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Page Thirteen

Before the Rain

MAY 29

It rained all night, leaking into the tent, and still it's raining hard this morning. But Pat Schroeder the Congresswoman is here to comfort us. Rain or shine, it looks like we have a friend in Washington. We encourage her as well: "Run, Pat, run!" we chant. Run for the presidency. I get it all on tape.

The walk to Denver is soggy, but we sing all the way - Freda, Marilee, Beatrice, I, others. At camp I set up the tent and sit looking out front. Across a big field, a railroad yard, a river, is the Denver skyline all in lights. Awesome is the only word. I sit and stare in disbelief for hours. Are we really in Denver, Colorado and did we WALK here from Los Angeles, California?

Grandmother for Peace

MAY 30

Today the Peace March parades in Denver - downtown! Music, baton twirlers, roller skaters! Many people on the sidewalks to see us. We talk peace with them and hand out leaflets about nuclear war. Later on, Warren, Ric and I go for a long walk to the Veteran's Hospital to visit our marcher friend Cindi. She's had surgery: a large cyst removed.

MAY 31

A big peace rally at the Colorado State Capitol. Holly Near is with us again. A local doctor donates a whole lot of money to us.

Denver Rally

I'm asked to participate on a radio talk show. But what a shock! Every conservative, survivalist, right-winger, and Birchite in the City calls in to harangue us. The Russians, the Russians - what monsters they are, what butchers! They cannot be trusted. These Denver people bait us for two hours and we fall for it, Anne Macfarlane, Suzanne Mendelson, Dick Edelman, and I. But the producer is very happy with it all. And toward the end we do get some supportive calls. Still, darn it, we handle it poorly. We are just not prepared for such an organized onslaught


An upbeat walk out of Denver: hundreds of locals join us for the day. It's a long, long walk through wealthy suburbs and poor parts of town too. As in Los Angeles and Las Vegas, the Blacks here in Denver - and the Latinos - are most friendly to us. At the lunch stop a couple from Boulder pleads with me to loan them my recordings to play at their radio station back home. "But these are one-and-only tapes," I protest. They promise to return them this evening in camp. OK. They are so earnest and sincere I give them the first two tapes I recorded in Colorado. Three hours of tape I'll lose here if... What a delight in camp this evening when they show up with those tapes in their hands! And more rapture tonight: we have a radio station again. Bill Johnson is here from Barstow with a little white van, a transmitter, and an antenna. And so I sit behind the controls and broadcast to the handful of marchers listening in Peace City.


Another twenty-mile walk and that makes three days in a row. Then at camp I have to clean two sets of porta-potties - twenty toilets - 'cause the other guy doesn't show up. I'm so tired I don't even bother setting up my tent but sleep out in the open.