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It was not destroyed, apparently, by the Nazi-Soviet Pact, because,
you know, in a lot of the histories, the intellectuals left in droves at
Some stayed. Remember, some of the far left people stayed, in
the theater, in the movies, John Howard Lawson, you know, The
Hollywood Ten, they went through the Pact in that period. As a matter
of fact, later on, I'm at the department store union, and the
department store union at Locals 1250 and 5 are under heavy attack.
This is the McCarthy period. It's still going on, Local 65, with its
tentacles always looking to take in, absorb, and later on, 1250 and 5
and Local 2, agree to become part of 65.
Let's get our chronology straight. When exactly does that happen?
Can you try to pinpoint it?
Maybe '50, '51, '52.
65 is also outside of the CIO?
65 is outside, yes. It's outside, but functioning. It's the bastion
for the left. This is a period when there are young people are working
in the shops, and they live in New York City, and the building is like a
home. The building's got a consumers service, you know, where you
can buy and shop. It's got everything in there. It's got classes, it's got
all kinds of things going on.
Stop for one second. During this period, you went to work -- we
should pinpoint it later on -- '46 or '47, and were there other things? I
mean, that department store local must have had tremendous
resources to put on a play like --
It didn't have resources.
How did you do it?
We did it. Remember, you had a headquarters, so you
rehearsed. You had a lot of people volunteering. We signed contracts
with the director, 250 dollars. They rehearsed for like four months,
first to cast the show, then to rehearse the show, I mean, to do the
show. I remember one of the things that struck me, 65 was very, very
jealous all the time of anything that was not 65. It was like not made
in America, they were very critical of. They reviewed “Thursdays ‘Til
Nine,” and Irving Baldinger, the editor, reviewed it under a different
name. I didn't know at the time. Whereas everybody was excited
about the show, 65 gave it sort of a standoffish kind of review because
they weren't doing it.
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