ISSN 1551-8086
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   poets list
   Francisco Dominguez & Aire Celeste Norell
   Marie Lecrivain & Angel Uriel Perales
   Sheikha A.
   Steve Abee
   L. Ward Abel
   Carl Abt
   Han Adcock
   Elizabeth Addis
   Aderemi Adegbite
   Adeolu Emmanuel Adesanya
   Neil Aitken
   M.I Akande
   Shahd Al-Shemmari
   Lynn Albanese
   Nicole Alexander
   Will Alexander
   Gwyndyn Alexander
   Alaina Renee Alexander
   Scott Alexander
   Inalegwu Omapada Alifa
   Maureen Alsop
   Rafael Alvarado
   Steven Alvarez
   Keiko Amano
   Veronica An
   Amy Anderson
   Kristine Anderson
   G.D. Anderson
   Zack Anderson
   Lori Anderson-Moseman
   Grace Andreacchi
   Renae Andruse
   Arlene Ang
   Roger Angle
   Stephen Anstay
   Azure Antoinette
   Theresa Antonia
   Aurora Antonovic
   Maria A Arana
   Carlye Archibeque
   Joseph Armstead
   Feral Artist
   Baron James Ashanti
   Charlene M. Ashendorf
    Askew
   Gregory Austin
   Shawn Aveningo
   maeghanne ayers
   Goodness Lanre Ayoola
   John-Patrick Ayson
   Jim Babwe
   Sophie Bachard
   Vasile Baghiu
   Bridget Bagne
   song-hue bahk
   Michael Baker
   Prerna Bakshi
   Anna Balint
   David Banuelos
   Jared Barbick
   J. Mae Barizo
   Peter Barlow
   Matthew A. Barraza
   James Barros
   Jeni Bate
   Jonathan Beale
   Richard Beban
   Gary Beck
   Gary Beck
   Marjorie R Becker
   Lytton Bell
   Hakim Bellamy
   Michele Beller
   Laura Bellotti
   Stefanie Bennett
   Hayley Berariu
   Kevin Berger
   Lawrence Berger
   Mike Berger, Ph.D.
   Tom Berman
   luis cuauhtemoc berriozabal
   Catherine Berry
   Nick Bertelson
    Besskepp
   Mary Rose Betten
   Robert Beveridge
   Cheryl Beychok
   Gwendolyn Beyer
   François Biajoux
   Heitham Black
   Jarvis Black
   Beau Blue
   Rose Mary Boehm
   Bonnie Bolling
   Julie Bolt
   Lek Borja
   Cristogianni Borsella
   Gerald Bosacker
   Amanda Boschetto
   Wendy Bourke
   Jack G. Bowman
   Jennifer Bradpiece
   Bob Bradshaw
   Marcielle Brandler
   Peter Branson
   Sumiko Braun
   Adam Bresson
   Quiana Briggs
   Jack Bristow
   paulo brito
   Alan Britt
   Michelle Brodeur
   Lynne Bronstein
   Charles Brooks
   zoey brown
   Adam Levon Brown
   Leah Brown
   Deborah Edler Brown
   Jason Sanford Brown
   Bob Browning
   Sir Mark Bruback
   MC Bruce
   Jeffrey Bryant
   Kate Buckley
   Robin M. Buehler
   Ron Burch
   Graham Burchell
   Maria Rose Burgio
   Betsy Burke
   Matt Burns
   Richard Burrill
   Tony Bush
   Zachary C. Bush
   Elissa Calvin
   Joseph Camhi
   Don Kingfisher Campbell
   Don Kingfisher Campbell
   Neil Campbell
   Dana Campbell
   Velene Campbell
   JR Campbell
   Luis Campos
   Janine Canan
   Lyn Cannaday
   Pasquale Capacosa
   Joey Capone
   Hélène Cardona
   Britton Laine Carducci
   D.J. Carlile
   Julia Carlson
   Alicia Carpenter
   Jonathan Carr
   Patricia Carragon
   Oscar Carrasco
   Jared Carter
   Michael Aaron Casares
   John Casey
   Lisa Castro
   Rachael Kelechi Caulker
   Nika Cavat
   Michael Caylo-Baradi
   Steve Ceniceros
   Adrian Ernesto Cepeda
   Michael Ceraolo
    Cerise
   Robert Cesaretti
   Cheryl Chambers
   Lita-Luise Chappell
   Shibani Chattopadhyay
   Lisa Cheby
   Beth Cheng
   Ralph-Michael Chiaia
   Juhi Chowdhury
   David Christensen
   Terry Clark
   Phil Clark
   Darice Clark
   Terry Clark
   Charles Claymore
   Jeanette Clough
   Kim Cochran
   Ed Coet
   Tobi Cogswell
   Megan Coker
   Bruce Colbert
   Karen E. Cole
   Merrill Cole
   Christopher Coleman
   Larry Colker
   Beverly M. Collins
   Christiane Conésa-Bostock
   David Concepcion
   Christiane Conesa-Bostock
   Brendan Connell
   Alice Constantine
   Jack Cooper
   Flavia Cosma
   Rachel Coventry
   R. Paul Craig
   David Cravens
   William Crawford
   Natalie Crick
   Rosemarie Crisafi
   Carla Criscuolo
   Chris Crittenden
   Benjamin Crowley
   Susan Culver
   Bill Cunningham
   Joe Cyr
   Jim D Babwe
   Morgaine d'Abney
   Karen Corcoran Dabkowski
   Daniel Daian
    Dalton
   Catherine Daly
   Iris Dan
   Marie Lecrivain & Daniel Gallik
   Dan Danila
   Michelle Daugherty
   Piper Davenport
   Kathrine David
   Gareth Davies
   Holly Day
   Frank De Canio
   Gregory De Feo
   Steve De France
   J de Salvo
   J. de Salvo
   kumari de Silva
   Pijush Kanti Deb
   Shalla DeGuzman
   JD DeHart
   Diane Dehler
   Aurelius Demarco
   Darren C Demaree
   Gloria Derge
   Chris Derrico
   Lea Deschenes
   Maurice Devitt
   Theo Diamantis
   Mike Dias
   Martin Dickinson
   Edward J DiMaio
   Mark Dixon
   Peggy Dobreer
   Rosemarie Dombrowski
   Francisco J. Dominguez
   Linsly Donnelly
   Lisa Helene Donovan
   Kevin Doran
   John Dorsey
   Marvin Louis Dorsey
   Marvin Dorsey
   Laura A. Lionello & Douglas Richardson
   Doug Draime
   Donelle Dreese
   Dale Duke
   Jawanza Dumisani
   Henri Dumolet
   Max Dunbar
   t. joseph dunn
   Robin Wyatt Dunn
   Tyler Dupuis
    Durenda
   Walter Durk
   Douglas Dvorkin
   Ron Dvorkin
   Amitabh Vikram Dwivedi
   Alfie Ebojo aka alfie numeric
   Sabrina Edwards
   Patricia J. Edwards
   Elisabeth Adwin Edwards
   Miguel Eichelberger
   John Elison
   Julian Ellis
   Neil Ellman
   Dalia Elmanzalawy
   K. Eltinaé
   R.M. Engelhardt
   Margarita Engle
   Jon Epstein
   Sufi Erter
   Eli Eshaghian
   Michael Estabrook
   Alexis Rhone Fancher
   Richard Fein
   John Feins
   Raymond Fenech
   Emily Fernandez
   Melissa Fischer
   W.S. Fisher
   Jamie Asae FitzGerald
   Amelia Fleetwood
   Jake Fleshner
   John Jay Flicker
   David Flynn
   Arthur Charles Ford
   Liz Fortini
   Sesshu Foster
   Heather Fowler
   Clint Frakes
   Sarah Francois
   Amelie Frank
   Amélie Frank
   Alex M. Frankel
   Allie Frazier
   E.L. Freifeld
   M. Frias Frias-May
   Suzanne Frost
   Delia J. Fry
   Elliott Gabay
   Steven Gabriel
   Timothy Gager
   Daniel Gallik
   J Gamble
   Ishmael Garay
   Jerry Garcia
   Daniel Garcia-Black
   Gabriella Garofalo
   Vince Garofalo
   Yvonne Garrett
   Nelson Gary
   Donna Gebron
   Ulrike Gerbig
   Janice Gero
   Ursula T. Gibson
   Rebecca Gimblett
   Tony Gloeggler
   Steve Goldman
   Vesna Goldsworthy
   Melanie Gonzalez
   Gerda Govine Ituarte
   Jeffrey Graessley
   Allison Grayhurst
   Jeff Green
   Timothy Green
   Jeanie Greensfelder
   Rhoda Greenstone
   Amos Greig
   John Greiner
   John Grey
   Summer Griffiths
   Danielle Grilli
   Brian Grillo
   John Grochalski
   Wendy Grosskopf
   Andrew Grossman
   Ro Gunetilleke
   Kenneth Gurney
   John R. Guthrie
   Grant Guy
   Debashish Haar
   Erik Haber
   Hedy Habra
   Tresha Faye Haefner
   Matthias Hagedorn
   James Hall
   Tom Hamilton
   Danielle Harper
   David Harrington
   William Harris
   Matt Harris
   Dawnell Harrison
   JD Hart
   Jack Harvey
   J. Alana Hauenschild
   Kari J. Hayes
   KJ Hays
   Ann L. Healey
   Jessica Healy
   Eloise Klein Healy
   Jim Heavily
   Dan Hedges
   Paul Hellweg
   Samantha Henderson
   Jack Henry
   Darrell Herbert
   David Herrle
   JD Heskin
   Kenneth Hickey
   Jerry Hicks
   Marvin R Hiemstra
   Ed Higgins
   Carlos Hiraldo
   Sherri Hoffman
   Guy Hogan
   Ali Hosseiny
   Dave Houston
   Eric Howard
   Nate Howard
   David Howard
   Bryon D. Howell
   A J Huffman
   Hunter Lee Hughes
   Roger Humes
   Trista Hurley-Waxali
   Elizabeth Iannaci
   Thea Iberall
   Armine Iknadossian
   Gedda Ilves
   Alegria Imperial
   Victor D. Infante
   Victor Infante
   Augustus Invictus
   Tom Irish
   Susan Irvine
   Alexandra Isacson
   Natalie Itzhaki
   Amber Jacob
   Scott Jacobson
   Larry Jaffe
   Sonika Jaggi
   Emmanuel Jakpa
   Colin James
   Matthew James
   Andrea Janov
   T.A. Jennings
   Kait Jensen
   Ivan Jenson
   Dani Jimenez
   Alex Johnson
   Michael Lee Johnson
   Lois P. Jones
   Tao Jones
   Strider Marcus Jones
   Georgia Jones-Davis
   Jasmin Jordan
   Quentin Josephy
   Liu Jue
   Ruth Juris
   Gary Justice
   Gene Justice
   Pete Justus
   Mikel K
   Scott C. Kaestner
   Sheema Kalbasi
   Peycho Kanev
   Rachel Kann
   Jay Kantor
   Paula Sfier Kattan
   Russ Kazmierczak
   James Keane
   Gretchen Keer
   Aaron Keller
   Collin Kelley
   Kamuran Kelly
   Bernard Kennedy
   Raud Kennedy
   Kathleen Kenny
   Stephen Kerr
   Hari Bhajan Khalsa
   Elisabeth Khan
   Just Kibbe
   Jerome Kiel
   lalo kikiriki
   Robert S King
   Franklin Lafayette King
   Ashley King
   Sofia Kioroglou
   Rusty Kjarvik
   Kenny Klein
   LeAnne Kline
   Julia Knobloch
   Philip Kobylarz
   Deborah P Kolodji
   Tracy Koretsky
   Edith Kornfeld
   George Korolog
   Dimitris P. Kraniotis
   Thomas KrÀmer
   Mark Krewatch
   Chris Krueger
   Amanda Krut
   Gerard Kuc
   Donna Kuhn
   Christopher Kuhn
   Len Kuntz
   Craig Kurtz
   Tammy Ho Lai-Ming
   Daniel Lambert
   Anthony Langford
   Donald Langosy
   Ray Lanthier
   Phillip Larrea
   Phillip Larrea
   Wolf Larsen
   Kasandra Larsen
   Ethan Latham
   Lisa LaTourette
   Marie Lecrivain & Laura A. Lionello
   Marianne LaValle-Vincent
   Kevin Lavey
   Judith A. Lawrence
   Eric Lawson
   Richard Leach
   Anne Lecrivain
   Marie Lecrivain
   Noah Lederman
   Pete Lee
   Kevin Patrick Lee
   Emma Lee
   N.M. Leepsa
   Alexandra Leggat
   Laura LeHew
   Gary Lehmann
   Sharmagne Leland-St. John
   Kevin LeMaster
   Michal Lemberger
   Kim Leng
   Roland Lesterin
   Tiffany Lettieri
   P.A. Levy
   Cheyenne Lewis
   Martin Lewis
   Anthony Liccione
   Cynthia Linville
   Laura Lionello
   Zachary Locklin
   Jessica Lopez
   Harold Lorin
   Tess. Lotta
   B.D. Love
   Adam Lowis
   Ron Lucas
   Andrew Lundwall
   Rick Lupert
   Suzan Lustig
   Radomir Luza
   Stosh Machek
   John MacKenna
   Sarah Maclay
   Stefanie Maclin
    Magdalena
   Gary Maggio
   Holly Magill
   Anthony Magistrale
   Marieta Maglas
   Peter Magliocco
   Suvi Mahonen
   Donal Mahoney
   Robert Maiolo
   Kelly Ann Malone
   Michael Malota
   Shahé Mankerian
   Angela Consolo Mankiewicz
   Chris Mansell
   H.E. Mantel
   April-May March
   Rick Marlatt
   John Marshall
   Agnes Marton
   Francis Masat
   Hyatt Mason
   Anthony Mason
   Lee Mason
   Johnny Masuda
   Mira N. Mataric
   Nate Maxon
   Ellyn Maybe
   Michelle Mazzetti
   Mary L. Mazzocco
   Ted Mc Carthy
   Austin McCarron
   Terry McCarty
   Paul McConnell
   Brendan McCormack
   Deborah McCreath-Akbar
   Catfish McDaris
   Bray McDonald
   Karen J McDonnell
   Matt McGee
   Allen McGill
   Afric McGlinchey
   Terance James McGunigle
   David McIntire
   Cat Angelique McIntire
   david mclean
   Isobel McQueen
   Stephen Mead
   Fernando Meisenhaulter
    Mephistopheles
   Corey Mesler
   Melissa Michaels
    Mike the Poet
   Robert John Miller
   Scott Miller
   Richard Lee Miller
   Rajnish Mishra
   Hany Haggag Abdl Mobdy
   Richard Modiano
   William Mohr
   Sonnet Mondal
   Jason Monios
   Leslie Monsour
   Amanda Montei
   Patrick Mooney
   Carl Moore
   Greggory Moore
    Albert Lee Moran
   A.J. Morelli
   Christopher Mulrooney
   Frank Mundo
   Barbara-Marie Mundt
   Augusto Munoz
   Mark Murphy
   Craig Murray
   Kristine Ong Muslim
   Genie Nakano
   JL Nathan
   Nimah Nawwab
   Leslie Maryann Neal
   Jason Neese
   Raghab Nepal
   Robbi Nester
   Mindy Nettifee
   Martina Reisz Newberry
   Beth Escott Newcomer
   Peter Nezafati
   Scott Nichols
   keith niles
   Dave Nordling
   Aire Celeste Norell
   Steve Norwood
   Laura Nye
   Charlotte O'Brien
   Toti O'Brien
   Suzanne O'Connell
   Katie O'Loughlin
   Peter O'Niell
   Tom O'Reilly
   Akor Emmanuel Oche
   A.J. Odasso
   Rita Odeh
   Kirsten Ogden
   Daniel Olivas
   Maurice Oliver
   Marc Olmstead
   Philip ONeil
   Nzingah Oniwosan
   Chika Onyenezi
   Sergio Ortiz
   David Ishaya Osu
   Scott Thomas Outlar
   Holly Painter
   Lizbeth Palma
   Heather Palmer
   Greg Patrick
   Miss Natalie Patterson
   David E. Patton
   Jared Pearce
   E. Martin Pedersen
   Tim Peeler
   Steve Pelcman
   Angel Perales
   Alice Pero
   Angela J. Perry
   Helen Peterson
   Brenda Petrakos
   Adam Phillips
   James G Piatt
   Rebecca Pierce
   Gareth Pike
   James Pinkerton
   Rob Plath
   Kushal Poddar
   Contributors to poeticdiversity
   Meg Pokrass
   Traian Pop Traian
   Bethany W Pope
   Wayne E. Popelka
   Elisha Porot
   Adrian Potter
   Fabrice Poussin
   Ren Powell
   Frank Praeger
   Kristena Prater
   Luke Prater
   Shannon Prince
   Stephany Prodromides
   Hattie Quinn
   Octavio Quintanilla
   Beverly J. Raffaele
    Raindog
   Catherine Rajca
   Steve Ramirez
   Mauricio Alejandro Ramos
   Vishnu Rao
   Ingrid Rattay
   James Rauff
   Kasey Ray
   Bili Redd
   Brian Redfern
   Marie Rennard
   Luivette Resto
   E.W. Richardson
   John Richmond
   Francisca Ricinski-Marienfeld
   Lillian Ridgeway
   Kevin Ridgeway
   Dee Rimbaud
   Elijiah Rios
   Cat Risinger
   Ariel Robello
   Ebi Robert
   John D Robinson
   Paula Rodriguez
   Nydia Rojas
   Daniel Romo
   Emily Rose
   Rina Rose
   Diana Rosen
   Poet-broker Rosenthal
   Alison Ross
   James Robert Rudolph
   Walter Ruhlmann
   Gina MarySol Ruiz
   Cody Rukasin
   Cody Rukasin
   Ashley Rumery
   David W. Rushing
   Maryann Russo
   Sonya Sabanac
   Miriam Sagan
   Howard Sage
   Russell Salamon
   April Salzano
   Bryan Sanders
   Lisa Marie Sandoval
   Cecile Sarruf
    Sasparella
   Ethan Sassouni
   John Saunders
   Lorraine Sautner
   Rati Saxena
   Iftekhar Sayeed
   Frances Schiavina
   Kim Schroeder
   Carol Schwalberg
   Iris N Schwartz
   Peter Schwartz
   Sondra L. Scott
   Ken Scott
   David Scriven
   Justin Scupine
   LB Sedlacek
   Lisa Segal
   Anthony Seidman
   Anthony Seidman
   Oleg Semonov
   Margarita Serafimova
   Sanjeev Sethi
   John W Sexton
   Jack Allen Shafer
   Dahn Shaulis
   Tom Sheehan
   Jake Sheff
   Steve Shickman
   Nancy Shiffrin
   June Shiitake
   Ferrari Silverpowder
   Rishan Singh
   Durlabh Singh
   Rishan Singh
   Kalpna Singh-Chitnis
   Bobbi SInha-Morey
   Apryl Skies
   Knute Skinner
   Sam Skow
   Ratpack Slim
   Lee Sloca
   Carol Smallwood
   Clinton Smith
   Spencer Smith
   Danielle Smith
    smzang
   Kate Soto
   Ghetto Speare
   Jeanne Marie Spicuzza
   Richard Spuler
   Matina Stamatakis
   Mark States
   Jan Steckel
   Julia Stein
   Eric Steineger
   Carl Stillwell
   Bruce Stirling
   Alex Stolis
   Karr Stratynberg
   Kevin Stricke-9
   Keith Stump
   Daniel Suffian
   Annette Sugden
   J. C. Sullivan
   Mani Suri
   Ann Christine Tabaka
   John Duncan Talbird
   John Talbird
   Sister Taxi Hopscotch
   Barbara A. Taylor
   Jonathan Taylor
   Mark Taylor
   Allen Taylor
   Paul Kareem Tayyar
   Alene Terzian
    The Unarmed Man
   A. Thiagarajan
   G. Murray Thomas
   Kallista A Thompson
   Lynne Thompson
   David Thornbrugh
   Kari Thune
   Sarah Thursday
   Ilona Timoszuk
   Tim Tipton
    TJungle
   Chrys Tobey
    tolbert
   Imani Tolliver
   A. TOMIC
   Anthony Torchia
   Mary Torregrossa
   Zev Torres
   Evan Traiger
   Davide Trame
   Tri Tran
   Ryan Tranquilla
   Alain Marcel Treadaway
   Pedro Trevino-Ramirez
   Ben Trigg
   Paul Tristram
   Alyssa Trivett
   Maja Trochimczyk
    Troy
   The TruthHearse
   Tatiana Tulskaya
   Yelena and Roman Tunkel
   John Turi
   Danny Uebbing
   Amy Upham
   Amy Uyematsu
   Philomena van Rijswijk
   Gene van Troyer
   Wanda Vanhoy Smith
   Brenda Varda
   Luis Rubio Vargas
   Carmen Vega
   Ms. Veronica
   Papa Vic
   Clee Villasor
   Ajise Vincent
   Curran D. Vinson
   Jason Visconti
   Anca Vlasopolos
   Daniela Voicu
   Claire Walker
   toren wallace
   r.k. wallace
   Evan Walsh
   Sharieff Walters
   John Wariner
   Deborah L Warner
   Christopher Watkins
   Brian Watson
   Lafayette Wattles
   Charlie Weber
   Ellen Webre
   Justin Weiler
   Viola Weinberg
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Julia Stein
November 2018
   

 

Los Angeles, A Happy Childhood During the Red Scare (Part 2)

        When my Uncle Norm was a foot soldier in the U.S. army and his unit sat on the hill dividing the two Koreas, the North Korean and U.S. armies would have a battle for one hill but never the hill he was on 1951-1952. At that time the boundary line between the two Koreas and two armies was mostly stagnant, but after my uncle left, a whole U.S. patrol was wiped out.
        In Los Angeles I was best friends with Yvonne Newton throughout our elementary school years. Yvonne’s mother and my mother were friendly; my mom exchanged tangerines and avocados from our trees with Yvonne’s mother’s apricots from her tree. Yvonne told me, “My parents were wealthy in Germany. They look the last boat to America.” Her father was now a shoe salesman. I was impressed with her story but really didn’t understand it at all. The next year when I was just six her grandfather came to live with the Newtons.
        Yvonne told me, “My grandfather is our only survivor of the concentration camp.” When I visited, I saw a sick old man in a back bedroom speak in German to Yvonne’s mother or to Yvonne. My grandmother spoke Yiddish all the time with her friends and a little with my parents when she spoke about subjects she didn’t want the children to understand, but I only knew a few words of Yiddish. I didn’t understand Yvonne’s grandfather’s German at all. He died within a few months.
        My parents really encouraged my reading, bought me books, and my mother regularly got books for me from the library. I did well at Laurel Elementary School and was in the top reading group in 1st grade. My mother, father, and grandmother were all readers with both my grandmother and my parents having bookshelves. I loved reading and read library books on my own at home. Getting a B in reading disappointed me, so I ran to complain to my mother. She accompanied me school to go talk to my teacher. My mother backed me up, saying I was a terrific reader.
        The female teacher replied, “She doesn’t read with EXPRESSION!”
        After we left, my mother said, “Read with expression.” The next time I was called to read by the teacher in class, I hammed it up, reading with great DRAMA! The teacher gave me an A on my next report card, and I felt vindicated.
        That same year my mother took me to Yablon Center, the Center for the Jewish Reds in Los Angeles, having decided that I should go to a Sunday school that blacklisted screenwriter Paul Jerrico, my parents’ friends Mory and Ray Mitchell, and other parents were starting. In 1906 Yiddish immigrant socialists had begun schules: left-wing after-school classes and Sunday Schools for the children of immigrants. The adults created four competing schules: the socialists in the Arberter Ring had theirs; the Socialist Zionists had theirs; the non-political Yiddishists had theirs; and those in the International Workers Order had their schules.
        That first day when I was five, I sat on the floor with thirty children as the young woman teacher taught us songs. At Sholem (peace) Sunday school we soon had chairs to sit on, and we always starting first singing. The earnest young woman teacher taught us Yiddish songs, Hebrew songs, folk songs such as “Sixteen Tons” and black spirituals like “Go Down, Moses. I loved the singing, and for years thought “Go Down, Moses” was a Jewish song.
        Then we were divided into classes for lessons where another earnest young woman taught us Jewish history and taught us to be moral, ethical, and not prejudiced. We celebrated Jewish holidays, but the adults carefully removed all the prayers and mention of God. I liked Purim where we got to dress up in costumes like Queen Esther, Mordechai, and wicked Hamen, eat lots of hamentaschen cookies, and tell the story of Esther yet again. I enjoyed Passover when we retold the story of struggles to leave slavery. I ate my hardboiled egg and stole other hard boiled eggs to eat.
        Our Sholem Sunday school continued while some parents like screenwriter Jerrico fought the blacklists. Like my grandparents, Jerrico’s father was an immigrant Russian Jew and a socialist. During the 1930s Jerrico joined the Communist Party as well as wrote crime and comedy scripts for Columbia Pictures. His 1941 film i>Tom, Dick, and Harry, won the Academy Award for Best Screenplay, and after World War II he wrote scripts for MGM. While working for Howard Hughes at RKO, a friend gave his name to House Un-American Committee. After refusing to testify before HUAC, he lost his job and was blacklisted. In 1954 Jerrico with other blacklisted filmmakers made the film Salt of the Earth. The film was also blacklisted but in 1992 wound up in Library of Congress’s National Film Registry.
        We children knew little about the blacklists affecting Sholem Sunday School parents. When my brother joined the Sunday school in 1953, every Sunday my Dad took my brother and me to Canter’s Deli/Restaurant to get bagels, lox (smoked salmon), and cream cheese for breakfast. The lady at the bakery always gave my brother and I each a free cookie. Back home we ate our Sunday breakfast, and then Dad drove both of us to Sholem Sunday school.
        In the 1950s Sholem parents during the Red Scare in Los Angeles were non-political as they ran our Sholem Sunday School—they were very child-orientated like the rest of the United States. Many of those within the Communist Party had left it like Paul Jerrico left in 1952 but remained blacklisted. The Yablon Center had a Second Generation Club for children of Communists. A blanket of silence seemed to have smothered the adults’ political talk except for my grandmother, who had her meeting in her house of her left-wing wing women’s group the Emma Lazarus club, where they talked in Yiddish because the FBI couldn’t understand.
       Uncle Norm returned home in 1953 after 24 months in the army. With my uncle home, my family was complete again. He and an army buddy sunbathed in our backyard grape arbor while I sat nearby with my doll, happy my uncle was back. My grandmother came out and said, “I need you to pick grapes so I can make jam.” My uncle, his friend, and I all picked all the grapes from the grape arbor. Then my grandmother made grape jam and also made homemade bread. The just-made jam on the-just-baked bread was wonderful.
        After working for years at the downtown office, my dad got transferred to work at the local post office on La Brea Avenue within walking distance from our house, but he still read history books like he had at NYU when he majored in history. One father once said he regretted not trying to get a job teaching history in public school after the war. My father then had a party for the union members and their wives at our house where my mother put out a big spread of cakes, cookies, wine, cheese and crackers. As the men cracked jokes, my father was the happiest I had ever seen him.
       My dad also was serious about collecting stamps, going up every week to a stamp collectors' auction in Hollywood, making new friends there which included a Hollywood director who worked for Cecil de Mille. The film director once came to our house and entertained us with jokes about Gary Cooper on the film set who couldn’t talk because he was shy.

        Once my brother started kindergarten, my mother immediately got a secretarial job working ¾ time in a nearby office for two music agents: one black and one white. Then my grandmother became the babysitter for my brother and me after school. My mother seemed to lose her depression once she started work. After all, she had grown up seeing my grandmother work in my grandparents’ store, so she thought it was natural for mothers to work. After I turned eight, I visited her at work and the black agent gave me a job of alphabetizing a stack of papers. Once I finished he gave me a dollar—the first money I ever made.

        My grandmother had a few years before bought a small apartment complex south of us near Pico and La Brea, and she had my mother manage it. Then my grandmother wanted to sell it. In the neighborhood the first black families had begun in buy houses in segregated Los Angeles. A black family wanted to buy my grandmother’s apartment house, and my grandmother wanted to sell to them. Both my mom and grandmother knew some of the white neighbors wouldn’t like it, but they sold it to the black family. My mom and grandmother seemed to me to be giant figures who ran a grocery store! Bought and sold property! Ran a whole office! And they were both terrific nurses whenever I was sick!

        In 3rd grade I had a new, tall middle-aged Anglo woman for a teacher who told my all-Jewish class the 1st week, “This class isn’t good enough to read the 3rd grade books.” We had to read the 2nd grade books. Only her two blonde pet girls in the 1st row could read the 3rd grade books. I was very upset because I liked to read the 3rd and 4th grade books at school and from the public library. I told my mom about the awful teacher.
        She said, “I’m working now. I’m too busy to go the school for you.”
       “But I need you to go.”
        “Life is tough,” she said. I was furious.
        The next time I went with my mother to the local library, she left to get her books in the adult section. I went to the children’s section with shelves of reading books organized by grade: 1st grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade etc. Looking around I saw no adults, so I grabbed four of the 4th grade books, reading 4th grade books all the rest of the semester.
        Right before Christmas, the teacher lugged in a little Christmas tree which she put on the front table and only had her two blonde pets decorate the tree. I hated that teacher. In the new semester I was allowed to read the 3rd grade books and was in the top reading group, making me happy again.
        McCarthyism continued when Congress passed the McCarran-Walter Act in 1952 allowing for deportation and denaturalization of Communist Party members and banning “subversives” from entry into the U.S. Lawyers fought 200 deportation cases, but Aunt Sara was never threatened with deportation. In New York she was becoming alienated from the Communist Party. She had her first doubts during the Hitler-Stalin non-aggression pact in 1939: “A lot of members left, a lot of sympathizers went away, and a lot of people were confused by it… I accepted the pact, even though I didn’t agree with it, thinking maybe I didn’t know the whole story.” Later she realized she had made a mistake keeping quiet.
        Aunt Sara criticized the Party for letting the Rosenbergs only have Bloch, a civil lawyer, who lost the case, and the Party’s lawyers “wouldn’t talk to Bloch until it was much too late.” The Rosenbergs’ executions upset Aunt Sara greatly in 1953. Despite her doubts about the CP, she rejoined her party branch and sold literature. She still thought the Party was much too bureaucratic.
        At meetings she spoke up and criticized the Party. Her branch leader told her to go see Vincent, a Party leader who went blind in jail. She said that Party people thought “if I go and have a talk with Vincent, I’d see the light, like the people who came to hear the preacher.” She went to him, telling him, “Why didn’t the party act as it did in the 30s. We were a fighting party, fighting for home relief, fighting for social security, fighting for unemployment insurance. We were fighting for the needs of the people. But then we went to sleep.”
        Sara ran into Irving Potash, who was on the Central Committee of the Party, and said, “The Party should fight against McCarthy and his gangsters…. We can go to sympathetic unions in the city and …. mobilize the people.” Potash said he’d take her ideas up with the central committee. Sara was slowly on her way out of the Communist Party.
        When I was about eight, my mom helped organize a play at a small local theater as a fund raiser for the Sholem Sunday School, and I proudly got to see my first play. These memories of my childhood remind me of the movie Trumbo about screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, who was blacklisted as a screenwriter, went to jail, and got out. Like our parents Trumbo wasn’t political active then, spending most of his time at home writing screenplays under phony names.
        My small family was a tiny part of the 200,000 members of the IWO. Very few of IWO members were in the Communist Party. The I.W.O. was financially solvent and conservatively managed, but the New York State Insurance Department argued in a legal case in 1951 that the IWO was engaged in political activity, which was prohibited to insurance companies. The state of New York’s legal case against the IWO led to its liquidation in 1954, but luckily for us my dad had gotten medical insurance through his job at the post office for the whole family. We could still go see a doctor.


copyright 2018 Julia Stein