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Coast, this was during the Hollywood Ten period, Betsy Holland. She
was a friend of Paul Jarrico, who was one of the writers. She came and
brought with her the lyrics for a show they had done on the West
Coast, a takeoff on “South Pacific” called “North Atlantic.”
You did tell me this story.
Oh, I did? Is it on tape, or I told it to you?
No. It's on tape.
It is on tape. Okay. The other thing is that we did run boat
rides. When the weather got warm, we would sell out two boats and
go up to Bear Mountain or Indian Point and spend the entire day with
all kinds of organized programs -- ball games, everything for
everybody. The children's program, I think I may have told you that,
in addition to Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie, I knew a musician who
used to appear there, Doc Horowitz, who taught in the schools, he
once asked me if I would be interested in having his daughter come,
because he thought she would be a very good mistress of ceremonies.
She was about twelve years old at the time. Her name was Shari
Lewis. She worked with us for about two years. Later on when she
became big, I would always be able to go to her and ask her to
Then the other thing is Peakskill. That wasn't a social-cultural event.
The left unions, the Furriers, 65, etc., provided the bodyguards around
the platform, and here was a group of people. I remember Leon
Strauss was one of them.
Who was Leon Strauss?
Leon Strauss was head of the Fur Floor boys. He died recently.
He had become an officer of Pathmark. He knew Irving Stern. Anyway,
everybody knows what happened at Peakskill, and I don't want to
recount it. All I can tell you is that leaving the grounds became a
nightmare. You sort of knew that they were lying in wait for you, and
yet you had to get out. The police were not protecting you. People
filled cars. I remember I had an empty car. I filled my car with people.
I remember there was Kathy, who was on the staff of Union Voice, the
secretary of the union paper, and other people, and as we drove out,
rocks started flying, and every window in my car was smashed, and
the glass was flying. I had told people, “You just lie flat, and I'll just
keep driving.” And I remember when I got home, it took me days to
get the glass out of my hair. I wasn't hurt. Nobody was hurt in my car.
I have a picture from Union Voice of myself with the car windows
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