Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Yahrzeit - Ahead & Behind theTimes

My father died 17 years ago today. November 30 is also Mark Twain's birthday. I imagine Dad would have liked to be linked to Twain, however tenuously. Funny... I just now remembered that I read THE INNOCENTS ABROAD the one time I visited Dad at his home in L.A.

In his early years in Hollywood, Dad lent his voice to various progressive causes, which got him branded as "a Red sonofabitch" (allegedly by Columbia Pictures honcho Harry Cohn), then tailed for decades by the FBI. The sign proclaiming "SCHOLARSHIPS NOT BATTLESHIPS" in this photo from 1937 (below) would have been perfect for an anti-Vietnam War demonstration--or an Occupy rally now. Alas, Dad and the other peaceniks were proved wrong four years later, when battleships became vastly more necessary.

Westwood, Calif.--More than 1000 students of the University of California at Los Angeles walked off the campus in a peace strike as part of a nation-wide demonstration called by the United Student Peace Committee. --PHOTO SHOWS-- Lionel Stander, cinema actor, as he addressed the crowd of strikers, while standing on a truck parked near the campus. 4-22-37