HerStory 52 women. One year of history

 52 women. One year of history. #HerStory is a project for 2012 in which each week, a contemporary woman shares the story of a historical woman who inspires her. Hear elected officials, academics, mothers, filmmakers, authors, activists, CEO’s, and more provide a snapshot of these women’s lives, from the headliners to the lesser-known gems. 

Rebecca Price  creator of Chick History who has an MA in Museum Studies writes, "The challenge of women's history is the challenge of moving away from the "Great Men" method of telling stories through unique biographies and moving into a more holistic vision of social history. It’s about the contributions of individuals who did remarkable things but weren't in a position where they could distinguish themselves individually - because of societal biases of the time and of early historians. 

The more I study Women’s History, the more fascinating history as a discipline becomes. I will try and do it justice, and I hope you enjoy, learn, and have fun along the way." -Rebecca Price

Cathy Grier writes: I'm excited to be a part of


a project by

Chick History

.  I chose to speak about the life of poet Edna St. Vincent Millay. I discovered Vincent's poetry and life, in the late 1990’s  after returning home to the US after living in France and looking to immerse myself in American culture, I discovered  “Savage Beauty,” a biography  by Nancy Milford. I was taken by Vincent's poetic style and her artistic expression on and off the literary stage. I also learned from my mother that my grandfather her father, loved to recite Millay’s work.

here's the link to listen to my episode 

#HerStory 33: Edna St. Vincent Millay by Cathy Grier

What inspired me about getting involved in the Chick History Project? Rebecca was looking for contemporary women to share their inspiration of a women in history and in what ways they connected with her.  Frankly far too many women have been rewritten out of history.  This is a fine way to preserve and honor them.

        read more about HerStory and Chick History:

How many women in history can you name? 20? 10? Who are your favorites? Who has inspired you? How would you tell her story?

In 2012, Chick History will tell the stories of 52 women, not through names and dates of textbooks, but through the voices of contemporary women. Chick History is inviting 52 diverse women to take ownership of the historical women who have inspired them - from the headliners to the lesser-known gems - and is asking each one to share her story with us.

Hear elected officials, academics, mothers, filmmakers, authors, activists, CEO’s, and more offer snapshots of these women’s lives. You may know some of these stories. Others, you may not know. But over the year, #HerStory will provide a collection of inspiring and fascinating women of history who form the foundation on which modern women are building today.

#HerStory is also an empowering way for contemporary women to express their gratitude to these historical women, by becoming an advocate and amplifier of their lives - sharing their stories with the larger world so that others may also find inspiration in their lives.

There is someone in history for all of us. Someone whose actions and words, courage and commitment, is a touchstone for us. Someone who has shaped our values, our points of view, our careers, commitments, and beliefs. Someone whose words cheer us up and motivate us to begin a difficult new project, make a career change, or just help us to get through another depressing day at the office. Someone who inspires us and gives us the strength to make a change in our lives.

Somewhere in these podcasts, during this year, Chick History hopes you will find a connection with one of these women. That she speaks to you on a personal level through her story, and you find something of what you have done, what you are doing, or what you have thought you might try in your own life.

So tune in each week for a new story and get inspired. And when the year is over, the next time someone asks you “How many inspiring women in history are there?”...you can start with these 52 and go from there.


How do you write someone out of history? read

Rebecca's piece in the Huffington Post

about removing Hilary Clinton out of the photograph of the Osama bin Laden mission from the White House Situation Room.

I was introduced to Rebecca Price through a friend -media guru Nancy VanReece, hear her episode HerStory

#08 about Kathleen Lee Bates 

My partner Michele also got involved, hear HerStory #30 about Anne Morrow Lindbergh 

Another wonderful discovery is the group The Edna Project led by husband and wife musical team Liz Queler and Seth Farber who put music to Vincent's poetry,  set to edgy, sometimes sultry Americana melodies. My favorites are “If Still Your Orchards Bear”, “Wraith” and “The Penitent”.  

follow HerStory on





Summer means lots of thyme

Okay summer is now in full swing.  Lucky for me I have a country get away to avoid the hot, sticky, smelly subway. It's funny, people ask me all the time how I can handle performing in the subway. It does take a certain amount of settling in, a few days tops and then suddenly I forget the crazy surroundings, the sounds, the smells, the rushing commuters, the strange daily events that are too hard to describe. It's the movement of bodies, the heart and soul of a city.  The collective coming together of flesh, blood, metal, wood, air and water.  But for now it's crickets and cool breezes, wild turkeys and honey bees. And it takes me no time to settle into this kind of environment.

Taking a break is a resourcing for me and being someone who doesn't actually know how to stop "working," I am full of doing other wonderful things.  I've never actually had what I call a "real job" except when I was in my teens first working at Bob's Surplus in Middletown, CT, folding jeans, working the cash register and then display (that's when I learned to drink my coffee black), and later a brief stint as a drive-up teller at a Liberty Bank in Portland.  The branch manager one day seeing my cash stored in every direction, took the bills dumping them on the counter in a huge pile as a crazy way to teach me how to organize in one direction face up. Of course I never made that mistake again. I still organize bills that way. I was starting my first gigs at the same time and soon learned it was certainly more interesting and fun to embark on a career in music. Who knew I'd still be doing it happily all these years later, the highs the lows the good money and bad.  "You got to love life to live life, and live life to love life." :Thornton Wilder, Our Town. Along the way I've always had a passion for other things that mean using my hands  like sound engineering, but other non musical things like cooking, building and repairing things, gardening, photography, and community work.  

Today I woke up and pulled weeds in our thyme garden and like I always like to say with a laugh, "we've got plenty of thyme." I walked the pups down a gravel country road, and am now back sitting at the computer writing.  Last night Michele and I and some friends went to Hudson, NY for an outdoor concert series along the river called Hudson.Water.Music. produced by Rob Caldwell and owner of the most fun and eclectic "community" music store in America called Musica.

There were performers from Bindlestiff Family Cirkus, wandering the grounds, and hoola hoops everywhere for anyone to take a spin. There was a wonderful performance by The Edna Project with Liz Queler and Seth Farber and their very talented 12 year old son Joey on the Cajon.

Edna St. Vincent Millay lived in Austerlitz, NY on a fabulous piece of land she named Steepletop, where she escaped NYC with the rest of her angels and demons to write and celebrate her very intense and eclectic life. She was a rock star of the day (1920's). I remember my grandfather Raymond Gomez who emigrated from Antigua was a fan of Vincent's and could recite stanza's of her poetry. What was wonderful about The Edna Project is Liz and Seth have created wonderful musical accompaniment to the words of Edna St. Vincent's. My friend Sherry commented last night that the lyrics sound as contemporary as anything we listen to today.  Seeing Seth was great fun as I had hired him back in 1998 to perform the B3 organ for a project I was producing (he is a fantastic keyboardist). Joey had just been born, so it was fun to see him play last night 12 years later. And Play he does, with so much passion and groove, while others like yours truly picked up one of the many hoola hoops laying about and took a twirl. Ah childhood memories. I think Edna St. Vincent was smiling.

And in the life is a small world category, sitting in chairs just next to us were Dini Lamot and Windle Davis (formerly of the group Human Sexual Response) old friends from my Key West days in the mid 1980's.  I haven't seen them since.  They are now happily living in Hudson, have a wonderful B&B The Inn At Hudson and have been together 36 years. They will officially marry next Tuesday. Congratulations.

Later Sweet Soubrette performed a lovely set. A fun trio of Violin, Uke, and yes Marimba while they performed the hot July sun set behind them along the Hudson river horizon.

As the next weeks go on I'll catch up on my many clips from the past months performing in the subway.  You can look forward to more What's Your Inspiration? clips, and some really fun spontaneous jams from commuters passing by.  And mostly I'll get out into the country and fill myself with nature before heading back to the Underground and parts unknown.

Happy Summer.


ha, ha, we have lots of thyme.....