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Nash, Edith / Practice the here and now: selected writings of Edith Nash

Nash, Edith
My life on the left,   pp. 44-49

Page 45

 Frances Straus and I became good friends and the next summer she visited
me at home in Oak Park. She was vocal in her criticism of all manner of capitalistic
endeavors which annoyed my father, then a vice-president at Sears-Roebuck.
 At the University of Chicago I belonged to the International Labor Defense
which met where the old streetcars had a turnaround just off Harper. Most
of the discussion was about the difference between the Second and Third Internationals.
We also sang The Cloak Maker's Union which savages the socialists: -
 "The Hillquits, Abe Kahns, and Norman Thomases
 Are ruining the woikers with their promises
 They teach socialism but they practice fascism
 To presoive capitalism by the bosses."
 I can't quite remember what started our benefit show at an abandoned movie
house downtown, but I think the profits were meant to go to the FREE TOM
MOONEY campaign.
I opened the program in a white cotton lace dress as the Spirit of the Haymarket
and read, beautifully and sincerely, Vache1~--- Lindsay's poem about Altgeld,
the governor of Illinois who pardoned the Haymarket anarchists, falsely accused.
It has something to do with an "eagle forgotten" and I felt noble reading
it. The show must have happened after Scottsboro because we had a dozen young
Black boys singing a song about it, and we persuaded a friend named Horace
Cayton to do offstage shots with his pistol. Before he came to Chicago to
do graduate work in sociology, he had been a prison guard in Seattle so he
had a gun but forgot to buy blanks. He didn't hit anybody backstage although
there were a lot of little people running around.
 We auctioned off an unemployed man, with a text written by a once-only collaboration:
Robert Morss Lovett and John Dos Passos. Dave Scheyer played the part. I
remember his naked torso and long strands of hair carefully brushed over
bald head. 45

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