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Margot had been a schoolteacher for twenty-six years and
retired, and we convinced her to devote a number of hours a week to
our program working with schools and teachers. So everything is in a
circle. But at any rate, we began to develop work with the schools.
There's one exhibition that I want to tell you about that's an indication
of our position and principles. We had an exhibition with the schools,
with photography students, on Times Square, in which the students
were to photograph anything on Times Square. The new Times Square
was being built. It's a few years ago.
And this is a project in which about a dozen schools participated
and provided kids?
At least a dozen schools had students out taking photographs.
We meet with the teachers and the students regularly. “How's it
going?” At one of the meetings, the people of the 42nd Street
Development Corporation in charge of everything hear about it, and
they say they would like to come to the meeting.
The person who came, Gretchen Dykstra, D-Y-K-S-T-R-A, was the
subject of a column in the Times yesterday. Of course, she left and
went to the West Coast and just returned for the day. She was the
person who came to the meeting. At one meeting, she showed the
photographs, and they were great, but one photograph showed
someone like a derelict, the old Times Square, and Gretchen said, “You
can't have that.”
And I said, “Why?”
She said, “It won't help, you know. If you do like the others, we'll get
them in the subways, we'll get them all distributed all over Times
Square, at the booths, and we'll handle the PR, we've got a big thing,
but we can't include this.” So we had this question to decide.
I said, “Will you excuse yourself for a few minutes?”
We met with the teachers and the students and discussed what we
would do. I said, “Let's not do it.” They all agreed.
And what were you sacrificing by that decision?
We were sacrificing -- oh, gosh. [Chuckles] They were going to
do all the publicity. They were going to get them up physically in the
best possible areas, in the subway stations, at their Times Square
booths, and just go to town with it, and distribute cards and
everything about how you can get this exhibition.
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