Red Diaper Babies

Christine Christie (
Wed, 17 Sep 1997 06:10:55 -0400

I was delighted to read Country Joe's message to all red diaper
babies-it's about time we started talking! I have a book being considered
for publication by Duquesne U. Press about my life growing up as a red
diaper baby trying to ellude the F.B.I. who tailed my family for 8 years
across the U.S. as we moved from Chicago to Calif. to Denver to Arkansas
in an attempt to lead a "normal life." They even tailed me to grammar
school in Los Angeles, called us in the middle of the night and threatened
my mother that I might not make it home from school one day. They also
managed to get my dad fired from every job he got - principal of a
school, factory worker in a rubber plant; theu made it virually
impossibkle for either of my parents to earn a living for many years. Yes,
this caused a great deal of dysfunction. I will never know what our lives
might have been like if we had grown up without this added strain. I have
tried in the book to capture what it felt like to grow up feeling outside
the America my friends enjoyed, having to keep my parents' secrets, often
feeling alone and abandoned by everyone-average Americans as well as the
left which was non-existent for us during those years. When my parents
finally dragged themselves back to the midwest and began looking up old
"friends" ( their first gathering of lefties in years) my mother heard
through the grape vine that the women in the group criticized her
housekeeping, she who had spent her youth organizing Bethlehem Steel,
Rival Dog Food, etc. into CIO unions. By the time I was 10, I knew all too
well the treacheries of Americans on every side of the political
spectrum. In spite or because of all of this my brother and I were both
active in New Left politics, the anti-war movement, and I went on to
organize free schools and free health clinics in the 70's. My parents
managed to pass on the principles that they never lost no matter how high
a price they paid.
In general, i am proud of us red diaper babies out there. Many of us are
still keepin' on keepin' on. Chris Christie