and sense of community. That vision came from Mimi as well as her energy. Thank you Mimi. We will remember and continue in our own ways to honor you and your vision.
Thanks so much for all the love and inspiration. Your great work will live on and has touched so many ,so deeply the legacy will fill hearts and minds for generations to come. A well earned rest.
I was saddened by the news of Mimi's death, and wanted to relate a story.
In 1977 (on July 7, to be exact) I was in Los Angeles at a studio visiting some sessions for Mimi that were being produced by my former bandmate, violinist Richard Greene.
We listened to the playback of several of the songs that were being overdubbed by percussionist Hal Blaine. The sounds were beautiful and, being a fan of hers from the early days, I was again reminded of how good Mimi was at her craft.
She was typically soft-spoken and friendly, and since this was the first time we had ever met I was impressed by her presence. She seemed to have that effect on everyone at the session.
As we all piled into a car to leave the studio, Richard began to explain that he was convinced that something unusual was going to happen that day, it being after all, 7/7/77.
Sure enough, we drove away and Richard had left his briefcase at the curb, containing all his notes about the sessions. He was convinced that this happened because of the date, but I think it was because he was (like all of us) so dazzled by Mimi's presence that he couldn't think straight.
Goodbye, Mimi. We all loved you so very much.
The positive thing about the burning out of a star in the universe is that you can continue to perceive its light for, possibly, millions of years. I believe this is the case with Mimi, her work will span many generations from now ad infinitum. I would like to re-dedicate my willingness to perform and contribute to Mimi's work. Let me know when you need me. Regards to Marian and the rest of the crew that I have worked with in the past.
Peace & Love
Mimi has and will continue to inspire, that is her legacy, that's the element of immortality. While we mourn her passing, we will celebrate her being. We all are better because of her.
Thank you Mimi.
Bill Keith Picha
I am overwhelmed with grief today upon learning that Mimi Farina has passed. I cannot fathom what the family grief is-my thoughts and prayers are with all of you.
To Bread and Roses: it was due to my seeing a Mimi Farina concert in Eugene May 5 1983 that you all got alot of support thru MY word of mouth after I heard Mimi describe what Bread and Roses was all about.
I passed the word to every Greenpeace/womens space et al activist I ever met from there on out-you have a beautiful mission in this world and I loudly applaud your continuance of Mimi's vision for hope, laughter music and love be brought to those that society does very little for.
To Mimi-your light in this world will sorely be missed. Sail on home/we'll see you again soon.
I grew up with the songs of Joan and Mimi and its hard to understand why Mimi had to go so early.But we all are "poor wayfaring strangers" and nobody knows who has to leave next.
My heartfelt sympathy to Joan and the Baez-family!
I am very saddened by this news. Mimi had a good heart and we are all richer for her presence in the world. God bless Mimi and the family and friends she left behind.
I am very saddened by this news. Mimi had a good heart and we are all richer for her presence in the world. God bless Mimi and the family and friends she left behind.
I want to express my sorrow to hear of the passing of a great woman, Mimi Farina. It was a pleasure to be associated with Bread & Roses as the Office Manager from 1994 to 1999. What a great experience to be part of an organization with such a wonderful mission. Mimi was the driving force in accomplishing that mission. Because of her vision Bread & Roses has been able to give the gift of music to so many people during the last 26 years. I am grateful to have known Mimi personally…to have worked with her, to have laughed with her, to have helped fulfill her vision of music as a healing art…has been a blessing in my life. My thoughts and prayers are with the Baez family, Paul, her friends and the staff of Bread & Roses.
There are people who simply by being who they are enrich the lives of everyone they touch. We shall remember Mimi that way, and be grateful that she touched us...
Heroes are often those who lead lives of quiet power; gently and consistently tapping away at mountains of pain and injustice through the years to change lives in ever widening concentric circles. Mimi Farina did that--and those of us left behind are finer human beings because she lived.
My deepest sympathy for the loss of such a gentle spirit, and my sincere gratitude for her presence on this earth; seemingly short, but so very significant.
I glimpsed Mimi and Richard Farina in a back corner of the Club 47 in Cambridge years ago as we listened for the first time to the Paul Butterfield Blues Band. Even as a non-folk person in those days, I had listened to Celebrations for a Grey Day and enjoyed what I heard, especially Pack Up Your Troubles. Now, when I read about Mimi's founding of Bread and Roses, I realize how little I knew of her good work. All I can say is I sensed in her a gentle, interested presence. Clearly she was that and much, much more. I offer my deepest sympathy to her family and loved ones at this time of loss.
I was deeply saddenned by the loss of Mimi Farina. I will remember forever her very fine performances in the films "Festival" and "Celebration at Big Sur", and of course her records, especially those with Richard.