Monday, March 10, 2014

class wars. also family histories.

One of the nice things about spending so much time with family friend Bill these past weeks has been hearing little stories -- beautiful little fragments -- about my father.

As you may have gathered by now, family friend Bill was one of my father's best friends. The two Bills, if  you will! (Though thinking about it now, as an adult, I am sort of amazed that they became such close friends. They are very, very different in so many ways -- my father the westerner, rugged, a little ragged, a country mouse in the big city.  Bill comparatively sophisticated, in touch with his feelings, urban and urbane, well-versed in cosmopolitan living.)

Somehow last week, during our weekly get-together, we ended up talking about money. Specifically, we were talking about how some people just seem to have too damned much of it.*  Suddenly Bill said, "Now, your father, his politics were good of course. But he wasn't by any means a radical when you guys first got to New York."

He went on to tell me how, not too long after we moved here from the west coast, Dad had taken Mom out on the town.  Part of their wanderings that day involved a leisurely stroll down 5th Avenue, and this leisurely afternoon stroll led to some surprising results.

"After that walk," Bill said, "he came to the conclusion that it was time for a revolution."
*When there are hotel rooms that go for tens of thousands a night, and hamburgers in the hundreds, well, clearly some people just have too much money! But on a more serious note, this is of course a real and growing problem here in America. Check it out.

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