Monthly Archives: March 2011

The Old Left Was Interesting

Summertime and the living was not easy.  Because salaries were so low (mine was $3,000 per year in those early days), teachers, particularly if they were men with families, had to work after school ended each day teaching adult night … Continue reading

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I Begin Teaching

So, here I was, an English teacher in a good junior high school.  The truth of the matter was that I knew very little about teaching because I had “skipped” grades 7, 8 and half of 9th,  and I really … Continue reading

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Inwood Junior High School

Inwood Junior High School was very different from Frederick Douglass Junior High School.  When I met with Dr. Hanauer in his office and told him some of my stories about my old school, he explained that in his school there … Continue reading

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Mr. Rodger’s Not So Secret Recipe

Mr. Rodgers was a huge man, possibly 6’4” or 6’5”, weighing well over 300 lbs.  He was also a Negro (that was the word used in those days) who had been brought up in Harlem, and popular with the parents … Continue reading

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Mr. Rodgers Miracle

I had been hired at Frederick Douglas Junior High School as a “regular” substitute, which meant that each day I was assigned to cover the classes of whatever teachers were out that day.  This involved very little teaching and lots … Continue reading

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I Start a New Career

I just had to change careers.  Working for the Welfare Department, doing what I was doing, was simply too awful, too depressing.  To get an idea of what it was like, consider having a conversation with a man in a … Continue reading

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Linda and I Go Freedom Riding

The major political concern of those days was the Civil Rights Movement and the attempt by Southern “Negroes” to integrate their society. In the North, there was considerable support for this push for integration and political equality, some of it … Continue reading

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Graduation and Early Jobs

I graduated from Brooklyn College in 1960 and immediately lost my part-time job at Café Figaro.  As mentioned before, Tom told me he didn’t want college grads working for him, but I think that was just an excuse.  I believe … Continue reading

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I Become Involved in Producing a Play

While at Brooklyn College I had developed an interest in the literary theater.  This meant I was not particularly interested in performing or performances, but in the reading, interpretation and appreciation of plays.  I believe I took every course and … Continue reading

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About Some of My Friends at Figaro’s

Tom himself was spending very little time in Café Figaro, leaving its management entirely in the hands of Royce, who in turn hired managers-cum-espresso machine operators to assist her.  Besides myself and the “pearl diver” (what we called the dishwasher) … Continue reading

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