And a big Texas ‘Howdy!”
Hi readers. Thanks for coming by for a read this morning.
Back in the bad old days between the Korean War and the Vietnam War a person could land himself in a peck of trouble for saying he was a Communist. My granddad was a man crosswise with the world, and one day in a cafe in Dora, New Mexico, a bunch of farmers were talking about the Communists, and Papa announced he was one. Proceeded to debate the matter with the entire cafe.
Point-by-point. He didn’t have any friends around there anyway, but doing that didn’t win him any.
Wasn’t long before he had himself a visit from two FBI agents. Said they’d had a report he was an atheistic Communist. Which thoroughly pissed him off.
So Papa began studying Communism, began building all manner of reasons Communism was better than representative democracy. Which he was happy to pass on to my young crosswise-with-the-Universe mind.
Sophomore, or Junior year of high school I entered a class on government being taught by Ira Bogard. Me being the smartass trouble maker I was, and being generally an outcast, a few days into the semester I answered a question by saying I was a Communist. Mister Bogard paused and glared at me, then went on with what he’d been saying.
But at the end of class he was assigning the class an essay. Except me. He pointed to me and told me to give him five pages explaining why I was a Communist.
I turned it in on time, and a few days later he handed it back to me with questions in the margins: “How do you explain the Siberian camps?” “How do you explain Stalin?” “Why do you say Roosevelt’s New Deal was Communism in disguise?” 5 pages.
This went on the whole semester. The only essays I wrote were answers to his questions about Communism. Naturally I consulted my granddad every chance I got, but I also spent a lot of time in the library, even had to visit the ENMU library to get answers to some of his questions.
Hell of a good teacher. I still smile thinking about him.