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I remember that the Sunday of the first performance--we ran it two Sundays in a row, because we were now a little bit larger. We had taken in hospital workers on top of the drug members, so that we needed more space and we weren't going to go outside. There was a virtue in doing it at the union, so we did it two Sundays in a row, and I remember that Bob DeCormier, who was the musical director for Belafonte, was doing the music for the program, and sitting next to me while rehearsals were going on, and there was Montalban in his shirtsleeves on a Sunday morning, his only day off, going over the script, and Bob said to me, “There's nobody in the world who you could get, except for Montalban would do it only because it's Ossie.” That was what happened right through, because Ossie, in the early days, would bring in his friends to rehearse for a full week on the dramatization, and his friends included Sidney Poitier and [Harry] Belafonte, Will Geer, Johnny Randolph, and many black actors and actresses who performed free and who would rehearse all week, and Ossie was like the political leader. Everybody would turn to him to see how they should do something or what they should do, etc.

After the hospital campaign began, we had to go outside, and the program moved to the High School of Fashion Industries, where, as I will try to recall the kind of people who performed in these programs, it would be Dick Gregory, Pete Seeger, Max Roach and Abby Lincoln one year. Another year, Nina Simone. Once we had a crisis. The seating capacity of the Fashion Trades High School was something like 1,600, and we would sell general admission seats, based upon some kind of statistical theory that I had developed, that you could distribute twice as many tickets as there were seats, since you never expected that all of the organizers would sell all their tickets. It worked, for the most part. It was packed, and it worked, until one program where we had Miriam Makeba, I remember, and Pete Seeger, and the LaRoque Bay dancers, but Miriam Makeba was the big name. Lo and behold, the turnout was way past our expectations, and there were organizers stationed outside the hall pleading with the people to go away, and people were sort of storming the barricades and taking names out in the street of people who were there, and promising that on Monday morning the organizer would come to the hospital and give them their refunds, to avoid the closest thing to chaos in that period.

Then, the program also was an attempt to bring blacks and whites together, the Drug Division people. We were organizing Guild people, so that the program would include some white performer as well as a black performer, and maybe something that would attract Hispanic members. It was a potpourri in that sense, but always big names, depending on what show Ossie was in. If Ossie was working with





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