REMEMBERING: CARL SHAW OF HUR - A Humanitarian Activist

(03/24/2022)
By Bob Weaver 2022

Carl Shaw graced the Hur Community for 36 years, marching to the beat of a different drummer, with enough humanitarianism to sink a ship.

He died in 2019 at the age of 90, joined in death by three other men on his remote Kerby Ridge, the population of Hur continuing to decline.

I met Carl and his family in 1983 when they first moved to the village. He and his wife lived in a rental house before moving to the woods, where he went to work proving his medal with building his home (Redbud Farm) and working on self-sufficiency. His concern for the well-being of humankind was a driving force in his daily life.

Carl was an activist, a well-educated man and professional musician, and lent me many books to expand my horizons. While some seem baffled by his liberal eccentricities, he walked the country roads with thousands of miles on his feet, greeting each neighbor.

He had bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Music Education from Wayne State University in Detroit. He taught music for a few years in the Breckenridge, CO and Pontiac, MI public school systems.

He served 20 years in the United States Army, playing the clarinet in the 49th Army Band (Salzburg, Austria), the United States Military Academy Band (West Point, NY), and the United States Army Field Band (Fort Meade, MD).

Carl married Helen (Suthers) Shaw in 1957 and shared life together for 41 years before her death in 1998. He was a man of many interests including woodworking, nutrition, fitness (he ran a 5K race on his 80th birthday in 35 minutes), and social activism. He marched in protest of the Iraq War, saying it was "ill-begotten."

Doggedly determined, he spent his entire adult life studying and advocating for the Single Tax, a land-taxation philosophy designed to eliminate land speculation and the pervasive poverty to which it contributes. The Georgist Tax System, an unpopular view of land ownership and taxation, owning only those things you need and use to be taxed.

He was a man with a heart toward those who had little, dedicated against prejudice and bigotry and standing up for social justice.