chapter  15
15
Pages 26

SUM MER CAM E. Bette finished her season of designing and could get away for a month, and I wanted desperately to forget the class struggle, Blue Heron Press, and the endless inanities that constituted ideological and cultural theory in Communist Party circles. I wanted to be with Bette and my kids. Julie Trupin said, "Come to the Fur Workers' resort. They'll welcome you with open arms." The resort was on White Lake, one of the loveliest lakes in Sullivan County, the only resort on the lake - or so it was then. It had been built and was then operated by the Fur and Leather Workers' Union, then under the leadership of the almost mythical labor leader Ben Gold, the man who had been one of the organizers of the union and who led the struggle in the thirties to free the union from the mob. It was a labor battle in which no quarter was given or asked. Mob gunmen murdered fur workers. In return, when the killers entered the shops, the fur workers cut them to pieces with their fur-cutting knives and then threw them out the windows - from the fifth, the tenth, or the twentieth floor. The mob lost and left the union strictly alone, and under Gold's leadership, the Fur and Leather Workers gained a well-deserved reputation for incorruptibility.