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Nash, Edith / Practice the here and now: selected writings of Edith Nash
(2001)

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


Page 46

46 Philleo Nash and I met in the Anthropology Department of the University
of Chicago. He was a graduate student and I was an undergraduate. We both
took Robert Redfield's course called Peoples of Mexico. It was a graduate
level course and the catalog said "consent of instructor." So I went to see
the professor, lean and horse-faced, with the gentlest smile I had ever seen.
When I asked him if I could take the course, he said, "Why, of course. You
and I will be the only people there who have ever been in Mexico." My roommate,
Del, came too. We imagined Philleo was a rich, older man dabbling in anthropology
who might be maneuvered into a liaison with Del, providing dinners, theaters,
and maybe even a posh apartment while she waited for her student fiancé,
Johnny, to grow up. Although Philleo wore a velvet collared overcoat and
a derby hat and had white hair, he was young, poor and a student fresh from
Wisconsin. We became friends, became a pair, clung together as unformed adolescents
and spent the rest of his life together, more than fifty years.
 We went to the Workers' School somewhere on the near South Side to hear
Harold Lasswell discuss Marx and Engels and their miscalculation as to the
imminence of revolution. -. We read Engels' Anti-Duhring which made us instantaneous
Marxian scholars. It was fairly near Chinatown and a group of students met
to eat at a cheap place in the basement. We ate well for thirty-five cents
before each class. Someone started calling the restaurant Der Kellerplatz
(maybe it was Philleo; he spoke German at that time).
 I met a woman who wore black clothes all the time. She came to a party my
roommate and I gave in our apartment for a friend who was getting married.
The woman sat on the floor and read the whole of The Waste Land by T. S.
Eliot. I had never read or heard it before and I was mighty impressed. She
was getting divorced from her musician husband, and she met


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