"THE WILD WILD WOBBLIES" -- AND MY GREAT PERSONAL APPRECIATION AND RESPECT
I owe the old-time Wobblies a hell of a big personal debt. They taught me a lot about Vision and Courage and Grassroots Democracy and Long, Long-Term Commitment. And "good sense" things: Better To Be Called Red Than Be Called Yellow; You Can't Fight Booze And The Boss At The Same Time; Watch The Man Who Advocates Violence.
Those old-time Wobblies -- to paraphrase that great Southwesterner and extraordinarily fine writer, the late J. Frank Dobie -- had "seen the elephant and heard the owl" in places the so-termed respectables never knew existed.
Fred Thompson, the great I.W.W. editor (and very good friend always) gave me this solid advice when I, a hot-eyed kid, was starting my radical writing in earnest: "To be really radical, you don't have to rant and rave. You have only to accurately describe the massive injustice all around you and sensibly discuss basic curative approaches and solutions."
I've always remembered and held to that -- and all of the other lessons as well. And I always will.
Through those early years, I worked at many jobs: forest fire fighting, agricultural laborer, trapper, development miner.
I joined the I.W.W. in the mid-1950s and remained a member consistently through 1960. I had several Red Cards. Here is an early one -- and my still favorite I.W.W. pamphlet (a big one ) with essays by many fiery writers: among them, C.E. Payne, Fred Thompson, Ralph Chaplin, Roger Baldwin, Ed Delaney, Clifford Ellis, John Gahan.
"The Wild Wild Wobblies" Is Continued On The Next Page