Saturday, December 12, 2009

* Who?

It's 1972. We've been trying to get Nixon to overrule his attorney general and convene a federal grand jury investigation of the slaughter at Kent State for a year now. A friend of mine says, "Why don't you write Garry Trudeau and ask him for help?" I say, "Who?" He says, "This cartoonist who writes Doonesbury."

"Never heard of it."

My friend says, "He's a Yale student who started this cartoon at Yale and then went national. He's counter-culture.He's big."

I say, "Yeah? Never heard of him. But I grew up in New Haven. Maybe I'll see if he's in the phonebook."

He is. I call. I entreat him for 40 minutes (Strangers are introduced to each other by and are loyal to "issues" in the 1970's). I write him afterward.

He sends me a note and a copy of the cartoon he wrote for May 4th the second anniversary of the killings. It gets him thrown out of a dozen newspapers that day.

Governor Rhodes of Ohio is pissed about the cartoon. Maybe Nixon too, I hope.

End of story.


PS: (2009) I still don't read Doonesbury or any other cartoon (except the singles in The New Yorker); but, I understand getting thrown out of those newspapers 37 years ago didn't hurt Doonesbury one bit.

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