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Page Sixteen


Rest day in Grand Island, very hot. Workshops in camp all day. I attend one led by Dick Edelman on how to speak effectively about peace on radio talk shows. Then Beatrice and I walk into town to buy Shakespeare books and bits of costumes at thrift shops. In the evening we call our cast together and run through the entire play for them.


More hot, tedious, trudging in Nebraska. But Beatrice and I are so intimate with our poet that we compose our own verses, blending them organically with William Shakespeare's. And we write ourselves into a little play-within-the-play. All but one in the cast turn out for our first read through. We're very happy with it all, and with the gorgeous sunset.


Oppressive heat and humidity all day every day! Most marchers cannot take it any more. They hop a 'blister bus' to camp. But what IS camp this afternoon? A series of cement blocks like ovens! A row of tin sheds reflecting the burning sun. Even Beatrice and Benedict break down: they DO walk all day, but do NOT work on "Twelfth Night." Not this hot day nor this suffocating night. In the stifling dark middle of the night the damnedest thing: a furious windy thunderstorm, almost a tornado. Hard rain on our tin roof all night.


Heat and humidity just unendurable now! Buckets of sweat. A bucket - a whole gallon - of orange juice I sop up as I walk. But that gives me the runs and I barely make it to - oh god where is the porta-pottie?!! The rest stop!! Where the hell's the rest stop - the porta-pottie...

We do very little work on the play and don't rehearse tonight either. Sick from the heat.

Two missing days: two blank pages here stained with sweat. The events of these days are well documented in the books of Folsom, of Guist, and of Macfarlane. These were serious events and comical days - just as dramatic or funny as anything in Shakespeare. But our journalist and his Beatrice, lost in the plays of their poet - and suffering from heat stroke it seems - are oblivious to March reality around them.

Were Beatrice and Benedict aware that BOYS WERE DRESSING AS GIRLS - that young male Peace Marchers were parading through conservative Nebraska in "frocks," as Anne Macfarlane put it? Yes, some men wore dresses to taunt our own conservatives, the over-fifty group, the seniors - all who thought the dress, the hair of some marchers too bizarre.

Certainly our journalist had knowledge of the important election; in his entry of June 13 he does speak of recording a candidate's forum. He must have known of the anger, the black flag of anarchism, the dissension, distrust of leadership, the resignation of the entire board of directors...


Surely our journalist was aware of the alarming discovery that in this election CHILDREN WERE VOTING. Kids as young as four years old! This news was broadcast all over camp and it enraged some seniors to a fever pitch of fury. Yet judging by these journals, the only fever Beatrice and Benedict suffered was the feverish work to prepare "Twelfth Night" for production in Iowa.