For those who have not heard of him, John Reed was either a heroic figure of the Russian Revolution or a fake news provider. He was a true believer in Leninism and produced a book which I read as an undergraduate called 10 Days the Shook the World (later produced as a movie by Sergei Eisenstein). It described adoringly the revolution that deposed Kerensky. Reed started out as a journalist but then graduated to advocacy - he was there for the Petrograd revolution - then returned to the US to tell how wonderful Lenin's vision was, was ultimately hassled by a Senate committee and eventually fled the US on a forged passport, returned to Russia and in 1920 died of influenza. He is the only American citizen who is buried in the wall of the Kremlin.
I thought about Reed this week because I began writing a chapter for the book that my daughter asked me to write - Taking up Reed's meme I tried to name ten events that were particularly meaningful during my lifetime. I ended up coming up with eleven each of them. I did not include my wedding - although that was certainly important to my life. They include:
- The Bay of Pigs - a story which transfixed 1962. We ended up finding the restaurant where the agreement to reduce the tensions was hammered out - in DC.
- The Assassinations of JFK and RFK - anyone who was alive in 1963 stopped the nation like the Cuban Missile Crisis.
- The Gas Cut Goof - the first and only time I got national coverage in newspapers. I enjoyed my 15 minutes of fame.
- The birth of our daughter Emily
- The birth of our son Peter
- October 19,1987 - the consequences of the first big dump in the market that I experienced.
- The Rodney King and Watts riots
- The Loma Prieta Earthquake
- AB 2227 - a major fight in the Legislature against the Speaker of the Assembly - where we beat him in the Governor's office
- The 1998 Commencement at my Alma Mater where the Governor commended my work.
If we stay in the compound we have a pool and a complete gym with treadmill and weights. I have ventured out to get things like fresh vegetables and to do Saturday shopping but we could easily hunker down here for a while longer.
Right now we are coming back to California in early June. From my long distance view, I think San Miguel has managed the crisis better than California - fewer cases and fewer shortages. That could be luck or sound policy. There have been some odd events - like the confrontation we had in the supermarket last week explaining to the guard at the door that the three of us entering were only "vecinos" not in the same household. But for a town with more than 170,000 people in the municipo, and with a lot of elderly expats the numbers are phenomenal. Mexico City has not been as successful.