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Moe FonerMoe Foner
Photo Gallery

Session:         Page of 592


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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