by Martha Roth
Spinsters Ink, 1996
Goodness . . . shines from us
like a line of beacons showing the way.
Indeed, the loving,
caring, acting beings-so real, so unforgettable-who
comprise this book shine like a beacon: reaffirming,
inspiring, and steadying. I want everyone I love
to read this book. But, most of all, I want people
for whom these beings and these kinds of family
values are undiscovered country to read
this book right now!
Tillie Olsen, author Silences and
Tell Me a Riddle
A skillful and touching
portrait of movement people from their glory days
in the anti-war 60s to the somber days of
the Reagan 80s.
Katha Pollitt, essayist, author of Reasonable
brings the reader into a close-knit community
of midwestern peace activists, whose coming of
age during the tumult of the 1960s profoundly
shapes the rest of their lives. The evolving relationships
among friends and lovers, women and women, women
and men, mothers and their children are woven
into a story of pain and discovery, of trying
to change the world during an era of intense social
upheaval, and of trying to maintain the idealism
of the 1960s without succumbing to the cynicism
of later years.
At the heart of this book
are the women: Cora, Dinah, Maureen, Thelma, Persimmon,
Max, and the otherswomen who discover and
explore feminism through their peace activism,
who support and prod one another through the puzzling
maze of finding themselves, who touch one another
in ways that reverberate into future decades,
who create lasting friendships that enable them
is a must-read for anyone who participated in
the idealistic turmoil of the 1960s and the birth
of feminism that emerged at the end of that decadeor
those who wish they had!
Excerpt from Goodness
When the weather warmed
up, we took our clothes off and painted our faces,
walked barefoot, wore our real hair. After years
of perms, of teasing and setting, ironing and
color rinses, I finally got my real hair back
in 1967. We all became pagans, even the Minnesota
Lutherans learned to drum and chant. Joel and
Amos had long hair, they were beautiful hippie
children except they did get their shots because
their father was a very straight doctor. A girl
named Sunsparrow who lived in my house for a while
You really want them
injected with poisons? You know how many kids
get sick from those shots?
Lots of people stayed in
my little green house - theater buddies, draft
resisters, assorted hippies and musicians and
their women, which is what we called each other
in those days. I didnt mind being somebodys
woman, it sounded earthy. We took our shows on
the road to college towns wherever there were
anti-war groups and of course I schlepped the
kids along, although Reuben never failed to give
me a hard time, usually on the phone. Did he offer
to take them? No. He just gave me a hard time.
How do I know what
youre doing, Dinah? What youre exposing
Get hip, Reuben.
Im their mom.
Well, Im their
dad. How do I know what youre feeding them,
where theyre sleeping. This filthy hippie
life breeds incredible parasitic diseases, scabies
for gods sake. People havent had scabies
since the Middle Ages....