by Tom Ellis, October 2020 Newsletter
ALBANY: Save the Pine Bush President Rezsin Adams, who died August 13 at age 93, was lovingly honored and remembered at a September 16 virtual Save the Pine Bush meeting facilitated by Lynne Jackson.
Carol Waterman said Rezsin had a wonder-ful sense of humor, could be hilarious, and once allowed herself to be all dolled up as part of a La-dies Against Women guerrilla group skit; Rezsin posed and preened like a fashion model. Carol, who knew Reszin for 52 years. said “Rezsin got into every cause I got into,” “Rezsin is the mother of us all” and “her memory an eternal flame that will always light our way.”
Pat Beetle knew Rezsin sixty-plus years. Pat said Rezsin was the secretary of the Women’s Legislative Forum that lobbied at the NYS Capi-tol in the 1960s. She said Rezsin’s mimeograph machine “should be in a museum. It is a sacredhing.” Pat recalled the peace calendars Rezsin created, mimeographed and distributed every month for many years. Rezsin was “the mother of the peace movement” in our region. Pat said Rezsin and her husband Ted were very gener-ous, were involved in efforts to buy the Social Justice Center, and was “an icon and we miss her very much.”
I (Tom Ellis) said Rezsin was already a local legend when I first met her in November 1978 when we distributed radiation and health informational flyers to workers entering and departing work at the Knowles Atomic Power Laboratory in Niskayuna. I said I often observed that Rezsin always noticed the work people did and personally thanked them for doing it.Anita Thayer said Rezsin and Ted always had money for bail and other things.
Gregg Bell said Rezsin and Ted “made our community strong in so many ways.” He said his first memory of them was at Page Hall in 1967; he recalled Ted’s mittens were tied together with a string so they would not get separated and lost. Rezsin, he said, was a part of countless neigh-borhood association activities, and “Rezsin set an an example for two-to-three generations of activists.”
A woman from Westminster Presbyterian church said Rezsin attended Africa programs at the church, made sandwiches for these events, and walked all over Albany. She said it “was a privilege to know her.”
Paul Rosenberg said that as soon as he met Rezsin in 1980, he began seeing her everywhere. He said Rezsin mimeographed the Honest Weight Coop’s Coop Scoop for many years, Paul saw Rezsin at the Peace Breakfasts, and he remains honored to have been invited to call a dance a few times at SPB holiday dinners. Rezsin was a “very inspiring person,” he said.
Kathy Manley met Rezsin in 1981 when Rezsin was involved with the Peace Breakfasts. Kathy said Rezsin mimeographed the newsletters of the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES) and the Pledge of Resis-tance. She recalled Rezsin’s participating in a big demonstration of more than 1000 at the O’Brien Federal Building in 1991 when the first Gulf War started. At another demonstration, many high school students were arrested along with Rezsin and Pat Beetle. Rezsin spent eight nights in jail.
Kathy said Rezsin was “a great mentor and icon.”Susan DuBois said she met Rezsin at a SPB garage sale in 1982 shortly after moving to Albany. She said some of Rezsin’s mimed documents are in the Swarthmore Library Peace Collection.
John Cutro met Rezsin in the late 1970s. He recalls his daughter seeing a photo of Rezsin, Pat Beetle, and Liz Pearson in a social studies text book used at the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk public schools.
Chris Colarusso said Rezsin lived near her in Albany and was often out and about in the neigh-borhood. Chris sang a song in honor of Rezsin. Pat Bettle said Rezsin was very active for years with the Social Justice Center’s Peace Offerings store and believes she and Ted were greatly involved with the purchase of the store. Lynne Jackson said Rezsin staffed the store for years, and after the store closed, sold Peace Of-ferings left-overs at SPB holiday dinners.
Dan Wilcox said he was a SUNYA student 1966-1969 and his girlfriend took courses from Ted. When he returned to Albany in 1987, Rezsin was one of the “elders” Dan “looked up to.” He said Rezsin often attended the annual May 31 Walt Whitman celebrations held at the Robert Burns Statue in Washington Park.
Russell Ziembia said Rezsin is in a few films, she had a WRPI radio show for about twenty years, and he and Cynthia Pooler are now making a documentary about Rezsin. Russell said Rezsin connected so many people through the mimeograph machine. He said Rezsin was part of the No Spray Coalition in 2003 during heightened concerns about the West Mile Virus and personally blocked spraying in Colonie by standing directly in front of the sprayers.Nancy Benedict said Rezsin often helped David Murphy who now lives in a nursing home. Rezsin cooked food for many parties for David and his friends. Rezsin, Nancy said, was also a strong supporter for Citizens For Public Transportation.
Steve Redler said Rezsin was “ a defining figure” and “a great example of what one person can do.” Rezsin was active in the Grape Boycott, the anti-nuclear movement, and she was honored at the same Jim Perry award dinner that he was. Steve said it was a pleasure to know Rezsin, “we owe a debt of gratitude to Rezsin,” she was “quite an inspiration’, and was “pivotal to my involve-ment and continuing involvement.”Anne Litsky recalled seeing Rezsin at many parties at the Friends Meeting House on Madison Avenue.Harriet Seeley said she”is in awe of hearing what others are saying,” and saw Rezsin and Ted at every Bard Music Festival, Rezsin wearing a sweatshirt, and said Rezsin “touched the city of Albany in many ways.
Mark Schaeffer said he met Rezsin at the 1986 Pinksterfest, he soon began attending SPB dinners, and said “Rezsin fed me more times than anyone else other than my mother.”Sandy Dollinger, a neighbor of Rezsin’s, saw Rezsin give quarters to people who needed them to ride a bus, Rezsin delivered food to needy people, helped a neighbor with disabilities buy a new tricycle after his was stolen, and was “the saint of the neighborhood.”Lynne Jackson said she misses Rezsin “very much,” Rezsin was “part of my life,” and Rezsin “called me every day during my nine months of cancer treatment.”
Lynne said she has Rezsin’s 1940s-model telephone. Rezsin, Lynne, and Sandra Camp pro-tested George W. Bush’s 1991 inauguration in Washington, DC in “horrible weather.” When a police officer searched Rezsin’s bag, Rezsin offered him her food for the day: a sandwich and apple. Rezsin also protested in Washington in “frigid weather” when the Second Gulf War began in 2003. Lynne said that during the first ten years of Save the Pine Bush, Rezsin ran everything, performing very difficult work, that Lynne gradu-ally began to take over. Lynne said Rezsin knew how to welcome new people into the cause and bring them along. Lynne said, “We need to bring young people along. We need to welcome them into these social justice causes.”
Lynne concluded the event recalling Rezsin’s comment to a news reporter when asked about what assets SPB possessed to fight a $15,000,000 SLAPP suit filed against SPB. Rezsin said, “I think we still have about 200 ‘I’ll Never Shop Crossgates’ bumper stickers.”
From the September/October 2020 Newsletter