Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Freewheelin' In The Bronx 1971 (vii)

When I wished to mingle more with people in April and May of 1971, I would walk west along Fordham Road, past Webster Avenue and then to the Grand Concourse and towards Jerome Avenue. Sometimes I would take a left and walk south on University Avenue towards the NYU Uptown campus in the Bronx, which still hadn’t yet been sold to CUNY and renamed Bronx Community College, and stop at a local branch of the New York Public Library around there. A few times I walked around the NYU Uptown campus, but I can’t recall talking with anybody there or noticing any political activity going on there in the Spring of 1971.

Near West 184th or West 183rd St. and the Grand Concourse, however, there was still some kind of a Movement storefront run by a collective of a few ex-New Left student radicals who had joined either SDS’s Weatherman faction for a short time, before it disappeared into the underground, or PL’s SDS Worker-Student Alliance faction. I stopped in there once and spoke with a white Movement woman in her mid-20s who was staffing the storefront that day.

She seemed to be anti-war and socialist in her politics and someone who would be considered physically appealing by most men. But by June of 1971 she seemed to have gotten discouraged about the possibility that ex-New Left student radicals like her were going to be able to have much success interesting anybody in the Bronx neighborhood surrounding her collective’s storefront in getting involved in the Movement. And she seemed to be on the verge of burning-out herself as an activist.

Not feeling any personal warmth or enthusiasm radiating from her in the storefront, I wasn’t tempted to volunteer to work politically with her collective in the Bronx in June of 1971. In addition, by June of 1971, I was starting to worry again about where I would get some more money to survive economically during the Summer of 1971, and I did not feel the gradualist approach to building a Movement, that her collective still seemed to be into, would provide any kind of relief to my developing personal economic survival problems, as the Summer of 1971 approached.