“Burning ourselves is not a usual topic of conversation”

26-1-78 [January 26, 1978]


I don’t know how important these are but Harold [Cordell] and I were talking about different things and the crises came up. We discussed Theo Williams and different seniors, then a little later he said a lot of things are going around in the States about here, things that made him paranoid and depressed. He wouldn’t tell me what is, said he wants to forget it quickly all and put it behind him. Anyhow right after this he said out of the blue I remember when the monks sat down in a group and burned themselves. He didn’t think it would be effective and would give the enemys [enemies] a chance to say you had just brought us all over here to die. I was wondering where he heard about us burning ourselves. It’s not a usual topic of conversation.

Also he has told me on several occasions when John-John has been very friendly & kind to him. Also he said he didn’t bring any guns with him. He gave his last one to Sandy B. [Bradshaw] in S.F. I asked about the classes in exercises he took. He said it was a Jr. College class & cost $125 to enroll. I don’t get a chance to talk to him much. My schedule is fairly set and due to a wringer breakdown I’ve been putting extra hours in the laundry. (I don’t want my work schedule changed. I enjoy everything I do.) He’s been coming home & spending his lunch hour here. I saw him trying to talk to Denise. He thinks Teena [Turner] is cold to him, wonders why.

He seems to enjoy working in Laura’s [Laura Johnston] crew, talk strongly of his blisters and being able to keep up with the rest. [He] Said being he’s older he was afraid he couldn’t keep up with the rest of the crew. He sort of rushes to go to work. He said he would like to work while on each crew because he is supposed to do an analis (can’t spell that word) [analysis] on each crew & the work they do. He hasn’t asked me anymore about security. He keeps having headaches every day. I told him as soon as the impuritys [impurities] go out of his system they will go away. Today he talked about being a communist in practice. How we are working for change. How he liked being a part of what is happening here. He sounds excited about the different things we are striving to do to make a go of it here. He is always positive. I was bitching about someone taking 3 pairs of socks off the line. He told me it takes time for people to change, but they will.

Dad, I didn’t mean to pressure you to bring him on the floor. I can take this indefinitely. He is being kind to me & the children here in the cottage. When I said I might have to go to a house supervisor meeting for the girls he asked if he could go too, after all he is a child supervisor too. I frankly was surprised.

It sounded like you might want to bring him up because of the way you were talking. I am ready anytime. I don’t understand when Annie [Moore]


said  Carolyn said no don’t do it, then later said do it but easy, mild light or something like that. I didn’t understand and neither did she. If I could have a guideline of what you want me to do I can do it. I’m not at all hesitant to do it. I don’t want to mess up is all.

I deeply appreciate your allowing me to be over here. I love it and thank you for showing me the way to face myself in the dying situation.

I’ve faced the fact I’ll very likely die here and feel very proud that I can die for what I believe in. I don’t have any problems with burning myself except I might not be able to sit still. I’m not sure I could complete cutting my throat all the way across, but I could enough to get the job done. I could put a knife in my chest easy. I feel uncomfortable with drowning because of my fear of water but I could do that also. Nothing else except the babys [babies] bothers me. But I could do that also. I also thank you that all my children including my adopted child are strong and not afraid of death as far as I can tell. I know this is due to your great love for all of us. I appreciate you telling us you love us over the PA every day. I’ve seen so many smiles when you tell us that. Thank you, Dad.

from Edith Bogue