Letter from Art and Carolyn Emery  3/26/1971

Dear Jeff

We appreciated your letter of the 14 much. I personally feel that black people might appreciate a white person who is “quiet” as they desire to “call the shots” these days. Your “quietness” could well be a distinct advantage!!

Regarding “Caesar”, you should search your conscience, with possibly a measure of prayer and some fasting. After this soul search (if you already haven’t been through this search?) do exactly as conscience dictates regardless of parents, in-laws, bank accounts, social status…

Enclosed, “CCCO News Notes” and “The Peacemaker”.

Keep up the excellent Spirit,

Art and Carolyn

p.s. Every generation must pay for the price of some measure of freedom; else slavery!

(Note:  Again, this is interesting 46 years later, because one of the basic premises of Quaker Social Change Ministry is to let the impacted communities you engage with provide the leadership.  Listen deeply and wait for that community to let you know what they need from you.)

Journal 4/14/1971

I have a hard time explaining draft resistance to people. Those in sympathy think one can be more effective as a draft counselor or an organizer, rather than going to prison.

How many of us, not now in prison, are actively working at anything like that?

But the most important question, it seems to me, is how effective can one be in trying to affect social change when one is not being true to oneself?


Last weekend Eric Sinnaman (Episcopalian) and I attended the Episcopal Peace Fellowship conference in Cincinnati.

Friday night Paul Mayer (priest) spoke to us about government repression. He had been arrested with the Berrigans in the alleged plot to destroy the Capitol’s heating system and kidnap Henry Kissinger. He spoke of an FBI document directing it’s agents to deliberately create an atmosphere of paranoia in the U.S.

After a night in the gym of the convent, we spent the morning making lunch and listening to a film of the address of Bess Myerson (Grant) to Another Mother for Peace meeting. Also attended the Eucharist service. The bishop wore a red robe with the words Love, Peace and Justice sown on it. The first song was “The Universal Soldier”, followed by a statement written by Dan Berrigan (in prison for burning draft files), and prayers for peace.

(other things happened that delayed our leaving the conference)

How not to hitchhike

By this time it was 9:00 pm and we had given up on our ride–which was due at 6:00. The next bus to Richmond was at 7:20 the next morning. Neither of us had hitched before, but decided to try now. We went to the nearest freeway ramp, a couple of blocks away, and self consciously stuck out our thumbs, standing with our sleeping bags and books. We had only been trying 10 minutes but were just ready to give in to our misgivings about the whole excursion when we were picked up. This ride took us 21 miles from Cincinnati. We had to make it now. After about half an hour at the head of the ramp, we went to a nearby truck stop to rest and eat a little (we never did have supper).

We went back to the ramp, where it was beginning to get cool. A highway patrol car pulled into the ramp and stopped about 20 feet from us. We started walking toward him, but realized he was filling out a report (the dome light was on). As we waited for him to leave, a car stopped for us, with the patrol car between us and him. Thinking he might get in trouble because of us, we didn’t move, so he left. We finally went and asked the patrolman if it was legal to hitchhike in Ohio. He said it was illegal, but OK as long as we stayed on the ramp. He left soon after that.

After about two hours, a pickup gave us a ride for about 10 miles. We finally got to Dayton at 2 a.m., 30 miles from Richmond. The intersection we were at was deserted, so we walked 3 miles to the next exit, also deserted.

We set out on the 7 mile walk to the next exit. That walk was pure misery. I had on dress shoes, and still have a bruise from that walk. It was cold, we hadn’t had any sleep, no dinner, carrying sleeping bags–exhausted.

We arrived at the next exit at 5 a.m. and spent the next 4 hours in a service station, til a ride from Earlham came, as a result of a phone call.




This entry was posted in civil disobedience, peace, Quaker Social Change Ministry, Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s