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Life Arts    H4'ed 6/24/09

Me and the Great Zucchini at UC-Berkeley, in 1973.

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In the fall of 1972, I got a job as a clerk-typist in the Financial Aid Office of UC-Berkeley, in Sproul Plaza, and I worked there all during the “Watergate Months” of 1973, and…


What a time that was! 


For someone like myself whose politics were basically “socialist,” there was no lamentable aspect to the ongoing Watergate circus.  Instead, every day opened with a laugh-out-loud (LOL) and party-in-the-morning feeling, which then became full-blown delight in reaction to the daily news about Nixon’s perfidies.


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I especially remember a grey-haired little-old-lady (LOL), Ruth Blumberg.  She was a good friend and laughing companion with a wonderful sense of humor.  But Ruth wasn’t nearly as radical as I was.  If my memory serves, Ruth was basically a First-Amendment, strongly anti-Nixon person who was furious at the President for abusing the American Constitution.  Whereas, I was simply delighted about all of the Trickster’s appalling transgressions.   


Much more clearly than I remember dear Ruth, I remember The Great Zucchini.


Regularly for a while, around 11 am, The Zucchini would be out in the Plaza, swallowing fire and telling jokes about Haldeman, Nixon, Mrs. Mitchell, Attorney General Mitchell, you name it.  About whoever was being roasted most that morning in the newspapers and their closest associates in the frying pan.  He was a fire (and-sometime-sword) swallower, stand-up comedian, and he put on a great show even if you were out of hearing range.  So workers in the Financial Aid Office – on the second floor of the main administration building – would stop at the front windows and briefly watch The Zucchini’s antics from a distance. 



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"How could I fail to speak with difficulty? I have new things to say." I graduated from Stanford Law School in 1966 but have never practiced. Instead, I dropped back five years and joined The Movement, but it wasn't until the 1970's that I (more...)
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