My best friend, Sally Jane Rowley died of Covid on May 14th. She was 88. She died in the facility where she lived, in Tucson, Arizona. The building was in lock-down, no family or friends were admitted, but Covid found its way in, via an employee who didn’t know she was ill. The virus infected employees and residents alike. Sally fought it off for a week before she succumbed.
Sally was a woman who lived by her principles. In 1961 Sally joined the Mississippi Freedom Rides. She was on the Greyhound bus from Nashville, Tennessee to Jackson Mississippi where she was arrested and sentenced to six months in Parchman State Penitentiary, for the crime of attempting to bring civil rights to the south.
Sally was a bold, compassionate, life-loving woman who stood by the principles of equal justice under the law for every American citizen, even at the cost of her own safety and freedom. When I asked her how she found the courage to be a Freedom Rider, she replied, “Given the injustice I saw happening in this country, how could I not?”