Red Emma remembers Gore Vidal:
Gore Vidal Remembered
Almost everybody in Southern California has, or should have, a Gore Vidal story, because if you have been in any way active in anything here --- anti-war or civil rights or environmental activism, you would have encountered - and I use the word pointedly, admiringly - Vidal, at a debate, lecture, reading, demonstration, book fair, any public celebration of the life of the mind, and of civic participation. He lived here, in the Hollywood Hills, and regularly attended marches and gatherings, in fact was one of the small, reliable group of local Left stalwarts who'd add their names and deliver their bodies to a cause. As an undergraduate years ago at Cal State Long Beach, and as a young, eager and impressionable student activist, I met him. I'd been invited to join a small group meeting with the candidate when he visited campus during his 1982 run for US Senate. Sincere, good-hearted liberal and progressive faculty, staff and other students were there, with their questions for the Great Man, who seemed to only put up with the responsibility of listening to his presumed constituents, the whole tiny opera of expectations a farce of course, since we were all there to listen to him, to be delighted, impressed, instructed, amused and, yes, empowered to imagine, absurdly, that an American man of letters, of history, a radical gay public intellectual and literary artist might stand a chance of being elected to one of nation's highest offices as a Democrat....
To read the rest (published on Portside) click here.
To revisit Red's previous post about Vidal's last visit to Orange County, click here.