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Regional Oral History Office University of California 

The Bancroft Library Berkeley, California 

Estolv Ethan Ward 


With an Introduction by 
Norman Leonard 

An Interview Conducted by 

Lisa Rubens 

in 1987 

Copyright (c") 1989 by The Regents of the University of California 

Since 1954 the Regional Oral History Office has been interviewing 
leading participants in or well -placed witnesses to major events in the 
development of Northern California, the West, and the Nation. Oral history is 
a modern research technique involving an interviewee and an informed 
interviewer in spontaneous conversation. The taped record is transcribed, 
lightly edited for continuity and clarity, and reviewed by the interviewee. 
The resulting manuscript is typed in final form, indexed, bound with 
photographs and illustrative materials, and placed in The Bancroft Library at 
the University of California, Berkeley, and other research collections for 
scholarly use. Because it is primary material, oral history is not intended 
to present the final, verified, or complete narrative of events. It is a 
spoken account, offered by the interviewee in response to questioning, and as 
such it is reflective, partisan, deeply involved, and irreplaceable. 


All uses of this manuscript are covered by a legal 
agreement between the University of California and Estolv 
Ethan Ward dated 29 September, 1988. The manuscript is 
thereby made available for research purposes. All literary 
rights in the manuscript, including the right to publish, 
are reserved to The Bancroft Library of the University of 
California, Berkeley. No part of the manuscript may be 
quoted for publication without the written permission of the 
Director of The Bancroft Library of the University of 
California, Berkeley. 

Request for permission to quote for publication should 
be addressed to the Regional Oral History Office, 486 
Library, University of California, Berkeley 94720, and 
should include identification of the specific passages to be 
quoted, anticipated use of the passages, and identification 
of the user. The legal agreement with Estolv Ethan Ward 
requires that he be notified of the request and allowed 
thirty days in which to respond. 

It is recommended that this oral history be cited as 

Estolv Ethan Ward, "Organizing and 
Reporting on Labor in the East Bay, 
California and the West, 1925-1987," an 
oral history conducted in 1987 by Lisa 
Rubens, the Regional Oral History Office, 
The Bancroft Library, University of 
California, Berkeley, 1989. 

Copy No. 

ca. 1937 


On behalf of all future users of this oral history, the Regional Oral 
History Office thanks those persons who made it possible. We particularly 
thank Norman Leonard who raised the necessary funds from Estolv Ward's many 
friends and admirers . 

Barbara Baroway 

Neil Basen 

Willa K. Baum 

Beth and Ben Berkov 

Germain and Helen Bulcke 

James H. Burford 

Sidney and Shirley Burkett 

Norman and Margery Canright 

Paul and Miriam B. Chown 

Muriel B. Citret 
George and Irene M. Curran 

Patrick Curran 

Terrence and Nancy Curran 

Lincoln and Bertha Fairley 

Frances Foster, M.D. 

L. Stephen and Judy Gizzi 

Maria Gizzi 

Marion Gizzi 

Caroline Decker Gladstein 

Theresa J . Goldblatt 

Hazel and Aubrey Grossman 

David and Edith A. Jenkins 

Elinor Kamath 

Morris Krantz 

Dorothy and Henry Kraus 

ILWU International 

ILWU Local 6 , Warehouse Union 

Alvin and Pearl Leonard 

Eric Leonard 

Norman and Marjorie Leonard 
Stephen M. Leonard 

Betty W. Maas 

Eva and Bill Maas 

Harry and Mae K. Millstone 

Paul and Sara Pinsky 

Bill and Sylvia Powell 

Sidney and Mae Durham Roger 

Richard and Lucille Sasuly 

Professor Alexander Saxton 

Ruby Silver stone 

Ruth M. Slade 

Walter J. and Marcella Stack 
Norma R. Starobin In Memory of 
Professors Robert S. and Joseph R. Starobin 

Gloria Stuart 

Gwen B. Tompkins 

Eugenia Ward Trorey 

Barry and Sharon Uzel 

Doris Brin Walker 

David Ward 

Roger E. Ward, M.D. 

Julia and Dick Werthimer 




INTRODUCTION by Norman Leonard iv 





A Feminist Mother 5 

A Socialist Father 7 

Travels in the Pacific and Far East 16 


Military Academy and World War I 21 

Marriage and Bourgeois Family Life in Berkeley, 1920' s 26 

An Oakland Tribune Reporter, 1925 31 

Encounters with Berkeley Bohemianism 36 


The 1931 San Francisco Maritime and General Strike 13 

Joining the Newspaper Guild 117 

More on Working at the Tribune 51 

Joining the Communist Party, 1936 56 

Joining the Alameda Central Labor Council 57 

Thoughts on the Communist Party 61 


Organizing Unions in the East Bay 69 

The First California State CIO Convention 71 
Reflections on Conferring with Harry Bridges and the 

Bay Area Labor Movement 72 

More on the State CIO 77 

Organizing a Demonstration Against Franco 80 

More on Organizing in the East Bay 81 

Reflections on the Olson Administration 88 


Background Information: Bridges and Mooney 90 

As Publicity Director 94 

The Trial 95 

Writing Harry Bridges on Trial 99 

Meeting Hey wood Broun 101 

More on the Bridges' Trial 102 


Bucking the Communist Party 107 

Fraternizing with the Elite 108 

On the Radio in Los Angeles, 1940 110 


The Strike at North American, Los Angeles, 19*11 114 

Organizing Basic Magnesium, Las Vegas, 1912 121 

Evaluating Unionization in Los Angeles 121 

Organizing Alcoa 125 

More on Basic Magnesium 128 

Confronting the War Labor Board 133 

The Failed Strike Vote 138 


Organizing for American Communications Association 147 

An Aside About When the Party Went Underground 149 

More on Organizing ACA 152 

CIO Political Action in San Francisco, 1945 155 

The Schnur Campaign 157 

The Brewery Workers 159 

Writing About the Labor Movement 162 

Another Organizing Drive for Mine-Mill: Jurisdictional 

Dispute in Salt Lake City, 1947 166 

Reflections on the State CIO 170 

Dinner with John L. Lewis, 1947 172 

The Effect of Taft-Hartley 174 

Working at Electrical Manufacturing, San Francisco 175 

Forming a Party Unit; Assuming Union Leadership 176 

The Communist Party Under Attack 178 

Indicted by a Federal Grand Jury 179 

Helping the C. P. Underground 183 

Becoming a Photographer 186 

Friendship with Louis Goldblatt 188 

Thoughts on the Henry Wallace Campaign 189 


Trouble Publishing The Piecard 193 

Visiting the Polish Translator 196 

House Un-American Activities Committee 198 

Disillusionment 201 


Photography 203 

Traveling 205 

Visiting Italian Communists 207 

More on Angela and HUAC 209 

Visiting the USSR, 1959 210 

The CIO Purge of Left Unions 222 

Meeting the Exiled Left in Paris 226 

XII TWO YEARS ABROAD, 1962-1 961 232 

More on the Exiled Left 231 

On John XXIII, The Liberal Pontiff 239 

Working with Quakers in Algeria 213 
Return to San Francisco to Write about Tom Mooney: 

The Gentle Dynamiter 219 


Conducting an Oral History Interview with Louis Goldblatt 255 
Fear of a Revived Right Wing in America, and the 

Prospects for Communism 261 

An Oral History Interview with Norman Leonard 266 

Cycles of History 267 

Never Truly a Conservative 268 

Continued Support for Liberal Causes 269 



Estolv E. Ward "How Organized Labor Views the Problems of 
Transition," Annals of the American Academy of Political 

and Social Science Vol . 2 .22, July 19^2 


Estolv Ethan Ward, "Looking Back on the Labor Wars: 

Lewis (sic) Goldblatt Remembers," The Califomians, 

Nov/Dec 1983 279 

INDEX 289 


For almost a century, San Francisco has been known as a union town, and 
the International Longshoreman's and Warehouseman's Union (ILWU) as its most 
active, progressive, and unique union. 

Back in the 1950s, when the University of California still funded most 
of the research conducted by its faculty and staff, the University's newly 
established oral history program interviewed a number of San Francisco Bay 
Area's labor leaders; for example, Paul Scharrenberg (Sailor's Union), Jennie 
Matyas (ILGWU) , Mary Gallagher (1WW) , a variety of Teamster Union officials, 
and J. Paul St. Sure, representative par excellence of the employers in many 
collective bargainings. But in the following decades, as institutional 
research funds shrank and foundation funds became more limited to direct 
action projects, the oral history program of necessity focused more and more 
on fields that could fund their own historic preservation. A few brief labor 
history interviews were conducted, but only when they fitted in with another 
funded project such as the Earl Warren Era Project. The resulting lopsided 
documentation was noted and deplored by library officials, faculty, and 
scholars in search of research materials, but it took two private citizens, 
recently retired from labor union- related work and research to turn the 
situation around by their own volunteer efforts. They are Estolv and Angela 

First, Angela Ward volunteered her secretarial skills to The Bancroft 
Library to transcribe a taped but untranscribed lengthy interview with Henry 
Schmidt which had been donated to the office several years earlier. Her 
husband, Estolv Ward, reading each page as it came off the typewriter, 
realized that his background had fortuitously qualified him to do labor oral 
histories. A newspaper reporter and court reporter in the 1930s, his 
sympathies had led him to throw in his lot with organized labor after the 1934 
General Strike. He had worked for various unions and union-related agencies, 
and had researched and written on labor topics, including a book on Harry 
Bridges and one on Tom Mooney. He knew the Bay Area labor scene personally 
and through research, and realized that his reportorial and editorial skills 
would help at the editing level. 

And so Estolv and Angela began a ten-year team effort to preserve a piece 
of California's labor history, he researching, interviewing, editing; she, 
transcribing and final typing. They began in 1978 with Louis Goldblatt's oral 
history, a two-volume history of some forty interviews that took three years 
to complete. Their fourth and final oral history was with labor attorney 
Norman Leonard, completed in 1986. The Regional Oral History Office provided 
format and procedures and all the finding aid requirements , including 
launching of the finished oral histories into the network of scholarly 
research. Such funding as was needed came from unions, mostly the waterfront 
unions, workers and attorneys in the organized labor community, and from 
families and friends of the interviewees. 

Estolv hung up his interviewer's shingle in 1986, pleading his eighty- 
seven years as excuse to step down to a less pressured job. He continues to 


offer his time to the oral history office as proofreader and copy editor. 

But this partial retirement was the signal the Regional Oral History 
Office had been waiting for, its chance to capture this long- experienced and 
thoughtful observer's own recollections of the many historic events and 
persons he had seen and dealt with. His close friend and colleague, Norman 
Leonard, volunteered to raise the necessary funds. Lisa Rubens, a California 
historian with a specialty in labor history, was engaged to take over Estolv's 
job of labor history interviewer, and Estolv and Angela were back at work, 
this time with Estolv on the speaking side of the microphone and Angela 
filling in with her own recollections when the memory trail grew faint. 

As Estolv's oral history approaches completion, and Estolv approaches his 
ninetieth birthday, I take this opportunity to thank both Estolv and Angela 
for their service to history, and, by their documentation of labor history, 
for helping preserve the Regional Oral History Office's reputation for 
balanced coverage of California history. With the impetus they have provided, 
we look forward to our collection of labor oral histories continuing to grow, 
and, though he claims to be retired, we also look forward to many more years 
of copy editing and proofing by Estolv Ward. 

Willa K. Baum 
Division Head 
Regional Oral History Office 

March 1989 


International Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union 
Oral History Series 

Goldblatt, Louis, The ILWU in California and Hawaii. 1934-1977. 1980. 
Schmidt, Henry, Secondary Leadership in the ILWU. 1933-1966. 1983. 

Bulcke, Germain, Longshore Leader and ILWU- Pacific Maritime Association 
Arbitrator. 1984. 

Leonard, Norman, Life of a Leftist Lawer. 1986. 

Ward, Estolv Ethan, Organizing and Reporting on Labor in the East Bay. 
California and the West. 1925-1987. 1989. 









INTRODUCTION by Norman Leonard 

In his "Interview History" to nv oral history, Estolv 
Ward states that he and his wife Angela have known me and my wife 
Marjorie for nearly half a century and in that time we became 
neighbors, friends and companions. It is through the eyes of 
that companionship that this introduction is now being written. 

My first memory of Estolv in the flesh is in early 1946 
shortly after I had been discharged from the Navy and had 
commenced again my work in labor law. A struggle was then going 
on in California over the decision of the Brewery Workers 
International Union to join the CIO. The California locals - or 
at least some of them - were for staying with the AFL and probably 
affiliating with the Teamsters. Paul Schnur, as leader of the San 
Francisco CIO Council, had designated Estolv as the CIO person to 
head up the effort to bring the California locals into the CIO with 
their International. There were legal ramifications in this 
struggle suits over local union funds, trusteeships imposed by th; 



International on the recalcitrant locals and the like. And I was 
the person assigned by my firm to handle such legal problems. So 
Estolv and I began to work very closely together. 

I had, of course, been aware of him before that I had 
known of him as an official of the CIO in the East Bay and of his 
interest in the Tom Mooney case. My wife and I had been deeply 
impressed by his book "Harry Bridges On Trial", which dealt with 
the 1939 Angel Island hearing before Judge Landis. We also were 
aware of Angela's efforts to organize the employees of the Bank of 
America. But I don't recall that we ever actually met the Wards 
until this Brewery Workers contact. 

We soon became friends and the relationship has lasted 
and deepened. I still remember with great warmth now with 
nostalgia how for many years the four of us met almost every 
Sunday at Mountain Home on Mount Tamalpais and hiked the 
mountain's beautiful trails. Although the hiking tapered off, 
Estolv 's feeling for natural beauty has been evidenced through the 
years by his enthusiastic hard labor on the beautiful garden he 
created at the back of their Berkeley home. 

We and the Wards still carry on a happy tradition. 
Angela and my wife have the same birthday, and for more years than 
I can count for sure we four have celebrated it together. 

There have been professional connections as well. I was 
Angela's attorney before the House Committee on Un-American 


Activities. And I handled a grand jury problem for Estolv when 
he was subpoenaed to a Texas inquiry into the affairs of the Mine 
Mill and Smelter Workers International Union. Through it all I 
found them both to be concerned, committed and courageous people. 
But this is an introduction to Estolv 's Oral History, so I must 
concentrate on him. 

I think the most outstanding feature of my friend is his 
uncompromising honesty. At no time in the years I have known him 
has he ever dissembled or hedged about anything particularly 
about where he stood politically. Although this introduction is 
being written before I have had a chance to read his Oral History, 
I have not the slightest doubt that he tells it as it was and is, 
without any equivocation. 

Further, he always wants to know what is going on all 
about him. He is immensely curious about the world and its 
people. This curiosity, this desire to know led him and Angela 
to become great travellers both at home and abroad. Late in the 
1950s they travelled slowly around the world. For about two 
years in the '60s they lived in Europe, then Turkey and North 
Africa, most of the time in the camper in which they travelled. 
Angela's command of several languages made it easier for them 
really to communicate with the people around them. 

Several times after that the Wards were back in Europe, 
living for months at a time in small communities in different 


countries. With the passage of time it became more difficult to 
travel. But their interest in the world has not lessened. 

Estolv's curiosity about people has manifested itself in 
another way in recent years. He has been a volunteer 
interviewer, editor and general factotum for the Oral History 
Office of the Bancroft Library. This brings him into contact with 
all types of people and situations: not only labor people,^/ but 
others from many different walks of life and varied fields of 
interest and activity. 

Estolv has continued to do this work and so to keep 
himself involved with the world despite the frailty that comes 
with advancing years and despite several recent heartwrenching 
losses in his family. In this he is a very courageous man. 

As he gets older he is occasionally a bit cranky and 
cantankerous (as are we all) . But this does not negate his 
genuine warmth and feeling for people, a trait he shares with 
Angela. It has made them a beloved and admired center of a wide 
circle of friends, and children of friends. 

Indeed it is that feeling for people that made Estolv the 
radical activist that he was and is. He left what probably would 
have been a comfortable professional life as a newspaperman 

I/ In addition to my Oral History, he has done Oral Histories 
of three leaders of the ILWU: Louis Goldblatt, Germain- Bulcke and 
Henry Schmidt. 



because he felt the need to fight for workers and their causes, 
because he believed they were entitled to a decent life and he 
wanted to play a part in bringing that about. In all of his 
life, in his trade union work, in his political work, in his 
writing, he has striven to make the world a more just and a more 
secure and a more peaceful place for its inhabitants. 

I count myself lucky to have known Estolv Ward so closely 
for all these years. 2/ 

September 14, 1988 

2j Marjorie Leonard has contributed significantly to this 


I prepared to conduct Estolv Ward's oral history with enormous respect 
and a good amount of awe. After all, I was a somewhat presupposing young 
historian coming to interview the man whose books and oral histories I had 
devoured, and whose views had influenced some of mine. I considered this work 
a privilege rather than a job; but nevertheless it was no easy task: I had my 
own research and curiosity questions, yet I needed to retain my professional 
stance by questioning Ward's assumptions, actions, and memory. 

From the beginning, Estolv Ward was encouraging, twinkly, kindly, and 
gracious. At the first meeting we sat in the living room of his and Angela's 
charming Berkeley home- -not far from where he had been raised as a boy. I 
admired his own photography that hung throughout the room; we exchanged 
pleasantries; and he clearly, by some measure, tested my mettle- -did I have a 
sense of humor; did I really know the difference between a Socialist and a 
Communist; what did LNPL stand for: I obviously passed the test, because 
Estolv then suggested we begin, and I was escorted into the room where he had 
conducted several interviews, including those of Louis Goldblatt and Norman 
Leonard. This time he sat on the hot-history seat and I posed the questions. 

Yet Ward, ever the writer, publicist, and intellectual, was a man who had 
a story to tell. And among his many talents is that of telling a good tale. 
Ward knew what he wanted to say, and how he would have structured the 
interviews. I often came to a session for which he had already written out 
what he wanted to say- -a "no no" in the oral history business as he would 
readily say. And sometimes he became rather annoyed when I'd push him on a 
point or try to move to a subject that he had not intended to be opened. But 
he did yield and the interview grew into what I think- -as an historian and 
writer- -is more complex and rich than would seem by merely glancing at the 
table of contents. 

It was not the best of times for Ward or his family. One blow after 
another befell them- -particularly sorrowful and sudden deaths; Ward's own 
health failed and one interview was even conducted in his room at Kaiser 
Hospital. Although he rallied, by the tenth interview he declared he was 
finished with this enterprise. He had more stories to tell and there was 
probing and follow ups to be done, particularly on several aspects of his 
political and labor history. I especially regret not taping his recollections 
of the anti-Vietnam War movement --including his trip to Kent State after the 
four students were killed in 1970. 

I became very fond of Estolv and Angela. Angela began to sit in on the 
later interviews and she was a marvelous addition: She helped Estolv recall 
certain events; more importantly, since their life together has always been a 
loving partnership and productive collaboration in every way, it was only 
fitting that they would join on this project. (Angela was interviewed for the 
Women in California Collection, of the California Historical Society, a 
collaborative project with the Institute of Labor and Industrial Relations, 
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. There are copies of her history in the two 
sponsoring institutions, also in Labor Archives, Wayne State University, 

Detroit, Michigan, and at The Bancroft Library, University of California, 
Berkeley. We were able to augment Angela's oral history and update it in this 
interview.) Both Angela and I were eager to have Estolv continue his oral 
history; but we have not prevailed. I have continued to ask him about my own 
research projects. 

Estolv had served as ROHO's labor history interviewer for a decade and I 
did not presume to impose my own editing on his oral history, nor would he 
have stood for any tampering with his own way of organizing and stating his 
life story. Aside from adding chapter headings and subheadings to the 
transcript, I turned over the editing and final review to Estolv. The 
transcribing, final typing, and indexing was done by Judy Smith, a longtime 
ROHO staff member who has worked most closely with Estolv and Angela in their 
oral history work. 

All in all this is a delightful, informative, rich oral history. There 
is much to learn about social, political, radical, and Bay Area history; and 
there are little gems tucked away that include a wide range of useful 
information- -for example, descriptions of the nuts and bolts of a host of 
jobs (reporter, labor organizer, photographer) and about various industrial 
processes; there are asides on the value of nudism and odes to specific 
aesthetic traditions. 

This oral history reflects the life of a thoughtful and active man who 
lived through and contributed to the extraordinary history of the United 
States in the twentieth century. 

Lisa Rubens 
Interviewer -Editor 

March 1989 

Regional Oral History Office 

486 The Bancroft Library 

University of California at Berkeley 

Regional Oral His:.-ry Office 
Room -i36 The Bancroft Library 


University of California 
Berkeley, 'California 94720 

Your full name 


(Please write clearly. Use black ink.) 


Date of birth 





Father's full name 


Occupation A. 

Mother's full name A 

>/<U. Jot, r 6/. 


Your spouse 
Your children 

Where did you grow up? 
Present community 

Areas of expertise 

Other interests or activities 

/ JL*-*o f yt-CjrfJu, 

Organizations in which you are active 



Estolv Ethar. Ward 

Bore 1899 ir. Los Angeles: father a Socialist lawyer 
out of Rhode island; mother an ardent feminist, daughter of a 
San Francisco Quaker merchant, and possessor of a Ph.D. from 
Swarthmore and an M.D. from Boston Medical School. The 
infant was removed to San Francisco at age two weeks, and with 
lacunae has lived in the Bay Region, mostly Berkeley, ever 

Three and a half years of institutionalized instruction; 
otherwise his education came through tutors, travel, and daily 
family discussions. 

Became campus reporter at U.C. Berkeley for the Oakland 
Tribune, proceeding to top rewrite, general assignment, and 
assistant city editor. Covere'd the San Francisco general strike 
in 1934 and in those three days learned things that changed 
his life. Became a founder of the local chapter of the News 
paper Guild and was fired and blacklisted by his publisher, 
Joseph R. Knowland. Became bailiff and court reporter for the 
California Supreme Court, meanwhile being active on his leisure 
time in the burgeoning CIO labor movement. Resigned his court 
Job to become founding executive secretary of the Alameda 
County CIO Council. 

In the next eleven years, he became successively first 
vice-president, California State CIO Council; CIO legislative 
representative, Sacramento, 1939; executive secretary, Harry 
Bridges Defense Committee, Angel Island trial, 1939; executive 
vice-president, California Labor's Non-Partisan League, 1940; 
radio writer, Los Angeles CIO News. 1940-41; organizer, Mine 
Mill and Smelter Workers' Union, in Los Angeles and Southern 
Nevada, 1942-44; San Francisco CIO radio writer, 1944; CIO-PAC 
director, San Francisco CIO Council, 1945-48. Following that, 
odd Jobs and labor journalism. 

Author, Harry Bridges On Trial. Modern Age, 1940; a 
labor novel published only in Polish translation, Renegat. 
1953? The Gentle Dynamiter; A Biography of Tom Moonev. 
Ramparts Press, 1983; numerous labor and travel articles. 

Interviewer-editor, Louis Goldblatt, "Working Class 
Leader In the ILWU, 1935-1977," two volumes, Regional Oral 
History Office, 1980; Henry Schmidt, "Secondary Leadership in 
the ILWU, 1933-1966," Regional Oral History Office, 1983. 
Germain Bulcke, "Longshoreman's Leader & ILWU-Pacific Maritime Assoc 
Arbitrator/' 1984; Norman Leonard, "Life of a Leftist Labor Lawyer ,"'l986. 


Angela Gizzi Ward 

Born 1910 in San Francisco; eldest child of immigrants 
from Italy who became prominent citizens in the North Beach 
district. Graduate of the University of California at Berkeley. 

Worked at Bank of America until fired "for attempting 
to organize a union among bank and insurance employees through 
out the Bay Region. President and organizer of United Office 
and Professional Workers Local 3^4-f San Francisco. 

Later became secretary-treasurer of Local 700, Mine, 
Mill, and Smelter Workers, in Los Angeles; joined her husband 
in a dramatic but unsuccessful effort to organize workers 
for Mine Mill in war plants in Southern Nevada, 1943* 

Returning to San Francisco, she became an organizer of 
clerical workers at the Pacific Gas and Electric Company, 
achieving a first major victory in the local office-worker 
field, with equal pay for equal work for women. 

On retirement she has assisted her husband in the 
preparation of oral history and other manuscripts. 


[Interview 1: 8 June 19873** 

Rubens: We are going to spend this first session talking about your 

childhood and background, with the focus on how you developed 
political consciousness. 

Ward: I have a rather unusual parentage and birth and upbringing, my 
parents both being radicals, flaming radicals, for the nineties. 
My father was a socialist and a bit of a Theosophist. My father 
ran on the Populist ticket for district attorney of Multnomah 
County, Oregon, which was Portland, and he lost by thirty-four 

Rubens: Your father was a lawyer, is that right, from Rhode Island? 

Ward: Yes. And my mother was an ardent feminist who believed that 

marriage was a dirty trick conceived by men to enslave women. I 
was her second child. She had been involved before. 

Rubens: Let me ask you, then, a couple of key questions. Where was your 
mother born? 

Ward: I think she was born in San Francisco. Her father was the owner 
of a store which you may or may not have heard of, Smith's Cash 

Rubens: What was your mother's name? 

Ward: My mother's name was Laura Mae Smith. She was known as Laura; 
that's the name she used. 

ffThis symbol indicates that a tape or a segment of a tape has 
begun or ended. For a guide to the tapes, see page 271 . 

Ward: My father, Louis Artemas Ward,* was born and brought up in Rhode 
Island in a house so old that parts of it, nobody knows when they 
were built. 

My grandfather was George Hazzard Mumford Perry Ward, and my 
grandmother was Celia Perry. My grandfather, as soon as he got 
married he was a whaler, a whaling captain he took off on a 
voyage around the Horn to the Bering Straits and got home three 
years later to find out that he had a three-year-old daughter, or 
thereabouts. So he quit whaling and became a farmer. 

Rubens: This is your father's father? 

Ward: Yes, that's right. Many stories were told about life on the 

farm, how this house had the widow's peak widow's watchplace. 
It also had between the first and second floors a railing which 
resounded when pounded. 

When they needed fertilizer, they would wait till the tide 
in Long Island Sound was very low, and that usually occurred at 
two or three in the morning. The boys, my father included, slept 
upstairs, and my grandfather slept downstairs. He didn't need a 
clock. There was, I guess, no such thing as an alarm clock. He 
knew when it was time to get up, and he'd pound on that railing 
and holler, "Jump up, boys, and hook on your j ibhalyards . " The 
boys would do that, and they would get into special carts with 
ribs instead of solid bodies, and the horses, and go down and get 
seaweed. That's how they fertilized the rocky New England soil. 

Rubens: How did your father get from Rhode Island to Oregon? 
Ward: I'm coming to that. 

There were many, many stories about life on the farm as the 
children grew up. There were many children. 

The weather was foggy and miserable, and many people died of 
what was then called consumption, including my grandmother 
(Celia) and my father's younger sister, whose name I don't 
remember. My father was told at the age of nineteen that he also 
was a consumptive and had two years to live, and nothing much 
could be done for him about it. 

Well, in town, the tiny little hamlet there, was a man known 
as Welcome Tucker. He got the name of "Welcome" because his 
father and mother, when he was born, got into a fight over what 
his name should be and didn't name him anything but "Hey, you." 
So at the age of ten he named himself "Welcome." 

Now, he was known as Welc Tucker. He was the village 
handyman, and he took care of everybody's little odd jobs and all 

My father never used the name "Louis." He was known as "Art." 

Paternal Grandfather, George Hazzard 
Mumford Perry Ward. 
Portland, Oregon 

Paternal Grandmother, Celia Church 


Rhode Island 

Cousin Lizzie Hoxsie 

Ward: the old maids and widows and so on, and he liked my father. My 
father left home and went to live with Welc Tucker. 

My father noticed that he got a terrible cold every time he 
got a haircut and conceived the idea that if his hair were left 
to grow as nature intended, the back of his neck would always be 
of an even temperature. So he let his hair grow long, and he 
also went on a fast and took nothing but water for three weeks. 

Welc was beginning to get a little bit anxious about the 
boy. He didn't want him to die. It was spring, and the peaches 
were ripe in the orchard. Welc took a bowl full of ripe peaches 
and set them on the dining room table and went on about his 
business. When he came back, the peaches were all eaten. That 
ended the fast, and from that day on my father never tasted 
anything except fruit and vegetables all his life. He lived to 

Rubens: What year did he die? 

Ward: Nineteen fifty-seven. The family, in the meantime, was moving 
west to Portland, Oregon. This was because of my grandfather's 
brother, Uncle John. The two of them, George and John, had 
crossed the Isthmus of Panama and got to California in the Gold 

When they arrived in San Francisco Bay they had no money, 
but they had shotguns and ammunition. They stole a boat from one 
of the many vessels which had been abandoned in the bay. They 
got a good-sized longboat and rowed across the bay to what is now 
Alameda. At that time it was a haven for wild ducks. They shot 
wild ducks until that boat was loaded down just to danger's edge, 
got back with them, and sold the ducks to the San Francisco 
restaurant people at five dollars apiece. So they were in 

They went up to the gold fields and didn't find much of any 
gold. My grandfather got scurvy and lost all his teeth. He was 
so sick that to save his life John had to get him home somehow. 

But John didn't stay home. He was next heard of in what is 
now northern Mexico and New Mexico. He somehow or other enlisted 
the assistance of some Indian vaqueros, and they rounded up a 
great herd of wild horses left from the Spanish adventures in 
Mexico. They rounded up this herd, and with the Indian vaqueros 
John drove them west to the coast of California, starting at San 
Diego, selling wild horses to the ranchers up the coast, up the 
coast, up the coast, to what is now Portland, Oregon, and 
beyond. About where Vancouver is, he ran out of horses. 




So he and his vaqueros rounded up a herd of wild elk and drove 
them south, selling them for meat. They ran out of elk at what 
is now Portland, Oregon, on the banks of the Willamette River. 
John by that time had a lot of money, and he bought about a 
fourth of what is now the Portland, Oregon, waterfront, and he 
lived there the rest of his life. He became "Mr. Republican" of 
the state of Oregon. 

I remember him when I was a small boy, coming down to visit 
us on his way; he spent every winter in Santa Monica and the rest 
of the time in Portland. He smoked vile cigars and stunk up our 
house, [chuckles] We put up with him because he was rich. 

So we're talking about how your father got to Oregon, 
because of John? 

Was that 

Well, John started a family there, and the rest of the family 
began to come from Rhode Island. 

What year was this? 
The early nineties. 
Your father went to Oregon in the early nineties? 

Well, he didn't go with the rest of the family. He was about the 
last among them. In those days it took ten days by train from 
Rhode Island, or Boston, to Portland, Oregon. There was no such 
thing as sleeping cars. You sat up. And they burned wood, you 
know, and they were just as dirty as the engine [chuckles] by the 
time they got there. Anyway, he got there and went to work as a 

But he was of a slight, slender build, and the first thing 
he did was to lift a load wrong and he tore the ligaments out of 
the small of his back around into his testicles, and he had that 
hole under his skin in his back all the rest of his life. 

So he went to work as a clerk in a law office, and at the 
age of twenty-one he went down to Salem and took the bar 
examination. He tells the story that he had become friendly with 
another young fellow who was also taking the exam. The night 
before the exam this other fellow suggested that they sit up all 
night and cram. My father said no; he was going to get a good 
night's sleep. So he got a good night's sleep, the other fellow 
sat up all night and worked, and they both passed. 

My father bacame a lawyer. His clients were always indigent 
or nearly so. He had a great problem: he could charge a fee, 
but he couldn't collect it. The result was that he was very 
poor. He then met my mother. 

A Feminist Mother 

Rubens: Where did your father meet your mother? 

Ward: In Portland, although she was, I think, San Francisco born. She, 
as I say, didn't believe in marriage. 

Rubens: Had she already been to college when she met your father? 

Ward: She had a Ph.D. from Swarthmore and an M.D. from Boston Medical. 

Rubens: That was very unusual for a woman at that time. 

Ward: Very, very. She was the valedictorian when she graduated from 
Boston Med, and her topic was Yosemite. She was an outdoor 
person, very much so. In the summertimes, when she'd come back 
from college in the East, the first thing she would do would be 
to hire a donkey and find a dog somewhere that liked her and take 
off for Yosemite. 

Rubens: By herself? 
Ward: By herself. 

She was a very dear and close friend of John Muir. There is 
a story of a night, of some sort of a romance between the two, at 
the head of Waterwheel Falls on the Tuolumne, if you know where 
that is. 

Rubens: Who told the story? Your mother? 

Ward: No. I think my aunt had [chuckles]. Well, anyway, they were 
unquestionably very good friends. 

Rubens: And what were her parents like, that they sent her to Swartluaore 
and then to medical school? 

Ward: I have this memory of her father: I remember being taken I must 
have been somewhere between three and four years of age into 
this big store. It was on the gore of Market, Drumm, and 
California Streets, and the building was thirteen stories high. 
I don't know how much of it they occupied, but they certainly 
occupied a great deal. 

And I remember going down the aisle, hanging onto my 
mother's hand, and the clerks bowing and scraping, way down to 
the back to a little tiny office, rather dark and gloomy and 
crowded, and this man with a beard down to here [gestures], I 
don't know what the talk was about, but anyhow he stood up, and 
he was six-foot-seven. My mother was five-ten. 

Rubens: This was your grandfather who was six-foot-seven with a beard to 
his waist? 

Ward: This was my grandfather. I remember her saying that we were 
going to see grandma, but I don't remember grandma at all. 

Rubens: Your mother got her degree from Boston Medical School but never 
practiced medicine? 

Ward: Never practiced. 

Rubens: And you believe your parents met in Portland? 

Ward: Yes, I know they did. 

Rubens: But you were born in Los Angeles. 

Ward: Well, as I say, my father was 

Rubens: Struggling. 

Ward: He couldn't collect a fee. His big pride was that he defended a 
man for murder and got him off that sort of thing. But no 

He heard of a law job opening in the little town of Los 
Angeles, which was nothing but a hamlet then. So he and my 
mother, she very pregnant oh, wait a minute; I'm getting ahead 
of the story. 

Since she didn't believe in marriage and she was in love 
with my father, she was willing to live with him right then and 
there. Nothing doing! No, sir! He was a New England Puritan, 
and you did not have sex except when you intended to have 
offspring; that was the only purpose of sex. Anyway, it was a 
standoff for quite a while until finally she gave in under the 
promise that all right, she would marry him, and as soon as there 
was an offspring they would get a divorce and live happily ever 

So here they were in Los Angeles, and the job that he was 
looking for did not materialize. They were living in a little 
old white house, so I've been told, right close to the corner of 
Figueroa and Broadway. My mother, who had had a child 

Rubens: She had already had a child? 
Ward: Oh, yes. I was her second child. 

Mother, Laura Mae Smith Ward 


Fragments of 

My Soul and Winter's, 


Laura n. Smith 

A Slffht That Lived. 
A cliff; deep snow; a moonlight night; 
A pair of long, slim Norway skis; 
A figure kneeling ; peering far over the icy ledge. 

Down, down below, deep in the canon'* white 
There lay a curious thing. 
There lay a mimir city in the snow, 
A tiny little mining, mountain city 
With ont- long straggling street. 
And dancing lights from under low log roofs 
Where Joe and Mary ate their l>oiled potatoes 
And gave the haby some. 

And gaudy signs nnd yellow lights from ten saloons, 
And one red light, laying a warm, slim finger on the 

snow the drug store. 
And little hurrying spots, all black, a-moving to and fro 

from butcher shop to store. 
I bent again and listened and took my breath in 


Ah yts! with muffled, mellow notes 
Yet clear and faint and sweet 
The hotel supper-bell ! 

Silent I gazed 

There was a curious something thus watching above 
at men's dear doings that held me very still. 

And when I moved away on my Norwegian skis, there 

was a white hush in my heart 

Made of the moonlight, of the snow, and of that other 
Something, on its height, that watched, with luminous 

light, o'er everything. 


I think I must be the wild-child of the Norsemen. 
I think I must be the offspring of those fierce men who 

rode the northern etas . 
I think I must l>e akin to the Newfoundlander, to the 

Esquimaux, the Laps and Fins. 
I think I must be the young of all of these. 

An Ecstasy. 

Oh, I have not lived half enough ! 

Oh, I have not breathed half enough ! 

Oh, I have not climbed half enough ! 

I have not leaped and danced and strode the earth one- 
half enough ! 

I am crazy with the fierce energythat burns through 
all my veins! 

Oh, there is a snapping, crackling lift and force within 
my brain ! 

Oh, I am exultant in the keen joy of bounding, glowing 

Oh, let me never die 

I am so glad to live! 

A small poetry book written by Estolv Ward's mother 
and presented as Christmas gifts, 1896. 

Rubens: Your father's child? 

Ward: Oh, no, no. More about that later. 

She told my father what to do they had no money and he 
did, and I got born at 6:20 in the morning. 

Rubens: Eighteen ninety-nine. 
Ward: Yes, March 29, 1899. 

Then somehow or other they got back to San Francisco. 

A Socialist Father 

Rubens: Was your father a socialist by now? 

Ward: Oh, he had been a socialist for 

Rubens: When did he join the Socialist Party? 

Ward: Who knows? I don't know. 

Rubens: Did he belong to the Socialist Party? 

Ward: I don't know that he ever belonged, but I know that he considered 
himself to be a socialist, and his friends were all socialists. 

Rubens: And did your mother ever actually belong to the Socialist Party? 
Ward: Oh, I don't think she- 
Rubens: She was not a joiner? 

Ward: I have the impression that she was apolitical. Her big thing was 
women's rights, and she was anti-marriage and all that sort of 

Rubens: But she never wanted to work while the children were young, or 
she didn't find--? 

Ward: Well, no. They got back to San Francisco. I was two weeks old, 
they tell me, when I arrived in San Francisco. 

My father landed a job at ten dollars a week at a little 
exporting /importing firm down on California Street, and they 
lived in the highest-up cottage on Bernal Heights. My father's 




allowance was ten cents a day. He walked to work and back from 
work, and his lunch cost ten cents. 

My first memory was of lying in a tent by my mother's side, 
with the rain pattering on the tent in the morning, and I 
remember her tickling the soles of my feet to make me laugh. 
Then I remember getting old enough to go up on the hill to play 
with the nanny goats on the top of the hill and to go down a 
block to meet my father coming home from work. It was a lovely 
little house, just covered with flowering roses and bushes and 

Who lived in this house? 

The two boys? What was the first 

Ward: Well, I never saw him. I'll tell you about that. 

Rubens: All right. But we want to just establish who was living there: 
it was your father, your mother, and you in this house. 

Waard: That's right. 

You see, my mother liked everything about having children 
except taking care of them after infancy. 

My father got fired because this little company joined 
forces with another little exporting and importing company, and 
their work forces they had a few too many. He was the last 
hired, so he was let go. But in a few days they had to come 
after him, because in the short time he had been there he'd gone 
through their contract files and they discovered that he knew 
more about their contracts than anybody else. 


Ward: So he got his job back, and things picked up. We moved to 

Berkeley, to an old white house even then it was old on what 
is now Hilgard Street, but it hadn't been cut through at that 
time. The streetcar ran to the bottom of the Euclid Street hill, 
and we had to walk up Euclid to Cedar, turn up Cedar, and then go 
through the field down to this old house. I used to play in that 

One morning my father woke up and he'd been bitten on the 
hip, apparently, he thought, by a tarantula. Anyway, he was all 
swollen. He went to work, but he couldn't last all day. He had 
to come home. He was in great pain, and he came home early in 
the afternoon; and The Stranger was there. 

I was always told to go out and play when The Stranger came, 
so I saw The Stranger running through the field down towards 


Father with Estolv, age three. 
Heights, San Francisco. 

March 1902. Bernal 

Louis A. Ward, Attorney. Portland Oregon, 
bookcase is still in Estolv Ward's home.) 

(The revolving legal 

Ward: Euclid, pulling on his clothes as he ran; and my father with a 
very strange look on his face; and my mother weeping in the 

After a couple of days, late one evening, the three of us 
went down to the Oakland Mole and he put my mother on the train; 
she was wearing a white tarn o'shanter. I remember that white tarn 
o'shanter as the train pulled out, and her waving good-bye. I 
never saw her again until I was twenty-one. How I got home that 
night I don't know, because I fell asleep on my father's 

So we moved to 17^3 Delaware Street. It was a one-story 
cottage, to which my father added a high basement. The first 
person who took care of me was an elderly Seventh Day Adventist 
woman named Auntie Plowman. I hated Saturdays because from 
Friday night till Saturday night I couldn't go out and play. I 
had to just sit there and be a good boy all day. 

Well, anyway, I got smallpox, so my father laid off work. I 
don't know where Auntie Plowman was, but she disappeared and he 
took care of me. My face was covered with these big pustules all 
over, and he told me to keep my hands away from them. "They'll 
itch, but don't scratch because if you scratch your face will be 
pock-marked for life." And I didn't. But as these pustules were 
getting ripe, I woke up from a nap one afternoon and the cover 
had taken off one of the scabs out of the corner of my nose, 
right where the nostril joins the forehead. I was very 
apologetic, and I think I cried or wept about it. But he told me 
it was an accident and I couldn't help it. I had the scar there 
until I was up in my twenties. It gradually disappeared. So I 
recovered. He prospered. 

Rubens: What was he doing? 

Ward: He worked for this export/import company. It was a company with 
branches all over the world, and this was just the West Coast 
branch. A man named Shainwald was the manager. The treasurer 
was Milton Morse, who was the brother of James R. Morse, the man 
who founded the company and who lived and operated out of the 
headquarters in New York. 

Rubens: What was the name of the company? 

Ward: The American Trading company. Milton Morse was the treasurer in 
San Francisco, but he was almost blind. This man Shainwald, the 
manager, was stealing from the company and my father caught him. 
So Shainwald was fired and my father was appointed manager. The 
next day the earthquake and fire happened. So here he was, the 
manager of a firm where the office was on fire. 


Ward: I remember him walking with me from 17^3 Delaware Street to the 

waterfront that night, watching San Francisco burn. He and other 
businessmen had gone down to the Oakland estuary and rented a 
ferryboat to try to get to San Francisco to save their documents 
and things, to do what they could. They got to the waterfront 
but were turned back by the National Guard; they were not allowed 
to land. That night he took me down, and we watched it burn. 

When he could get to San Francisco, the safe was in the 
basement of the remains of the building, and when they opened the 
safe there was nothing but char. So he had to go with his hat in 
his hand to all the firms with whom he had contracts and ask them 
to please give him copies of them and to honor those contracts. 
They all did. 

I was brought up I don't think I ever wore such a thing as 
a pair of socks. 

Rubens: You had long hair, also. 

Ward: Long hair, down to here [gestures], longer than these haircuts 

Rubens: Your house was a vegetarian household? 

Ward: Oh, yes. My father persuaded his older sister, Nettie, who had 
become a teacher in a normal school in eastern Oregon, to come 
down and run the house and take care of me and teach me, which 
she did. I didn't go to school till I was about thirteen or 

Rubens: During this time did you receive letters from your mother? 

Ward: My father did. 

Rubens: What did your father tell you about where your mother was? 

Ward: I have the impression I don't think that he told me much. 

Rubens: Did he speak ill of her? 

Ward: I think maybe Aunt Nettie told me more than I believe my mother 
spent much of her time around Coos Bay, Oregon; and she had other 
children: a boy who also had an odd name like mine. She had 
Eilla. He later renamed himself Phillip. And she had a girl. 
Truth, who I believe, so far as I know, is still alive and lives 
in Vacaville. 

Aunt Nettie made my clothes; I wore little khaki pants above 
the knee, and I forget what kind of a shirt. She made all my 


Ward: I was an oddball. I didn't mingle much with the neighboring 
children. When I did to some extent, I was a little bit too 
farfetched for most of them. 

My father took care of old Socialist friends, including a 
man whose name I can't now recall who came down with typhoid 
while visiting us and died at our home. And Aunt Nettie got sick 
with it. The result was that something had to be done, so I was 
sent up to friends named Van der Linden in Santa Rosa, and I 
stayed there for about a month. 

There were several Socialists in Santa Rosa, including old 
Cornelius "Daddy" Van der Linden, and his son Peter and wife. 
Also the owner of the Neilsen Furniture company, which is still a 
name, I think, in the trucking business in that part of 

I got my first kiss from a girl, one of the Neilsen family. 
I know it was very exciting! [laughs] And I got locked in the 
Santa Rosa Public Library. This happened when I was eight years 
old, and I was in a corner of the shelves reading a travel book 
about "darkest Africa" when the librarian locked up to go to 
dinner. Peter came and got me out, a very scared kid. 

Anyhow, Aunt Nettie recovered, and I went back home. 

Let's go back to the earthquake and fire for a moment. I 
remember the earthquake; I was seven years old then. My father 
and I slept in twin beds in the same room. I woke up one 
morning, and the chimney was tumbling down on the roof over our 
heads, the dishes were crashing in the pantry, and the beds were 
like this [gestures]. For some reason or other, I couldn't open 
my mouth, and it stopped. I was just about to say, "Daddy, what 
is it?" when it began again. I wet the bed. [laughs] But we 
all survived. 

At the time of the earthquake, just after the earthquake, my 
father felt that he wanted a basement. This house on Delaware 
street where we lived had no basement, so he had it raised to 
what was virtually a two-story house with a big, high basement. 
It was up on blocks. It had been raised, but it hadn't been 
built under yet. When the aftershocks of the earthquake came, 
the house rocked and wiggled and shook, but nothing happened. 

One of the Socialist friends had an old biplane that was 

stored in our basement this was after the earthquake and fire 

and people passing by could see in the basement windows, and if 
they looked they could see the wings of this plane. Why we had 
it there, who left it there, I haven't the faintest idea. But 
when I was in my early teens we left the plane and the house and 


Ward: everything and moved up to 1512 Oxford Street in Berkeley. The 
house is still there; I pass it every day when I go down that 

There were two boys who lived next door who went to 
Waashington School, and I got friendly with them. About that 
time, not only did they suggest that I might like to go to 
school they thought that would be nice but also my aunt was 
running out of her ability to teach me, because she only had a 
normal school education herself. So she took me down to the 
school and I met the principal, whose name was H. P. Glessner. 
He used to be known as "Horsepower," but not to his face. He 
later became principal of Berkeley High. I ran into him again 
when he was ninety. 

But, anyway, he was very much concerned. Here was this boy 
with these funny-looking clothes and long hair and so forth. 
Also, he had no idea of what grade I belonged in; nobody did. He 
was very concerned about it. He said, "It would be terrible to 
have to demote him, so let's start him low and see what 
happens." So I was put in the high sixth grade. I lasted there 
one week. 

These boys, the friends of mine, were in the high seventh. 
I was with them for two weeks, and then the next thing I knew I 
was in the high eighth. A month later I graduated from grammar 

In high school I changed my ways. I decided I would 
conform. I got a haircut, and bought kneepants and all, and I 
even wore socks for a change. 

Rubens: In high school you still wore kneepants? 

Ward: Oh, of course. Everybody did. I conformed, became a conformist. 

In high school, in the Latin class, the teacher, Miss Webb, 
seated us alphabetically. The result was that the girl who sat 
in front of me was Jean Waste. She was blonde, and I thought she 
was very pretty. I learned somehow or other that she was the 
daughter of a local judge, a superior court judge. 

It was somehow managed that we should meet, but it had to be 
very formal. Another girl whom I knew agreed to hold a party to 
which Miss Waste and Mr. Ward would be invited. By that time I 
was getting a little bit worldly in my ways. I went out nights. 
I think I sneaked out and ran around with the boys. 

Rubens: Were you interested in politics? Stitt Wilson was mayor of 
Berkeley in 1912. Here you have a Socialist mayor. 


Ward: Oh, yes. Stitt Wilson and my father could have been twin 

brothers, not only in looks but in hairdo and all that sort of 
thing. In fact, my father was sometimes mistaken for him. 

Rubens: Did your father know him? 







I don't think so, not personally. My father was so deeply 
engrossed in his business affairs. He came home from work and 
brought his briefcase full. He worked in the evenings, always in 
the evening. He was a very hard worker. 

From the beginning, as soon as he reached the stage where he 
didn't have to get to the office at nine o'clock, every morning 
we went running. We walked up to at least as high as the "Big 
C." Do you know where that is? 

The "Big C" ( "C" for California) on the hillside behind the 

Yes. The Greek Theater was just being built then. Every morning 
when my father could do it we went up at least as high as the 
"Big C" and ran down^ walked up and ran down. 

Oh, politics. Every polling booth was surrounded by 
suffragettes. My father wouldn't even tell anybody how he 
voted. I knew how he voted, but he wouldn't tell. You had to 
find out. 

How did you know? 

You knew what he believed in. 

Was he for women's suffrage? 

Yes. But would he give those women out there at the polling 
place a tumble? No, sir! 

He'd refuse to 

What do you mean, "a tumble"? 

He wouldn't say, "Yes, I'm for you," or anything, 
take their literature. 

What happened to his Socialist politics? 

He voted Socialist, but I knew it because I knew him, not because 
of anything he'd said or told me. And he wouldn't tell them, but 
he voted for them, I'm quite sure. Oh, no! The vote was sacred, 
because when he was a boy growing up in Rhode Island there was no 
such thing as a secret ballot. On voting day the politicians 
came to town and passed out free liquor, let everybody come, made 

Ward: their speeches, and then they voted by a show of hands. The 

Australian secret ballot, my father was brought up to believe, 
was something wonderful. 

Rubens: Well, it was an achievement. It was a progressive 
Ward: Yes! 

Rubens: And so just the last question: was he particularly respectful of 
Wilson, or was he impressed with him, or do you know his opinoin 
about Stitt Wilson? 

Ward: Well, I have no recollection of a particular 
Rubens: Or whether he voted for [Eugene] Debs? 

Ward: I know that all his friends were Socialists. People came, as I 
say; one man died at our place. All his friends were old 

Rubens: He didn't talk about Debs particularly, who ran in 1912? 

Ward: No. But Debs' "Appeal to Reason" was always on our living room 

Anyway, in school I began to sneak out at night and run 
around with the boys. In San Francisco the Panama Pacific 
International Exposition came along. 

Rubens: Nineteen fifteen. 

Ward: Yes. If I could get five dollars somehow, I could go over there 
all day to take all the rides and do everything, and I'd still 
have a dime left to get home, because I learned how. There was a 
nickel streetcar, and then I learned that if you walked down to 
the south end of the Ferry Building to the trade entrance where 
the horse truckers came in, if you'd come just as a cart was 
coming in the door, you didn't have to pay. 

I had my first beer there. I thought it must have spoiled; 
it tasted awful. I didn't understand why anybody 

Rubens: Was your father a teetotaler? 

Ward: So far as I know, he never tasted alcohol. 

Rubens: Was he a prohibitionist, do you know? 

Ward: Well, he didn't believe in alcohol. He must have been a 

prohibitionist because, as I say, he never well, never any meat 
or fish even. 


Rubens: There was such a closeness between the Socialists and the 
prohibitionists at the turn of the century. 

Ward: That's right, yes. I think that was probably the case. 

Well, to get back to this party: as I was saying, this was 
on a Saturday afternoon, and I should think it was somewhere up 
towards Euclid Avenue, this house. It was to be a garden party. 
So as the day, Saturday, wore on, I ate lunch. This party was to 
be at three o'clock or something like that, and I sat down in my 
father's easy chair after lunch and fell asleep, 
the party on time. I had to be called by phone, 

I didn't get to 
[laughs] Oh, 

I went to the young lady's home, and Miss Waste invited me 
to a party that night. I went to that party and met some of her 


Ward: We went out a few times. There was nothing exclusive about it; I 
knew she went out with other boys. She had quite a few enemies 
among the girls in high school because, I guess, they considered 
her a little bit snooty. So one of them told me that they had 
heard that Jean was going out with a boy named Johnny Muir on 
Saturday night. Johnny Muir had the reputation we didn't have 
the term "womanizer," but he was the biggest girl chaser, the 
most notorious girl chaser in high school. The thought of my 
date going out with him was impossible! 

So I went down to Oakland and got drunk. I came back on the 
streetcar and got off at the Waste's house. They lived at 
2222 Durant Avenue, an old double house. I waited to see what 
would happen when this awful Johnny Muir brought her home. I 
wanted to see the homecoming. I sat across the street, but 
realized that I couldn't hear what they would be saying. So I 
went down the driveway alongside the house and sneaked up so I 
could hear any conversation that took place on the porch. 

Lo and behold, her older brother drove in, and the 
headlights were right on me, and I ran. After I got tired 
running [chuckles], I came back and sat down on the lawn across 
the street and waited. She came home at a reasonable hour with 
some young man. He went up the stairs, told her goodnight, no 
monkey business at all, and he left. That was it. 

I found out it wasn't Johnny Muir at all. 
Ewer, a man I had never heard of. 

It was Johnny 


Ward: The Wastes were alarmed. What was I doing down there? So they 
called the police. I was arrested the next day. I told my 
story, and whether the police believed it or not, they told it to 
the Wastes. A day or so later I was home. The phone rang, and 
it was Mrs. Waste. She was upset that they had caused my 
arrest, and would I come down and see her? 

Well, at that time, among my father's old Socialist friends 
was this old Hollander, Cornelius Van der Linden, who had come 
down from Santa Rosa and was living with us. Daddy Van der 
Linden told me that he thought my father was rich, and I said, 
"Well, how rich do you think my father is?" He said, "Oh, at 
least two million." 

So I went down to see Mrs. Waste, and she was very kind and 
sorry about the whole thing. I told her that I'd learned what 
the young man's real name was, that it was someone I'd never 
heard of. In the course of it, she asked about my father and his 
business and so forth, and I told her that he was worth two 

She knew that I had been brought up by my aunt, that I had 

no mother, and she elected herself to be my mother. This caused 

quite an unhappiness for the Waste family. Everybody got into an 
uproar about me. Jean told me to go fly a kite. 

But my relationship with Mrs. Waste was very much that of a 
mother and son. She taught me how to drive, and she did this, 
and she did that. She was, no question about it, a very useful 
person to me and helped me to straighten out my own ways very 

Travels in the Pacific and Far East 

Ward: Then in 1916 my father was notified that he was to make a 

personal survey of the company's Far East offices because there 
were things going on there that they wanted him to investigate. 
To do that he would have to have a confidential secretary. He 
couldn't use the office help in the offices that he'd visit, you 
know, to dictate letters, cablegrams, and so forth. He had six 
months to prepare. So he told me that if I wanted to learn 
shorthand, typing, and the Bentley code, which was the regular 
cable code for business, I could have the job. So I did. I 

I was in Manila when World War I broke out. Almost 
instantly La Luneta (The Spectacle Lens), a massive greensward 


the size of six or eight football fields, came to life at six 
o'clock every morning: young Americans, flags flying, a military 
band playing, going "hup, two, three, four," on the vast stretch 
of green grass, training to go to Europe and fight that German, 
Kaiser Wilhelm, and all his "krauts." All of them, I suspected, 
hoping to become officers right away. 

Whistles blew, and everyone, the bandsmen too, stacked arms 
and instruments and dashed for the bar of the Manila Hotel. Time 
was allowed for one quick drink. Then the whistle blew again and 
everybody dashed back to La Luneta for another go at Army drill. 

I got on the boat with my father to go from Manila to Hong 
Kong, but the boat didn't sail on time. There was a girl, 
Dolores Lichauco, with whom I'd become friendly. Oh, yes, that's 
another story. 

Years before, a Spanish-speaking Filipino boy who had not a 
word of English, nothing, no money, appeared in my father's 
office in San Francisco with a letter from the manager of the 
American Trading Company's Manila office, saying that this boy 
was from a good family and so forth, and could my father help 
him. So my father immediately gave him a job in the Spanish 
American department and brought him home to stay with us. 

That was Fernando Grey, whose grandfather had been a 
Scotsman. He stayed with us until he got on his feet, and he 
taught me Spanish and I taught him English. Then he went his 
way, did a hitch in the American Navy, and went back home. He 
had been home a year or so when we arrived there, and he met us 
at the dock with his Renault machine and his chauffeur, 
[laughs] It was quite a change. 

So I got a taste of Filipino society, which consisted mainly 
of wealthy mestizos (half-breeds). My father made a business 
call on Teodoro Yangco, who was the major buyer for the 
Philippine government (it was the American government at that 
time). And first thing we knew, we got a dinner invitation to 
the Yangco home. At the appointed hour the Yangco limousine, or 
at least one of them, arrived for us at the Manila Hotel. We 
were driven up into the hills behind Manila and eventually 
arrived at a porte cochere complete with uniformed gate tender. 
Our chauffeur and the gateman exchanged greetings and we began a 
drive that seemed to be about two miles in length before the 
Yangco mansion came into view. You can imagine how huge that 
estate must have been. 

The entrance of the house was opened by a butler in tails, 
exposing a glitter of ladies literally covered with jewels. As 
time permitted, I counted the number of ruby and diamond rings on 


Ward: all the digits of the women's hands except thumbs and little 

fingers, to say nothing of more jewels and tiaras on their heads, 
rings in their ears, and more jewels around their necks. The men 
were in the usual tuxedos. I can't say for my father, but I felt 
embarrassed for us both, like hicks to cone to such a scene in 
ordinary business attire. 

I guess our host had been warned that their American guests 
were teetotalers, for there were no cocktails before dinner, and 
if I remember correctly, no wines at the table. The conversation 
switched easily from Spanish to English, depending on who was 
talking to whom. Mrs. Yangco, his wife, was English, "veddy" 
English; so was Yangco' s mother-in-law. I must admit that 
although the food was good (for me), I felt rather dazzled and 
confused all that evening. 

Then came a Sunday when Dading (Fernando Grey's nickname) 
plus touring car and driver came to take us for a sightseeing 
ride around Manila. But a rainstorm came up and the nearest 
place to find shelter was a downtown movie house. In those days 
(very probably even now) the "swells" sat only in the balcony, 
and the masses in the ground floor seats. So we went to the 
balcony. Immediately a chatter erupted between Dading and two 
young Filipina girls seated behind us. I could hear the girls 
saying excitedly to Dading, "Su pelo! Su pelo!" So I turned and 
took a look. One of the girls I thought was very beautiful, and 
the other was quite homely. I butted in. At that time I was 
well aware that my hair was extremely light blonde, so I said to 
the girls in Spanish, "What about my hair?" Much giggling. 

Thus began my acquaintance with Dolores and Faustina 
Lichauco. From then on things in Manila became very interesting 
for me. I played tennis with Dolores on her family's tennis 
court. I was taken through her house, including Dolores' 
bedroom, where everything was lace and ruffles. Of course, this 
tour of home and bedroom was chaperoned by Dolores' mother, the 
sister, a brother, and another relative or two. I found myself 
spending as much time as possible with Dolores, and somehow she 
managed to impart to me that she had a dowry of 750,000 pesos (at 
that time two pesos equalled one American dollar). 

Did you ever hear of Manuel Quezon? He became the first 
president of the Philippines when they left the umbrella of the 
United States. Well, Manuel Quezon must have felt that he had 
some rights where Dolores was concerned, with a rather dramatic 
result. On the Fourth of July I went with Dolores' brother and a 
couple of other boys to a dance at the opposite end of La 
Luneta. In between dances my hosts and I were standing in the 
foyer just off the dance floor, when a man came at me with a 
knife. But my hosts were watching: I found out later that they 

Louis A. Ward and his secretary, Lillian Versalovich, later his second wife, in 
his office at 244 California Street, San Francisco. Manager, West Coast, The 
America's and Australian Division, American Trading Company. 

Louis Artemas Ward with his "confidential 
private secretary," Estolv Ward (right) 
and Fernando "Dading" Grey, Manila, 1917. 


Ward: had found out that Quezon had a killer out looking for me. They 
nabbed him, took his knife away, and kicked him out of there; 
he'd been sent back to his own hut. 

Our time in Manila was all too short,, and one night we said 
our goodbyes and got on the boat to go to Hong Kong. But it 
didn't sail. When my father and I woke up the next morning, we 
were still docked at Manila. They told me that we'd have time 
enough to go ashore, so I went ashore again and went to see 
Dolores. When I got back at the time I figured the boat would 
still be there, it wasn't there, and I had nothing but the 
clothes I stood in. My father was on his way to Hong Kong. 

But I stayed with the Greys for a couple of days. Of 
course, white linen suits on a tramp steamer [laughs] I was a 
pretty dirty-looking boy by the time I got to Hong Kong! 

I was warned in Hong Kong that I would be entertained by 
people who were important for business reasons but who were 
looked down upon by the British colony because they were 
half-breeds, part Chinese and part British or Scotch or whatever. 

Rubens: Quadroons, they may have said, too. 

Ward: That's Mexican. It's something like that. 

Anyway, they took me out the usual, the standard after-work 
swimming junket behind Stonecutter's Island. They had a yacht, 
and we would go out yachting. We were diving off the yacht, and 
one of the guys dived through a jellyfish. He was, oh, stung all 

They were always very curious to find out when we were 
leaving Hong Kong, because our departure date would be a matter 
of some business importance. I was warned not to tell them, and 
I didn't tell them. They'd point to some ship and say, "Are you 
going on the ship with the shipment?" 

We left Hong Kong, and then we began to hear reports. We 
knew, of course, the Czar had been arrested and taken to the 
prison at Ekaterinburg. We heard stories that he and the royal 
family had been executed, which was all right by everybody 
because the Russian revolutionaries were very popular in America 
at that time the 1905ers, or the people who had fled Russia in 
the 1905 aborted revolution. That was fine. And we heard that a 
man named Kerenski was in charge and everything was lovely. 

We went up the Yangtze River as far as Hankow. That's where 
I read Jack London, on a little British river steamer books by 
Jack London that I never heard of in the United States. And then 


Ward: I had a memorable experience walking around the Nanking city 

wall. This was planted with fruits and vegetables, because it 
wasn't used as a defense anymore. And people driving their pigs 
along with a stick in the streets. 

I was going through a corn field on top of the city wall in 
Nanking with one of the men from the American Trading Company 
office, who was our interpreter. We heard a sound like somebody 
weeping, and there in the corn field was a woman on the ground 
sobbing, and a man bending over her looking very concerned, with 
two little children peeking out in terror from the next row of 
corn. Our guide told us that the woman was saying, "I don't love 
you anymore. I don't love you anymore. Please go away." 

Rubens: A Chinese domestic quarrel. 
Ward: Yes. It's a small world. 

We got to Peking at the time that Henry Pu Yi was on the 
throne for four days. He was the boy emperor, and they put him 
on the throne because the warlords were well, that was before 
Chiang Kai-shek had ever been heard of. 

Rubens: Well, Sun Yat-sen's revolution had been in 1910. 
Ward: Sun Yat-sen he was the big boy then. 

A young man named Fred Edmundsen, who had lived as a boy a 
block away from us in West Berkeley, and who was with the 
American Trading Company in the Far East, was in Peking just 
then. He had a roadster of a make that I can't recall now; it 
isn't made anymore, anyway. He knew a place in the Peking city 
wall where he could get that roadster up on the wall, and we 
drove up there. We got shot at and had a grand time. Of course, 
nobody ever got hit. [laughs] 

We went by rail to the Great Wall, took a ride on a 
dromedary, and then couldn't get a passenger train back to 
Peking. But we rode back on a "gondola" freight train with a 
load of sheep. 

In those days, prudent souls did not travel from Shanghai to 
Peking (or Pekin) by land. You went by a small sea and river 
vessel, stopping at coastal towns such as Chefoo and Wei-hei-wei. 
At the mouth of the river which led up to Tientsin, our little 
ship had to wait for high tide to get across the bar. And up 
the river a way we came to a turn so sharp that it could not 
be navigated with one turn of the elbow. At this turn the 
skipper rammed the bow of his boat up the steep mud bank, leaving 
its bow pointing skyward while the flowing current slowly swung 


Ward: the stern around. Then the bow swung back into the river 

and we proceeded up, chugging along between high dirt levees, 
looking down on farmlands and huge piles of salt (only for the 
tables of the wealthy) until we arrived at Tientsin. 

Then we took a train for the capital of China, and in due 
course the conductor came along, chanting in pidgin English, 
"Peching have got, Peching have got." 

We went to the Russian embassy to get our passports stamped 
to go to Petrograd. I remember no problem getting the visas, but 
the clerk who waited on us looked at us very strangely. Oh, yes, 
everything seemed fine from where we were. Kerenski was fine. 
But there was this something Bolsheviki, a word we'd never heard 
before. We thought we knew all about the Russian revolution how 
the Czar and his family had been seized, taken to Ekaterinburg 
and executed. And we liked the new leader, Kerenski, and the 
fact that he was trying to establish Western style democracy; 
also the fact that he was demanding that the exhausted and 
discredited Russian army continue to fight the German Kaiser. 
But now we were getting some strange and disturbing rumbles the 
name of somebody named Lenin and some weird outfit called 

We got by small ship, again, to the Manchurian port of 
Dairen, and started by train up that peninsula expecting to catch 
the Trans-Siberian for the ten-day journey to Petrograd. 
Surprise! Surprise! There were plenty of surprises in this part 
of the world. The fields alongside the train were filled with 
army camps Japanese long before the Japanese began their 
attempt to capture China; more than twenty years before Pearl 

Then, about eleven o'clock at night, our train arrived in 
Mudken. We got out, expecting to board the Trans-Siberian for 
the trip to Vladivostok and on to Petrograd. That train came in, 
covered with soot and people. Even the couplings of the cars 
were jammed with women loaded with jewelry, coats of mink and 
sable and soot. Jewels and soot, all over everything, inside 
and outside the cars. The White Russians were getting out! 
Good! I thought, "Well, if those are the people who are leaving, 
there must be something good going on." But we were forty-eight 
hours too late. In other words, there were no trains going 
back. I missed the "Ten Days that Shook the World" by 
forty-eight hours. 

Rubens: Where did you go after China? 

Ward: Australia, two years later, with my father in the same capacity. 
I worked, too. I had a lot of things to do. 


Ward: In Australia, for the first time in my life, I drove a car on the 
lefthand side of the road. I forget the name of the car, but you 
cranked it from the side, not from the front. We drove it in 

Rubens: Was this all one trip, or did you come back to the United States? 
Ward: We came back. 



Rubens: Had you completed high school? 

Ward: No. 

Rubens: Never finished high school? 

Ward: No, between one thing or another, and then travelling, and just 
no interest in high school. Did you ever take advanced algebra? 
I tried four times to do the binomial theorem, but they all 
amounted to binomial zero. I never could do that! Oh! When I 
went to V.M.I. [Virginia Military Institute] I only went there 
one year because I found out that I was not a military man at 

Rubens: Why would you even go there? 

Ward: Well, this was after I got back from Australia. I couldn't go to 
college very easily, and I wanted some more education. There had 
been a friend of my father's who had a son who had gone to 
Virginia Military Institute and who had liked it, and it had been 
good for him. I decided I wanted to go, and so I went. 

Rubens: Your father was not a pacifist? 

Ward: By that time, after all, remember, I was twenty years old. He 
didn't mind. I guess he thought a little discipline wouldn't 
hurt me. As a matter of fact, I left him in Australia and came 
home in order to get there in time for the opening of the fall 
term. So I lived through it and hated it. 

By the time I got back, things had straightened out with 
Jean. I had another girlfriend, but Jean wrote me a letter and 
indicated that she was now interested in me. So I got rid of the 
other girlfriend and came back. 

I was twenty-one that year at V.M.I., and my roommates were 
all seventeen and eighteen. In my class I was sixth in 
scholastic standing and would have done better than that except 
for the math, which was an awful problem. 

Ward: So I got married. 

Rubens: At twenty-one. 

Ward: At twenty-one. December 18, 1920. 

Rubens: How had you planned to support your wife? 

Ward: Oh, I found out a lot of things during the course of that 

engagement. I found out that my father was in love, too, with 
his secretary, and had been for many years. She was quitting to 
come and marry him, and I could have the job as his secretary 
because I had done a lot of that before. So I had a job at a 
hundred dollars a month, and we got married. 

Rubens: Was Jean interested in women's rights or anything like that at 
the time? 

Ward: Not particularly. 

Rubens: She planned to stay home, not work? 

Ward: Jean? Well, there was no thought of her working! Oh! It wasn't 
even discussed. 

It was a big wedding at St. John's Presbyterian on College 
Avenue, very fancy, and then back to the Waste's home. I was 
changing from full dress clothes to going-away clothes, and Mrs. 
Waste came in and let me know that I had lost a mother and gained 
a mother-in-law, [tape off briefly] 

Rubens: Your mother was two years older than your father? 

Ward: Yes. She had been living pretty much as she pleased for well, 
as I said, this Yosemite and John Muir, and eastern colleges and 
all that. I think if there had been another school she could 
have attended, she'd have done that, too. 

Military Academy and World War I 
[Interview 2: 15 June 198?]## 

Rubens: Let's talk about World War I. 

Ward: I was very eager to go fight the Huns. I can't remember the name 
of the movie, but it had the two Gish sisters in it; it was a war 


Ward: picture. It was very pro-allied and pro-war. My future wife, 

Jean, and I went to see that movie in Oakland. I remember we got 
so excited when we came out of that movie of course, girls all 
wore hats then that she couldn't find her gloves; they were on 
top of her hat on top of her head. 

The next morning I got up early and went to the City to the 
Marine recruiting office. They were glad to see me and sent me 
right to the doctor. He poked around my groin and said, 
"Oh-oh". Hernia ten feet of hernia in the left groin. So I 
went to the hospital and had the left groin repaired, took quite 
a while to recover, went back to the same Marine recruiting 
office, got the same doctor, and told him what I'd done. He said 
that was good, fine. Then he felt the right side and said, 
"Oh-oh." I went back to the hospital and got that side patched 
up [laughs]. We were in the war all during this period already. 

Rubens: I think you had already been to Virginia Military Institute. 

Ward: Oh, no. This experience is one of the reasons why I went to 

V.M.I, later; because I was a frustrated militarist at the time. 

So I got .patched up again, and it took some time to 
recover. It was September or October of 1918. By that time I 
was drafted. I went up against the examining physician for the 
Army, and I told him my sad story. He looked me over, and he 
says, "Well, you won't be called for a month or so, and by that 
time maybe maybe you could get by, we hope. If you want to go, 
I think maybe they'll let you." 

Ward: It was the end of October, and we were called. We lined up in a 
vacant lot across from the Berkeley YMCA, on a lot that is now 
occupied by the seat of Berkeley's government, a big building. I 
remember there were two or three California football players in 
the group of young fellows. We were all very happy about it. 
Pesky Sprott do you remember him? He was a famous fullback. He 
was one of the guys, and he said he if he was going to carry a 
suitcase, it would be nothing but liquor that sort of thing. 
They said we would be called in a few days. Then the armistice 
was signed. I got a check for three dollars. 

Rubens: Had many of your friends gone to war? 

Ward: Some, I think, but I don't remember exactly. Oh, yes, a lot of 
people: Charlie Bowman had become a lieutenant, and other 
kids Ernie Neilsen from Santa Rosa, friends of my father's. 


Rubens: Were you aware of any debate over whether the U.S. should 

participate or not? You said you were a frustrated militarist; a 
lot of Socialists, of course, opposed the war. 

Ward: Well, I don't think Socialism at that moment was very high on my 
mind. I hadn't done so well, as I think I think I told you 
earlier. I wasn't interested in getting educated, and I wasn't 
this and I wasn't that. He thought maybe it might be a good 
thing that I go to military school, but that came later. In the 
meantime I traveled with my father, a year later when I was 
twenty. Did I tell you about Max Valentine? 

Rubens: No. 

Ward: I left Australia before my father did so I could get to V.M.I, 
for the fall term, 1919. I had a cabin mate on the trip home 
named Max Valentine, an Australian boy who was within two or 
three days of being exactly my age. He was coming to this 
country with the very ambitious idea of learning how to grow 
tobacco and introducing the growing of tobacco to Australia, 
which was importing all smoking stuff at the time. We got here, 
and I introduced him around. Then we took the train back in 
those days getting on a train, right after the war, and even a 
year after, was a problem. We had to share an upper birth to 
Chicago; we were lucky to get that much of an accommodation. I 
saw him again later, after I had married Jean Waste. 

Rubens: The trains were crowded because of the troops coming home? 

Ward: Well, there weren't many trains. In the first place, a good half 
of our transportation system had been moved to Europe during that 
war, I guess. I'm not sure exactly what it was, but what trains 
you could find were very crowded. 

We kept in contact for years. He started to grow tobacco in 
Australia, and then came on two straight years of draught. 
Ruined him. When I last heard of him he was in the Fiji Islands 
representing some oil company. Nothing further. But it was a 
very pleasant relationship; we liked each other very much. 

Marriage and Bourgeoise Family Life in Berkeley During the 1920s 



Why don't we pick up where we left off last week, 
married man, you're living in Berkeley. 

You're a 

Ah, yes. Well, as I think I may have said, by that time I had a 
job. My father gave me a job. It developed that I found out on 
my wedding day that my father was also in love (I think I've said 

Estolv Ward, a cadet at 
Virgina Military Institute, 1919 

Estolv Ward, ca. 1921 


Ward: that before) with his secretary. So she quit her job and I took 
that job, but not with as much money as she had been getting. 
And I held it for six months. But in the meantime, a physical 
problem developed. I found out that in China I had caught an 
intestinal bug. My father did, too, but his erupted in Yokohama 
on the way home from that trip in '17; he was very sick and 
recovered, and that was it. I thought I didn't have any 
problems, and here along came a bowel disruption that got worse 
and worse and worse, till a doctor said I couldn't work. In 
fact, I'd get home from work and I'd be so tired I'd eat two or 
three times as much as any normal young fellow, and slept right 
after dinner. I was just no good. 

I've spoken before about my father's ranch. My wife and I 
went up to the ranch and spent a year there. We had an old 
Ford. She made a little money giving music lessons around Monte 
Rio, Guerneville, Duncan's Mills, and places like that. After 
medical treatment I gradually conquered the problem. What I had 
was amoebic dysentary. 

We came back to Berkeley. Our first home was simply in the 
Waste residence. It was an old double house, what they called a 
duplex. One side of it was just used as a storage place. Judge 
Waste moved out of his bedroom and into that place. We had the 
front, fancy bedroom. That continued for a while. I went to 
work in a real estate firm, selling real estate. In those days, 
you didn't have to pass an examination or anything, you just said 
you wanted to sell real estate and if you could find anybody that 
would hire you, why but there was no salary, just straight 

One of the things I did was to sell a property right across 
from where International House now is, on Piedmont Avenue, to a 
fraternity. There was a big to-do: the old widow had a 
prominent Oakland lawyer who felt that she was being gypped. I 
think the price for the property, probably about a fifty-foot 
lot I think what we sold it for was ten thousand dollars, which 
was a lot of money in those days. Anyway, we had a battle, but 
it came out all right, and the sale went through, and a couple of 
other sales. But I wasn't getting rich, by any means. In 
selling I found, as in other endeavors, if people came into the 
store or office looking for something, I could be very useful. 
But to go out and find buyers, no good. 

In this real estate office in September of 1923, I saw a 
cloud of smoke coming over the hills from the east. Just before 
that my father had taken his early Sunday morning walk in the 
Berkeley hills, and he had come upon a sale of lots in what is 
now the five hundred block of Spruce Street. He bought three of 
them, and gave them to me. During this time he put up the money 
for the house, and I hired an old German boss carpenter. He got 


Ward: his crew together, and I went to work with them and built the 

house. They had finished the work, and the house was conditioned 
for occupancy to some extent. It was a cross between my father's 
idea of architecture and Bernard Maybeck's. The living room was 
21x38, and the peak of the ceiling was eighteen feet high. 

Rubens: Was this to be your and your wife's home? 

Ward: Yes. I had not figured, in placing the house it was over a 

ravine, rather steep, and I didn't realize the actual angle of 
the steepness. I wanted to start the foundation from the back 
and move out to the front; and I wanted a chimney in front to 
start from the ground, and have two fireplaces, one for a 
possible room down below and another for the higher living room. 
And I wanted the chimney to slope up its sides from the base to 
the top. But it was a longer journey from the ground to the top 
when we got it up there than I had figured, with the result that 
when we came to building the fireplace on the living room level 
there wasn't enough width for the smoke to pass from the 
fireplace below. So the upstairs fireplace had to be skewed up a 
little made four feet wide in front and only two and a half feet 
in back. 

Rubens: Did you know Maybeck well enough to consult with him on this? 

Ward: I think that that relationship had cooled off by that time, but I 
was influenced a great deal by what I had seen of his work. 

The living room was paneled in twenty-four inch-wide redwood 
throughout. And if I say so myself, it was beautiful. The roof 
was held up by triangular beamings, each eight by eight inches 
square, that went this way and that way, and so forth. 

Rubens: Did you think of yourself as being a part of the crafts movement? 

Ward: A craftsman? No, but I figured I could do quite a lot of the 
lugging and lifting and general work around there. But I 
couldn't work as fast as a carpenter. I remember a little 
competition in the laying of the front porch floor: I couldn't 
nail those planks down anywhere near as fast as a regular 

Rubens: So you were still selling real estate at the time? 

Ward: No. Then the carpenters were gone, but there was still the floor 
to be laid. The floors in the living room, bedroom, and hallway 
were all just the open underplanking. I got cross-cut sawn 
oak not like this [pointing to the random-width planking in 
present home]; it was the two inch-wide stuff and I laid those 


Ward: floors myself, on my hands and knees. It took a month. And it 
was many months before my knees forgave me. Then I think the 
finishing, polishing, and sanding were done professionally. 

We moved in. By that time my first child had been born. I 
was in attendance at the birth of all my children. It was 
something that I felt very deeply involved in, and I was able to 
assure the doctors that I wouldn't faint; I didn't. 

Rubens: Were they born in a hospital? 

Ward: Alta Bates. 

Rubens: Who was your first child? 

Ward: She will be sixty-four. Her name is Eugenia Trorey.* She was 

born July 9, 1923. It was just after that she was a month or so 
old when the great Berkeley fire came on. I saw the smoke 
coming over the hill, and dashed up there. I saw that the way 
the wind was blowing, it was coming over the hill south of this 
house (where we now live). It was the furthest house out in the 
North Berkeley hills by quite a ways at that time, so far out 
that you couldn't get gas, and I had quite a fight to get water 
piped up there. 

I saw that men were fighting desperately up on the ridge 
just right up here, so I figured that the best thing I could do 
was to help them. I went up there and fought the fire, more or 
Ward: less over on the other side, to keep it from going north. We 

seemed to have that licked, and I came over to the Bay side and 
looked down, and there was Berkeley burning. The Waste home was 
at 2222 Durant Avenue, and I had to go clear down to San Pablo to 
get around to it. The fire burned four hundred houses, and it 
got down to Delaware and Shattuck. It would have gone right to 
the waterfront, except the wind changed. And then it burned the 
houses that it had skipped on the way down. 

Rubens: You were lucky. 

Ward: We were lucky. We moved up there, and I had gotten a job in a 
stationary store, Harms and Morse, on Shattuck Avenue. 

Rubens: You didn't like real estate any more? 
Ward: I didn't think I was really too good at it. 

Rubens: Did you have any social conscience? Were you aware of the Anita 
Whitney trial, for instance? 

* Died August 19, 1988, of cancer. 


Ward: I was too occupied with my married life and my own problems. I 
can't honestly say that my social conscience was worth a damn at 
that time. That was something that was laid to one side during 
much of that period. 

Rubens: You figure so much in waterfront politics later. There was the 
big waterfront strike in '21. Did that impinge on you, or did 
you have an opinion about it? 

Ward: I have no recollection of it. I'm sure I had so many problems of 


my own; well, in '21 I was on the ranch, 
the ranch my mother died. 

Also while we were on 

Did I tell you about visiting her when I was twenty-one, 
shortly before I was married? She had had two children, by whom 
I have no idea. She was living in Oakland, and she told my 
father that she wanted to see me. I didn't want to go, but he 
insisted, so I went. 

You weren't curious? 

Not at all. Well, I had been telling people almost all my life 
that my mother was dead. 

Ward: We wouldn't have known each other if we had met on the street. 
Rubens: But you did go to see her. 

Ward: I did go to see her. She wanted to take right up and be all 

motherly and so forth. I wasn't having any of that. I used to 
peek at my father's correspondence, and I saw the letters she 
wrote him after that. She said some nice things about me, but 
she thought I was a little bit snooty which I certainly was. 
That's the only time I saw her. She died a couple of years 
later. We were on the ranch, and my father insisted we come down 
to the funeral. But I didn't take a look in the casket. I 
didn't want to; I was there under duress. 

Rubens: You went to work in a stationery store. 

Ward: There again I discovered that if I got ahold of people who came 

into the store, they usually bought what they were thinking about 
when they came in. We were selling second-hand typewriters, 
among other things, for a man named Perkins Perkins Typewriter 
Company who had his workshop right upstairs. Within a day or so 
of my starting work there I had sold a typewriter. From then on, 
all the time I worked there, I sold an average of one typewriter 


Ward: a day. This so impressed my bosses that they sent me out to get 
business at various firms. I was no good at all. I was all 
right in the store, but not otherwise. 

An Oakland Tribune Reporter, 1925 

Ward: However, I wasn't really happy there. I was making a little 

money, not a good living, but a living. But I didn't want to be 
a store clerk all my life. And my father-in-law, Judge Waste, 
knew that. I had the express desire I wanted to be a writer. 
In fact, in questionnaires I had to make out for various 
employments, when asked what was my ambition, it was to be a 
writer. My father-in-law had worked his way through college 
years before as the campus reporter for the Examiner. He got to 
know people here and there, and he knew Roy Danforth, who was 
then the city editor of the Oakland Tribune. He told Roy about 
me. At the Berkeley office of the Tribune at that time was a 
woman named Rose Glavinovich (Yugoslav name), and she needed a 
campus assistant. So I got the job. 

Ruben: Is this 1924? 

Ward: Twenty-five. I went to work there, I think, in the first week in 
January, 1925. And I worked for the Tribune until the second 
week in November, 1934, just about ten years, the first two or 
three on the Berkeley campus. 

Rubens: Do you remember what your starting salary was? 

Ward: I don't remember, but it wasn't as much as I'd been making 
before. I know what it was at the end; my highest one was 
fifty-five a week, which was good money in those days. A local 
warehouseman in those days was happy if he could make thirty 
dollars a week. 

On the campus I made some friends. I admired Professor Ira 
Cross greatly, and interviewed him several times. 

Rubens: Did you know of him before your work? 

Ward: I had attended one of his classes very briefly. The big problem 
there was that I was one of eleven hundred kids in Wheeler Hall. 
That was twice as many as the whole student body at V.M.I., and I 
couldn't take Cal. Although I had always thought that I would go 
there before. Too big, too big. 


Ward: One of the people on the campus that I liked very much was 

Professor Herbert M. Evans. Did you ever hear of vitamin X? Now 
I believe it's known as vitamin E. At that time they hadn't 
discovered as many vitamins, and he discovered this vitamin 
which, for lack of an official name, he called vitamin X. The 
story was broken by the California Monthly alumni magazine. I 
had numerous interviews with Herbert Evans. We got along very 
nicely. He was enraged because he was offered a lifetime job, 
with his own laboratory, his own office, as many assistants as he 
wanted, plus an enormous salary, if only he would say for 
publication that Lipton's Tea contained vitamin X. Ha! Oh, that 
just offended his sense of propriety. He said, "Almost 
everything you eat in the vegetable world contains vitamin X." 

Rubens: Was Ira Cross influential on your thinking? 

Ward: No, not particularly. 

Rubens: He was the great labor historian of the period. 

Ward: Yes, I know. I liked him, and I think that was one of the 

reasons why I liked him, because of his decent approach to the 
labor problems of the day. But I can't remember specifically 

I was, of course, very much beholden to Judge Waste for all 
sorts of favors: getting the job, financial assistance. At one 
stage of the game my father had bought the three lots and our 
house sat on two of them. One went back to Cragmont Avenue from 
Spruce. The lot next door, up the hill, was for sale and Judge 
Waste bought it and gave it to us; so we had four lots. You know 
where the little school is on Spruce Street up there? This was 
just two doors down below, right on the bend of Spruce Street 

Rubens: Can you say something about your work at the Tribune? 

Ward: After about two years on the campus did you ever hear of the 

Dole flight? It was right after Lindbergh made the famous solo 
flight to Paris. The Dole Pineapple people in Honolulu conceived 
the idea of tremendous publicity value to be gained by offering 
prizes for a flight from the mainland to Honolulu. The only 
field capable of having a runway long enough for a plane loaded 
with enough gasoline to make that flight was what is now the 
Oakland Airport. 

At that time it was nothing but a plowed field on Bay Farm 
Island. You went through Alameda, crossed the bridge, and 
another bridge, and you got to Bay Farm Island. There was a tiny 
little one-room shack for the so-called manager of the field. We 


Ward: reporters just lived in our cars around there. These planes came 
in from all over a triplane, yet; one biplane, the "Flying 
School Marm." The lady in this case didn't fly, but she had two 
friends, and their idea of publicity was to take a woman along. 
Here was this young school teacher who said sure, she was crazy 
to go, and these two friends of hers. They came in the only 
biplane. The triplane never got off the ground. There were 
previous flights with a half load, which they all made all right, 
but of course a half load's a lot different from a full load. 

The estimate was, I think, that there were a hundred 
thousand people around the edges of that field that day; so it 
was a great crowd. One flyer, who had some relationship to a 
former mayor of Berkeley, was flying a monoplane. He got off the 
ground just above the field, just cleared the fence. Everybody 
gasped. He got far enough away, but he never really got 
anywhere; he soon came back. The other fliers there were seven, 
I think, who got off the ground, including the biplane were so 
loaded that they couldn't get much altitude. They didn't fly 
over the Golden Gate, or over San Francisco; they flew through 
the Gate, just off the water. 

Ruben: Did any plane make it to Honolulu? 

Ward: Two out of the seven. One of them, the "Flying School Marm" 

biplane there was a big to-do. Our Tribune reporters kidnapped 
the flying school marm and her buddies as they arrived by short 
hops in California and kept her away from all the other reporters 
for a couple of days all that jazz, you know. But anyway, the 
flying school marm plane came back. You could see one of the 
guys out on the fuselage trying to do something with the motor, 
and it coasted in to the airport. But they didn't quit. They 
thought they'd fixed whatever the motor's trouble was and took 
off again. They were never heard from, just disappeared. The 
other two got down. 

Rubens: So you covered this kind of thing, not just campus events? 

Ward: I was a reporter there, but I was more or less the leg man. I 

ran the errands, and took the film back to the office, and helped 
observe here and there. Oh, there were half a dozen of us 
reporters from the Tribune there. 

Rubens: Because this was such a big event. 
Ward: Oh, yes. 

Rubens: I wanted you to decribe a little about your work life. Did you 
work nine to five? Did you choose what you were going to copy? 
Did you have an editor? 

Ward: Let me do it this way: The Dole flight meant that I became more 
and more familiar with the main office. It wasn't long after 
that before I was brought into the main office on a regular 
basis, and then I hit the ball at seven in the morning seven to 
three-thirty, i it was a normal working day. There were not 
many normal working days. I reached the point where I was 
assistant city editor, which meant that then I worked nine to 
five and did very little writing or reporting, mostly answering 
the telephone, telling other people what to do, and helping the 
city editor. When he got sick I was the acting city editor. I 
got so that I did a lot of things: if the drama editor was 
incapacitated or too busy, I covered the plays; if the political 
editor was sick, I wrote the political columns. 

Rubens: Was the Trib growing at that time? What was the circulation? 

Ward: I don't remember the circulation; that was for those guys 
downstairs [laughs], 

Rubens: Hierarchy. 

Ward: You get the idea. 

Rubens: About how many were in the city room? 

Ward: About sixty, I guess. I was back in the city room a couple of 
years ago, and there was all the difference in the world union 

Rubens: And a black owner. Did you know Delilah Beasley, a black woman 
reporter at the Tribune? 

Ward: I don't believe there was a black person, male or female, in any 
part of the Tribune. The owner was Joseph R. Knowland, of whom 
you may have heard. 

Rubens: Backbone of the Republican Party. 

Ward: Oh, he was Mr. Republican of Alameda County. Oh, he had 

competition: Joseph R. Knowland represented the silk stocking 
Republican. A character named Mike Kelley represented the cotton 
sock Republican. Mike Kelley became director of the mint in San 
Francisco. I soon learned to look out for Mike Kelley. If he 
was seen visiting So-and-So I caught him visiting a guy that I 
thought was a Knowland man, and buzz, buzz, all of this silly 
business about who was who and what was what. 

There were the two sons. Russ was the oldest, and William 
F. was the younger, and he was the favorite of his father because 
Russ had made a terrible mistake; he had married the daughter of 
an Italian grocer. Well! 


Rubens: Did you know Know land at this time? 

Ward: Of course I knew the old man; he walked through the office every 
day, looking like that [demonstrates] all around. I didn't 
almost bow, but The sons, Russ and Bill, I knew very well. 

Rubens: Were they involved in the paper? 

Ward: Russ was the assistant city editor for a time when I was just 
beginning to get around in there. He knew more about how the 
actual editorial department worked than either his father or his 
younger brother. Later Russ was put off in a front office by 
himself, and then Bill came on with another front office by 
himself. He was the political character. I knew both of them 
well enough to feel that I was almost always short of money 
before the end of the week I could go in and borrow a ten-spot 
from either one of them, and that sort of thing. 

Rubens: The Anita Whitney trial was going on in Oakland, and the Tribune 
was excoriating her as one of these Communists. 

Ward: The Whitney trial was before my time. 
Rubens: She was pardoned in '27. 

Ward: There's a story about that which might fit in here. My 

predecessor as a campus reporter was a man, can't think of his 
Rubens: Oh, I know who you mean; he testified first at Whitney's trial, 
Ed Condon. He wasn't your immediate predecessor, though. 

Ward: That was before my time. 

Rubens: The Tribune really was a force for conservatism. 

Ward: Oh, yes. Well, that went along with my family surroundings at 
the time. 

Rubens: You were fitting in. 

Ward: Yes, I was fitting in. 

Rubens: Were you becoming a conservative? 

Ward: Let's put it this way: in the presidential election of 1920, 
which was my first election for president, I didn't vote for 
anybody because I was so disgusted with both the Republican and 
Democratic candidates. I just didn't vote for president. I ma 
have voted for Cal [Calvin] Coolidge, I'm not sure; I may have. 


Rubens: You just would not have voted for Smith, a Democrat, a Catholic? 

Ward: I know this: in '32 I voted for Norman Thomas. My marriage was 
getting pretty bad, and that sort of thing. 

Rubens: Let's get to there. You were moving up in the Tribune, you could 
borrow money from the Knowlands, your mother described you as 
"snooty." Did you dress well and have affected ways? 

Ward: Dress well? Nobody dressed well in the city room. 
Rubens: Did you smoke and drink a lot? 

Ward: I was told that I was one of the more respectable of the boys 
because I didn't get drunk very often. 

Encounters with Berkeley Bohemianism 

Ward: Oh yes, during the early part of that period, because I was a 

family man, I had Christmas day off, but I had to work New Year's 
day. It was the other way around for the guys who weren't family 
men; they had to work Christmas. On New Year's eve, Rose 
Glavinovich and I and a young photographer named McAllister Mac, 
everybody called him and his wife, who was a very beautiful 
young woman (they had what we now call an open marriage, which I 
thought was delightfully shocking), were having dinner at an 
Italian restaurant, Bertola's, on the gore of Telegraph and 
Shattuck. Along came and sat in with us a young man who's name I 
remember only as John. He knew the McAllisters, I think. All of 
a sudden he was eating with us, and he said that he knew of a 
party in the Berkeley hills that we could go to if we felt like 
it, and he thought it would be a lot of fun. So we went. 

You know where Cragmont rock is? Well, this great big house 
behind Cragmont rock was the home of a man who became very 
well-known on the campus, Jaime D'Angulo (I think it was either 
Spanish or Portuguese). Jaime D'Angulo was a famous 

Rubens: A professor on the campus? 

Ward: No. He was a famous anthropologist who's personal reputation was 
so bad that he could not get a job at UC Berkeley; but money was 
apparently no problem. 


Ward: I guess we got there sometime around midnight. It was a costume 
party, and people were already pretty tight. I was half-way 
reclining on a couch everything was crowded and people were 
close together. Rose Glavinovich was a very capable and pleasant 
woman, but very homely and cross-eyed. I couldn't help but 
overhear a man on the other side of her trying to get next to 
her, and then the phrase, "Let your body tremble with lust." It 
was that kind of an affair. Robert Lowie was there, and he did a 
naked belly dance, D'Angulo played the drums, and people did all 
sorts of things. 

It was important not only because it was my first and only 
adventure in what I guess you would call "high" University 
society I don't think there was such a thing as a student 
there but I met there for the first time a man who became a very 
dear friend, Haakon Chevalier. He was in costume, and if I 
remember he was dressed as an ancient Grecian poet with a laurel 
wreath in his hair. He was a very handsome young man, and he had 
a very handsome reputation as the dashing professor of French, 
you know. 

Well, anyway, I got to work somehow the next morning, and 
that was that; my wife forgave me for not being home 

Rubens: Oh, she didn't go with you? 

Ward: She wasn't there, oh, no. She wasn't that kind of a girl; she 

wouldn't have set foot in such a thing. And then there were the 
children; they were growing up. 

When I was a very small boy, after dinner in the evening 
when my father was home, I was allowed a half hour of freedom 
before I had to go to bed. I would take off my clothes and dance 
naked all around the room. Freedom from clothes was a joy to 
me. So we did the same thing with my children; they danced 
around our living room naked before they had to put on their 
nighties and go to bed, and I played "Polly Wolly Doodle" on the 
piano for them while they danced. 

Rubens: Why don't you say who your next two children were. 

Ward: Four years after Eugenia was born, David was born. I thought 
there were only going to be two children, and I had a lot of 
family names, so he was named David Perry Artemas Ward. Artemas 
is probably not spelled the way you've heard it, because the 
story there was that one of that branch of the Wards was a 
General Artemas Ward who almost won the battle of Bunker Hill. 
He later became chief justice of the Massachusetts supreme court, 
and that's where the Artemas came from. But a writer, a 


Ward: humorist, came along, who liked the name, but misspelled it 

Artemus. This, at least was the story that had come down in my 

Rubens: And after David? 

Ward: After David, Roger Ewing Ward. He was a romantic mistake, one of 
those things that happened. He was born a year and two months 
after David. 

Rubens: So your wife had her hands full. Was there help in the house? 

Ward: Along about that time things began to go wrong. In the first 

place, she was under the weather a good deal of the time. I used 
to wonder whether it was legitimate or not, but it turned out 
later that she had to have her whole uterus and everything 
removed; that was after the divorce, though. We had help. Judge 
Waste paid for a gardener, and I think he paid for a housekeeper. 



Rubens: So you were living in a style and a class 

Ward: I really didn't belong. I remember, when I was the assistant 
city editor, Judge Waste one time taking me to a Republican 
dinner party in Oakland. He introduced me as the assistant city 
editor of the Oakland Tribune and his son-in-law. The 
Republicans, many of whom I knew by name because of my work on 
the paper, were very polite and attentive and so forth. It 
turned out that our managing editor was at this affair, Leo Levy, 
and he almost bowed to me the next morning and said they hadn't 
planned on reporting it, but since I was there would I write a 
story about it. I said, "Mr. Levy, I haven't taken any notes; I 
wasn't there as a reporter." He said, "Well, do it anyway." So 
I wrote a story and was thanked by the front office and all that 

Then Jean, among other things, became interested in the 
drama. A friend named Jean Scott and the wife of a San Francisco 
businessman (the name will come to me later) the three of them 
thought they were going to go places, and they kidded Jean into 
thinking One of the reasons for her belief that she might 
become something in the movies was that her father, Judge Waste, 
was a friend of Louis B. Meyer of Metro Goldwyn Meyer. I went 
along with it to a certain extent; I got one of our photographers 
to come out to the house and take pictures of her for a show they 
put on at the Women's City Club of Berkeley for these three young 
women. But I knew, when I saw those pictures, that she would 
never get anywhere in the movies. Because although she was a 
nice-looking woman, her facial structure was such that pictures 
fattened her. While she didn't look bad, she didn't look pretty 
by any means in the pictures; pictures could not be made to do 
her justice. I knew enough about pictures, photographers, that 
that was something that no amount of makeup could overcome. 

In the course of these adventures I found the house full of 
young drama students from Cal and other places, mostly young 
men. You never knew where she was night or day, and all that 
sort of thing. So I just walked out. Jeannie went down to 
Hollywood, and this is all hearsay from now on. 








What year was this? 

We had agreed that we were through, and that I would leave after 

And sometime after New Year's I said goodbye 

Christmas of '32. 
and walked out. 

She would have the children? 

At first I just assumed that she would have the children. But as 
I found out, I didn't miss her so much, but I sure missed those 
children. So in the divorce proceedings I got myself a lawyer 
and tried to get custody. But Judge Waste wrote a letter saying 
that while it was true that her adventures in Hollywood might or 
might not whatever the case was, he would see that the children 
were well taken care of, so of course that was the end of that. 

She had moved to Los Angeles with the children? 

She did eventually, yes. There was quite a time after she went 
to Los Angeles even before she left; oh, yes, quite a 
time where I would go to the house to see the children and find 
strange men playing with them in the bedrooms. 

Sounds reminiscent of your mother. This was 1932 did the 
Depression affect you, Judge Waste, the Tribune? 

I got a salary of fifty dollars a week plus a five dollar 
automatic expense account, which practically meant that my salary 
was fifty-five. 

When was this? 

Before the Depression, up until '30 or '31, somewhere in there. 
I remember Joseph R. Know land's message on the bulletin board, 
stating (he had just become chairman of the East Bay charities 
thing) that he hoped we would all give because, he reminded us, 
nobody had received a pay cut. Everybody gave as generously as 
they could, and immediately thereafter we got a pay cut. And 
then another, so by the time I was fired I was getting $40.50. 

So the pay cuts didn't start until '32, the depths of the 

About '31. 

In terms of your married life, did the Depression of '29, '30 
affect you? Could the judge still afford the gardener? 


No, it didn't affect him; oh, it squeezed, but 












You weren't like a factory worker. 

Oh, no. Even $40.50 in '32 whether you were a longshoreman or a 
warehouseman, you'd be damned happy to make thirty. 

So you would say the Depression did not significantly affect your 

At that time. I wasn't a particularly good city editor. 

You voted for Thomas in '32; how did you get to that position? 

I was leaving the influence of the Waste family and had pretty 
well decided that it was not for me. As I say, when the divorce 
came on I got the final divorce papers and started to turn left 
almost immediately. 

Your marriage was dissolving, you were disillusioned with your 
marriage; the Depression had beset the country. What else was 
turning you to the left? Were you upset with the Tribune's 
coverage of the Depression? 

I was just simply reverting to the lifestyle in which I had been 
brought up. I look back now upon the association with the right 
as more or less a momentary aberration, influenced by the fact 
that I was in love with this gal and married her. Although I had 
two problems: I missed the children terribly, but somehow or 
other I managed. I was very depressed about the children, but I 
had a feeling of freedom all of a sudden. 

Were you dissatisfied with your job, or was that the one stable 
factor in your life? 

It was the one stable thing in my life. In '34 

I'm trying to keep you at this period in '32, and discover why 

you voted for Thomas, 
editorial policies? 

Were you upset with the Tribune for their 

I had come to the conclusion that Herbert Hoover was one of the 
worst presidents I had ever heard of. 


Well, the Depression, and his going along as though nothing had 
happened, and everything would be all right. I knew damned well 
he didn't know what he was talking about. And the other guy 

Rubens: Roosevelt didn't sound much different than Hoover in '28. 

Ward: Right. In '32, at the Democratic convention (I think it was held 
in Detroit, and FDR was then governor of Massachusetts), FDR was 
the candidate supported by William Randolph Hearst. And I hated 
Hearst. So I couldn't have voted for Roosevelt. 

Rubens: And Roosevelt's platform wasn't that different from Hoover's. 

Ward: I don't remember about the platform, but the support, which I 

knew if he were elected would dictate his actions as president, 
didn't appeal to me. So I couldn't vote for either of them, and 
I found it very easy to vote for Norman Thomas. Although I could 
have voted for the Communist candidate. 

In '3 1 * I hadn't been demoted in money, because as assistant 
city editor I didn't get a cent more than I got as a reporter. 
But we changed signals there, and in '3 1 * Remember I was 
telling you about the nude dancing in the evening before the kids 
went to bed? Well, it was quite natural that I should read books 
about German nudist colonies. One day there was a little 
one-paragraph thing in the paper about how a nudist colony had 
started up in a suburb of Santa Cruz, in the hills. I had a 
week's vacation coming, and no wife, no family, and no money. So 
I went to Russ Knowland and said that I would go down and try to 
spend a week in that colony and write a series about it if they 
would pay for the cost of my staying down there. Russ fell for 
it, and I went. 

I got down there to Soquel, I found the place, and I found 
myself talking to a young couple in their thirties and a reporter 
and photographer from the Santa Cruz paper who arrived almost 
simultaneously with me. They just wanted to come in and take 
pictures and interview people, and they got turned down. I said 
that I was a reporter for the Oakland Tribune, but I would like 
to join them and spend a week with them. That was a different 
story; I was taken in. The next thing I knew they had gotten 
another young couple, a man and a wife, and the two couples and I 
went to the swimming pool. All of a sudden here were nice 
looking women taking off their clothes, and I was taking off my 
clothes, too. I was afraid I was going to be embarrassed, but I 
jumped quickly into that ice-cold water and solved that problem. 
From then on I was a nudist for a week, although I had to go home 
to see my girlfriend; I couldn't wait through the week. I took 
some friends down there, including a woman who worked in the 
library department of the Tribune's editorial department. I had 
a series of nine pieces on it and got a lot of praise for it, 
because although nobody or almost nobody wanted to be a nudist, 
they all thought it was very interesting material. 

Rubens: Have you kept a scrapbook of your articles in the Tribune? 


No, you'd have to go look them up. 

Rubens: Can I ask you a little more about the Tribune? The Tribune 

supported Hoover. Did you find yourself coming to a juncture 
with how the Tribune was covering issues? 

Ward: I was just about to get to that. 
Rubens: Before '3 1 *. 

Ward: I was becoming more and more unhappy about the Tribune's 
editorial policy before '3 1 *. 

Rubens: Did they know you had voted for Thomas? 

Ward: I wouldn't think so. However, they were very much aware that I 
campaigned for Upton Sinclair that year. 

The 193^ San Francisco Maritime and General Strike 






Can you think of any other examples where your life as a 
conservative or the son of a big Republican judge caused you 
difficulty prior to your divorce? Were there other examples of 
your being uncomfortable? 

I can't think of anything specific, 
that grew little by little. 

It was a general feeling 

And it was made more rapid when your wife took this different 

Oh, yes, very much so. And then, spring of '3 1 *: May of '3 1 * I 
went to the nudist colony for a week. Then in July came Bloody 
Thursday. I'd heard about this man Harry Bridges a little, and I 
had heard about the strike of the longshoreman; it was already 
several months old. 

Yes, since March. 

Came Bloody Thursday, and that evening I found myself the head of 
a seven-man crew for the Tribune going with Major General David 
Prescott Barrows and the National Guard on a ferry boat to San 
Francisco and interviewing General Barrows in the captain's cabin 
up in the pilot house. And I was thinking to myself, "This 
so-and-so," while I dutifully took down what he had to say, what 
he was trying to do and so forth. I was antagonistic right off, 
but not openly. 

Had you been sympathetic to the strikers prior to Bloody 

Ward: Yes, in a general way, but not specifically. We got to San 

Francisco and we holed up at the Pickwick Hotel, most of us. I 
was so happy because I had to have a car, and although everything 
was closed, being a reporter I could get gas at the police 
department. I got the police department gas for twelve cents a 
gallon; I remember that made me very happy. 

I learned a great deal in a few days. The first time I saw 
Harry Bridges, he was on the witness stand at the federal 
building at Seventh and Market talking about the reasons for the 
strike, giving testimony before the presidential commission sent 
out by FDR. What he said it was strange, his appearance: his 
clothes were neat and pressed, but they were obviously very old; 
there were patches on the elbows, and you could tell the suit had 
been worn a long, long time. His attitude and everything 
impressed me. 


Ward: He obviously was not a rich labor leader, and he obviously knew 
what he was talking about, and his cause made sense to me. 

Remember, in those days there were four parallel street car 
lines running up Market Street, and two lines running across 
Market at Third to Kearny. I parked my car at ten o'clock in the 
morning in the middle, in the Geary Street line where if there 
had been any cars there I would have stopped all car traffic, 
right in the middle of Market Street. I parked there and got out 
and looked around. I saw one other automobile. 

Rubens: This was during the General Strike? 

Ward: Yes. One other automobile, somewhere up the street, and I heard 
a noise click, click, click, click. It was the high heels of 
women who were stenographers and so forth, crossing the Bay, 
trying to get to their offices and walking up the middle of 
Market street. Imagine being able to hear that. 

I got a tip that something was going to happen regarding the 
Marine Workers Industrial Union (MWIU). I think it was the 
corner of Jackson and something, down close to the waterfront. 
The entrance to this hall of the MWIU people was on Jackson, and 
then there was an alley in back. I approached this intersection, 
and there was a young national guardsman on duty he must have 
been all of eighteen years old and nobody else. Around the 
corner from the alley dashed a man in civilian clothes carrying a 
rifle. The national guardsman came up with his gun. I thought, 
"Oh, boy." I don't think the running man ever saw that guard; he 
dashed around the corner. I knew instantly it was a cop in plain 

Ward: There were no further signs of action, so I went around in back 
to the alley, and there was a whole string of five or six paddy 
wagons and about fifty cops lined up double length. They were 
driving these poor devils from the MWIU hall I don't think any 
of them could speak English; they were all foreigners. Their 
ships were anchored in the bay; they were immobilized by the 
strike. And there they were huddled, about two hundred of them, 
in this hall. They were being driven out and being beaten over 
the head; they ran the gauntlet to the paddy wagons, being beaten 
over the head and shoulders, whacked as hard as the cops could 
whack. Doc Rogers, my cameraman, was with me, and he shot 
picture after picture after picture of all this, and sent it back 
to the Tribune for processing. 

I was told afterwards what happened: nothing of the sort was 
ever published. And I was the only reporter there. The Examiner 
and the Chronicle weren't there. One reason I was peeved about 
that, just as a reporter, was that I had a scoop and they didn't 
make use of it. What happened was that when Doc Rogers' film was 
processed and the wet proof sheets were laid out on the counter 
for wet prints, the managing editor, Leo Levy, took one look at 
them and gathered them up. They were never seen again. 
Furthermore, Levy went into the darkroom, found the negatives, 
and they were never seen anymore. 

Rubens: Why at this point in the struggle? They had published pictures 
of Bloody Thursday; I assume they covered the funeral. Did you 
cover the funeral? 

Ward: Oh, yes. 

Rubens: Why do you think this incident was ? 

Ward: Police brutality? Huh! The Oakland Tribune never heard of such 
a thing. Here these men were utterly defenseless and innocent of 
anything; they weren't even strikers. Of course, they were all 
released in a day or so; there was nothing they could be charged 

Those incidents made me feel more and more that way, to the 
left. Then I don't remember how the first feeler came, but I 
learned somehow from contacts I had made with San Francisco 
reporters during the General Strike that there was such a thing 
as the Newspaper Guild, and that one of my heroes, Heywood Broun, 
was the leader of it. I immediately became interested, and very 
shortly I had a small group like the editorial librarian, a 
couple of guys from the copy desk, and several reporters who 
were meeting to form a chapter of the Guild. I remember somebody 
from San Jose, where they had formed a chapter of the Guild, was 
the first speaker from outside who came to talk to us. 

Ruben: Were there other people organizing in the Trib, or were you the 
only one? 

Ward: I was the moving factor at that time. As I said, within a few 

days I had people who were doing some talking, too, and who were 
helpful. But I was the initiator. Of course, we formed a 
chapter of the Guild. Oh, there were guys there from the 
Post-Enquirer, too. That's right, probably the move came from 
there; one of the moves came from the Enquirer. Anyway, I became 
the head of the Tribune end of it. 

Rubens: The Post-Enquirer was the other East Bay newspaper? 

Ward: It was the Hearst paper in Oakland. There was another paper at 
that time. The Examiner had opened a morning East Bay paper 
called The Oakland Times; it was very short-lived. 

So we met, and the night after our first meeting, what did I 
do but walk into Bill Knowland's office and start to tell him 
about the meeting. I can't imagine why. His face changed, and I 
never saw a man glare like he did. He looked daggers, and he 
said, "Now, you know, if you want to have a union here " I 
said, "No! But everybody else is unionized the printers, the 
pressmen, the engravers; why do you object?" He said, "If you 
want a union, remember that these guys that you're talking about 
who have their unions don't get paid vacations like you do. 
That's your advantage." He said, "A union, and no more paid 
vacations." We dropped the subject. I didn't go in to see Bill 
Know land anymore. 

Then the November election of '31 was coming on just about 
that time. There was a man named Jorgenson who was second in 
command on the copy desk. He was a rather noisy character around 
the office, and he mentioned that something was going to be done 
about the Guild after the election. I campaigned a little for 
and voted for Upton Sinclair. That was on a Tuesday. The 
following Saturday noon I was called in by the city editor, whom 
I felt was a good friend of mine, Stanley Norton. He called me 
into a little conference cubbyhole, and he pulled out a check, 
gave it to me, and said goodbye. 

Ruben: Just like that. 

Ward: Just like that. He told me that I was being discharged for 
overstaff . 

Ruben: Did you understand why you were being fired? 

Ward: Of course. And I was told immediately afterward that they hired 
two guys to take my place. 

Rubens: No severance pay? You'd been there ten years. 

Ward: Well, I think they gave me a few days extra, or something like 
that. Anyhow, I walked around that block of Thirteenth and 
Franklin, Broadway and Twelfth, for an hour or two in a daze. I 
was not paying alimony, but I was paying child support, so it was 
my duty to call my former father-in-law and tell him. He told me 
that the bailiff at the supreme court he was an old man; it was 
a cush job, a political plum, a job of some old faithful 
follower had just died and I could have the job if I wanted it. 
I said, oh, no, I wanted to be a newspaper man. 

The next thing I knew Spike Kelley, head of the Oakland 
branch of the Examiner, called me up and said come to work. I 
did. I didn't work days, I worked nights. It was really 
something to go running around the street, running into the 
Tribune leg men, the young fellows. It was a very emotional 
time. I lasted two days. Of course, I knew how I had gotten 
that job; Stan Norton had told Spike Kelley. Norton had come 
originally from the Examiner, so he tried to fix me up on the 
side, you see. But Joe Knowland was seen going to every 
editorial office of every newspaper office in San Francisco and 
around the bay telling them not to hire that son of a bitch 
because he's a union guy. So I was fired. 

Rubens: And blacklisted. 

Ward: And blacklisted. So then I called up the judge and said, "I'll 
take it." The next day I went to work at the court. 

Joining the Newspaper Guild 

Rubens: Had you officially become a Guild member? 

Ward: Oh, yes. 

Rubens: How many of you from the Trib joined? 

Ward: I would say we had about a dozen at that time out of sixty; not 
right away, but pretty early. 

Rubens: I know that Joe Rosenthal with the San Francisco News was very 
instrumental in the Guild in San Francisco. Did you have any 
relationship with him? 








Ruben s : 


He was a Chronicle photographer.* 

Before that, in '3 1 *, he was organizing the Guild. 

That name rings no bell. 

Did you work with anyone in San Francisco? 


I'm talking about the early days of the Guild. 
Heywood Broun? 

Did you ever meet 

I'll tell you about that in due course. It was the next week 
after the '31 election, mid-November, that I went to work for the 
California supreme court. For two or three weeks I just kind of 
sat back and did nothing. I guess I kind of panted and rested; 
it was quite a strain, the whole thing. One day I got a call 
from Betty Ballentine, the daughter of Henry Ballentine, who was 
a famous professor of law at Boalt Hall. Betty was on the San 
Francisco News, and we had met because I had gotten to know her 
slightly during the General Strike. She was also one of the 
prominent Guild members. The News was not as antagonistic to the 
Guild as the other papers. 

That's where Joe Rosenthal was. 

That may be. I didn't know him, though; I knew Betty 
Ballentine. There are two or three guys I knew from the guild; 
I'll come to one name later, George Something. Betty says, 
"Estolv, what's the matter? You pooping out on us?" I said, 
"Well, I'm just kind of taking it easy for a while." She said, 
"You come down to the meeting next Sunday; we need you." It was 
nice to feel I was needed. I came down to the meeting, and so 

They also fired a copy desk man and the head of the 
editorial library at the Tribune. 

All union people? 

They were among my friends there. Wally Something, the 
librarian, I never heard of again. I think he went to one Guild 
meeting in San Francisco, but then he just disappeared; I'm not 
sure. And Ron Schofield of the copy desk went to the Sacramento 

Later he joined Life Magazine. 
San Francisco News. Ed. 

During 193^ he worked for the 

Ward: Press Democrat and later on to the main Santa Barbara paper. I 
saw him again sometimes over the years until he became editor 
emeritus of the paper. 

Rubens: Of these twelve that were organized, about five of them were 

Ward: Three myself and two others. 

Rubens: Did the Guild hold on at the Tribune for the next few years, or 
did it disappear? 

Ward: No, that washed it out. It was replaced by a company union which 
was headed by my original boss, Rose Glavinovich. 

Rubens: I was going to ask you if she supported you. 

Ward: As you can see, I was beginning to turn left at that time. The 
left turn began at the end of my marriage. 

Rubens: Was you father still alive at this point? 

Ward: Oh, yes. 

Rubens: Did you feel closer to him? 

Ward: Very much so. I wasn't on unfriendly terms with Judge Waste, 
just that the Wastes were distant, of course, but perfectly 
friendly. No, my father, I think, was quite proud of me. 

Rubens: Did you find yourself discussing the '31 General Strike with your 

Ward: Oh, at times. I'll come to that later escorting my father 
around the waterfront. 

Rubens: I meant right here in '31, were you talking more politically with 

Ward: I don't remember specifically, but I'm sure I remember during 
the '31 strike I wasn't in the East Bay; I was working night and 
day in San Francisco for quite a while. I probably talked to him 
on the phone, but I don't specifically recall. 

Rubens: When Levy destroyed the prints and the negatives, did you ever 
ask him why directly? 

Ward: No. I had enough trouble on my hands at that time without asking 
the obvious. 


Rubens: Why didn't they pull you off of that story? Why did they send 
you to cover it? 

Ward: Well, I had done nothing wrong; I'd been doing my job as a 
reporter in having my cameraman take those pictures. 

Rubens: But afterwards, did they 

Ward: In the interim, between the '34 strike and my firing, I also got 
married. I married a girl whom I will identify only by her first 
name, Norma. She was the first girl that smiled at me. 

Rubens: You were lonely. 

Ward: And I was lonely. That was it. And she had a good job, which 
came in handy during the skimpy periods such as I had later on. 

Rubens: So you life was very full. 

Ward: Oh, there was something doing every minute. 

Rubens: Your children were in Los Angeles? 

Ward: By that time they were in Los Angeles, by '34, and grew up there, 
to my sorrow. Later on there's a scene I want to describe, when 
they were teenagers. 

Rubens: Let me ask you a few fill-ins: do you want to tell me who Haakon 
Chevalier is, a friend of Oppenheimer? 

Ward: He was a professor of French at Cal. He was very handsome. He 
and his wife well, he had several wives. The one that we knew 
best was his second wife, Barbara (she came from an old Jewish 
family in San Francisco). They had a lovely home at Stinson 

Rubens: What was his significance to you? 

Ward: Left. I first met Haakon Chevalier at that party. I didn't see 
him again until several years later when I was a delegate to the 
Alameda County Central Labor Council; there was Haakon. I met 
Haakon and Oppie, but that was much later. 

Rubens: I'm trying to ask you the significance of this party. I think it 
is that you were attracted to a certain Bohemianism that is not 
part of your married life and being the good conservative. Would 
you say that was true? 


Ward: I can't say Chevalier was people I met there, like Haakon, I was 
attracted to; some of the things I saw there I think were pretty 
shocking. After all, I was pretty much a straitlaced kid. Well, 
I can describe the dance that Lowie did, but I don't think you 
want to put that on the record; he didn't even have his underwear 
on, and he was painted 

Rubens: The anthropologist. But in general, in '28, '29, '30, you were 
not covering labor issues, is that right? 

Ward: No. I think it was somewhere in '33 or '3^ there was some kind 
of a Communist demonstration down near the estuary in Oakland, 
and I was sent to cover it. There was a woman who was attempting 
to speak from a balcony overlooking the street, and the cops were 
down below trying to shout her out, crowded around. The cops 
were cracking guys over the head now and then, and things like 
that. I remember feeling sympathetic to the woman: well, they 
at least ought to let her say her piece. Years later she brought 
her union committee to me for guidance in negotiations. She was 
a leader for the textile union. 

[Interview 3: 22 June 198?]## 

Rubens: I have two questions from last week: you described the incident 
of the attack on the Marine Workers Industrial Union. You told 
me you had a tip to cover that. That was a notorious assault on 
that union; do you know who informed you that this was going to 

Ward: I haven't the faintest idea. I got a tip, but I don't remember. 

Rubens: One other question: Do you remember any articles that you wrote, 
during your ten years at the Tribune, that you were particularly 
proud of, that you particularly felt were exempletive of your 

Ward: There were two, particularly. One was the story of Ruth Julia 
Slenezynski (it's a Polish name). My then wife was a music 
teacher herself, but she took piano lessons from a woman named 
Alma Smith-Kennedy, who lived in a Maybeck house on the corner of 
Buena Vista and Euclid. To this teacher came a Polish man with 
his four-and-a-half-year-old daughter. He was a frustrated 
violinist; he was on his way to being a concert performer during 
World War I, and in war service he was shot through the left 
wrist with the result that his fingering became impossible. When 
his first child was born and he married specifically a sturdy, 
stocky woman to give balance to this child who was going to be 
his prodigy he tried to teach little Ruth Julia the violin. No 
go; she just wept. But she liked the piano, so he got her a 


Ward: piano, learned the piano himself, and tried to teach her. He 

brought her to Mrs. Alma Smith-Kennedy, and she told my wife, my 
wife told me, and I had a story. 

That story was built around the little girl's first 
performance at Mills College; she gave a concert at the age of 
four and a half. She couldn't reach the pedals. It was 
something by Beethoven, I'm sure. She played two or three 
things, a little Chopin and a little Beethoven, but simplified, 
of course, because she couldn't stretch an octave her hands were 
too small and her feet would not reach the pedals. But 
nevertheless, it was quite a performance. I've lost track of her 
now, but she performed for years. Then I think in her teens or 
twenties she sort of blew up over the whole pressure of her lost 
childhood and everything else. I don't know what became of her. 

The other story was in the spring of '3 1 *, when, as I think I 
told you, I wrote a series about a nudist colony. That ran in 
the paper for nine days. 

Rubens: When did the piece on the piano player run? 
Ward: It must have been around 1929 or '30. 

Rubens: I think it's important to include some of your articles, and 
these are the two top ones? 

Ward: Those are the two that stick out; there were others, of course. 
Rubens: How often did you have a by-line? 

Ward: Things were different then; by-lines were precious and scarce. 

My by-line was usually E. Ward, when it ran. Then I got tired of 
being E. Ward and I became E. E. Ward. And that's as far as I 
got. In those days you wouldn't put a by-line with my real first 
name on it, anyway. 

Rubens: Were you turning out a story a week? 

Ward: I hit the ball at seven in the morning. I and a fellow named 
Carleton (Andy) Anderson were the two top rewrite men. They 
usually told me to write in general assignment. And usually the 
first edition rolled at 8:10, so there was an hour. During that 
hour usually the front page was divided eight columns wide; the 
columns were narrower than they are now. Usually the page was 
four columns of local news, Bay region news, and four columns of 
wire stuff. Between the two of us, Andy and I turned out those 

Ward: four columns in an hour. Part of it would simply be rewrite from 
the morning paper, and part of it would be new stories being 


Ruben s : 





phoned in; and I'd take notes. That meant that as eight o'clock 
neared you were writing in takes of a paragraph or a sentence 
with a copy boy standing right there and rushing them over to the 
city desk. 

Then everybody breathed a sigh of relief and went into the 
men's toilet, which was not as big as this room, and had a 
smoke. We were not permitted to smoke elsewhere, and that was 
because of an old German so-an-so who represented Mrs. Dargee, 
the widow of the original owner of the paper, who sold it to the 
Know lands. On account of fire insurance he frowned heavily on 
smoking in the building. 

After your cigarette you'd come back? 

It would begin slowly to pick up for the next edition. There was 
the first home, second home, third home, and then around four 
o' clock the final night. 

Six editions a day? 

Oh, at least six. 

When would you leave the office? 

If I got there at seven, my day ended at three-thirty. But 
frequently I didn't get out at three-thirty; and frequently I got 
out before three-thirty because the city editor lived right down 
here on Euclid, not too far from where I lived up on Spruce. 
He'd been there since five in the morning, and it saved him taxi 
fare if I'd take him home. 

That was another question I wanted to ask you. 
the Tribune? How did you get to work? 

Did you drive to 

I had a Chevy with what they called a California top, which 
doesn't exist now. They built a top with sliding windows; 
instead of rolling up and down, they slid. That's what I had. 

Was it unusual to own a car? 

I was one of the few. Well, it was unusual for a reporter to own 
a car, yes. 

Was that because of your father-in-law? 

I don't know what it was because of. My wife had a car, too. 
Not always, but most of the time. Because wherever we lived, it 
was a mile from the nearest streetcar. It was virtually 
impossible without cars, and she with three small children and 
the shopping and whatnot. It was pretty necessary, and so I 
guess her father helped on that. 

More on Working at the Tribune 

Rubens: Now shall we pick up where we left off? You had assumed a 
position at the California Supreme Court. 

Ward: I was the bailiff; I was one step above the janitor. And I had 
nothing to do nine days out of ten, except be there and meet 
people in the lobby of the court's chambers, and tell them that 
Judge So-and-So was willing to see them. Then on open court days 
I gave the "Hear ye, hear ye, hear ye" to get the hearing 
officially under way. 

Rubens: What were you being paid? 

Ward: Starting in you didn't get the full salary, but by the time I 

left I was making $300 a month, which was lots of money in those 
days, for having almost nothing to do. And boring as all get 

When Betty Ballentine called me I took my scolding and began 
attending Guild meetings again; they were usually held in San 
Francisco in one of the minor hotels. Perhaps I'd better go back 
a little bit. During this period, sometime after I got fired, 
being a newspaper man I wanted newspaper work. I would have 
liked it; I found it interesting, and I hoped to be famous 
someday. I conceived the idea of founding a newspaper of my own, 
and I went around inquiring about it. In the course of the 
inquiry I was led to a University professor, whose name I do not 
recall. I remember he lived on Summer Street, just about half a 
block from where Willa Baum lives now. 

Rubens: Was he a professor of journalism? 

Ward: I don't think so. I don't know what his specialty was. But he 
asked me, "Mr. Ward, what will this paper say about Russia?" I 
said, "Well, sir, I haven't thought about it yet, but I did 
originally get the idea when I was in China, when I saw the 
people fleeing from the Bolsheviki, that there must be something 
good about the Bolsheviki." He dismissed me very curtly; I 
didn't know anything about the Soviet Union, so the hell with 

In the meantime I had begun to read a little bit, not only 
about nudism, but about Karl Marx and so on. I don't think I 
actually read Das Kapital, but I read quotes, and I certainly had 
heard the slogan "Arise ye workers, ye have nothing to lose but 
your chains." 

At one of these Sunday meetings of the Guild we had maybe 
two hundred to two hundred and fifty people. 


Rubens: That many? 

Ward: This was the Oakland Post-Enquirer, the Examiner, the Chronicle, 
and the two or three afternoon papers. 

Rubens: But you said that from the Tribune there were twelve people at 
the most who had been organized. 

Ward: Three of us got fired, as you know. 

Rubens: But I'm surprised there were that many people in the Guild. 

Ward: The active people were just about twelve, who met every Wednesday 
night to do whatever business we had to do. But a lot of people 
came to these meetings, and you got to know all the faces. Here 
one Sunday was a little group of five or six men sitting at one 
of the tables in our meeting hall, and they were all strangers. 
We knew instantly, without being told: Western Workers! 

Rubens: That was the Communist Party's newspaper. 

Ward: Yes. That was the predecessor to the Peoples' World. Red fern 
Mason, who had been the music critic, I think, for the Examiner, 
had been fired for Guild activity, and he was running for mayor. 
He was a right lively old boy who had written a musical comedy 
that had been performed at the Commonwealth Club. I was at that 
performance, years before, and at intermission the cry came up, 
"Author, author." He came out and took a bow, and everybody 
couldn't help but notice that he hadn't buttoned his fly. He was 
that kind of a guy [laughs]. 

Anyway, here was Redfern Mason running for mayor and asking 
for the support and endorsement of the Guild. He made his pitch 
and left. He had other meetings to attend; he was a very busy 

Rubens: Was he a member of the Guild? 

Ward: Oh, yes, sure. But he had to ask for the political endorsement; 
he couldn't just say so. And there was opposition to the motion 
to endorse him, because he had the support of the Communist 
Party. I felt inspired to get up and say that I thought Redfern 
Mason I didn't think he stood much chance of getting elected, 
but I was happy to see him run; and I couldn't see anything wrong 
with accepting the endorsement of the Communist Party. He was 
entitled to get all the endorsements he could. 

Well, the motion passed with a few no's, and I went home. 
And the phone began to ring. People were calling me up to 


Ward: congratulate me on my speech people I knew or knew of, not the 
guys over in the corner there. Among them a the man who 
invited me and my wife to dinner with him and his wife. I'll 
call him Rick, because although he is long since dead he has 
relatives that I see; that wasn't his real name, but it was 
something like that. He worked on one of the afternoon papers in 
San Francisco. We got so that we exchanged dinners we became 
close friends, in other words. 

Joining the Communist Party, 1936 

Rubens: Are you protecting his name because he was a member of the Party? 

Ward: Well, yes. There were frequently other people at his dinner 
table, because they were very hospitable souls. There was a 
Communist there. We talked, and the Communist fellow (whose name 
I cannot recall now) gave his little pitch, and that was that. 
Incidentally, this man was an FBI stool pidgeon all along, it 
turned out years later. 

I was interested, and so forth, and finally Rick did tell me 
that he was himself a Communist and asked me if I would consider 
joining the CP USA. I said that the idea had some attraction, 
but I would like to know a little bit more about it first; I'd 
like to go to a Communist Party meeting. Well, that took a bit 
of doing, but it was finally arranged, and on a rainy February 
night in 1936, Rick and I had dinner downtown after work, boarded 
a Kearny Street car and rode out to North Beach to an apartment 
someplace out there, where there were five or six people sitting 
around to greet me. The only name that I'm sure of among those 
was Mike Quin, who was the writer of the CIO news on KYA for many 
years, and was also a columnist for the Peoples' World. His real 
name was Paul Ryan. Everybody wasn't there, because suppose I 
did go around blabbing all about it? There were certain people 
who weren't there that I didn't meet. 

I told Rick on the way home that I thought I would join. I 
got to my home and told Norma that I was joining the Communist 
Party, and she nearly fainted. She was terrified. 

Rubens: This is 1936; the Party had adopted the Popular Front. 

Ward: This was the thirties, and all sorts of ideas existed 

simultaneously. There was much greater acceptance then and 
during the war, too. But afterwards, of course, the cold war 


Rubens: I'm trying to juxtapose your wife's reaction of horror to your 
matter-of-fact reaction. 

Ward: I would say the majority of the people were anti-Communist. 

Rubens: Even though when you look at the statistics, this is the heyday 
of the Communist Party; the membership swelled in '36. 

Ward: Yes, but even so. Well, put it this way: at the heyday of the 
Communist Party it had about a hundred thousand members. 

Rubens: And in '39 it drops off. 

Ward: Then it goes up again during the war. Out of a hundred and fifty 
million people, a hundred thousand is a drop in the bucket. 
Anyway, she planned to get along with me, and she tried to do a 
few things. But she was an apolitical person. I think that's 
one of the reasons that brought on our divorce, in due course. 

I don't remember the actual details; I don't remember ever 
being given a party card, but I know I must have begun to pay 
dues to somebody and that sort of thing. 

Rubens: Which chapter did you join? 

Ward: Oh, damned if I know. It was just San Francisco. Well, it was 
the Bay region, and most of the big meetings were in San 
Francisco. Although Finnish Hall, down here in West Berkeley, 
was a big hangout, although I never was in that place. At the 
first Guild meeting, a man whose name I knew of and had never 
met, Morgan Hull, arose we were joining everything and so 
forth and nominated me for delegate to the Alameda County 
Central Labor Council. I promptly declined with thanks. I said 
I didn't have the time, and I appreciated it, but no thanks. 

Rubens: You were still working in Sacramento? 

Ward: I was still working at the Supreme Court in San Francisco. They 
met in Sacramento once in a while, and in Los Angeles, but their 
headquarters were right in the civic center in the state 

Joining the Alameda Central Labor Council 

So did I get bawled out wow! I had duties to perform! So 
the next time I got nominated I accepted. The Central Labor 
Council met in Carpenters' Hall down on Twelfth Street, I think, 



Ruben s : 









in West Oakland. For the second time I met Haakon Chevalier; he 
was the delegate from the teachers' union. And Paul Heide and 
his brother Ray, from ILWU [International Longshoremen's and 
Warehousemen's Union]; and Bill Spooner, the secretary of the 
Council; and Charlie Real of the Teamsters' Union, a famous 
character who had been a leading Democrat in labor and political 
circles in Alameda County some years before. There was a taxicab 
driver strike, and the taxicab union was Teamsters, and there 
were scab cab drivers trying to break the strike. Two of those 
scab drivers wound up drowned in their cabs in Lake Merritt. 

Was this in '36? 

No, I'm going back. The district attorney and the top police, 
all good Republicans, promptly made some arrests, including 
Charlie Real as an alleged accessory to murder. Charlie no 
dumbell he promptly changed his politics. 


Overnight, instead of being the leading labor Democrat, he became 
the leading labor Republican and the endictment was squashed. 

When was this? 

In the twenties sometimes I don't know the exact year, 
least the strike was highly publicized. 

So at 

With this background, and being a newspaperman, I knew a 
hell of a lot about Charlie Real. The progessives all got 
together, and we came so close to being the majority on the 
council that on a key vote it depended on who had gone out to get 
a beer at the time as to who won when the roll was called. 

Was it known that you were a member of the Party? 

Of course not. 

Were you aware of any other Party members on the council? 

Of course. Sure, we quickly found out who our comrades were. 

How many were there? 

Well, not all the progressives were Communists, by any means, but 
I would say there were at least in a meeting attended by fifty 
or sixty men, we had six or seven Communists. 

In the meantime, Bill Green and John L. Lewis had tangled, 
and Lewis had formed the Committee for Industrial Organization 
[CIO]. In '37 the progressive unions, like the then-Guild and 


Ward: the warehousemen, and so forth, were moving over from the AF of L 
into the wait a minute. Our original determination was to stay 
in the AF of L, but the antagonism between Green and Lewis had 
become so sharp that Green ordered the labor councils to expel 
the CIO unions. So I and other CIO delegates were expelled from 
the Alameda County Labor Council. I remember banging on the door 
of the council, and Bill Spooner standing there looking very 
grave, saying, "I'm sorry, brother Ward, you cannot come in." 
And for the others, too. 

So we set up our own council in Alameda, the Alameda County 
Industrial Union Council. I believe it was the first CIO council 
as such that was established in the West, and maybe in the whole 
country only by a couple of weeks, but 

Rubens: This was in 1937? 

Ward: Yes. 

Rubens: How many unions did that represent? 

Ward: I think it had between eight and ten thousand members, and 
probably a dozen unions. 

Rubens: Was there an elected head? 
Ward: That comes next. 

Rubens: Before we go into this new phase, I want to ask you two 

questions: who was the head of the local Newspaper Guild at the 

Ward: This would be the San Francisco-Oakland Newspaper Guild? The 

president was not the key person; he just presided at meetings. 

Rubens: That was the next question: was he a leading figure ? 

Ward: He was somebody who was popular, and who helped them to run a 

meeting. But the work was done and the leadership was provided 
by a man named Charles Irvine, who was known as Tad, who was not 
a reporter. He had worked in the business departments of various 
newspapers other than the local ones. He was a young man of 
independent means, and just came in and volunteered his services; 
and the first thing you know, he was running everything. 

Rubens: Did you respect him? 

Ward: Oh, yes; he was a Communist [laughs]. He and I are still very 
good friends. He lives over in Stinson Beach. 


Rubens: Were there a few other people at this time in the Guild who are 
outstanding in your mind as people you respect and you looked to 
who were leaders? 

Ward: Yes. The names are hard to recall. There was a guy from the 

Post-Enquirer, who became president. He was a very nice guy, but 
when he got drunk, he got good and drunk and got into trouble. 
I've taken him home more than once. 

The people from the Chronicle were the most lively, because 
Paul C. Smith was then the managing editor. He was the man who 
had revitalized the Chronicle from a miserable Republican house 
organ, subscribed to by only the sacrosanct, to a competitor to 
the Hearst Examiner, which finally outran and outdid the Examiner 
and became the leading newspaper in this region. He doesn't get 
all the credit I think that's due him. He was not unfriendly; he 
didn't say, "Come on, boys, join," but he didn't want to make too 
much trouble. The other guys were getting fired right and left 
on the Examiner and the other papers. 

Rubens: I had always had the impression that the San Francisco News 

Ward: Oh, the News was fairly liberal, too. As a matter of fact, it 
was a bit more liberal than the Chronicle. There were Betty 
Ballentine and George Wilson, who made no bones of the fact that 
they were active Guild members, and they didn't have any trouble 
with their employers. 

Rubens: I have one more question: I think it's important that we get the 
most outstanding names of active people in the Guild at the time. 

Ward: There were two or three guys from the Associated Press tAP], one 
of whom became the press agent for the organized winegrowers of 
California, later on. I think his name was White or something 
like that. He was not a Party member, but I remember later on 
when there was a convention of the Party being held in New York. 
I was walking down the street with him one day, and I forget who 
brought it up, but he said, "That Party meeting are you going to 
it, by any chance?" I said yes, and he gave me ten dollars as a 
contribution which I needed to go to this convention, because by 
that time I was awful broke. 

There were people like that, 
up to Sacramento. 

Ron Schofield oh, no, he went 


Thoughts on the Communist Party 

Rubens: You joined the Communist Party, having attended a meeting where 

Mike Quin was. Could you say something about what convinced you 
to join the Party at that time? After all, we're talking about a 
man who had been fairly apolitical, who becomes radicalized by 
the events in 193 1 *, and his divorce, and then at the Guild 
meeting you were impressed. What specifically at that meeting 
convinced you to join? 

Ward: That's a good question. I think it goes back to the fact that my 
father was a Socialist, and that I was brought up reading 
Eugene V. Debs; The Appeal to Reason. It was very easy to grasp the 
idea that capitalism was a passing phase in human existence that 
should soon be brought to an end. 

Rubens: You had said, listening to Harry Bridges, how articulate and 

convincing he was. Was this true at this Party meeting: these 
people seemed intelligent, reasonable, they presented their ideas 
in a way, given your background, that you could accept? 

Ward: I said that Bridges was convincing and intelligent on the witness 
stand in federal court, in 193 1 *. At the time I joined the Party, 
that was the only time, or close to the only time, that I heard 
Harry talk; it's the one that stands out in my mind. 

Rubens: I meant did you find the people at this Party meeting convincing 
and intelligent? 

Ward: Oh, yes. And, as I say, I obviously had been prepared from my 

childhood upbringing to accept the idea that capitalism was just 
a phase in the broad sweep of human existence. 




Had you read The Western Worker? 
before you joined? 

Did you read that regularly 

No. I had seen it, but I can't say that I had read it, except 
just to glance through it and see what they were talking about 
once in a while. 

Had you known other members of the Party that you respected prior 
to your joining? 

It's true that I had known a couple, but I didn't know they were 
Party members at the time. I think it goes back to my childhood. 

Some people say everyone was doing it in the 1930s. 

That wasn't the case, by any means. It's true that more of them 
were doing it then than now, by a great deal. 


Rubens: We're back now at the formation of the Alameda County industrial 

Ward: I want to talk about the Heide brothers, Paul and Ray, and their 
exploits. Both of them were tall and skinny and could punch 
harder than any two other men. There are many stories about 

I want to talk about the bartender at the Central Labor 
Council, who was known as Scotty. I don't know if he was a Party 
member, actually, or just a sympathizer. But he eventually, I 
understand, went to live in the Soviet Union. I lost track of 
him. But there were some marvelous little chats around that bar, 
right under the nose of the AF of L diehards. 

Rubens: Say something more about this. Where was the bar? 

Ward: The meetings were held in Carpenters' Hall, and you passed 

through the bar to get to the meeting room. So of course you buy 
a drink! 

Rubens: It was a bar for street trade; anyone could go to the bar? 

Ward: Yes. Well, I never heard of anybody trying to crash a meeting, 
except when the CIO got kicked out. 



Ward: Now we get to the phase of the formation of the CIO council. 

There was a man, and all the background I knew was that his name 
was Miles Humphrey. He was a very ordinary-looking chap, a 
little shorter than I am and not much heavier (I was a skinny kid 
at that time). He had a deep depression in his right temple, as 
though at some time he had had a serious accident to his skull 
there. He was a Communist, and he had been very helpful in 
organizing the unorganized in Alameda County, particularly a 
group of miscellaneous workers from very small plants that he 
assembled in what became known as Local 96, which was what they 
called a federal local: it had no international; it was just 
directly chartered from CIO headquarters. That was his base, and 
he had been helpful on all the other organizing drives. 

At this time, in mid-'37, he had recently been expelled from 
the Communist Party, I don't know for exactly what reasons. I 
remember that as this thing was brewing, I formed the habit of 
spending my Saturday afternoons at a meeting hall that was run by 
Miles Humphrey in West Oakland. It was in an old warehouse and 
it consisted of a great big barn of a room, and they got plenty 
of chairs from someplace, and there was a little office, and a 
busted toilet that didn't work. That was about it. I remember 
attending a meeting, and there were two thousand auto workers 
there. You know, people were really aching for something. That 
place was jammed, and Miles Humphrey made his speech. And I 
. listened to him intently, because I'd heard of him; I knew that 
he'd been expelled, and I listened intently to his speech to see 
what kind of a guy he was. He spoke about the cave dwellers in 
Spain who never had had a home, and all sorts of things. In the 
course of his speech, and I can't remember exactly what it was, 
he indicated violence. I don't remember the words, but I said to 
myself, "That doesn't smell good to me." 

He had the respect of the membership, and he was slated to 
become the leader of the Alameda County CIO council, so far as 
everybody knew. He bothered me, and I went to the two guys that 
ran the East Bay CP headquarters (one of them was George Martin, 


Ruben s : 


I think) and asked them, "If you're not happy with Miles Humphrey 
as the leader of this organization that is in the process of 
formation, I could be persuaded to run for the job." Hmm! The 
first thing I knew, I was running. 

There was this meeting of the delegates from the various 
unions to the council, and my fellow East Bay delegate to the 
Guild was a young boy ten or twelve years my junior from the 
Post-Enquirer, named Dick Dyer. He was a woman-chaser, and he 
came by with his girl of the moment, parked his car outside the 
hall, dashed in just long enough to cast his vote for me, and I 
beat Miles Humphrey by one vote. Well! That was a hell of a 
position to be in. 

How many votes were cast? 

I think he got forty and I got forty one out of eighty-one votes. 

Two delegates from each union? 

This is to become the leader, the secretary-treasurer, of the CIO 

But how do you account for the eighty-one votes? 
from each union? 

Two delegates 

No, it depended on the number of dues you paid. There were only 
two from the Guild, Dick Dyer and I were the delegates. And if 
he hadn't gotten there at the right moment, it would have been a 

The next morning I went to work in the Supreme Court 
chambers. My former father-in-law was away on one of his Knights 
Templar trips, so I went to the acting CJ, who was Emmett Seawell, 
a gruff old district attorney and judge from Santa Rosa, and told 
him that I was resigning and why. He'd read in the papers that 
morning about the CIO election in Alameda County, for everything 
the CIO did was news in those days. He'd read it, and he said, 
"I thought that was just an honorary position." Everybody on the 
court knew that I was a labor "skate" (that's a slang word for a 
labor guy). So I told him I was resigning, and he said, "Well, 
Mr. Ward" he obviously was not sorry to see me go "I hope you 
will keep good thoughts about the Supreme Court." I said that of 
course I would: "I have no quarrel with the court; it's just 
something that I think I should be doing that is better for me 
than what this is." I didn't say it to him, but [to myself] I 
said, "Who knows, I might come up here on charges at any time." 

Rubens: Was it a full time job, to be head of the council? 


Ward: Oh, yes. 

Rubens: What were you paid? 

Ward: Theoretically I should have been paid top Guild union salary, 

which about that time had been recognized by the Chronicle and I 
think also the Examiner. It should have been $57.50 a week. But 
I started out at fifty dollars a week, plus expenses. The way 
they solved [the dilemma] was to make Humphrey the organizer and 
me the secretary-treasurer. So he got fifty dollars but without 
expense money. 

Rubens: You were not an active newspaper man at the time, but if you paid 
your dues to the Guild you could remain a Guild member? 

Ward: Oh, yes. I was what they called "a Guild martyr." 

Rubens: Everyone knew that? 

Ward: But as long as I paid my dues I was a member. 

Rubens: To receive the forty-one votes, did you have to campaign? 

Ward: Not at all. 

Rubens: There was no campaigning? 

Ward: None. I let the Party members do that. What they did was to 

simply tell the groups that a guy named Ward was running. I was 
fairly well-known; I wasn't so personally well-known, but I was 
known to the key persons, like the guys that I'd worked with in 
the old Central Labor Council before we were kicked out. So 
while I was not intimately known, I was known to the important 

Rubens: So the Party campaigned within the various locals? 

Ward: That's right. So there I was. I took two weeks vacation and 
went fishing up in Humboldt County. My poor wife, she just 
couldn't understand it. She tried hard, but she was scared. 

Rubens: You were taking a pay cut 

Ward: I was taking a pay cut; I might get my head bashed in; I might 
get arrested; I might get this, that, and the otheroh, dear; 
oh, dear; oh, dear. 

The first thing to do was to get out of that silly old barn 
and get a decent office. Humphrey turned over to me the little 



dues that he had collected, and I think it amounted to less than 
three hundred dollars somewhere between two and three hundred 

Rubens: Did you have a good working relationship? 

Ward: No, never. It was chilly. Well, I'd beat him, and he felt that 
that was his job. 

Rubens: He knew you were in the Party, and he had been expelled. 

Ward: Oh, of course, and I knew that he had been; there were no secrets 
about that. I found a place, sort of one room with a division, 
and Hump had a part of it. You passed through it and you got to 
my inner office. I found an office on the second floor on the 
southeast corner of Ninth and Broadway. And I found a meeting 
hall, Danish Hall (I don't know whether it's still there), down a 
few blocks over just east of Broadway a little bit (but not in 
West Oakland), along about Twelfth. So we were in business. 

The first thing was Labor Day, because I took office in 
August, and almost immediately it was Labor Day, 1937. I had to 
get a parade permit. We wanted to parade with the AF of L, but 
no dice, no sir. The AF of L was set to parade, and they would 
start right up in front of our office and march up Broadway and 
around. They were due to start at ten o'clock in the morning. I 
went to the city council and demanded the right to march with 
them. The city council very wisely said, "Oh, no, that would be 
an awful fight." But I did a little organizing. I got a 
minister from one of the big churches to speak to the city 
council in our behalf. 


Ward: Charlie Real spoke in opposition. What he had to say was 
important, because he led a group of about two thousand 
Teamsters, who could do quite a lot of things if they felt like 
it. He said that if we marched he would not be responsible for 
whatever happened. But the city council granted the permit. At 
the gore of Telegraph and Broadway there used to be an open space 
where they built a reviewing stand. We had a public address 
system and so forth, and I had planned to take that and identify 
each unit and its leaders as they passed, and to tell something 
about them to whatever crowd we had in attendance. I was writing 
my last notes on that in the office at Ninth and Broadway on the 
second floor, when the AF of L started at ten o'clock in the 
morning. At the moment after they started there was a BOOM! 
BOOM! I said something like, "Oh, Jesus." There were a couple 
of boys that had somehow gotten on the roof right over my head 


Ward: and got up on the parapet, which was about five or six feet above 
the roof, to watch the sight of the pararade, and then had jumped 
off right over my head, [laughs] 

Rubens: What had you thought? 

Ward: I thought that somebody had set off a couple of bombs. The 
building shook! 

Two o'clock came, and I got up to the reviewing stand. The 
city manager was rather friendly and helpful. I should have 
invited him, but I didn't; that was a little polite thing that I 
forgot to do. So I was alone up there. I won't identify the 
person it was one of the bigshots in the CIO, who had a new 
girlfriend that day. He sent her up to the reviewing stand, and 
she and I held down that whole reviewing stand. He had 
entertained her beforehand, and she had drunk too much and got 
sick all over. Anyway, the parade was held. 

Rubens: This was a separate CIO march? 

Ward: Yes. Nothing happened, eveything went off. They marched around 
Lake Merritt to the Oakland auditorium theater not the big 
auditorium, but the theater. 

Rubens: A good showing of people? 

Ward: Oh, we had about eight thousand that were in the march. Harry 
Bridges was invited to make the speech. He had marched the 
previous morning in San Francisco. He came, and he asked me how 
long I wanted him to talk. I said forty or forty-five minutes 
would be fine. Well, he made his speech in about forty or 
forty-five minutes, and then he repeated it in another forty or 
forty-five minutes. When he got through, he said, "I hit it just 
right, didn't I?" He was a terrific speaker when he had a fight 
on, but for a thing like this he was absolutely mush, because 
there was no fight. 

That was Labor Day. We got home, and that night the phone 
began to ring: various Guild members of mine, and I remember 
having to go out and rescue them from police stations. We had 
some pretty good drunks, and getting them home was a busy time. 

Miles Humphrey's first big move was to organize an affair in 
the civic auditorium, a sort of a labor fair. He went around he 
was very energetic and got companies to set up booths 
advertising there; the companies, of course, with which our 
unions had contracts. We had a twenty-piece orchestra, and there 
was going to be dancing and speechmaking. Our principal 
speechmaker was going to be Wyndham Mortimer. He was the 


Ward: left-wing leader of the United Automobile Workers. (He would 
have been president, but he was eased out by Walter Reuther). 
Mort made a nice speech, and the orchestra played and people 
danced. But the public did not attend very well, and we lost our 
shirt. In fact the question came, as the evening came to an end, 
whether there was enough money in the till taken in at the door 
to pay the orchestra. I remember dashing with a guy named Jim 
Smith Turkey-Neck Smith, he was known as, of the Machinists' 
Union down to his office in the middle of the night to get into 
his safe to get money enough to pay the orchestra. 

Well, we were in very bad financial condition then. So I 
cut my salary and Humphrey's to twenty-five dollars a week. That 
still wasn't too bad in those days, but it was a little bit 
difficult. But we were in business. 

I was the green pea; Harry Bridges always thought of me as 
such, I'm sure. And I was at that time; I had lots to learn. 
But I think I was a good learner. We set up regular Saturday 
afternoon meetings with Bridges in his office in San Francisco, 
with a select group, including Humphrey including the leadership 
of the East Bay CIO unions to discuss whatever problems were 
current and get his advice on what to do about this, that, and 
the other. As I say, Humphrey was there and participated. That 
was in '37. Two years later, in the Bridges trial on Angel 
Island, Miles Humphrey took the stand for the prosecution and 
testified that those were Communist meetings. 

Rubens: When you said you had smelled something was he an informer? 

Ward: I keep getting ahead of myself. We had these meetings, and we 
were in business, more or less. I hired a young lady Pat 
Somebody, a red-headed girl. But she wasn't the first; there 
were two or three other ones that the Party sent over that were 
pretty awful and just wouldn't work. 

Rubens: As secretaries? 

Ward: Yes. They got minimum pay, very little, but they were willing to 
work. I remember one girl who came when she felt like it. If 
she got there at three o'clock in the afternoon, it was just as 
good as nine o'clock in the morning, why not? So we go rid of 
her, and then another one, and another one, and finally this Pat, 
who stayed and was good. 

Rubens: Could you say something about the issues that you thought 
confronted you as you took office? 

Ward: The usual: how to organize; what about the strikes, and so 


Organizing Unions in the East Bay 

Rubens: Was this a period of organizing? 



Oh, yes, and there were all kinds of strikes; we always had a few 
strikes on our hands here and there. And we began to negotiate. 
For instance, if so-and-so was having a contract session with the 
employer, and he and his little outfit needed help, they'd come 
to the Council for a committee. I would usually head that 
committee. Consequently, I ran into people like, say, Paul 
St. Sure. He and I tangled immediately. He was very shrewd, 
very sharp. I conceived a seniority clause that I thought was a 
lulu, and he pounced upon it immediately. He was a very clever 
man, and very shrewd. We got into a strike there because of 
him. He was just impossible; he wanted to demote and cut down 
the wages, and all these sorts of things. The strike, I 
understand, was eventually lost, after I left there. 

I remember another employer who was entirely different. He 
had a little plant down in Emeryville; I think it was an 
electrical plant. It was organized by the electrical workers. 
Their business agent, a young fellow, came to me one day and 
wanted to go before the Council to get strike sanction because 
they were getting nowhere with the boss on their contract. We 
had too many strikes on our hands at the moment. In fact, it was 
very difficult; times were rough. So I said, "Well, let's try 
first. Let's set up a committee and go down and talk to this 
man, if he'll see us." We set up a committee, and got one of the 
Heide brothers, and probably Chile Duarte from Warehouse, and 
Frank Slaby from the Automobile Workers, and so forth. We went 
to see this guy. By that time I had gotten into negotiating a 
bit, and I soon figured this boss out. He was very stubborn and 
very difficult, but he had a quick temper and he was quick to 
lose it. He'd rare up and curse and fume and shout and so 
forth. It was easy to provoke this explosion of his. Then he 
would say, "Oh, my God, I'm sorry; I apologize." And then he'd 
give you the point, or at least make a decent compromise. We 
went through one little scrap like that after another, and came 
out with a very nice contract and no strike. 

So it was a very heady time a lot of organizing, 
after unorganized sectors of the East Bay? 

Were you going 

Ward: Oh, yes. 

Rubens: Can you think of what some of those were? 

Ward: Humphrey had organized this big party, which was a financial 

disaster. The next thing that happened was that for some reason 


Ward: or other I happened to go down to the office on a Sunday morning; 
there was some little thing I wanted to look up or do. There was 
a vacant room next to our office which we sometimes used; we put 
in a few chairs and used it for little meetings. I found that I 
had butted right into a meeting being conducted by Miles 
Humphrey. I recognized most of the faces, like Jack Montgomery 
of the Auto Workers; not the Heide brothers, but Bob Moore was 
there of the ILWU, and others. I could tell that I had butted 
into something that wasn't any of my affair, so I said I was 
sorry and butted out. A few days later Jack Montgomery came to 
me, and he was very worried. He said, "Brother Ward, what do you 
know about that meeting that you poked your head in the door at 
last Sunday." I said," Nothing." 

Rubens: You did not make inquiries? 

Ward: No, I didn't ask Humphrey. By that time we didn't talk any more 
than we had to. Well, Montgomery told me that Humphrey was 
saying that they should get a group together and go down to the 
National Guard armory at night and break in and steal guns and 
ammunition. I said what for? He said, "To start the 
revolution." I said, "Oh, my God." I said that would be the end 
of the CIO in the Bay region, right then and there. 

That was one thing. I put a quietus on that very quickly. 
Then I happened to meet Carleton "Andy" Anderson on the street, 
my old buddy at the Tribune . He had by that time become a 
lawyer. I think he was with St. Sure' s firm, or something like 
that anyway, one of the big law firms in the East Bay. He said 
that Humphrey had come to them with a proposal that the owners 
sign a contract for the pinboys in the bowling alleys in other 
words, what is known as a sweetheart contract. He said, "I 
thought that you guys didn't go for sweetheart contracts." I 
said, "You're right, we don't." So that was another one on 
Humphrey. The sweetheart contract was something the CIO frowned 
on very heavily. 

Rubens: Did you ever confront Humphrey on this violence issue? 

Ward: I brought charges against Miles Humphrey in the Council on these 
two major issues the bowling alley guys and the National Guard 
armory. A trial was established, and the first hearing was set 
for all day the next Sunday. 

I'm getting ahead of myself. It was in September of '38 
that this first hearing was held. In August of '38 the first CIO 
convention was held. Paul Schlipf of the Auto Workers and I rode 
down together and roomed together. 


The First California State CIO Convention 

Rubens: The meeting was in Los Angeles? 

Ward: Yes. It was the formation convention of the state CIO. We were 
there a couple of days early, because there were committees to be 
set up and preparations to be made before the formal convention 
opened. I was the chairman of the resolutions committee, and a 
delegate named Angela Gizzi was the secretary of the other main 
committee, the constitution committee. I knew her, and I knew 
she was a Party member. She didn't drive a car, and whenever I 
had previously met her she was being driven around by some swain 
of hers at that time. 

At two o'clock in the morning I went down to the print shop 
to see how the printer was doing with my resolutions, and I met 
her on the same purpose for her committee. I was impressed that 
a girl would 

Rubens: I believe you were both giving up a party that the convention had 

Ward: I don't talk about that. The thing was that we became interested 
in each other then and there. She was helpful on the floor, and 
there was a caucus, of course, of the comrades. I was sent word 
that I was to run for secretary of the California CIO. So I told 
the proper guys who spread the word, and the next morning I come 
back and Bridges is in the chair. The nomination of Bridges, of 
course, was unanimous. And as secretary Lou Goldblatt was 
nominated, who was assistant to Bridges at that time. And I was 
nominated. I expected him to decline in my favor, and he 
expected me to decline in his favor. Because what they hadn't 
told me was that Goldblatt was to remain secretary for the life 
of the convention per se, and at the end I would be elected. But 
they didn't tell me that. 

Rubens: Who were they? 

Ward: Whoever it was that came out from the top left-wing caucus to 

tell me that I was to run for secretary. They simply said I was 
to run; they didn't say what the arrangement was. The 
arrangement was that Goldblatt would be secretary throughout the 
convention because he had organized it, and then I was to be 
elected at the end. He was to do something else go to work for 
the ILWU, which he wanted to do. But they didn't tell me that 
very necessary bit of information. So I was waiting for him to 
decline, and he was waiting for me to decline. Bridges banged 
the gavel and called for the vote. I won. [laughs] Oh, boy! 


Ward: It was a terrible blow to Goldblatt's prestige. By the end of 
the day, however, we were speaking again. So I was the 

Rubens: Of the convention? 

Ward: Of the convention only. The guys got together again and decided 
that bolstering up Goldblatt's prestige was more important than 
mine. I had to decline, and he was elected secretary of the 
California CIO, and spent two and a half years on a job he did 
not want. 

Rubens: That was just accepted; the next day you resigned? How did the 
whole convention buy this? You had been elected. When you 
resigned, what reason did you give? 

Ward: I was elected only for the convention. Then we're talking about 
the real job between conventions of running the outfit. 

Rubens: Was there another election, or did you appoint ? 

Ward: The convention opened with Bridges in the chair as director of 
the West Coast CIO. There were no officers until the election 
was held for the convention. At the conclusion of that 
convention, they nominated and elected officers of the Council, 
of the organization. 

Rubens: So you resigned from the convention, and then Goldblatt was 

Ward: Lou and I were always friendly; Harry and I never were friendly. 
Paul Schlipf and I drove back in my car to the Bay region with a 
passenger Angela Gizzi. 

Reflections on Conferring with Harry Bridges and the Bay Area 
Labor Movement 

Rubens: Can I fill in a few things here? In the first days of your 
assuming the head of the Alameda CIO Council, why were you 
meeting with Harry Bridges? What was the purpose of that? 


Ward: Humphrey was there. That brings up a story. Harry may or may 
not have known that Humphrey had been bounced by the Communist 
Party, but one of the things was that all of a sudden here was 
Joe Ring in my office, sitting around. Joe Ring was Harry 


Ward: Bridges' bodyguard. He was the kind of a guy who could turn an 
entire barroom-full of fellows upside down and throw them out in 
the street very quickly. Anyway, he was there, and I looked at 
him: "Brother Ring, what's doing?" Well, he'd been sent over by 
Bridges to there was a Local 1798 of the Steelworkers which was 
unhappy with the leadership in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; that's a 
continent away. Humphrey, in talking to them, had come over and 
introduced Brother Ring to his Local 96, where Humphrey was the 
big guy. I knew immediately that that would be a disaster, 
because Phil Murray, head of the Steelworkers, wouldn't stand for 
it. It would mean the end of all sorts of things. And I also 
knew that I alone could not I had no time to waste with him, 
because 1 had my meeting that night. 

So I took off for San Francisco, got to the office not to 
Bridges' office, but to 121 Haight Street, the Party 
headquarters. I got hold of Walter Lambert and Bill Schneiderman 
and told them. They grasped immediately the error, and the three 
of us went down and got hold of Bridges in his office, and told 
him that he had made one hell of a mistake, that he was 
endangering his own job and the whole CIO setup out here if he 
allowed Humphrey to antagonize Phil Murray that way. 

Bridges said, "Very well, we made a mistake." He called 
back Joe Ring, and that was the end of that. But there was 
another item against Humphrey in the whole thing. 

Rubens: What happened when you brought up the charges against Humphrey? 




Well, the trial began. In the meantime this relationship between 
the girl that I had brought back from Los Angeles and I had 
blossomed into the usual thing between a man and a woman. She 
had organized a bunch of stenographers from her little union in 
San Francisco, the Officeworkers, to come over and spell each 
other taking down the proceedings of this day-long conference. 
All these charges were brought out, but the thing was by no means 
finished. Humphrey, of course, even when he was ousted he was 
ousted, he lost his job as organizer for the Council, but he 
immediately went over to his Local 96 and became their organizer. 

So there was this hearing and he was ousted? 
doing things he shouldn't do? 

He was found to be 


Oh, these two or three things that I've mentioned were just 
dynamite if they'd gone through. Any one of them would have been 
bad. But the armory, and the raiding of Phil Murray's little 

Let me do a few more fill-ins. This is a little thing: did you 
always refer to each other as "Brother" to fellow union people? 
I'm interested in the language of the time. 

Ward: Pretty much so, but not absolutely always. With people you knew, 
you used first names, of course. Bridges was Brother Bridges on 
occasion, but he was mostly Harry. My first name was a little 
much for lots of people, so I was usually Brother Ward. 

Rubens: Did this speak to the excitement of the times, of a movement, of 
creating something new, that you would use this term "Brother" to 
show affinity? 

Ward: Oh, yes, very much so. 

Rubens: Who were some of the workers you were trying to organize in 

Alameda County? Can you think of some of the industries where 
they did not have representation? 

Ward: In Local 96 there were all sorts of things: there were candy 

workers Mrs. See's Candy I remember and bottle workers, rubber 
workers, all sorts of little outfits. There were the steel 
workers, the automobile workers, the warehouse workers. 

Rubens: Steel and auto were very big at one time. 
Ward: Auto was very big in Alameda County. 
Rubens: What were the companies that were there? 

Ward: Ford, General Motors. Steel was not very big. I think it was 
mostly the Judson Steel Works that was down in Emeryville that 
employed maybe a hundred to a hundred and fifty men. That's 
about it. There were some other little things around, but they 
weren't a big local. 

Rubens: What was the biggest local? 

Ward: Oh, Warehouse, of course. 

Rubens: The Machinists were pretty big, weren't they? 

Ward: Yes, the Machinists I would say were about the second biggest. I 
think the local number was 1304. Turkey-Neck Smith was the head 
of that. 

Rubens: I was trying to see if in the meetings you had with Bridges or 

amongst yourselves you had identified certain industries that you 
really wanted to organize. 

Ward: No, just anybody that had workers that were unorganized. Of 
course, Warehouse was pretty much a catch-all, too. If they 
could get them, why, they got them. That was the way it went. 
Woolworth's that's where the ILWU had quite a time with 
Woolworth's; there was a big strike in Berkeley and all that. 











One other question: you were a member of the Newspaper Guild, 
you were a member of the Communist Party, you were the director 
of the Labor Council 

I was the executive secretary of the CIO Council. 
But basically you were the director. 

I was it, yes. 

You must have been going to a lot of meetings, 
attending your Guild meetings? 

Were you still 

Of course. When I had more than two meetings a night, I went to 
the movies, and explained that I had to go to so many meetings. 
That's the only way I could have a night off, or a Sunday. Oh, I 
was meeting Sunday mornings; and there were a couple of outfits 
that met on Saturday nights, of all things. 

I want a picture of that: 
to a week? 

how many Party meetings would you to 

One. That was Thursday; Thursday night was sacred. 
Was this in San Francisco, where you went? 

Not always, but usually. To some extent I obviously had an 
affiliation with the East Bay setup of the CP. There was a 
Portuguese woman (whose name I remember, but I don't think I will 
repeat it) who was very nice and was very fond of Miles 
Humphrey. She looked up to him, because he had organized her and 
preached to her and so forth. I was allocated to a Party meeting 
one Thursday night at her home, and Miles Humphrey was there. 
And he'd been expelled. I immediately raised a question, as 
politely as I could: if Brother Humphrey (I wouldn't call him 
Comrade) is here, I will move to declare this a public meeting. 
Otherwise he couldn't be there. And I reported it, but I don't 
know what they did with the lady. It was one of those things 
where he was passing himself off and trying to decide things. 
That woman finally came to the point where she said that she 
still thought a lot of Humphrey, but she could see that there 
were certain times when I was right. 

I wanted you to know that if there are names you want to mention 
for the historical record, or if there is some history that you 
want to tell but you don't want the public to read it, you can 
say so and it will be sealed. 

No, I don't think so. I'll just not use exact names and let it 
go at that. For instance, the action of Schneiderman and Lambert 








Ruben s : 



on that steward thing, I don't see any reason Harry can't 
complain because he 

My point is that there is a real history to be told. If you use 
different names, then you're not telling the history. I can 
understand your not wanting to use the names, because you're 
worried about family members, but in another twenty years it 
might be different. 

It wouldn't mean that much. Very few of these things standing 
alone are really important; it's the mass of stuff. 

One last little question: you still had your car at this time? 

Oh, I always had a car. Sometimes I lost the car. Sometimes the 
day would be so hectic that when I went out to get it after work, 
I'd forget where I had parked it. That happened in downtown 
Oakland in 1938 and '39. 

I think next week we'll finish up on 

I'm pretty close to through with the CIO Council. Next week 
we'll go into things like Labor's Non-Partisan League and 

How long did you serve as the secretary for the Alameda County 
CIO Council? 

August '37 to about March of '39. 


We'll just finish up that little period next week. Sometime 
like to talk to you about your relationship with Harry and 
Louis how you said you and Louis always remained friends, and 
Harry didn't think much of you. Because obviously the enmity is 
developing right in this period; you say Harry thought you were 

Lou and I, except for that one little mixup, have always been 
good friends. Harry and I were never good friends. 

He thought you were green? 

Well, he didn't say so, of course, but I used the term "green 
pea." And I think he was right in his judgment in the beginning; 
but, as I say, I learned pretty quickly. I think I did, anyhow. 

When I wrote that book about his Angel Island trial, he 
tried to get it stopped whoa! 


Rubens: Do you think he was initially prejudiced against you because you 
were not a "worker"? 

Ward: I guess so; I would think so. I wasn't a blue-collar guy, I was 
a white-collar guy. That never was voiced in any way, but that 
could very well be. 

Rubens: Was he friends with Humphrey? 

Ward: Obviously, because he took Humphrey's word for something that 
would have been disastrous. 

Rubens: That's why I think he didn't like you. 

Ward: And I knew enough about Harry not to go alone to tell him; I got 
people I knew damned well he would listen to. 

Rubens: Because he clearly had this relationship with Humphrey. 
Ward: Yes. 

More on the State CIO 
[Interview 4: 6 July 19873## 

Rubens: Your election in 1938, as the secretary-treasurer of the CIO 
convention you were saying that that was a mistake, that the 
word had not been passed that you were to withdraw. I have one 
more question about that: why was someone from the Newspaper 
Guild elected over someone from the Warehousemen? What accounted 
for your victory? 

Ward: I can't say for sure that the theory at that time was a Communist 
theory, but it was certainly practiced by the Communist Party. 
It was that in California the two leading left-wing unions were 
the ILWU and the Newspaper Guild, and that therefore the 
president of the newly-formed California CIO Council should 
belong to one of the unions, and the secretary should belong to 
the other. 

Rubens: So Harry was the president of the convention for the ILWU, and 
you were the vice-president, essentially 

Ward: Harry presided as the CIO director of the Pacific Coast. He was 
not a candidate for office; he presided at the convention. And 
the mistake was made and they failed to tell me . Word came out 
of the inner room early on, the morning the convention opened, I 
think, that I was to run for secretary-treasurer. But they 


Ward: didn't tell me that for the life of that convention, Lou 

Goldblatt was to remain as the acting secretary because he had 
drafted up the whole thing and worked it out. 

When the nomination came on the floor on the opening morning 
of the convention, Slim Connelly of the Los Angeles Newspaper 
Guild all three hundred pounds of him was nominated and elected 
president. Then for secretary-treasurer I was nominated and so 
was Goldblatt. We were on opposite sides of the room, and before 
anybody could get his wits, Harry Bridges called for the vote, 
and I beat Goldblatt. So I was acting secretary for the 

But the boys in the backroom then decided that Lou's 
prestige was more important than mine, or something like that. 
In other words, it [mine] didn't matter so much, and Lou then, 
instead of going round to his job in the Warehouse union, 
should The convention functioned, and at the end we were both 
nominated and I declined. 

Rubens: For the ongoing position. 

Ward: Yes. 

Rubens: And Slim Connelly stayed on? 

Ward: Oh, Slim Connelly, there was no problem there. Sure. 

Rubens: Was he in the Party? 

Ward: Slim Connelly was the president of the California CIO Council, 
and Lou Goldblatt was the secretary-treasurer. Lou was 
secretary-treasurer for a little over two years, and then at that 
time, as I understand it, it was felt that it was too rigid just 
these two unions running the whole thing. So they let in the 
steelworkers as president; I forget who became the secretary of 
the CIO council. Goldblatt went back to warehouse organizing in 
the East and Middle West. 

At the closing day of that first state CIO convention, 
elections were held for vice-president. To give representation 
all around there were nine vice-presidential offices, and I got 
by far the highest vote. 

Rubens: Why were you so popular? 

Ward: Damned if I know. I haven't any particular reason for it, except 
that I guess it was felt that I had done a good job in a 
difficult situation in Alameda County, particularly with the 
Humphrey difficulty. 





Humphrey was then a 





Did I tell you about the committee meeting? 
delegate to that convention from Local 96. 

You had already had the trial? 

Oh, yes, he was out as organizer of the council, but he had gone 
back to miscellaneous unions 

The federal union. 
Yes, that's right. 

So he was on a committee down there, I forget what the issue 
was. Saturday night everybody else was going to a dance, but 
this committee had to meet. Humphrey carried his position on the 
committee, which was a bad position from our Communist point of 
view, and I think from any practical point of view, also. 
Whatever the issue was, it was brought up on the floor Sunday 
morning, the second and last day of the convention. I was up on 
the platform as acting secretary, and I had Angela tip off Milt 
Davidson, her fellow delegate for the officerworkers' union, and 
a member of the committee where Hump had prevailed, that when he 
got in there he was to move to reverse the decision. She did, 
and of course Davidson's motion carried and Mr. Humphrey was 

That was over, and Angela rode home from the convention with 
me. After I had kept her waiting all Monday morning 

I read that in Angela's oral history. 

I went to see my kids, that's what took me so long. They all 
wept and wanted to know why I wasn't with them. 

That must have been hard. 

Yes. Well, anyway So the CIO Council set up shop, with 
Goldblatt in office, running the thing at the San Francisco 
headquarters. Very shortly the new session of the legislature 
convened under our new governor, Culbert Olson. Didn't we decide 
that I don't need to talk now about my activities in the Mooney 

We'll go back to that. Your book talks about you having the 
preliminary meetings with him, with the governor and Goldblatt. 

Actually getting the pardon. 

Why don't we finish up the Alameda CIO? 
was still your position. 

When you came back, that 


Ward: I was still there, yes. Pretty soon Goldblatt called up. 

Governor Olson, the first Democratic governor in fifty years in 
California, had been elected, and the legislature was just about 
to convene. The CIO should have a representative up there, and 
would I like the job? I said, "Sure." So I quit in Alameda 
County, and my place was taken by my friend and fellow companion, 
an auto worker named Paul Schlipf. As a matter of fact he was my 
competitor; he was sweet on Angela. He, Angela, and I drove up 
from Los Angeles from that convention together. 

Rubens: Did you appoint him your replacement, or was he elected? 

Ward: He was the president of the Alameda County CIO Council at that 
time. It was a very simple matter for me to resign and for him 
to become secretary-treasurer instead. No sweat. 

Organizing a Demonstration Against Franco 

Ward: This was January '39, and the Spanish civil war was reaching its 
closing stages. A young woman by the name of Aileen O'Brien, 
said to be a San Franciscan and said to be a great beauty, had 
been to Spain on the Franco side (what she did there, I don't 
know). She was being sent back by Franco to promote his cause, 
. to give pro-Franco lectures everywhere she could in the United 
States. A Catholic ladies' aid society in Oakland set her up for 
a Friday night meeting at the Oakland civic auditorium 
theater not the big one. This little ladies' aid society was 
run by the wife of the Oakland police captain in charge of that 
particular district. 

Well, we made a big noise: that couldn't happen in 
Oakland Franco, phew! We mobilized our forces. The meeting was 
supposed to begin at eight o'clock that night, and I guess there 
was a crowd of about a thousand people down there from all over 
the East Bay, many from some distance away. I know guys came 
down from the factories in Martinez and Pittsburgh. We formed 
across the street from the theater and made some noise. The 
paddy wagon came up, and I was promptly installed therein, along 
with a couple of other guys, one a very loud-mouthed, rather 
crazy character (whose name I don't recall) and a young fellow 
who was there for no reason at all, except that he "should be 
there" and climbed in. His name was Nat Yanov. (He's still 
around. He mentioned in the Norm Leonard oral history that he 
was one of the people for whom Norm got citizenship later on.) 

Rubens: Was that the first time you were arrested? 


Ward: In my life? No. It was the first time I was arrested for a 
labor cause. I was arrested previously for sneaking down the 
side of my girlfriend's 

Rubens: Right. But this was your first labor arrest. When you say "we" 
organized this demonstration, are you referring to the Party? 

Ward: Well, I assume. I can't say that I knew, particularly. At least 
I know that I was the functioning head of the demonstration, and 
I think it's safe to assume that the Communist Party had 
something to do with it. 

Rubens: Did you take it on yourself to organize that demonstration? 

Ward: The Alameda County CIO Council voted to oppose the appearance of 
this Franco person; it was very simple. So it was my duty to go 
down there and lead the demonstration. I was supposed to meet 
Angela in the City at ten o'clock that night, and by that time I 
was in jail. She didn't know where I was. She had a hell of a 
time. I had had no dinner, and they put the four or five of us 
in a cell. One guy yelled and howled; he was crazy. Nat and 
another guy made themselves a chessboard and played chess, and I 
argued with the jailor. 

Rubens: Always organizing. 

Ward: Early in the morning they dug us out. When that paddy wagon left 
[the night before], all hell broke loose. The police charged 
everybody and beat up people all over the place, including a law 
student from the University of California. I think he was the 
editor of the Daily Cal, who later went to work for Norm's firm 
for a short time (I can't think of his name). He was very 
severely injured, so much so that his life and/or sanity were 
in doubt for sometime. 

[Upon our release] when we came down the elevator from the 
fourteenth floor of the Oakland city hall, there was a strange 
woman in the elevator who obviously had been arrested also, and I 
never saw her again, [whispers] She was a Trotskyite. [laughs] 

Rubens: Had that been an issue at the labor council? 
Ward: No, the issue there was Humphrey. 
Rubens: And he was a "wildcat." 

Ward: Just a wildcat, yes. I have no reason to believe that he had any 
Trotsky-esque connections. I had a lot to do with Trotskyites 








But not at this date. 

How do you know she was a Trotskyite? 
the line? 

Did she start espousing 

No. I asked. I don't know whether I asked her or someone else; 
anyway, I found out. 

There were about eight hundred people waiting for us 
downstairs at least the main hallway of that building was jammed 
with people, anyway. What had happened was that on the campus 
campus after the arrests, it was payday at UC Berkeley. They had 
raised enough money I think it was something over eight hundred 
dollars in bail to get everybody out. And there they were, 
people I had never seen before. 

These are professors and staff people, not students, who are 
bailing you out? 

Yes. At that time, I think the only person I really knew at Cal 
was Bob [Robert Gordon] Sproul, and we did not get along. But he 
wasn't there. 

I got home, and the next day a delegation came to see me in 
the morning, in my office, to buy me a drink. (First I went 
before the judge, I think dismissed.) There was the delegation 
in my office old, grey whiskers, who must have been the mothers 
of Joseph Stalin. I didn't know them; I think I knew p_f them. 
Anyway, they were some committee from the local CP, telling me 
that I must issue a statement condemning the police and Franco's 
Spain and Aileen O'Brien, and so forth. So I did it, and sent it 
out. Nobody printed it, and I later had to apologize to the city 
manager, with whom I had become friendly, in an odd sort of way. 

The day went on, the drinks came and went. That night 1 had 
a date to pick up Angela at her home and take her to some party 
where I was to meet a young fellow who had just started work on 
the San Francisco Chronicle, named Herb Caen. Angela's father 
met me at the stairs with a good straight shot of whiskey. 

Rubens: What were all the drinks about to overcome your experience in 

Ward: Congratulations! Brave man, got in trouble in a good cause! 

We started out from her place. At that time Grant Avenue 
was a two-way street. I felt like showing off a bit, and I did 
sixty going south on Grant Avenue [demonstrates]. I looked at 


Ward: her face and saw that she was as white as a sheet; so I slowed 
down. Nothing happened, we got to the party. I met Herb Caen, 
took a drink from a martini, and had to run for the door to throw 

Rubens: You were feeling pretty excited. 

Ward: Oh, good Lord! All the drinks, all the excitement. 

One more thing: the following Monday there was a conference 
in the city manager's office in Oakland with this very huffy 
police captain, the city manager, and two or three other people. 
And there was some woman outside demanding to get in; I knew her, 
slightly. She was a rather oddball Communist who thought it was 
her duty to defend me. The city manager asked me if I wanted her 
to come in, I said not at all, and that was that. I had to come 
down off my high-horse a little bit about the statement that I 
had gotten out. 

Rubens: After all, apparently you were not charged with anything. 

Ward: Oh, I was probably charged with disturbing the peace. I had to 
be charged with something to be arrested. 

Rubens: But once you came before the judge it was dismissed, so they 
treated you relatively decently. 

Ward: Yes, it was dismissed right away. 

Rubens: Was this one of the largest demonstrations against Franco in the 
area to date? 






It's the largest one that I remember and know about, 
think there were any others. 

I don't 

I remember Anita Whitney demonstrated in San Francisco. There 
were some Communists demonstrating at the Spanish consulate. 

Maybe so. But this was the only time that a Franco exponent had 
attempted to appear. The others were just more or less pro 

Was it a debate within the CIO council to organize this 
demonstration, or did that happen readily? 

As I told you, when I was elected I was elected by one vote. 
Eighty-one votes were cast, and I'll bet you that seventy-five of 
those votes were Communist and the others were pro-Communists. 

Ward: No problem at that time. Oh, there were plenty of people in the 
unions who didn't want any part of the Communist Party. I 
remember sometime during my term a young Mexican woman coming to 
me, very tearful. She had just been elected secretary-treasurer 
of the cannery workers union, or something like that. Promptly 
upon becoming elected, she was told she had to join the 
Communist Party. She came to me and said she didn't want to join 
anything except the union (boo hoo) . I just patted her on the 
shoulder and said that it was just some super zealot and to 
forget it and go her way rejoicing. I reported the incident and 
told whoever it was that bothered her to lay off. 

More on Organizing in the East Bay 

Rubens: When you were secretary-treasurer, were you involved in all those 
cannery strikes that were going on in the East Bay? At one point 
there were close to six hundred workers out, from Hayward all the 
way up to Richmond. 

Ward: That reminds me of a night in Hayward. 

Rubens: And the Teamsters were causing a lot of problems. 

Ward: Yes, the Teamsters were causing a lot of problems, and the 
cannery workers. Actually they did go Teamster 

Rubens: In the forties. 

Ward: I'm trying to think of the name of a black woman who helped me, 
who was going to work on the swing shift, I think. I told her I 
thought there was going to be trouble out there, and she let out 
a whoop and went back to her car, put a gun in her pocket, and 
went to work. 

Rubens: That was pretty unusual, I imagine. 

Ward: That was one thing that I noticed that night. 

Rubens: There were some pretty bloody battles in those cannery strikes. 

Ward: Oh, yes, it was a battle. I stayed half the night, and every few 
minutes the goons would drive by and look in the car. 

Rubens: When the whole rim of the East Bay was on strike, maybe you were 
already out of the 


Ward: Some, yes. When I left the council, poor Schlipf had his hands 
full with as many strikes as he could handle; there were lots of 
strikes. Yes, they were lively times out in Hayward. I'd meet 
the Teamsters in the hallways of these outfits, and they were 
threatening and nasty and so forth. I guess they were a little 
bit afraid to rough me up. It would have been a bit much. 
Anyway, they didn' t. 

I think that pretty much does it for the CP in Alameda 

Rubens: Let me ask you a couple of questions about that period. At the 
CIO Convention in Los Angeles, when you say "the back room," 
would you say that the convention was aware of the presence of 
the Party of the Party acting as a separate caucus? 

Ward: I'm quite sure that many of the delegates were not. 

Rubens: I read in the oral history that you did with Lou [Goldblatt] that 
the garment workers were 

Ward: A damned nuisance, [laughter] 

Rubens: Why were they even there? Were they considering going with the 

Ward: Yes. David Dubinsky was one of the founders of the CIO. 

Rubens: This is the ILGWU [International Ladies Garment Workers' Union], 

Ward: Yes. The Amalgamated was the men's. 

Rubens: The ILGWU never went over. [Angela hisses] 

Ward: Morris Sussman was a nice fellow from the Amalgamated. The 

Amalgamated were in the CIO, of course. Did you ever hear of the 
labor advisor to FDR, who was the head of that union, who advised 
FDR to send in the soldiers in the North American strike? That 
came later. 

Rubens: I think you told me you drove down to the convention with Louis, 
is that right? 

Ward: No, Paul Schlipf. 

Rubens: Were you friends with Louis at that point? 

Ward: Except for a few hours. We were speaking again by the end of 
that day. We've always been friends. 













But before that you knew each other? 
Oh, yes. 

I want to ask you one last thing about your days with the CIO 
Council. I think you told me there were about twelve unions that 
made up 

Something like that. 

The biggest ones were Auto and the ILWU. Were those the same 
ones that had the most influence in the council? 

Of course. 

And yet you were a Newspaper Guild member. That election by one 
vote really had to do with the Party organizing the election. 
Is that what you said? Did the Party have a lot of influence in 
any other unions besides the Warehouse and the Auto Workers? 

They had much more influence in the ILWU than they did in the 
Auto Workers. That's a difficult question; it would be hard to 
say. I think that in many unions there was no Party influence 
whatever. That's my guess. But it was the thing to do in those 
days. These were newly-organized people, they were grateful to 
the CIO. 

The Cannery Workers were just getting organized, 
cater to them? 

Did you need to 

Oh, I was helpful wherever I could be, of course. 

But in your mind, was that a union that you 

We had so many strikes; it was just one strike after another. 

What did you do as secretary-treasurer that you are proud of, 
that you think of as being exemplary of your leadership? 

I helped organize strikes, I helped settle strikes; I learned how 
to negotiate. As I think I've told you, at least in one instance 
I was able to fend off a strike and get a good settlement. That 
sort of thing. 

You talked about being "green"; that Harry Bridges called you 
"green." Can you be specific about that? What did it mean to be 
"green" as a leader? 

The first few weeks I had many things that I was doing for the 
first time for the first time in my life. That's why I was 
"green." As I said, I think I was a quick learner. 


Rubens: When you met with Harry as the western regional director of the 
CIO, were you learning specific skills? 

Ward: Oh, yes. I think Harry always looked on me as a green pea. But 
from week to week I was picking up experience very fast. 

Rubens: Then why were you willing to step down from that position and 
become the political lobbyist for the State CIO? 

Ward: Why was I willing? Because the natural leadership I was an 
unnatural leader; I was injected into a position in which the 
natural leadership was very dangerous. I overcame that problem, 
and then my job was finished there. It's very simple. I could 
have stayed on, but it was time for me to go. 

Rubens: You were now going to start a new job, in '39, and you also had a 
new relationship: you met Angela in January. Since you had 
mentioned that you had a brief marriage after your first 

Ward: There was a Juarez divorce. As soon as that got straightened 
out, Angela and I bought a wedding ring for which I paid five 
bucks. We went to the office and Angela's friend and fellow 
delegate Milt Davidson saw the ring and immediately spread the 
news. We found ourselves being congratulated. 

Rubens: And you found yourself a life-long companion. 

Ward: As it turned out. 

Rubens: A comrade in arms; the right choice. 

Ward: But before actual marriage, we had another pleasant duty to 

perform. We went to Sacramento. I had to rent a tux, and she 
got a very fancy gown, and we went to the governor's inaugural 
ball. The next morning we attended the Mooney pardon ceremony. 
Everybody turned as the doors to the assembly chamber opened, and 
there came Bill Schneider-man leading the entire state CP 
committee down the aisle. 

Rubens: Is that one of the only times that got a public ? 

Ward: A big deal, which I describe in my book on Tom Mooney, The Gentle 
Dynamiter." Mooney and a small group had some kind of a 
luncheon, and then went to Folsom to see Warren Billings. We 
didn't bother with it; we headed for Carson City. We went into 
the first saloon and found out where to find the county clerk, 
and got married. The next morning we got back just a few minutes 
late to San Francisco to be in the head of the motor parade. 


Ward: That thing got longer and longer and longer; people just came off 
the sidewalks. The Civic Center was jammed solid with happy 

After the meeting in the Civic Center was over we went home 
[to Angela's family]. In their family home they had a little 
breakfast room with a round oak table. Angela put her hand out 
on the table and wiggled it [showing off her ring]. Nobody saw 
it; finally she had to tell them that we were married. The old 
man broke out a bottle of champagne. That's how we started off. 
The next day we went to the CIO office, and the news spread. The 
congratulations came flooding in except from Brother Bridges! 

Rubens: At this point had you left the Alameda CIO? 

Ward: No, this was before. In fact, this was before the Aileen O'Brien 
incident. We had set up shop in a little furnished apartment in 
West Oakland, and imagine taking a Key Route train home from her 
almost nightly meetings in San Francisco, getting off in West 
Oakland at ten-thirty or eleven o'clock at night, and walking a 
couple of blocks to the apartment, totally unafraid. You, man or 
woman, wouldn't dream of doing such a thing now. 

Reflections on the Olson Administration 

Ward: Paul Schlipf became secretary-treasurer, and I went to work in 
Sacramento. Angela visited me on weekends. It was a miserable 
situation in many ways. Governor Olson had been elected, and it 
was true that the assembly, with its members elected every two 
years, had pretty much followed the Olson line, which even these 
days would be quite radical, I think. Well, it was born out of 
Upton Sinclair's EPIC thoughts and campaign speeches in 193 1 !. 

Rubens: And pushed by the Communist Party. 

Ward: I think so. But in the senate the best friend we had was Bob 

Kenney, senator from Los Angeles. The senate was not organized 
then the way it is now. It went by geographical district. For 
instance, at that time Los Angeles had only the one senator. Now 
it has at least four or five. The cow county senators and the 
other Southern California counties controlled the senate, without 
question. Kenney was frequently pretty much a lone voice there. 
Whatever got by the assembly promptly died in the senate, and 
nothing much could be done about it. 


Ward: This is part of the Tom Mooney story. The Olson government was 
sent a warning. Governor Olson was supposed to go to some 
opening ceremony at a state park annual celebration on the 
afternoon after pardoning Tom Mooney, and while attempting to 
make his speech there he collapsed and was hospitalized for a 
long time, with his son, Dick, trying to be governor and making a 
damned fool of himself. Oh, everything just wound up in one hell 
of a mess. 

The CP got into a bind with Dick and later with the 
governor. Because the state relief administration was very 
important in those days; it was the only hope the jobless people 
had for a few nickles. We wanted a young fellow (I think he must 
have been a Party member) to be state relief administration 
director. Dick wouldn't have any of it, and it turned out that 
Olson also wouldn't have anything of it later on, to the point 
where after Olson had recovered I, being duly authorized and 
instructed by the Party, attended a hearing on some phase of the 
state relief program in Sacramento. I got up and said it had 
gotten to the point where it was becoming difficult, if not 
impossible, to support the governor and his policies. Whoosh! 
My phones jingled. I got an editorial in the Chronicle, saying 
what a sassy young brat I was. 

That brought on a meeting called by the governor in the 
apartment he was occupying in the Huntington Hotel in San 
Francisco at that particular moment. Harry Bridges and I were 
sent as a team, one of those few times when we worked as a team, 
to tell the governor that he just had misbehaved and we could not 
support him. It was left that way. 

Rubens: How did he respond to you? 


He showed unhappiness. 

Rubens: Was he angry? 

Ward: He was either too limp or too smart to show anger, 
blow off, anyhow, [tape off briefly] 

He didn't 

Bob Kenney was a wonderful guy, a perfect politician. If he 
could make an honest buck, he didn't mind at all. There was a 
very prominent black man not like Willie Brown, but in some 
obviously illegal way up for some crime or crimes. His defense 
lawyers hired Bob Kenney to make a pitch on the guy's behalf, 
asking for leniency. Bob Kenney lived at the Sutter Club, and he 
took a nap after lunch every day. The hearing on this guy was, 
say, at three o'clock in the afternoon. I remember going to 
Kenney 's room, getting him up, and helping him get dressed. We 
went together to the hearing, Kenney made his little speech, got 
voted down which didn't disturb him at all. I hope he collected 
his money! 



Background Information: Bridges and Mooney 

Ward: At that time an acquaintance that had begun to gel in Alameda 
County developed into a friendship with a man named J. Vernon 


Ward: J. Vernon Burke was a web pressman, one of the guys that's down 
in the bowels of the print shop with the whirring presses, who 
had come out of the pressroom to become executive secretary of 
Labor's Non-Partisan League [LNPL] . This was a grandchild of 
John L. Lewis, who had put money into the Olson campaign; I think 
he had allocated $25,000 to California for the election of 
Olson. And Burke said, scornfully, "Dick Olson could spend 
$25,000 in one morning." Of course, that was a lot of money in 
those days. 

Anyway, he and I became buddies in pain. Neither of us were 
getting anywhere up there. That senate, with the exception of 
Bob Kenney, was just awful. And even the assembly felt kind of 
uncomfortable with people from new organizations like CIO and 
LNPLi We weren't very pleased with life, and things dragged and 
got worse and got worse. 

In the meantime, Harry Bridges' first trial was coming on, 
but he was just going on about his regular business, doing his 
regular things and making no preparations whatever, apparently. 
And his lawyers were very much concerned. He had gone back East 
on some business, and somebody in the law firm contacted the 
CP "see if you can do something about this." First thing I knew 
Walter Lambert called me up in Sacramento and said, "Estolv, 
How' re you doing?" He said, "Would you like a good job?" 
Although Harry and I did not get along, it had gotten to the 
point where it was such a routine matter that it didn't seem to 
be too much of an obstacle. So I said, "Sure." 






What was such a routine matter? 
My relations with Bridges cool. 

Since the Alameda County CIO days? 
They never were anything but cool! 
did not admire me. 

Who was Walter Lambert? 

When did they start to cool? 
I admired him; he obviously 

There were three top figures in the Northern California CP: Bill 
Schneiderman, who was the main guy, and Walter and Rudy Lambert; 
they were brothers, and Walter was the younger. Rudy's job was 
to keep track of did I mention how I had to go tell Rudy all 
about myself? 


Well, all right. This goes back to my first few weeks in the 
Alameda County CIO office. A young fellow I think he worked for 
the Peoples* World, or at least had worked for it; can't think of 
his name now happened to fall in step with me as I came out of 
the office on a morning. Either he asked me or I mentioned that 
I was going to the bank. "Bank? What have you got to do with a 
bank?" I said I had some money to put in. He went right to 
121 Haight Street and told Rudy. Rudy had me come over, and we 
talked. And I explained. When I went to work for the state 
Supreme Court, the job had started on the first of the month, and 
you didn't get paid until six weeks later. Then you got paid 
month to month thereafter. So there was six weeks' pay coming. 

Well, I was met by Rudy Lambert and Elmer "Pop" Hanov, who 
was as Russian as Russian could be, and he sat in on it. I 
explained the money end of it very quickly, and while they had me 
there Pop wanted to know about my marriages, and I told him that 
two of them had gone sour. He simply said, "You are like me; 
never had no luck." 

Pop eventually got deported to the Soviet Union. But before 
he got deported he used to sit around in the parks and feed the 
pigeons and talk to the old ladies and have a nice time. He also 
smelled like a mouse or a rat. Ever hear of Arthur Scott? He 
sniffed Arthur Scott out and discovered that Arthur Scott was the 
guy who had something to do with the installation I don't think 
he did the actual installation of the hidden mike in Harry 
Bridges' hotel room in Portland, Oregon. 

Rubens: At that Portland convention? 









Yes. Arthur Scott had been the big wheel in Mooney's prison 
life. I had met Arthur in my days on the court. I was the 
official receptionist in chambers when the court wasn't in public 
session. (I had met Arthur Scott at parties; I knew he was a 
friend of Tom Mooney and a wheel in the Mooney defence, and 
obviously some kind of a big shot Communist.) He came in, looked 
around, was rather spooky, and said, "Estolv, we need to know 
what the decision will be in the Mooney case." That happened, by 
coincidence, just two or three days after I had been sitting in 
the room of a young law clerk, talking to him, when in came the 
Chief Justice with an armload of the Mooney case records, dumped 
it on the desk, and told the young fellow to write the decision 
on the Mooney case. 

This is on the habeus corpus hearing? 

This followed the habeus corpus. The young man said, "Yes, sir. 
And what will be the position?" Res adjudicada the thing has 
already been adjudged, forget it. 

No dice, is what it meant. 

It meant no dice. That had just happened a few days before 
Arthur Scott stuck his head in the place. 

What did you tell him? 

I don't think there was ever any question I had to think very 
fast. I simply said, "What do you mean? I know it's been filed, 
but I don't even know who has it." 

Why did you make the decision that way? You were a Party member; 
you knew Arthur was a Party member. What allowed you to choose 
sides that way? 

The main reason was that if I had told him, the use of it would 
have been and I got it almost instantly that they would publish 
in the Peoples' World, and that would lead right back to me and I 
would lose my job for no good to Tom Mooney. If it would have 
helped, that would have been my duty to have told him. But I 
knew that couldn't happen. 

Was he authorizing you? 
that point? 

Was he a superior in Party structure at 

I didn't so consider him. I knew that he was a friend of 
Mooney's and some kind of an official in the Party, but I didn't 
have the relationship that I had with the Lamberts and Bill 


Rubens: There were times when you made independent decisions, then. 

Surely the Party asked you to do things sometimes, and you did 

Ward: Of course. But his questions didn't smell right. I couldn't see 
any benefit to Tom; all that would happend would be that I would 
be disgraced and fired. 

Rubens: I think it' s important to show that people did make their own 

minds up. There's a history that says people just followed the 

Ward: Shortly after that Arthur Scott was exposed. 

Rubens: I want to take you back to when Walter Lambert asked you to run 

Harry Bridges' defense. Did you become head of the Harry Bridges 
defense committee at that point? 

Ward: Yes. 

Rubens: Did you also keep your position as the CIO lobbyist? 

Ward: No. I think it was Richie Gladstein who called me and asked if I 
would take it, and I said, "Sure, why not? I'm not doing a damn 
thing up here." He said, "Could you be down here by two o'clock 
this afternoon?" I was down at two o'clock in the afternoon, and 
that night he took me to a meeting of Local 10. They set up a 
defense committee, I was the executive secretary of it, and I was 
in business and at work by the time Bridges got back. He nearly 
had a fit. 

To get back to Arthur Scott: after this discovery was made 
in the Portland hotel room, that he had some connection with it, 
he quietly disappeared; he was no longer around. The next thing 
we knew he was arrested in Beverly Hills. He was a burglar, 
which he had been before; he had had a spell in San Quentin. He 
said, sure, he robbed the rich to help the poor the Robin Hood 
burglar, he was known as. He went to jail, back in San Quentin, 
I guess. On the night before Governor Olson's inauguration I 
told you about the meeting with the guys to arrange the Mooney 
pardon as we left the meeting that night, started driving back 
to our homes here and there, we passed the corner office of the 
state capitol, the governor's office, and the lights were wide on 
quite late at night. We learned the next day that the outgoing 
governor, Frank Merriam, had been appointing judges and signing 
pardons last minute things in office and one of the last minute 
things was to sign a pardon, for "services to the state," for 
Arthur Scott. 

As Publicity Director 

Rubens: Let's fill in a little bit more on becoming head of the Harry 
Bridges defense. When was that, around September of '39? 

Ward: Exactly. 

Rubens: Did anyone replace you as the State CIO 

Ward: Not immediately. Later on Goldblatt took it upon himself to 
try. He wasn't too happy either, although by that time the 
powers that be up there had gotten kind of used to seeing CIO and 
LNPL people around. But Goldblatt was one shrewd cookie. He 
made friends with the boss of the assembly, Art Samish, who had 
offices at the corner of Columbus and Pacific, and he was 
"Mr. North Beach." He wasn't a legislator, he just ran the 
legislature. And that friendship continued for years. Lou tells 
in his oral history how after Samish lost his power in the 
legislature, Lou used to drop in and chat with him from time to 
time and talk about the good old days. 

Rubens: So you were down in San Francisco, back with your wife, and Harry 
Bridges comes to town and is very upset by this? 

Ward: That brings up the name of Jim O'Neill, an Irishman, a drunk, who 
at that time ran the CIO news program on KYA. He said that he 
had a plan on a defense program for Bridges, but here I was, and 
I was established, and there was nothing much he could do about 
it. So I made my plans, some of which were better than others, 
but anyhow we got it going and we raised money. 

I had the good luck to have as secretary-treasurer of my 
longshore committee a man named Ed Reite. Somehow or other we 
had acquired early on three thousand dollars, which we at the 
moment did not need. He suggested that if I didn't mind he would 
bank it so we would have it handy, but he just wouldn't report 
that three thousand dollars in the weekly financial reports to 
the committee. 

Rubens: Did you like that? 

Ward: I could see the point. Of course we had our ups and downs, and 

the end result was that after the trial was over and the decision 
was in I remember particularly one call from the CIO office in 
Los Angeles asking how much the deficit was. And there wasn't 

Rubens: Probably one of the first times. 


Ward: Oh, people were simply amazed. And that was due to Ed Reite. 
Rubens: Did you organize the Los Angeles office? 

Ward: What happened was this: we had office setups in San Francisco, 

San Pedro, Portland, and Seattle. I went down to Los Angeles and 
hired a fellow named Dolph Weinbrenner, a newspaper man, because 
I intended to put out a one-page newsletter every Friday night, 
sent gratis, to all the newspapers other than the main press in 
the country several thousand. Dolph Weinbrenner' s job was to 
cover the hearings and write this piece. He didn't come right 
away; I covered them for quite a while, and I covered it on key 
things myself even after he came. 

On one of my fundraising visits, it turned out that I had to 
go to a meeting of Local 96 in Alameda County. 

Rubens: Did you put your gun in your pocket? [laughter] 

Ward: Oh, no problem; whatever my business was, there was no 

excitement. I was sitting there in the crowd in the darkened 
hall, and there was Humphrey up in front making a speech, saying 
that it was being rumored around that he was going to testify 
against Harry Bridges. That was a damned lie, Hump declared; he 
didn't know anything about Harry Bridges except the obvious 
things; he had no knowledge about Party affiliation, nothing, 
nothing. I heard that, went about my business, and in due course 
there on the witness stand appeared Miles Humphrey. 

The Trial 

Rubens: Saying that those meetings that you and Harry had were Party 
meetings, rather than CIO meetings? 

Ward: Yes. 

Rubens: Do you think Humphrey was being paid by someone to say this? 

Ward: First let me finish my story. I was prompting Richie Gladstein 
in the questions about those Saturday afternoon meetings. "You 
say, Mr. Humphrey, that at these Saturday afternoon meetings 
everybody in attendance was a Party member?" 

"Oh, yes." 

"Everyone, Mr. Bridges included?" 


Ward: "Yes, sir." 

"And you yourself were in attendance?" 
"Yes, Sir." 

"Mr. Humphrey, isn't it a fact widely known in the left that 
you were expelled from the Communist Party? Is that a fact?" 

Silence. Couldn't answer. 

Ward: Richie asked again: how could a man known to have been expelled 
by the CP attend a Communist-only meeting? Still silence. 
Pointing at the scar on Hump's forehead, Richie asked: "Did you 
ever get hit in the head?" 

To answer your question, the only thing we ever heard on 
that, and it was pretty indirect, was that Humphrey was given a 
job managing some federally-owned apartment house somewhere in 
the Bay region. That's the last I know about that fellow. 

Rubens: And did Scott ever show up again? 

Ward: He was pardoned. I don't know, I think he probably robbed 
somebody else and went back to prison. 

Rubens: When did you write the book? 

Ward: First I want to tell you a little bit about the trial. Remember 
that we traveled back and forth on the launch to Angel Island. 
There was a telegraph room right next to the hearing room, and all 
these guys were buzzing back and forth as reporters were sending 
their stories all over the country. A new telegrapher came on 
duty and went berserk, jumping around on desks and shouting 
something awful about how the Reds were coming, and so on. He 
had to be corraled and calmed down and led away by the guards. 

Rubens: The focus of his craziness was the Communists? 

Ward: Who knows? Then there were the college professors, including 
David Prescott Barrows, former president of the University of 
California, the man for whom Barrows Hall is named. He and some 
guy from Stanford testified as experts on Communism; they didn't 
know Mr. Bridges. They said how awful it was and how dangerous 
to the best intersests of the United States for such a man to be 
around, and all that sort of thing. 


Ward: Any big news event such as that was elicits the interest of the 
San Francisco Press Club. Their custom is to take the main 
figure or figures in such events to their Friday night 
off-the-record dinners and get him drunk, play poker, take his 
money, and take him home. That is exactly what happened to 
Harry. They got him drunk, played poker, got his money, and took 
him home. The next time they invited Dean Landis. They did 
their best, but they lost the money. A guy from the Chronicle, 
whose first name was Johnny one of the older hands on the 
Chronicle and the dean hit it off. They helped each other get 
up the Powell Street hill; at least he had intended to help the 
dean, but the dean helped him, according to the story. It ended 
up by the dean seeing that the reporter got home. That's another 
one of the yarns. 

So we put out this news sheet, and not a word of it was ever 
mentioned by any of the recipients, except one in Astoria, 
Oregon. They said it was a God-damned bunch of lies, a 
misinterpretation of everything. But, nevertheless, it was 
having an influence. For instance, the first witness at the 
opening of the trial was a man of very imposing presence in 
military uniform, Major Milner of the Oregon National Guard. (I 
don't think he was a major general, just a major, but anyway he 
was big enough.) He told a story of representing himself as a 
Communist to Harry Bridges, and dragging Bridges to various 
locations in the Northwest in Portland and Seattle, and various 
meetings, knowing that Bridges was a Communist. Bridges was 
looking at Puget Sound and talking about what would happen when 
the Russian fleet sailed in, and things like that. The night after 
he appeared, oh, boy, did the papers have a lot of fun; big deal. 

That night in the law office, I was around, and Carol King 
and the boys, and Aubrey Grossman and Richie Gladstein, got hold 
of a Portland, Oregon law firm with whom they had friendly 
connections. Because they were pretty sure that Milner had known 
Bridges, that there had been a connection of some kind; but just 
what it was ? In the early afternoon of the next day by special 
delivery they got a transcript of the Dirk DeJong trial years 
before. And there it was. In the Dirk DeJong trial Milner had 
testified the other way; in other words, he had contradicted 
himself completely in the two trials. Did they have fun with the 
major the next day, in that pompous uniform, [laughs] 

Rubens: You were telling me this as an example where you felt the 

newsletter did have influence, even though people didn't print 
what you said. 

Ward: It changed the tone of the headlines all over the country right 
away, particularly the exposure of Major Milner in that first 


Rubens: Was that the first edition? 

Ward: Yes. The trial started on a Monday, and we got out the first 
sheet on Friday night, and Milner had already been exposed. 

Rubens: Do you have any other example of how you think the newsletter did 
have influence? 

Ward: No. I've seen press clippings a mile high, but I can't 

remember. But it kept the thing toned down; specific examples I 
couldn't possibly give. 

Rubens: But you surmise that it did have an influence. 
Ward: I thought it did, yes. 

Rubens: What was your relationship with Harry? Would you ever see him 
or talk to him? 

Ward: Oh, frequently. Not as often as you might think. Of course, if 
I went to Angel Island I saw him all the time. But that didn't 
mean that we talked. He was always jabbering away with others, 
or something. 

Rubens: Had he reconciled himself that you were doing this work and that 
was it? 

Ward: Well, he had no option. One time that Bridges had a kind word to 
say about what I had done was on the day the Landis decision came 
down. Of course, there was an immediate need to put out a press 
release. I hid myself in a vacant room with my typewriter and 
spent a precious hour composing my piece. The Chronicle ran all 
of it; the News ran all of it; and the other papers ran at least 
the first few paragraphs. I think it was New Year's eve, at a 
dance just a day or so later the Warehouse Ball at the Dreamland 
Auditorium and Harry said that was a good job I had done. 

Rubens: On the press release, he meant? 

Ward: On that statement, yes. The only time! 

Rubens: That Landis decision was remarkable. 

Ward: You know what that did? That cost him a membership on the United 
States Supreme Court. He became a drunk, a souse. He managed 
the affairs of Joseph Kennedy during his movie marauding days; 
Landis handled the legal end of it. He became more and more 
despondent, lost his wife and family, and finally killed himself. 

Rubens: It was a remarkable decision. Did you expect it? 


Ward: No. We hoped. What a cost it was to him to be honest. It's 

Rubens: I have a holdover question: I don't think you ever told me where 
the name Estolv came from. 

Ward: All I know is that in my salad days, when I was chasing 

girls and to chase girls in those days the best place to go was 
church at one of these affairs, some young peoples' dinner, the 
hostess had seen fit to scramble the spellings of the names, 
rearrange the letters. My placecard read Lovest Dawr. That's as 
close as I can get. 

Angela: Your mother coined that name, Estolv. 

Ward: Oh, sure. That was unusual, but Eilla was even more so. 

Writin5"Harry Bridges on Trial"** 

Rubens: Who asked you to write the book? 

Ward: The Party wanted me to write it, and so did the lawyers. I was 
warned if Harry's attitude hadn't warned me enough already not 
to let him see the copy until it had been accepted by a 
publisher. So after the hearings were over I went home and wrote 
the book. It took about two months. I showed a copy to Bill 
Schneiderman and to the lawyers. Okay. I sent it to New York 
with a thousand dollars, to make sure it would be 
published because I wanted that particular outfit to do it. 
They wrote back and said that while they were happy to have the 
thousand, they would have published it anyhow. 

Rubens: The copy I have says ILWU publishers. Was it the Party 
publishers? The Modern Age? 

Ward: Yes. 

Rubens: Did they send the thousand back? 

Ward: Don't be silly; what a question! [laughter] Everybody was poor 

in those days; a thousand dollars was a lot of money. Then I put 
a copy on Harry's desk. In due course he called me in and said 
this wouldn't do, "This will not do!" And he read a few pages. 
"Well," I said, "I'm sorry, it's already in the works; it's been 
accepted by Modern Age." He took the first train back to New 
York to try to kill the book. 


Rubens: Why was he so opposed to it? 

Ward: I wrote it, what else? So he went back and this, of course, is 
history and told them how awful the book was. They said, 
"Mr. Bridges, we're sorry, but we are going to publish it." 
Finally he wanted one thing one sentence in the first part of 
the book, where after a meeting he goes out to talk to some 
emissary of the employers in the middle of the night. There's 
something about at one stage of the discussions, either going 
there or coming back, where he had tears in his eyes. That 
sentence was eliminated, and that did it. 

[Interview 5-: 9 July 1987 ]## 

Rubens: Do you want to continue with the end of the Harry Bridges trial 
and the writing of the book? I have two questions: how many 
books were printed and sold? 

Ward: My memory says that the original lot was something like three 
thousand copies. 

Rubens: Was it reprinted? 

Ward: Thereby hangs a tale. Harry Bridges, as I think I told you, 

didn't like the book anyhow, but was convinced by Modern Age that 
it was okay. Time went by, and I was in Los Angeles. The 
government brought up the next trial of Harry Bridges. They (the 
defense lawyers) called up and asked me if I had a recommendation 
to replace me as head of the defense committee. I knew that 
Harry very much wanted George Wilson to be that person, so I said 
that was all right with me; I couldn't do it. George Wilson was 
then a reporter on the San Francisco News. He quit that job to 
go to work for the Bridges defense. They hired some bigshot 
writer from the East Coast to come back and do a book on that 
trial. I have no recollection of ever having seen a copy of that 

Rubens: I haven't heard of that book. 

Ward: I don't recall the title or the name of the guy, but he was the 

kind of fellow who wrote for The Nation, The Atlantic, and things 
like that. Still, another need for a fast book occurred, because 
another Bridges trial was pending. So in Hawaii the ILWU under 
its own format got out a copy of my book; the ILWU was the 

Rubens: They reissued it. 
Ward: It was a new edition. 


Rubens: Was the book reviewed in the major press? 

Ward: I don't remember any such thing. It didn't need to be, because 
if I remember rightly it sold out quickly. 

Meeting Heywood Broun 

Rubens: Another question: you mentioned early on that Heywood Broun was 
a real hero of yours. Did you ever meet him or literally work 
with him? 

Ward: The founding convention of the Congress of Industrial 

Organizations (before that it was just called the Committee) 
occurred in '38. It is interesting that the Newspaper Guild, 
according to its membership, was entitled to four delegates. But 
there were eleven members there, seven of them such as myself. I 
didn't go to the convention as a Guild member; I went there as a 
representative of the Alameda County CIO Council. And so did all 
these other guys. 

There I met Heywood Broun, who somebody said always looked 
like an unmade bed. We stayed at the same hotel, and I remember 
that after lunch we would go back and forth from the hotel to the 
convention hall by cab. I remember riding with Heywood and 
Connie, his then wife (the one who finally converted him to 
Catholicism). She had some chocolates, and I forget who was 
eating what, but she went to put part of the bag of chocolates in 
the breast pocket of his jacket. She looked at him and said, 
"Heywood, is this one of those afternoons when you get too hot 
for chocolates?" 

I also remember sitting in the bar of the hotel before 
dinner and having drinks with Heywood and the other fans of his, 
and Connie trying to get into the bar, and Heywood's orders to 
keep her out of there. That sort of thing. 

Rubens: Did you admire him as a leader? 

Ward: He was more of a character than a leader. But he was a very 

lovable character, and as a leader he didn't make many mistakes 
that I know of put it that way. He was a dynamic, dashing, 
go-getter. He wrote a daily column which was frequently 
published in the San Francisco News. The story goes that in one 
of his columns he said, "If you have a union and you don't have a 
Communist in it, you'd better get one. They're a good idea to 
have around." I never could find a copy of that, but that's the 
story, anyhow. 


Rubens: Do you think he knew you were in the Party? 

Ward: I don't see why I should have told him, or why he should have 

Rubens: But he knew you were a good lefty? 

Ward: I think you could assume that those eleven guys there were all 
lefties of one sort or another. 

More on the Bridges 1 Trial 

Ward: Now let's move on to the next few months after the Landis 

decision. I technically was still the Bridges defense secretary, 
but nothing much was doing. Two young fellows came to me with a 
bright idea Jim Burford and Dick Hartford. There was something 
we wanted FDR to do in the Bridges' case to automatically 
declare Bridges an American citizen, or something like that. 
They had the idea of sending FDR a telegram, signed by all the 
signers we could get, at five cents a signature. I went for it, 
and they went to work. I don't remember how many signatures 
there were it was a big long thing but the bill for sending the 
telegram was six hundred dollars. They got enough signatures to 
take care of that and leave a nice little pocket for the kitty. 
People were coming from all over town on their lunch hours and 
putting down their nickels. It was a nice idea. 

The telegram was delivered, with as much spice and dash as 
could be mustered, in Washington to the White House, and that was 
the last that was heard of it. 

Did I tell you about the trouble I had on the Bridges 
defense committee during the Angel Island trial? The chairman of 
the longshore committee was a man by the name of Johnny Olson. 
He was the vice-president of Local 10. I had two office workers 
doing the necessary things, and they were told when they went to 
work that it would be a hell of a job because here would come the 
end of the day's hearing, the writing of the news bulletin that 
resulted from it, time to type out several copies in time to send 
them to Los Angeles, Portland, and Seattle that evening. Our 
broadcast went on that evening, but theirs went on the next 
evening. It was a very busy, hectic time. 

One of these girls, who was married at the time, took up 
with Johnny Olson, and I understand they had quite a fling around 
the hot spots of San Francisco. When the trial was over, there 
was to be a little awards ceremony by the longshoremen to make 


Ward: me the original idea was to make me an honorary longshoreman. 
It didn't cost them anything; it didn't hurt any. Johnny Olson 
brought the defense office staff, the two girls, and me in to a 
Local 10 meeting; he had the longshoremen vote them honorary 
membership, and forgot all about me. That had to be straightened 

In the committee sometimes this girl and Olson began bucking 
ideas or proposals that I had. So it got to be an uneasy 

Rubens: What were specific conflicts? 

Ward: Oh, for heaven's sakes, I couldn't they were little daily 

tittle-tittle. The office was near to closing down; there was 
nothing left for me to do but go home and write the book. The 
ACA (American Communications Association) was having a strike in 
town, and Mervyn (Merv) Rathborne, the president of ACA at that 
time, came in to town to run the strike. Immediately he offered 
this gal a job, and she asked me if it was all right if she took 
it, and if she could leave at the end of the day. I said she 
could leave right now, and that was the end of her. 

The other girl stayed on during the writing and handled the 
little things that came up, including the preparation of the 
manuscript and all that. As I think I told you, I had been 
advised to show nothing to Harry until I got accepted by a 

Rubens: Since you were speaking about these women, I had one other 

question: the issue of the spy in Harry's office was her name 
Norma Perry, the secretary? 

Ward: That was on the waterfront, strictly. She was a spy for the ship 
owners. She was the half sister for someone who was very 
prominent in the San Francisco CP office. 

Angela: Alex Noral. 

Ward: Yes. He was a leading Communist in San Francisco. 

Angela: Leader of the unemployed movement. 

Rubens: I just wondered if there was any more to say than was in the 

Ward: I have sat, later on, in a Communist meeting at 121 Haight Street 

and heard Alex Noral condemn his sister in a speech as a spy, a 

stool pigeon for the employers, and worst of all, a devotee of 
Harry Lundberg. [laughs] 


Ward: The story is that Nonna Perry's activities she was Harry's 

secretary were quietly brought to the attention of Bridges. He 
pulled a trick on her. He set up a situation in which he caught 
her flagrante delicto, and accused her of being "a goddamned spy 
for Harry Lundberg." He made a swipe at her, she ducked and bit 
him on the arm. The next day she went to work for Harry 



Ward: My next move was then to some position of leadership in Labor's 

Nonpartisan League. This was an organization established by John 
L. Lewis, I suspect primarily to further his hopes of running for 
president at one time or another. Those hopes did not 
materialize. Anyhow, I became the wheel I think mentioned 
J. Vernon Burke before. 

Rubens: You met him in Sacramento when you were representing the CIO and 
he was with LNPL during Culbert Olson's beginnings as Governor of 

Ward: Yes. Later, as LNPL began to lose ground politically. Burke was 
ousted and I was put in charge of the San Francisco office of 

Rubens: Who asked you to do that? 

Ward: I'm quite sure it was arranged by the Party. 

Rubens: The headquarters of LNPL was back East. 

Ward: The national headquarters were under John L. Lewis's hat. My 
guess is that the LNPL in California was probably one of the 
strongest sections in the country. 

Rubens: Why so? 

Ward: I don't know; I just got that impression. 

Rubens: So you took over Burke 's position in San Francisco? How was that 

Ward: My memory is unclear, [to Angela] Do you know? 
Angela: I know Lou was involved in some aspects. 
Ward: I told you about going to Sacramento. 


Rubens: Right. But then you were representing the CIO specifically. The 
LNPL was separate. 

Ward: That's where I met J. Vernon Burke, and we became friendly. I 

was called out of that Sacramento situation by Goldblatt not by 
Goldblatt, although he wanted me to do it, of course. 

Rubens: Gladstein and the lawyers wanted you to do the Bridges defense. 

Angela: And the Party. 

Ward: Walter Lambert called me up. 

Rubens: I just wanted to get how you became the LNPL person in San 

Ward: It was unquestionably raised by the Party. 

Rubens: Were you salaried, literally given a job where you were paid by 
the national LNPL? 

Ward: Oh, of course. I was paid, I guess, out of local funds. 

Jack Shelley was then the state senator from San Francisco, 
and he also was a big wheel in the AF of L. Labor's Nonpartisan 
League had a substantial membership among the AF of L unions, so 
Shelley had a good deal to say. All of a sudden the word came 
from Los Angeles that Ellis Patterson he was from either 
Monterey County or one of the coastside counties, and had made a 
name for himself by becoming a candidate for the assembly on a 
write-in ticket and winning. Consequently, when Culbert Olson 
ran for governor, Ellis Patterson was his running mate for 
lieutenant governor. 

During the period when we were having all these do-nothing 
troubles in Sacramento, one of my closest associates was Ellis 
Patterson. He also was doing nothing and getting nowhere, even 
when Olson was sick in the hospital after the Tom Mooney pardon. 
Then Dick Olson made it his business to run the show. Although 
Dick Olson was only the governor's son, he took over and 
effectively took Ellis Patterson out of any power action. 

Anyway, all of a sudden a small hullabaloo starts in Los 
Angeles, and people are running around the CIO building chanting 
and parading, "Ellis Patterson for President." This is an idea 
Slim Connelly was highly in favor of, and he was head of that 
so-called delegation. 

Rubens: Are we talking about 19*10? 

ABOVE: Los Angeles CIO Council Organizing Division, ca. 1940. Left to right: Ralph 

Dawson, Philip "Slim" Connelly, Estolv E. Ward (Public Relations). 
BELOW: State Executive Board of the California CIO Council, CA 1938. Front row, left 

to right: Sonia Baltrun, Lou Goldblatt, Philip Connelly, unknown, Lew Mitchener. 

Back row, left to right: Maurice Travis, unknown, unknown, Paul Schlipf, unknown, 

unknown, Estolv Ward. 



It oust be. 

Bucking the Communist Party 

Ward: So the instructions were that that was it! The LNPL should 

support Ellis Patterson. But we had a meeting, I think it was in 
Paso Robles, to discuss this Patterson thing, among other 
matters. Jack Shelley took over and said this was nonsense. I 
must say that I agreed with him. And so did most of the other 
guys. Well, he was the big wheel, locally. The result was that 
this particular session voted to support the Democratic 

Well, was I in trouble! All over California LNPL chapters 
were condemning the action and demanding its reversal, and I was 

in the doghouse. 

Rubens: Had this been a meeting of all the LNPL chapters in Paso Robles? 

Ward: A meeting of the top organization, at least of Northern 
California, at which Jack Shelley prevailed. 

No, sir, LNPL had to support Ellis Patterson; that was it. 
A woman, of whom you may have heard, Ellinore Bogigian was a 
hotshot lefist in Los Angeles. 

Rubens: In the Party? 

Ward: In everything a leftist down there. She was dispatched up here 
to take over and straighten out us crazy northern LNPL people. 
She even barged into my office and issued orders and hit the 
telephone. I just went out and sat in the park and fed the 

Rubens: Was your local branch of the Party upset with you also? 

Ward: Well they all were! The membership of the LNPL must have 

consisted of ninety percent Party members, so whatever the Party 
said was it. 


Rubens: This is not the first time nor the last that you bucked the 
Party. Shelley wasn't in the Party, though, was he? 

Ward: Oh, no. He was Irish Catholic Democrat, through and through. 
Jack Shelley later became a congressman. Did you ever hear of 


Ward: Congressman Dick Welch? He lived in a very nice old mansion out 
on Mission Street. He was a Republican, and voted with the 
Democrats ninety-nine percent of the time. I remember asking him 
during those days how come he was a Republican, when he so often 
stood up and defied them in congress. He said that his heritage 
was Republican, and he was born and raised a Republican; there 
just wasn't enough incentive to change. 

Anyway, he died. I got into trouble again, before he died. 
It was during my stretch as political officer of the San 
Francisco CIO Council. A CIO guy from Sacramento and later the 
Political Action Director in San Francisco, and all that, Dick 
Welch, the congressman, came to my office by himself and asked me 
to support a bill in which he was interested having to do with 
ownership of land around what is now known as Candlestick Park, 
somewhere down on the western coast of the bay. It was a private 
bill, in which I guess he had some financial interest. I 
couldn't see the point, and did he howl about that. My 
recommendation to the San Francisco CIO Council against it was 
overturned in favor of the congressman. I was a purist, in other 

We seemed to be approaching the time when I was pretty quiet 
and more or less in the doghouse around here. We had a 
private-line phone at that home, Angela and I. We were living at 
1075 Pacific, which was a place where you had to pass through all 
the odors of cooking from all the neighborhood before you got to 
our apartment. I think the rent was twenty-six dollars a month. 
I thought when we moved down to Los Angeles that we had a little 
more money in our account than I had expected, and months after 
we went down to Los Angeles I had a call from Party members who 
lived in that house:: the landlord had discovered one of my 
uncashed rent checks behind a bookcase or something, and would I 
please write him an up-to-date check. I did. 

Fraternizing with the Elite 

Ward: Did I tell you about Fred Thompson? Before we go to Los 

Angeles: Fred Thompson was the brother of the one-armed Joe 
Thompson, who at that time was the president of the Bohemian 
Club. I think they were the sons of one of the founders of the 
Bohemian Club. Anyway, Fred was a big wheel. But he was in the 
doghouse with his brother and the members of the Club because he 
was a leftist. He had a farm on the inland side of the highway, 
just beyond Stinson Beach on the way to Bolinas. He had been a 
Marin County supervisor, and he had a lot of Portuguese neighbors 
with whom he spoke Portuguese, and he told some fascinating 


Ward: stories about these ranchers. He tells a story about a rancher 
who came down the hill onto his property and said, "Mr. Thompson, 
I lost a cow." Fred asked how long the cow had been lost, and 
the rancher said, "Yesterday, today, and tomorrow." 

Anyway, Fred Thompson had this ranch house and barn and lots 
of room, and a French mistress. He'd left his wife in San 
Rafael, and he and this mistress held court at the ranch. Her 
name was Jean. It was a big deal to go out there 

Rubens: How did you meet him? 

Ward: At some left-wing function. I remember he and the French lady 
braving the God-awful smells to have a meal with us in our 
apartment, Angela fussing about the dinner. He was pretty brave, 
but he did complain about the wine, as it was jug wine and 
probably cost six bits a gallon in those days. But Fred and I 
became good friends. 

Rubens: Did you go out to his farm? 

Ward: Oh, you'd meet everybody out there Aubrey Grossman, Richie 

Angela: Even Party members. 

Ward: All the people that were in or near the Party. We had a 

wonderful time on a lovely Sunday afternoon, and you really 
thought you were in something when you got invited to Fred's 

Fred's son, Dave Thompson, fought in the Spanish civil war 
and disappeared. Fred got word somehow that he'd been wounded, 
but nobody seemed to know where or how or why. Fred hightailed 
it right over to Madrid, got hold of the top Republican general, 
whom he knew personally, and in thirty minutes they had Dave 
located and all straightened out. Eventually he got better. 

Rubens: This is no relation to the Frank Thompson of Hawaii? 

Angela: No. If I'm not mistaken, Fred Thompson's sister was Kathleen 
Norris. I'm pretty sure they were related in some way. 

Ward: Yes, we used to hear stories about dinner parties at Kathleen 
Norris' house, at which Fred Thompson and Charlie Lindberg got 
into arguments, because Charles Lindberg, you know, was very 

Rubens: How did Fred make money? 


Ward: Of course it was old money. There was some kind of company of 
which Fred was the nominal president, either in upper San Mateo 
County or in South San Francisco. 

Rubens: Did he give money to leftist causes? 
Ward: Oh, yes. 

On the Radio in Los Angeles, 19^0 

Rubens: Okay, we're trying to get you to LA. 

Ward: We had a blind telephone an unlisted telephone but somehow Slim 
Connelly bellowed his way through and got us. Slim was that kind 
of a guy; he could scare a telephone operator over the phone. He 
only weighed three hundred pounds when he was in condition. Slim 
told me they needed a writer for their five-day-a-week radio 
program at the Los Angeles CIO Council. I said sure. 

We packed up our few belongings and left 1075 Pacific and 
went down there. We spent the first few days at the home of 
Dorothy and Slim Connelly (this is not Dorothy Healy, whom he 
later married; Slim later married God knows how many women). I 
was still at his house when I took over on a certain Monday 
morning. I had read in the Los Angeles paper that morning that 
there was a trial going on involving some leftist personality and 
problem. I haven't the faintest remembrance of what the trial 
was about, except that I decided to make that the subject of my 
first broadcast. I went down there and spent two hours at the 
afternoon session, got back to the office on Avalon Boulevard a 
little after four in the afternoon. I had forty-five minutes to 
write my seven and a half pages of copy, and wrote it. 

The announcer, whose air name was Johnny Johnson, took it 
and went on his way. But as he read it on the air he became so 
excited and impassioned that he finished a couple of minutes 
earlier than his fifteen minutes. I got bawled out for that, 
because we were not supposed to be excited or impassioned about 
anything; we were simply to get the daily organizing news of the 
CIO and who did what to whom. So I learned how to do that. 

Rubens: Was it a commercial station? 

Ward: Oh, sure. 

Rubens: Did San Francisco have an equivalent? 


Ward : Sure . 

Rubens: Angela, you had been working for the office workers, is that 

Angela: Yes. 

Rubens: You weren't an officer in that union, were you? 

Angela: I was an organizer, hired by the national union. 

Rubens: But you were willing to go down to LA, Just like that? 

Angela: I think by that time I had been fired. 

Ward: The office workers weren't getting anybody. 

Angela: They could barely afford to pay me. 

Rubens: So it was a good time for both of you to make a change: Estolv 

is in the dog house with LNPL, Angela isn't getting anywhere. So 
you both went down to LA. 

Angela: Right. 



Ward: At that time the Mine, Mill, and Smelter WorkersBill Heywood's 
original union, the Western Federation of Miners, had a new 
wrinkle in Los Angeles. The die casting and associated 
industries were springing little plants up all over Southern 
California, and thus came into being a union called Western 
Mechanics Local 700, an affiliate of Mine-Mill. Angela was 
slipped right in as the office secretary of the union. Eddie 
Cheyfitz was the president of this national union, and he came 
out. Angela, you tell about Eddie Cheyfitz; I can't remember 
exactly he married Ken Eckert's sister, Dorothy. 

Angela: He was the president of the National Division of Die Casters, 

where was affiliated with the International Union of Mine, Mill, 
and Smelter Workers. 

Ward: Okay, that straightens that out. Thank you, ma'am. Then there 
was an outfit called Harvill Die Casting Company out there. 

Rubens: What is die casting? 

Ward: They make dies, molds, into which you pour molten metal to create 
certain mechanical parts. Die making and die casting were both 
highly technical processes. 

They organized Harvill Die Casting, and a strike took 
place. This guy, Ken Eckert, was sent out (in fact, he wasn't 
even married to Dorothy at that time) to run the strike, and was 
immediately exposed in the press, I think by the Dies Committee, 
as having made a speech at a Labor Day celebration in some 
Illinois or Ohio town, glorifying Leninism and Marxism in other 
words, making a rip-roaring Communist speech. And here he was at 
the head of this strike, with his butt literally in a sling. 

I was the publicity director down there and was supposed to 
handle problems like that which came up. I think I talked to him 
only on the phone at that time, but I hid in an empty room with 
my typewriter in the CIO building, where there was no phone, and 
composed Mr. Eckert's statement for the press. The statement was 
of such a nature that the Los Angeles News carried it in its 


Ward: entirety, and the other papers carried at least a lead. It 

changed the entire public attitude toward the strike. It was 
very helpful. 

Rubens: LA News, or LA Times? 

Ward: There were four papers: The Examiner, the Herald Express, the 

News, and the Times. So I immediately became close friends with 
Ken Eckert; he thought I was pretty good. 

Rubens: How many people were on strike? 

Ward: Oh, it was a big strike. The strike was holding solid, and we 
still weren't getting the kind of press we wanted. So I told 
Eckert to send up a bunch of strikers who would go and meet with 
me at the newspaper offices, and I intended to crash the 
offices. We went on a Saturday morning to the Examiner office. 
I had the inside dope (someone gave it to me) on how to get into 
the managing editor's office on every one of those papers except 
the LA Times; nobody knew how to get into that one. 

We were in the Examiner managing editor's office before he 
knew what was up. The city desk called and asked if he wanted 
the cops and he said no. There were about thirty or forty 
workers, men and women, in this group, very quiet and very 
polite. We told the Examiner boss exactly what we thought they 
were doing, the pro-company slant in the Examiner's strike 
stories they were turning out. The phone rang. Should the cops 
be called? His reply was, "Oh, no!" We didn % t get arrested. 

Then we went to the News, and there we got quite a friendly 
reception. But the managing editor says, "Why are you doing this 
to me? I'm your friend." I said, "You haven't been friendly 
enough to suit us." 

At the Herald Express, the boss wanted to argue with me, 
that guy. He took the day's lead and read it. I took it out of 
his hands and read it the way it should have been. There was 
quite a difference. I said his version was completely one-sided 
and deceptive, and he almost apologized. 

Then there was the Times, down at First and Broadway you 
know the building. The only thing I knew was that the Times had 
been very proudly in the habit of entertaining visiting 
delegations who wanted to see this marvelous newspaper and how it 
worked. So we walked in, and I said to the doorman that we 
wanted to see the building. We were shot right up to the 
twentieth story, and were in the publisher's office before the 
two young fellows that were there knew what was going on. They 
were sons of Harrison Gray Otis (the publisher). We left there 


Ward: angry, confused, embattled, and started down the stairs, opening 
doors as we went down and down until, by golly, we walked into 
the city room. There we were, and cameramen came running, flash 
guns flashing. We told the managing editor what was wrong with 
him and his goddamn paper, and left. Nobody got pinched; a very 
successful day, and made another change for the better. The 
strike was won. 

Rubens: Do you remember the issues of the strike? 
Ward: Wages, hours, and working conditions. 

The Strike at North American, Los Angeles, 

Rubens: What happened next in Los Angeles? 
Angela: There was the strike at a stamping outfit. 

Ward: There were plenty of strikes, but the one in which I was most 
active was at North American. This was in May or June, 19^1. 
Pearl Harbor had not yet happened. FDR was helping the allies as 
much as he could, and particularly England. This North American 
factory, out in some God-forsaken place near Inglewood with ten 
thousand workers, was building airplanes. The workers went on 
strike they were making fifty cents an hour. And you know what 
their strike demand was? Six bits whew, a fifty percent 

The plant was surrounded by a moat, a concrete-lined ditch 
about ten or twelve feet deep, with steep sides. A very agile 
man, if he fell in, could get out by himself, but he had to be 
awfully good. There was also a fence that surrounded the plant, 
and drawbridges by which the workers came and went. On a Sunday 
of the strike, Dick Frankenstein was sent out from Detroit by the 
United Auto Workers president, Walter Reuther, to try to calm the 
strikers down. Dick Frankenstein had been the hero of a vicious 
gang attack on him on a cross bridge at one of the big Ford 
plants in Dearborn. He was quite a guy in the United Auto 

A strikers' meeting was called in a bean field across from 
the plant, and he addressed it. I remember he was trying to tell 
them to go back to work and see if they couldn't settle the 
strike while the workers were at work. He was booed down by the 
crowd, shouted down. 


Rubens: So he was speaking in a bean field, and he was booed. 

Ward: He was escorted, during the course of his attempts to speak, off 
the field by the strikers' safety committee. 

Rubens: This was Dick Frankenstein? 

Ward: He had an interview with Lou Goldblatt, who was then secretary of 
the state CIO, to try to be helpful. His pleas had fallen on 
pretty deaf ears. The bean field meeting was on a Sunday 
afternoon. The next morning, Monday, instead of just 10,000 
strikers around that plant, there were 16,000 strikers and 

Angela: Of supporting unions. 

Ward: The mayor of Los Angeles, Mayor Fletcher Bowron, was there, 

pleading with everybody and getting nowhere. All this was being 
listened to with great concern in the White House by FDR and 
Sidney Hillman of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers, his advisor 
of labor affairs. And Sid said, "Send in the troops." They were 
in readiness 

Angela: The national guard. 

Ward: and they came in there. 

Rubens: Why did Sid say that? To protect the strikers? 

Angela: No! He said to send the troops in to get the strikers back to 

Rubens: Why did he take this position? 

Ward: To settle the dispute through negotiation and not through 

Angela: Peaceful means. 

Ward: Well, the troops moved in. Here was this crowd passing by the 
main entrance which was a sort of a drawbridge across this moat. 
Angela and I were in the line, moving back and forth, and on 
around where the main action was. 

Angela: We were up in front to face the troops. 

Ward: There was a fellow came and got in line with us with his lunch 
pack on his back. He worked his way around into the inside of 
the line, and zip! He almost got in. People rushed right after 


Ward: him and caught him before the guards got him; the guards were not 
quite on the alert there. In no time at all that man had lost 
his lunch bag, his clothes, everything but his shoes, and was 
pushed out on the street, naked. 

Angela: He was a strike breaker. 
Ward: That took care of him! 

Johnny Barilone was a steelworker, and he was about Angela's 
size or maybe a little smaller. He was in the line also, and he 
found himself walking along the edge of this moat with a great 
big, six-foot-four cop. They were moving along, and Johnny just 
edged and edged this cop over into the ditch. And he yelled, "I 
got my cop!" [laughs] 

Then came the troops, these young fellows eighteen or 
nineteen years of age. In one case, one of them was the son of a 
worker in the plant! And scared to death, with their bayonets 
out, and so forth. There was a little mound right nearby, and 
Mayor Fletcher Bowron had been up there begging everybody to ease 
off and getting nowhere, and here were the guards. Slim Connelly 
wanted to make a speech. He walked right up to where these young 
soldiers were pointing those bayonets, grabbed the mike, and 
shouted, "Brothers and sisters, we will fall back, but slowly." 
A lot of the guys got pricked in the butt before that was over, 
but we fell back and there was no serious bloodshed. 

Angela: They hurled tear gas at us. 

Ward: Oh, there was tear gas all over the place. I got a good dose of 
it; we all did. But tear gas is not so terrible. 

The reason Slim had to do that was because Lou Michener, who 
was the regional director of the Auto Workers, just fell apart. 
He just blew up completely. 

Angela: He just collapsed. 

Ward: We went back to the Auto Workers' hall, back to this little 

office nearby, and decided our side of the story should be told. 
I was given the job. There was a strike on at Walt Disney's, and 
some of their guys were out on the North American picket line. 
They did a four-column cartoon, and I got out that night a 
four-page newspaper, wrote and edited it. Before anybody knew 

Ward: about it, it was shipped to the main Auto Worker points Detroit, 
Chicago, New York, New Orleans and let them know what had 


Ward: I got to bed about five o'clock in the morning and had a few 

hours sleep. Then I got up to the CIO hall to find Lou Goldblatt 
on a balcony leading to the street Just west of Avalon Boulevard, 
which was jammed with strikers. He took over and was very 
helpful in getting things worked out, to the point that they went 
back to work and they got their raise. Oh boy! 

Rubens: You were still doing your fifteen-minute show every night during 
this period, is that right? 

Ward: Oh, yes. My fifteen-minute show went on that night at whatever 
the studio was. 

Rubens: Did you read the script? 

Ward: No. The funny part about radios and voices my voice was not 
good in Los Angeles. In Las Vegas it was good, but in San 
Francisco it was not good. It would just depend on the type of 
mike, or something. 

Rubens: Did you have live interviews on the show, or was it always a 
scripted show? 

Ward: A great many of them were interviews workers, strikers, 
everybody except managers and bosses. 

Rubens: Ellinore Bogigian had come up from LA to condemn you over the 

LNPL endorsement when you were still in San Francisco. What was 
it like for you now to be in LA? 

Ward: The whole nonsense of the Ellis Patterson slate disappeared. In 
fact we have run into Ellinore here and there, both in San 
Francisco and in Los Angeles, several times since then. 

Rubens: So that didn't hang over you in Los Angeles? 

Ward: No problem. That pushed away so fast that it didn't amount to 

Rubens: You had to reaffiliate in Los Angeles; did you have a new branch 
of the Party that you were affiliated with? 

Ward: Of course. There was a branch down there to which Angela and I 
were assigned, a group meeting. 

Rubens: Who assigned you? 
Angela: Matt Pellman. 


Ward: Eva Schafran was the major domo of our little group, and we 

became quite friendly. Apparently she thought my little pieces, 
lectures that I gave on Marxism and Leninism, were excellent. Of 
course they were copied almost I tried to apply the ideas to 
different subjects. 

Somewhere along the Los Angeles line Eva came to us and 
suggested that I could, if I wished, go to a Party leadership 
school in New York state someplace. I would spend six months 
there and then I would be assigned to duties as a Party 
functionary, wherever. Well, that would have been very 
unhappy-making for the two of us. 

Rubens: Angela wasn't invited? 

Ward: No. 

Rubens: Not too many women went to these things? 

Ward: Male chauvinism, I guess. 

Angela: I went to state committees. 

Ward: She was much more loyal than I turned out to be. Anyway, my 
reason was a very valid one: I was the financial support of 
three young children, and unless the Party cared to take that 
on I knew that I would be paid virtually nothing, just eating 
and being taken care of. So that idea died. 

To finish with Eva, we didn't stay forever in Los Angeles. 
Years later she was up here on some business and she came to see 
us. We at the time were living at Angela's parents' home in San 
Francisco, and there was a spare room. Somehow or other she 
visited us there and she learned there was a spare room. She 
thought immediately that we should let her use that. But we 
couldn't; it wasn't our say-so. She didn't like that. The last 
we heard was that, for reasons unknown to us, she killed herself; 
she threw herself in front of a streetcar. 

Angela: She killed herself after the DuClos letter came out. The Party 
tried to say that it was an accident, but people who saw it said 
she walked right in the path of the streetcar. 

Rubens: She was such a loyal Party person, the Party just couldn't accept 

One more sidetrack: this was the first time in years that 
you were living near your children, is that right? 










Yes, although I hadn't seen much of them. Eugenia came to our 
place very late the night before she was due to get married. 
That was what was our address? 

Two-thirty-two-and-a-half West Florence Avenue. 

Where was that? 

It was near the CIO building. 

I remember being called upon to make a speech before some school 
on workers' children and things like the necessities the 
longshoremen were getting, like dental care and all sorts of 
other things. A teacher asked if I had any children, and I said 
yes. I was living in Los Angeles, and she assumed correctly that 
they were in Los Angeles, and she wanted to know what school they 
went to. I didn't have the faintest idea. I was embarrassed. 

You know Dave Jenkins? He used to be a pretty good-sized 
man. There was a New Year's eve party at Matt Pellman's in which 
Dave Jenkins and Slim Connelly got into a belly-bumping contest. 
I don't remember who won, but I can still hear them grunting. 

Do you want to say any more about your children? 
Eugenia occasionally. 

We'd see 

When we were there Eugenia was in the business of getting married 
to a young fellow by the name of Jack Lundigan, who was the older 
brother, I think, of Bill Lundigan, who was, I'd say, a Grade B 
movie star at that time it paid him a lot. 

And he did commercials for refrigeration. 
Second-rate movies. He was a handsome boy. 

You tried to dissuade Eugenia from getting married; she was only 
seventeen or eighteen. 

I got word that she was euchring him into marriage by pretending 
that she was pregnant. I called up her mother, and said what 
about this? Her mother said she had heard the same thing, and it 
wasn't so; she had reason to know that as of just a few days 
before Eugenia was not pregnant. So I called this young Lundigan 
fellow and had him come down. I told him he didn't need to marry 
her, but I didn't go into details. He said he wanted to marry 
her anyway, and I said she would tell him all about it. Well, I 
made one mistake: I didn't tell Eugenia enough about it. The 
result was that after they married he kept after her and after 
her, and she thought he was trying to find out if she had ever 
had an affair with anybody else. She said yes. That wasn't what 
was intended, either. 


Ward: Anyhow, the night before the wedding at two or three o'clock la 
the morning, there she was at our door, on Vest Florence and 
Broadway, and not in very good shape. We pat her to bed and got 
her to sleep. We got op in the Morning and got her going. I 
didn't see bow she could possibly get married; she looked like 
she'd been through a knothole. But we went to the wedding that 
afternoon, and you'd never know that she hadn't slept. I don't 
know what happened, but she looked fine, very pretty. They got 
married. Bill Lundigan got into a mess with another girl at the 
wedding party, so I beard. That Marriage lasted just long enough 
for Eugenia and Jack to bare two daughters. Then they broke up. 

Angela: After that Estolv's only real contact with bis children was 
through Eugenia. 

Ward: Things were going along, but not running very smoothly in Western 
Mechanics. In the first place, I had to admit that I was not the 
best organizer in the world. I was the kind of a guy who could 
be useful in negotiations and with people who were already 
organized, but I couldn't walk up to a strange worker easily and 
say, "Vow look here, young fellow, 1 want you to Join the 
union.* 1 Just wasn't any good at it. Anyway, 1 was put to work 
as an organizer. 

I was awfully bored and tired of this two-bit radio Job I 
bad, as I think 1 told you at the start, but 1 couldn't let 
loose. 1 Just bad to do little fiddling interviews. With the 
exception of things like the Harvill strike and so forth, 1 got 
bored with the whole thing. So here cooes Eddie Cbeyfitz and the 
die-casting people and gave Angela a Job- 
Angela: Ho, 1 was already working for the Western Mechanics. 

Ward: Ob, yes, you were already working for them, and then I went to 
work for the*. Little by little friction developed between me 
and Ken Eckert and Cbeyfitz, to the point where 1 don't remember 
what the beef was, but Eckert was having us all hide under our 
desks as though the office were vacant when Cbeyfitz came to the 

Angela: He didn't want his brother-in-law 

Rubens: Eddie Cheyfitz was Eckert's brother-in-law? 

Angela: Tes. 

Rubens: [to Angela] You had already been hired as an organizer? 

Angela: Mo, 1 was working in the office. But actually my work was more 
than Just an office worker. I was a delegate from the local to 


Ward: the CIO Council, and to various committees representing the 
union. Then in the daytime I worked in the office, kept the 
books and did all that. 

Rubens: And I read that they had you speaking to the women, so you were 
organizing also. 

Angela: Yes, right. 

Rubens: [to Estolv] lou were hired as an organizer by Western Mechanics 
Local 700? 

Angela: No, I don't think it was Western Mechanics. 

Ward: I was hired by Mine-Mill, of which Western Mechanics was a local. 

Rubens: Mine-Mill hired you to be an organizer? 

Angela: Right. 

Organizing Basic Magnesium, Las Vegas, 19*12 

Ward: Anyway, things reached a bad point, between Cheyfitz and Eckert 
and everything. Reid Robinson, I think it was, called me up and 
said they needed a publicity man for an organizing effort they 
were undertaking near Las Vegas, in a place which was still under 
construction by the government, for the production of 
magnesium about halfway between Las Vegas and Boulder Dam. 
Mine-Mill was conducting a campaign, and the situation there was 
very complex and difficult. You know what a sweetheart contract 
is? Well, Pedro Pete, ex-San Pedro longshoreman and an enemy of 
Bridges and the rest of the ILWU, became A. H. Petersen, an 
AF of L organizer who wangled such a contract at this plant, 
known as Basic Magnesium, Inc. 

Angela: He was a fink. 

Ward: While the plant for magnesium was still under construction, Pedro 
Pete went up there. The operation of the plant was being taken 
over by Anaconda Copper Company. He negotiated a sweetheart 
contract with Anaconda, covering the production workers not the 
construction workers. 

Rubens: Who did he represent? They were AF of L craft unions? 

Ward: For the whole group, but the crafts union was the construction 

workers and their unions, and the rest were just, I guess, a big 
miscellaneous production local, AF of L. 







So he represented this miscellaneous group? 

Yes. A bunch of guys who had been active CIO members in some 
outfit, I think it was in Detroit or somewhere back there, were 
necessary for the establishment of production. Specialists in 
electrical machinery, they were hired only to find themself ipso 
facto members of an AF of L union. They went to the Mine, Mill, 
and Smelter workers this plant was technically a part of the 
Mine-Mill field and said, "How about it?" This was wartime, 
mind you. Mine-Mill said, "We'll see." 

Mine-Mill established an office, sort of, in a hotel room 
in downtown Las Vegas, and the workers lived as best they could 
out near the plant, including first myself and then Angela and 
me. The company was recruiting workers, mostly from the deep 
South, mostly blacks. I was living in this little town of 
Henderson, a company town, where you couldn't use the phone, 
because the bosses could listen in. 

Henderson was the company town, and Pittman was right outside? 
Pittman was right near there. 

It was two miles away. Pittman amounted to an abandoned school 
house which had been moved from somewhere else, two bars, and a 
place where you could buy a sandwich. That was it. 

What did the company town amount to compared to Pittman? 

Pittman was a tiny little town. Henderson was a sudden community 
of housing for ten thousand workers. It was just put up, along 
with the plant. 

Did it have schools and stores? 

I don't remember a school and a store at that time. 
Do you? 

[to Angela] 

Yes, I remember a school that one of the women from the South, a 
white woman it was like a kindergarten. 

At that time the guy in charge of the organizing effort for Mine- 
Mill was a fellow named Bob Hollowa. It was thought that I could 
establish a radio program and use it to aid in the organizing 
effort. As I say, we lived in Henderson. 

This lawyer, A. J. Isserman Abe Isserman was out from New 
York getting a divorce. He was a leftist lawyer, and I used his 
hotel room in downtown Las Vegas as office headquarters. We 
traveled back and forth in the day between Henderson, Pittman, 
the plant, and Las Vegas, which had a dual purpose: one was to 


Ward: simply get from where we were living to a place where we could 
get on the phone. We didn't dare use a phone in Henderson. In 
fact, if I remember right, at that time there was only one pay 
telephone open to the public in the town of Henderson, and that 
was hooked right through the company. 


Rubens: Next week we'll do the story of Basic Magnesium. I'm confused 

about something: how did you go to work for Mine-Mill? Did you 
ask for the job in Los Angeles? 

Ward: That's a little yarn in itself. Ralph Dawson, an old friend of 
Lou Goldblatt who had been a warehouseman, had been transferred 
to Los Angeles, where he had become the CIO council organizer. 
For some reason or other Dawson was leaving the job, and I was 
getting awfully bored with the radio thing. Slim Connelly asked 
me if I'd like the job. I said I'd think it over. Then right 
away Eckert asked me to go to work for Mine-Mill, so I took that 

Rubens: Why? 

Ward: Oh, I don't know. In the first place, Angela was in that office, 
I knew the people, and it just appealed to me. So I took it. I 
think it paid a little more, too. 

Rubens: So you weren't in Los Angeles very long with Mine-Mill before you 
were asked to go to Basic Magnesium. 

Ward: Well, I think at least a year. I went to Las Vegas in the winter 
of '13, I think. I was a year on the radio, and pretty near a 
year with Mine-Mill in Los Angeles. 

Angela: When you were organizing for Mine-Mill, you were organizing some 
plant out in the Valley. Across from the plant was a big turkey 
farm, and that's where you bought the turkey for our Thanksgiving 
dinner that we gave for all our friends in the CIO Council. That 
had a connection with the organizing job you were doing just 

Ward: A big aluminum plant down near Torrence. 

Angela: That was one of the jobs you did. 

Ward: I won the election, too! 

Rubens: The year you were with Mine-Mill, you did not do the radio? 

Ward: No. 


Rubens: You were a full-time organizer for Mine-Mill. This had to be the 
year 19U2. 

Ward: Most of the workers who were being imported were from the deep 

Rubens: At Basic Magnesium? 

Ward: In Los Angeles, too. All over. They were picking people right 
out of the cotton fields and bringing them out here. 

Rubens: Just like at the shipyards. 

Ward: Everything. Oh, yes. One of my memories is driving along the 
road picking up workers and going back and forth black as the 
ace of spades. I told them that I was the CIO organizer: "My 
mammy done tol 1 me, if I ever should meet up with that CIO I 
should j'in it." That's the way it was. 

Evaluating Unionization in Los Angeles 

Rubens: Los Angeles has such a reputation for being an anti-union town, 
and yet these were the years of so much expansion in the 
aerospace industry. So were you encountering people, like this 
black man, who were willing to join the union? Were you having a 
lot of success in LA? 

Ward: Mixed bag. Some I won, some I lost. 

Angela: But overall, the CIO was doing a very fine job. The electrical 
workers were burgeoning into a big union; the warehouse was 
organizing all over the place. And then Mine-Mill was doing 
likewise in their particular area. 

Rubens: It seems like Los Angeles in the '40s was like San Francisco was 
in the mid-' 30s. 

Ward: You couldn't compare them, because San Francisco was too small. 
San Francisco became the great port of embarkation for the 
Pacific war. But Los Angeles became the great manufacturing 
center. One reason San Francisco wasn't that kind of a center 
was simply because there was no space here. 

Rubens: I imagine in terms of its time for unionism, precisely because 
industry is expanding that the drive to unionism is more 


Ward: Oh, yes. That's one thing that Ronnie boy [Ronald Reagan] better 
look out for if he gets us into a big war. You send all the 
troops to the front, and you need workers. And the workers 
suddenly discover the unions are kind of handy. 

[Interview 6: 13 July 198?]## 

Rubens: Did you want to say just a little more about your work with the 
Mine-Mill as an organizer in Los Angeles? 

Ward: I don't remember what I said before. I wasn't too successful, 
did I talk about negotiations with Alcoa? 

Organizing Alcoa 

Rubens: Angela, you mentioned some places; let's get them on the record. 

Ward: She was secretary of Local 700 of the Mine, Mill, and Smelter 
Workers sometimes called the Mine, Mill, and Smelly Workers. 

Alcoa was quite an experience. We won the election against 
the AF of L at this brand new plant, which had just been built by 
the government in wartime on the outskirts of Torrence. 

Angela: Alcoa stands for Aluminum Company of America. 

Ward: There was a turkey farm right across the street from the main 

gate of this newly-built plant, which of course had a high fence 
and all, and there was a guard at the gate. I was to establish 
an office in a little shed on this turkey farm. 

Rubens: Did the owners know what you were doing? 

Ward: Oh, yes, there was some arrangement with the turkey farm people 
from whom, incidentally, we bought a thirty-pound turkey for the 
last Thanksgiving dinner during wartime that we had at our place 
in Los Angeles. 

I don't remember the issue, but Alcoa made some kind of a 
ruling from the East that had a detrimental effect on the hours, 
wages, or working conditions of the guys there. All of a sudden 
there was a sit-down in this new plant. 

Rubens: This is 1942? 


Ward: Early '42. The government had foreseen a long time before Pearl 
Harbor that we were actually one of the Allies, allied with 
England and France against Germany. In fact, at that time Russia 
was also an ally. 

Before this sit-down, the company would pay no attention to 
me. But this time they sent a man out to the gate to ask me to 
come in and talk to the guys. 

Rubens: Had this plant already been organized by the AF of L? 

Ward: No, this was a brand-new plant, with no organization at all. And 
we beat the AF of L, eventually, in the election that came 
about. But this sit-down happened during the time when things 
were still uncertain as to who was the bargaining agent. 

They asked me to come in and talk to the guys, and I did. I 
listened to their complaint; I asked the management what it had 
to say. The manager said his piece, and I said that it struck me 
as being an unusual change and lessening of the wages, working 
conditions, and so forth. However, I said, this is wartime and 
my union and all other unions have given no-strike pledges for 
the duration of the war. Therefore, unless this matter is 
corrected according to the workers' demand, by next Tuesday I 
will wash my hands of the whole affair. I will not tell them 
what to do. If they sit down on you, that's just too bad. 

Rubens: You were playing the level head, keeping a lid on things? 

Ward: You can call it what you want. 

Rubens: What was in your mind about the strategy? 

Ward: I just said what I said at the moment. I don't think I knew what 
exactly my strategy was going to be when I walked in there. The 
result was that the matter was straightened out by the next 

Rubens: So they had threatened to sit down, but had never actually sat 

Ward: Well, they did for a short time until I said to go back to work. 
So that got straightened out right away. We won the election, 
and I set up a little meeting hall in Torrence. We used to meet 
before work. The best time to meet was not after work, when all 
the guys wanted to do was get home to mama. But in the mornings 
we had little meetings in our place down in Torrence, and 
eventually we had negotiations. I remember Maurice Travis came 
out and helped me in these negotiations. 








They had just established a Regional War Labor Board in 
California. They established a committee to help in 
negotiations, consisting of a CIO person, an AF of L person, and 
somebody supposedly representing the public. We had these 
negotiations, and they were difficult. Our CIO guy was a fellow 
I knew well from Alameda County, who would frequently doze off 
during the course of the thing, which didn 1 1 help much. 

Did the governor appoint those people? 

I don't know whether it was by an arm of the federal government 
or the state government. Anyhow, I remember all these months of 
effort ended up in a three-cent an hour wage increase, period. 

How did the workers respond? 

Well, they couldn't strike. They lived. This was announced by 
the company. I don't remember the details, but I remember 
looking that guy in the face and wishing I could hit him. 

The workers had sat down, there was a militancy there. You had 
urged them to go back to work: were they angry at the union? 

I think they accepted very well my suggestion at the time, 
relationship with the workers remained good. 


Can you give some generalizations about the workers? Were they 
white, were they young, were they from the Oklahoma dust bowl? 

They came from the deep South and the Middle West, mostly black 
except, of course, the technicians. 

That dwindled along. Jim Robinson was sent out with me in 
the afternoons. He was Reid Robinson's father, and Reid Robinson 
was president of the Mine, Mill, and Smelter Workers union. The 
first thing Jim wanted to do was go get a drink, which was the 
last thing I wanted at that time of day. I asked him why, and he 
said it was because if he drank later in the day, Margaret (his 
wife) would smell it on him when he got home for dinner and he'd 
catch hell. 

Since Jim came out with you, was this a big and important 

No, it was just something for the poor old boy to do. He wasn't 
very helpful, but he did sit in the office at times when I had to 
go here and there. 


Ward: That dwindled down to nothing, and my situation with Ken Eckert 
got worse. So when Reid Robinson called me up and asked me if I 
would do a radio broadcast up in Las Vegas, Nevada, I said, 
"sure." The AF of L had a sweetheart contract at a newly built 
government plant near there. The CIO was led by a group of 
engineers and technicians who had been active CIO members in 
other unions in plants in Detroit, Chicago, and elsewhere. They 
immediately got together and said they didn't want this kind of a 
contract, and they contacted Mine-Mill in Denver. So they began 
looking, and established what kind of sweetheart contract had 
been worked out and signed between Anaconda Copper, which was 
running the plant, and the AF of L, which was represented by 
Pedro Pete. 

So I came out to Nevada and found myself working with Bob 
Hollowa. He was the Mine-Mill organizer. 

More on Basic Magnesium 

Rubens: Your designation was publicity 

Ward: He had the money to run a fifteen-minute news spot on the radio 
every night, seven nights a week. That's what my job was 
supposed to be. Angela remained in Los Angeles, because this was 
only to be a few weeks project, until some kind of a decision was 
made. I was established in the little company town of Henderson 
in the home of a man who had been an officer in the national 
guard, perhaps a major he liked to be addressed as "Major," 
anyhow (I forget his other name) who was a bit of a drunk. I 
was established in this home and started the nightly broadcast in 
Las Vegas out on the strip, about fifteen miles away. (In fact, 
Henderson was about two miles south of the little town of 
Pittman. ) 

I was in this house one day, typing my nightly script, when 
a car drove up with two young fellows, one a boy of about fifteen 
and the other a boy of sixteen or seventeen. The boy of fifteen 
who was being brought to me was obviously in a very bad way, 
mentally. He had been employed in the plant, and somehow in 
cleaning one of these seething chemical vats that were used in 
the process of making magnesium, he had fallen in. 

Two man had tried to rescue him, and then they couldn't get 
out, either, so there were three of them in there. Finally a rig 
from the chemical squad of the fire department came and hauled 
them out. What happened to the two other guys, I don't know; 
apparently they weren't too seriously damaged. But this young 


Ward: fellow was obviously mentally kaput. He had been burned, and the 
burns had been treated to some extent to the point where he 
could wear clothes and get around. But he was partially looney. 
The company had just said goodbye and kicked him out. So they'd 
heard of me, and these two fellows came. Between the two of them 
they told the story. 

At that time the president of Anaconda Copper, who was known 
as Con (I can't remember his last name), was in Las Vegas. Abe 
Isserman, a prominent left-wing lawyer in New York, had come 
out he was getting a divorce, and having some difficulties about 
things. Meanwhile, Bob Hollawa was having legal difficulties of 
his own, and Abe was advising him. I had the use of his room and 
telephone in Las Vegas. (I didn't dare use a phone in Henderson; 
it was impossible, because the phone went right through the 
company. ) 

I got through to this guy from Anaconda Copper, and the 
minute I told him who I was he hung up the phone. So I wrote a 
public letter, addressed to this Mr. Con somebody, president: 
"This morning I telephoned you on a very urgent matter and you 
refused to talk with me." I just told the simple story of what 
had happened to this boy. It did the job. All I know is that I 
was informed that the boy was immediately put under psychiatric 
and medical care at the expense of the company, and was promised 
to be taken care of for the rest of his life or until well. End 
of story. 

Rubens: Was this published in the Las Vegas newspapers? 

Ward: It spread like wildfire in the plant. It was a very fine 

organizing thing; people that had been doubtful before just 
clamored to get into the CIO. 

Rubens: This was an organizing letter, not a publicly published letter? 

Ward: Strictly organizing. I didn't send it to the newspapers. It was 
very helpful to our campaign. Angela was still in Los Angeles, 
and I usually made my broadcast and then wrote the next day's 
bulletin to be distributed to the workers at the plant gates. 

Rubens: What time was the broadcast? 

Ward: Around seven or seven-fifteen in the evening. I usually got to 
bed about three or four in the morning and was up again by 
eight. The election came, a group of special people was sent out 
by Washington to conduct it. They were friendly but impartial. 

Rubens: NLRB people? 














Yes. The election was held, and that evening I think it was 
after my regular broadcast I came to the radio station and 
walked into the office just in time to hear the station manager 
answer a call from some lady who wanted to know how the election 
had come out. He said he would made an announcement in a few 
minutes, but the CIO won. End of conversation. That was it. 

Did this mean that that sweetheart contract was over? 
you organizing the unorganized people? 

Or were 

This put Anaconda in a beautiful position: they had a valid 
contract with AF of L; we had won the election. They could tell 
either or both of us unions to go to hell. Which they did! 

Did the CIO election mean the whole plant, not just the people 
who hadn't gone into the AF of L? 

The whole plant. The technical and professional workers not the 
foremen and higher bosses of the plant. But parts of the plant 
were still under construction, and there was a large force of 
construction men there. They, of course, were AF of L members. 

How many workers are we talking about? 

Ten thousand. So there we were. We established an office at the 
little town of Pittman. It was in a vacant and deserted 
schoolhouse that had been moved to this spot from somewhere 
else. It had a side little wing, which was a bar that was well 
patronized. We didn't have any phone, but at least we had a 
place where we could hold meetings and where we could have an 
office of sorts where people could come. We managed to function, 
get along, and got out leaflets almost daily, which meant we were 
out distributing leaflets by seven o'clock in the mornings and up 
until after eleven o'clock at night. 

Who was "we"? 

A crew of active supporters, and Angela and I. 

Were they workers? 

Some were workers, yes. 

They were people from the plant? 

Yes. People who lived in Henderson. I think I told you I used 
to pick up people driving from Henderson to Abe Isserman's room 
in Las Vegas, where we did our telephoning from. One day I was 
driven off the road by a strange car; I could see the driver 
smiling at me. I could tell right away it was not an unfriendly 


Ward: thing. His name was Joe Houseman, and he had been sent by the 
International to try to get a job in the vicinity and to be our 
helper. There was a new plant just opening across the road that 
also was to be organized by someone. 

Rubens: A different company? 

Ward: Yes. It was something to do with the mineral products of the 

region. Joe was assigned to get a job there and try to organize 
that place. He brought his wife up, and they had some children 
(wasn't her name Molly?). She was the most foul-mouthed woman I 
ever heard anywhere in my life otherwise a very nice person, but 
just talked like a drunken high school teenager on the night of 
his graduation. 

Anyway, we began to have meetings there for people who were 
interested not only in the current problems, but in the future of 
labor. Among the people with whom I had become friendly was a 
couple named Mr. and Mrs. Jack Higdon. He and a couple of other 
guys had been active in the Utility Workers' Organizing Committee 
in Oakland and knew me, and Angela, to a lesser extent). When 
Angela came up we stayed only a short time with the original 
couple where I was living. 

Rubens: Why did Angela come up? 

Ward: I remember when the election was over and I drove down to Los 

Angeles, and had been home two days doing nothing, I went to the 
weekly meeting of the CIO Council. People told me I looked like 
I had been dragged through a knothole. 

Rubens: Angela was now going to be the secretary with Mine-Mill in 
Henderson, Nevada. 

Ward: And Joe Houseman went to work in this other plant and began 
organizing it. We were getting along, but we were getting 
nowhere, too. At one point I forget what the reason was that 
gave us encouragement the manager let it be known through 
channels that he would be willing to receive a CIO committee. A 
date was set, we formed our committee. One of the guys who 
decided he was on that committee was this Jack Higdon. Men left 
their jobs to be on the committee, I guess to protest the 
foreman's cussedness. 

We were met at the gate by a company jeep and driven a block 
or so to the managers' office. We were greeted cheerfully by the 
managers, sat down, and they promptly began to give us hell told 
us what a bunch of bums and no-good fools and troublemakers we 


Ward: were. Somehow or other in our group was a black man who had been 
sent out by the International, I think. 

Rubens: Who was this Higdon? 

Ward: Jack Higdon was a guy I had known in the Utility Workers, the 

PG&E employees, previously. He was one of three PG&E guys I had 
known and worked with in Oakland, and who had moved to better 
jobs at BMI when I was up there. 

We were fairly insulted and bawled out, and left practically 
speechless. We didn't get a ride back, either; we had to go back 
on our own feet. Higdon was promptly fired, whereupon his wife 
went to work in the plant. There was plenty of work for women 
there, apparently. We moved in with the Higdons; they had a room 
to spare, and the common interest. They both were very kindly, 
well-meaning people. 

Rubens: Was he in the Party? 

Ward: Well, soon they joined, yes. With Joe Houseman we set up a 

little group, and we made one recruit, a black man well-known and 
liked in the plant and in the black community of Las Vegas. 

Rubens: A black man who worked at the plant but lived in Las Vegas? 
Ward: Oh, yes. Where else? There was no place else they could live. 
Rubens: The company town had no blacks; it was segregated? 

Ward: Oh, yes. In fact, when this guy came to see us and we were 

living in Henderson, he came to the back door. We told him to, 
because it wouldn't be a good idea for him or for anybody 

Rubens: So when you lived with the Higdons it was in the company town? 

Ward: Very much so, yes. 

Rubens: How many lived in the town? 

Ward: A figure of eight hundred to a thousand seems to be about right, 
which meant that the vast majority of the workers lived 
elsewhere. Aside from the town there was a single men's camp run 
by the company. 

Rubens: Was there no branch of the Party in Las Vegas that you plugged in 

Ward: Not so far as I knew. Anyway, we invited this young black fellow 
to our meetings and recruited him. He conducted himself very 
helpfully and very well. 


Ward: It became obvious that the CIO wasn't getting anywhere, and it 
was decided that I should go to Washington, D.C., to the War 
Labor Board, to see what I could accomplish there, while Angela 
and Joe Houseman ran the store in Nevada. 

Rubens: It was the strategy of the company to just ignore this election? 

Ward: Yes. Well, they were in a beautiful position: we won the 
election, but the AF of L had the contract. 

Rubens: So they abided by the contract? 

Ward: What they did, who knows? I'm in no position to say. But they 
obviously were in a beautiful position to do anything they 

Rubens: What was the attitude or relationship with the AF of L? Was 
Pedro Pete there? 

Ward: I don't think I personally ever met Pedro Pete. The only AF of L 
people we saw were when that's another story. It reached a 
point one night, this conflict with the AF of L, where at the 
night shift change (usually around eleven), we were out there 
distributing leaflets, and the construction workers came out in 
their professional attire with the belts and the hammers and big 
long screwdrivers and things 

Angela: And axes. 

Ward: and charged us. I could see that they were after me, and I 

took to my heels. I heard in the distance a gun being fired and 
the sounds of crashing glass. The thing broke off. Angela was 
there; they didn't bother the women. There was nothing worse 
than a smashed windshield in a jeep and a few punches thrown here 
and there. No serious injuries. We had a gathering at 
somebody's house that night, afterwards, but couldn't reach any 
conclusion about what to do. 

Confronting the War Labor Board 

Ward: But the next morning we felt better and we decided that I should 
go to Washington to the War Labor Board. In the meantime Angela 
and Joe Houseman would run the store, and we would put only women 
out to distribute leaflets. 

Ward: The only question was how I was to get to Washington. I think 
somehow or other we scraped up something like thirty dollars. 
The plane fare from Las Vegas to Salt Lake City was something 
like twenty-eight dollars; so I got to Salt Lake City. There was 
supposed to be a ticket there to take me to Washington, but no 
ticket, no money, no nothing. I tried to call the Mine-Mill 
office in Denver, but it was Saturday afternoon and nobody was 
there. Somehow some arrangement was made there was a business 
about being bumped off a flight, and because of the wait on this 
plane and being small and slender built, I beat out a very bulky 
army major. But he had enough money and I didn't, so he got the 

Somehow I had enough money to get to Cheyenne, and I boarded 
a train at Salt Lake City. But the ticket agent who sold me the 
ticket had not given me a ticket to Cheyenne; he had sold me a 
ticket only to Ogden, just a short fifteen miles or so. So that 
was discovered when the conductor came through, after we had 
passed Ogden and were already in the Wasatch mountains of the 
Continental Divide. I was astonished, and he was going to stop 
the train and throw me off in the middle of the mountains. I was 
in a car in which ninety-nine percent of the occupants were 
soldiers in uniform being transported from here to there. I 
found a sergeant who thought I had a good case, who organized the 
rest of the guys, and they very calmly but politely threw the 
conductor out of the car. So I got to Cheyenne. My ticket 
apparently had been validated, and when I got to Cheyenne I went 
right to the ticket agent and told him my problem, he called Salt 
Lake City and got hold of the guy that sold me the ticket. He 
said, oh, yes, they had made a mistake. So I got to Denver. 

It was Saturday afternoon and I had had no breakfast, no 
lunch, and I had something like two dollars. The Mine-Mill 
office was closed, Reid Robinson was at a football game. I hung 
around and hung around; I went over to the famous old Denver 
Hotel, where the lobby is paved with silver dollars, and sat 
around, hungry and a bit dispirited. 

Finally I got Reid on the telephone, and he didn't get too 
excited; he was obviously very busy about something. He told me 
to go to such-and-such a hotel and he would call beforehand, and 
they would give me the key to one of their organizer's room, a 
guy who was in town for the weekend, and although he wouldn't be 
there at the time he would probably come to his room. It was a 
double bed room, so that I could have the other bed. 

By that time I had about forty cents left, and I ate 
whatever forty cents would buy at that time. I went to this 


Ward: hotel and got the key and went to bed. Along about three or four 
in the morning this guy comes in drunk, finds a strange man in 
his room. Well, we had a lively moment, but it all got 
straightened out. 

The next morning I went to the Mine-Mill office with Reid, 
and I met the old so-and-so who was the treasurer of the Mine, 
Mill, and Smelter Workers Union, who didn't like the Robinsons or 
the way the International was run, or anything else. He didn't 
like the leftwing trend of the union. But at Reid's insistance 
he opened the safe and found two hundred dollars in cash plus 
sufficient money for my airplane ticket to Washington. 
Arrangements were made for me to stay with the Fowlers C. D. 
(Cedric) and Eleanor who were friends and workers of the Left in 
our union. 

I arrived in Washington, D.C., about eight or nine on a 
weekday morning, and C. D. Fowler was already somewhere between 
home and the office. What I needed right then was a place to 
sleep, and in those days that could be easily arranged in a 
hotel; you rented a bed on an eight-hour shift in Washington, and 
that's what I did. And I got eight hours' sleep. That evening I 
connected with the Fowlers and we got straightened out. 

Rubens: Who were the Fowlers? 

Ward: C. D. Fowler was the editor of the CIO News. I moved out to 

their home out close to the Arlington cemetery; I think it was 
just into Maryland. It was a big, lively house with lots of 
people. There were the Fowlers themselves, man and wife; another 
couple who were living with them; and a gal named Elizabeth 
Sesuly (who now lives right here in Berkeley) who had just moved 
there. She had a hell of a time: her husband was away in the 
Army; she had an automobile, but she had no gas to move it from 
one garage to another; the garage rent was killing her, and she 
couldn't use the car oh, all sorts of problems. 

I began the task, with some assistance from the Fowlers, of 
trying to chase down somebody who would pay any attention to our 
problems at Basic Magnesium. Meanwhile (Angela should take up 
the story here) the Anaconda Copper Company, in its wisdom, had 
decided to change the government-built toilet stations, which 
made no color distinction whatever, over to black only and white 
only. This enraged the blacks. The toilets had been built by 
the government without any thought of segregation, which was a 
government policy already. Anaconda was changing that policy in 
a very personal and dramatic way, which enraged the black 
militants at the plant. Six hundred of them sat down in the 
plant. Angela can tell the story of what happened, because all I 
know is what I heard over the phone. 


Angela: It was mostly blacks, but maybe two whites sat in. 

Rubens: I remember in Angela's oral history she said there were something 
like twelve showers for the whites and two for the blacks. 

When you went to Washington, you hadn't called or written 

Ward: Senator [Patrick] McCarran was our problem. He was holding up, 
by his own demand, certification by the War Labor Board of our 
election. One of the reasons that I went to Washington was to 
see McCarran and see what I could do about that. When we found 
out that McCarran was the main obstacle to certification, we got 
hold of leading people sympathetic to us, mainly at the plant I 
remember particularly a guy who had been a pal of Jack Higdon, an 
engineer of some kind to send a flood of telegrams to 
Senator McCarran, saying please, and demanding, and so on. And, 
by golly, McCarran did it. McCarran told the NLRB to go ahead 
and certify it, and they did. 

Rubens: Before you went there? 

Ward: Before I went back East. So that was done. That was when we had 
the meeting with the company in which we got laughed out of the 

Now here 
trying to see 
and I had an 
think he was 
hundred? Out 
raise a hair, 
see the major 
different. I 

I was in Washington, trying to see McCarran and 
anyone. I remember going one day to the Pentagon, 
interview with some rather portly young fellow; I 
a major. He wasn't at all interested: "Only six 
of how many, ten thousand? Hunh." Not enough to 
It was when the walkout occurred that I went to 

If I'd said six thousand, it would have been 
got nowhere at the Pentagon. 

Finally I got to see McCarran. What I had to say was 
something about the things that were going on and being said in 
Las Vegas that were placing him in an awful position by the local 
AF of L labor officials in Las Vegas, and especially the central 
labor council guy. They had been going around saying that 
McCarran this and McCarran that, and I wanted to know if this was 
true. McCarran just blew up in a huff, ordered me out of his 
office, and took off on the next flight to Las Vegas to see what 
he could do about that. I never heard the outcome, except that 
McCarran was no help at all. 

Then finally I got an interview with the head man of the War 
Labor Board, sometime in an early evening. They weren't turning 
on the lights until absolutely necessary, and this took place in 
an office gloom. He listened with some respect and kindliness, 
and said that the only thing he could suggest was to call for a 


Ward: strike vote at the plant. I said, "Oh, we can't do that, sir; no 
strikes during the war." He said, "Well, you can make it plain 
that it's merely a no-strike vote; it doesn't imply any strike at 
all. It's just that technically it would give us a reason for 
moving in and doing something." 

Rubens: You were asking him to deal with certifying the election and 
having the company recognize the election not just the six 

Ward: We wanted him to show up the AF of L, and that would have been 
the much desired result. But nothing like that took place. He 
said that was the only suggestion he could make if I could get a 
good strike vote, he would be forced to look into the situation, 
and perhaps be helpful. 

Rubens: Did he give you any other reason for not resolving this that it 
was too small, he was too busy? 

Ward: No, this was the only thing he could think of that could be 
done. So I went back to Denver. 

Rubens: Meanwhile, you were having these phone calls back and forth with 

Ward: Yes, and wondering how she and Joe Houseman did. 

Rubens: Well, the black workers walked out and you felt you had to 

support them; you didn't tell them to walk out, but since they 
did you had to support them. 

Angela: That's right. We had a meeting in a church, full of these black 
guys. Joe and I were the only two white people, and we had to 
make a speech and tell them it was wartime and they couldn't 
strike. But if they did, we were on their side. You know, it 
was a 

Rubens: You were caught. 

Ward: Did I tell you about the machine guns on the rooftops? Oh, boy, 
that was hot as a pistol. 

Angela: Joe and I went into town and there were all these 

Ward: Oh, there would have been a massacre here of the blacks if Angela 
and Joe Houseman hadn't turned the tide of that meeting. 

Angela: and they had machines guns all set up on corners, ready if 
there was any insurrection. 


Rubens: Did you encourage them to go back to work? 

Angela: As I recall, we told them what would happen if they didn't. But 
it was hard to face these guys and tell them to go back to work, 
in that cold-blooded manner. So we couldn't. What we told them 
was that they should go back to work, and what the union's policy 

Ward: If I remember right, the program that you defeated in that 

meeting was to march in a body to Henderson and try to take back 
their jobs, which of course would have been ugh. 

Angela: We talked against that. 
Rubens: Had they been replaced? 

Angela: They were probably replaced to some extent. It was a very 
fast-moving situation. 

Ward: I, of course, telephoned, and then I spent part of a day asking 
Angela if she understood what was coming; and also about Abe 
Isserman, I guess. Before I left Washington I spent several 
hours with Lenny DuCaux, international publicity director of the 
CIO. I told him what my recommendation was, and he endorsed it. 


Rubens: So you got back to Las Vegas, having met with the big boys in 
Denver. Abe Isserman doesn't let you get back to your house 
immediately, but eventually you are there. 

Ward: We got back to our little abode 

The Failed Strike Vote 

Rubens: Were you still living with the Higdons? 

Ward: Yes, we were with the Higdons by that time. The struggle began 
to inform the workers in the plant and other people, in a sense, 
too. Because by this time the whole affair of the sitdown had 
exercized the black community of Las Vegas and scared the white 
community, and things were a bit anxious around there. 

I found a friend, the Mormon bishop of Las Vegas. I knew of 
him, and I may have even met him (I can't remember his name 
now). A nice young woman in the Western Union office, where I 
was sending a telegram, took it upon herself to tell me that the 


Ward: Mormon bishop thought very highly of me and my efforts for the 
blacks. This seemed odd, too, because I don't think the blacks 
even yet have been admitted to full membership in the Mormon 

That friendship took hold and was a great boon to us; very 
helpful and encouraging. People were nodding and smiling on the 
streets of Vegas. 

Rubens: Was there a large Mormon community in Las Vegas? 

Ward: Obviously. I have no means of knowing what the percentage was, 
but they represented the anti-gambling element that lived in Las 
Vegas. They were not the majority, I wouldn't think. 

Rubens: Pro-union, pro-black, and anti-gambling. 

Ward: Yes. Then just as things were warming up to a new election, our 
Hudson Super 6 conked out right in the middle of the busiest 
intersection of downtown Las Vegas, and just couldn't be moved. 
Finally it had to be towed away. They fixed it up somehow, and I 
think I drove it to Los Angeles anyway, I got to Los Angeles and 
somehow or another managed the down payment on one of the last 
19*11 Ford Sedans (there were no cars manufactured during that 
war!) . 

Rubens: You went to Los Angeles specifically to buy a car? 

Ward: Well, there were many reasons to go to LA, but this was probably 
the main reason this time. Again, leaving Angela on the job up 
there with Joe Houseman. 

Rubens: Why else would you go to LA, connected with your work? 

Ward: We were trying to get financial support from friendly Los Angeles 
unions and did, to some extent; otherwise things would have been 
tougher than they were. 

I remember starting out for Vegas in this Ford, and 
discovering about fifty miles out of town that in filling the gas 
tank I had forgotten to put on the cap. I had to turn around and 
go back to get that, but I got back to Las Vegas. We had a 
friend staying with us, Claire Harrison, and we had a big fling. 
We took her out to a resort on the shores of what is now Boulder 
Dam. We had a big night and went skinny dipping, stayed up most 
of the night and got home somehow; that was it. 
















The election came on 

You mean a strike vote? 


Do you remember organizing for that strike vote? 

Oh, very much so. Meetings one meeting was attended by a 
contingent of AF of L construction workers with their gadgets on, 
who were pretty hostile; they erupted a couple of times. I 
remember that one of the guys who was supposed to be on our side 
made a funny statement which indicated confusion in his mind. 
And I remember Angela making a speech in which she said that 
anybody who accused her of doing this for Communist motives could 
"meet me outside." There was a lot of talk about "dens of 

You just had a small Party, didn't you; you never became large? 

Let's see, there was Joe and his wife; Angela and me; the 
Higdons about seven, that was all. 

So where did the charge of Communism come from? 

What do you need? That's what was said if you opposed anything! 

They weren't specifically attacking Mine-Mill? 


During the time when all this struggle was going on, it was 
Christmas. The Party held some kind of a convention in Southern 
California, and Ken Eckert introduced a resolution scolding us 
for taking a strike vote in wartime. 

The Party condemned you in Los Angeles? 
condemning you! 

Later on everyone was 

Anyway, the strike vote was taken, and we lost. During the last 
days there was an attempt by the company to include the hospital 
nurses they had there. This smart young company attorney took me 
to lunch; it was the first really good meal I'd had in a long 
time. One of our best members had a girlfriend who was a nurse, 
and he was telling us all the time that the nurses would vote for 

How many nurses were there associated with the plant? 

Oh, I think a couple hundred; it was a significant little number. 

Ward: And I was inclined to go for it, but Joe Houseman said no, so we 
cut that down somehow. Nurses or not, we lost the election, not 
by an awful lot, but by a significant enough amount that we 
couldn' t challenge it. We said goodbye to the bishop and our 
other friends in Las Vegas, packed up our books which we had 
lined up all around the wall in the Higdon bedroom (everywhere we 
went we had our books; some of them you still see on our shelves 
here), and drove back 

Rubens: There just was no reason to stay on? 
Ward: We were through. 

Angela: We were non-salary. We didn't have any money there; we weren't 
being paid. 

Rubens: The Mine, Mill, and Smelter Workers did not give you any money 
for this? 

Ward: Not once we set up a local. 

We didn't go through Los Angeles; we went over Tehachapi and 
over to Bakersfield. We got home some time at night to Angela's 
family home in San Francisco. 

Rubens: You made up your mind not to go back to Los Angeles? 

Ward: I guess it was our own decision. I don't think there was any 
question: we wanted to get back to San Francisco, no question 
about it. We got back some time after everybody had gone to bed. 

Rubens: Was this early 19UM? 

Ward: Yes, January of '4M. Everybody was in bed the Gizzi family went 
to bed early and I remember Mama saying the next morning that 
she woke up in the night and opened the door and peeked in and 
saw two heads in a single bed, so all was well. We had less than 
five dollars, and a car on which we owed money. 

Rubens: Had you made some good friends amongst the workers in Las Vegas? 
Ward: Oh, yes. 

Rubens: How do you characterize those workers? There were those six 
hundred blacks; who were the white workers? 

Ward: Well, people like the Higdons. 

Rubens: The Higdons are atypical; they chose to come there to organize. 




Remember that family from the Midwest? 

They were sort of Okie 








Oh, you mean the ladies' auxiliary? [laughs] We stayed for a 
while before we went to the Higdons, I think, with a family. He 
was a police-minded person, and in addition to working in the 
plant in something higher than just common labor capacity, he was 
a deputy sheriff in the Las Vegas territory. Angela tried to 
start a women's auxiliary, and this guy's wife was the hostess 
for the beginning meeting, as it was called. Quite a few ladies 
came, but as the hour approached for the meeting the lady of the 
house, dressed only in a nightgown and slippers, greeted the 
ladies by coming out on the lawn and standing on her head. End 
of auxiliary. 

Were there a lot of midwestern migrants who had come just for the 

Oh, yes. One of the women there she and her husband became very 
friendly and close handed out leaflets upside down because she 
couldn't read. They were from Wyoming, sheepherders by trade. 

Were these people being paid relatively well? 

A dollar and a half an hour was good money in those days. 
Remember that just a year or so before the auto workers had 
struck in Los Angeles for six bits an hour. Oh, a dollar and a 
half was big money. 

So it was tough conditions to organize. Was there ever any 
movement on the race issue were the showers ever equalized or 

I never came to know the outcome of that one, but my suspicion is 
that the company just took that criticism in stride, because I 
certainly don't recall any exultation among the black workers. 

When you left did people take up a collection for you, or did 
they just say goodbye? 

I would put it that we just slunk out of town, 
it, no big farewells or hoorahs or tears. 

That was about 

You said that on the way back from Washington you met with Reid 
Robinson. Was there agreement among the national Mine-Mill 
leadership to call for this strike vote? 

Oh, yes. 

You made a comment about how later on you recognized what damn 
fools you were. 


Ward: At least 1^ recognized what a foolish thing we had done; I don't 
know what they thought. 

Rubens: In retrospect, should you not have taken the vote? 

Ward: Yes. The way to have worked that out would have been to 
ascertain, which could easily be done, the life of that 
sweetheart contract. 

Rubens: You didn't know that at the time? 

Ward: I partly knew; I think it was a year. We probably should have 
done nothing in the beginning except keep the contacts open. 
Then about four months before the end of that year we should have 
opened an office and an organizing campaign to vote against 
renewal of that contract. 

Rubens: Yes, I wonder why you held that election? 
Ward: Well, I didn't know what I know now! 

Rubens: But you weren't the organizer. Who was making that decision, 
Robinson, or the Party? 

Ward: I was offered this avenue by the head of the War Labor Board, and 
I agreed to it. Reid Robinson and the other officials agreed to 
it, and that was it. 

Rubens: No voice ever said to wait. 
Ward: No, there was no argument. 

Rubens: Including that treasurer who you said was in conflict with you 
Reid and you? 

Ward: I don't know of any. If he was opposed, I didn't hear of it. 
Rubens: So was that it for your relationship with Mine-Mill? 

Ward: No. Let me jump ahead to some years later. Things happened 
again in about '48 or '49. 

Rubens: Then we'll talk about that later. For the record, there were 
some company names in Los Angeles that you went over very 
quickly: North American, Alcoa, Harvill 

Angela: And there was the Adams-Campbell Die Casting and Molding Company. 

Ward: That little company right down the street from our CIO office, 
with which I had such a bad time: we won the election, but you 

Ward: could tell the owner had a hell of a time about it. About that 
time I left to go to Las Vegas, and I don't know how it came out. 

Angela: Oh, it was called Century Die Casting. 

Ward: He had a sister or brother who was a wheel in the Democratic 

Angela: At that time there were numerous die casting and molding 

factories making parts for the planes and for other munitions 
that this country needed in fighting the war; so there were just 
literally scores of these plants. There was the LA Die Casting 











So we got back to San Francisco, and it seemed to me that within 
days people were after both of us, particularly Angela, to go to 
work for various organizing committees. She went to work with 
the UWOC (Utility Workers Organizing Committee). 

I think that was before this time. 

Didn't I go to work for 

No, that was much later. You went right to work for UWOC 
You wanted to write. 

I was immediately offered a job. The ACA (American Communication 
Association) was trying to organized Western Union. I was 
offered a job, but I asked them to postpone it because as soon as 
we got home, I knew that we didn't want to live with the old 
folks, her parents, any longer than necessary. I found a house 
on Sanchez Street, right at the head of 20th, which is a steep 
hill up from Church on the J car line. We had no money. It was 
occupied by renters who couldn't pay their rent, and the owner, I 
found out, was willing to sell for our car; we traded our car for 
the down payment on that house. 

Was this the first house you bought together? 

The house had no foundation and was sinking; the living room 
floor had the most beautiful curve to it. 

It was in rotten shape. 

I bought this house and eased the people out as gently as 

The car was enough for the down payment on the house? 

Yes, it was the house for the car; what they got for the car it 
paid in at a thousand dollars. 


Angela: We only paid $2,800 or so for the house. 

Ward: The total price for the house was $3,600; so we had $2,600 left 
to pay after we turned in our car. 

So then we owned a house and no car, and the house wasn't 
fit to live in. Angela got this good-paying job right away with 
the Utility Workers' Organizing Committee. Between her salary to 
help make the payments and the cost of materials I found a guy 
who was a Party member who had done war service in the merchant 
marines and had done the required amount of war service on the 
extremely dangerous Murmansk run. Allied ships had been 
torpedoed and all sorts of things. Johnny Clyde was his name. 
He was a skilled carpenter and his wife was a good designer. 
Between him and the people he got around him, we got the house 
straightened out. He put a foundation under it, began to smooth 
out the floor, kept underpinning it. Then we wanted a 
fireplace. This was a very old fashioned house; I believe it had 
been built in 1909. It had tiny little rooms. The living room 
was about the size of this one, and a dining room about the same 
size or bigger, a good-sized kitchen, and a couple of bedrooms. 


Rubens: Were you feeling tired of living out of a suitcase? 

Ward: Very much so. We wanted a home of our own. We knew that with 
all the kindness of her parents, we shouldn't stay there 
forever. I think we paid a nominal little rent to them. 

I worked for almost a year on that house. That was coming 
along pretty well. I remember George Curran, Angela's 
brother-in-law, used to come over with the little boys and help 
sometimes on a Sunday, particularly with the painting. George 
was a pretty good painter. 

But we wanted a fireplace. The first question was when I 
went to the brickyard. The salesman said to "come here," and 
under a glass case he had one brick. Among other things, did you 
ever hear of the explosion at the Port Chicago brickyard? That 
had recently occurred, and there wasn't a brick to be had. All 

Somehow or other I got tipped off that in the backyard of 
some kind of a little office down in the outer Mission, there was 
a pile of bricks. I got down there and I found the guy, and I 
offered him a good price for the brick. He took it, but he 
wouldn't move it. I remember I borrowed an old car from 
somebody and in those days borrowing a car was a darned sight 
harder than it would be now and loaded those bricks a little at 


Ward: a time and got them up to the house. That house was on a hill 
there with fifty-four steps, and I carried all those bricks up 
those fifty-four steps. 

Then we found in North Beach a retired bricklayer who was an 
anarchist, black shirt and all. So we got some fellow leftist 
who could talk his lingo (I don't think he had much English) to 
discuss with him and somehow prevail upon him to come up and 
build that chimney and fireplace. As it was being built he, 
being an anarchist, wanted to do the fireplace the conventional 
way, right in the middle. I didn't want that; I wanted the 
fireplace to be on one side. He couldn't see that. So work came 
to a halt in due time. We called all the comrades and anarchists 
into a discussion. First we got him to agree that a majority 
vote should carry. 

Rubens: Who is voting the work crew? 

Ward: The whole work crew all these comrades and one anarchist. And 
he did it the way we wanted it. 

Organizing for American Communications Association 

Rubens: You had enough money to work on the house because Angela was 
earning money. 

Ward: Yes. Then we reached a point where I could go to work for this 
organizing campaign that the ACA was putting on. So that 
increased our income considerably. 

There was an election coming up. It was the presidential 
election of 1944. The front window, which was to be our large 
living room/dining room, was a little bay affair with tiny little 
windows and out of keeping with the style of the place. We both 
wanted to change them, but we didn't have the money. The 
election was coming up. There were two betting parlors in San 
Francisco, both of them well known to the public, both of them 
patronized but ignored by the police, the district attorney, and 
so forth. 

One of them was Tom Keynes. There was an election battle 
going on between Franck Havenner who had been a former member of 
Congress and who had been defeated, but who was a good guy from 
the labor point of view and Tom Rolph, a cousin I think of Mayor 
Jim Rolph. The election came, but it was indecisive because of 
the overseas vote, the soldiers and the sailors in the Pacific. 
I think we bet on Havenner to win, and somehow a chance came up 













to put up another hundred at three to one that Havenner would win 
by so much. Whatever it was, it turned out that when the 
overseas armed services vote came in, Havenner won. 

The result was that we had five hundred dollars, which 
bought us our fancy new windows. That's how we got those. 

We called them our Republican windows. 

One last question before we get too far off: Is it important to 
say anything more about Eckert and his brother-in-law Cheyfitz? 
What was the problem with you and Eckert? 

It was important because he turned out to be stupid. 

Angela could tell you better than I could. We just did not get 

He hired you. 
hired you. 

Angela was already working there, and then he 

Oh, yes. 

Eckert had you hide when Cheyfitz came into the room? 

Cheyfitz was a phony guy, and he was anti-Communist. Eckert 
joined the Party and was part of the Party setup because it was 
convenient for him, it turned out later, to do so; but he was not 
a committed Party member. I think one of the things he didn't 
like about both of us was that we were more devoted. 

One incident may give you a clue. There was a big celebration 
party given by Local 700. It was supposed to be a costume party, 
and I came in costume, dressed as the upper and lower classes. I 
had on a full dress jacket with tails, a white vest, stiff shirt, 
a white bow tie, and red underpants. 

Ken Eckert came in rented costume as an American Indian, 
complete with tomahawk and headdress. Of course we were put up 
against each other; that may have been the beginning of it. Of 
course he won, but my costume got more comment. 

You didn't get along, 
disagreed on? 

Were there also policy issues that you 

I don't remember anything, really, on policy. It was just little 
personal stuff. I remember we took a trip to San Francisco 
together for some reason. 

We had personal relationships with him, but you didn't trust him 
as much after you got to know him better; there was just 




something about him. I remember later when he testified against 
somebody from the Party before a committee. 

When we came back from Las Vegas and came to San Francisco, 
we were subject to considerable criticism from the Party 
hierarchy on Eckert's instigation. At a state Party convention 
they really lit into both of us. 

I didn't feel that criticism at all when we arrived in San 
Francisco, with Bill Schneiderman and the Lamberts, though. 

But with the state committee as a whole, 
comrades were very critical. 

I think the Los Angeles 

Well, as we know, they had condemned you at a meeting. 

I was very surprised that Lynn Haynes offered me this job with 
the Utility Workers' Organizing Committee, which is a very 
conservative outfit. And I've wondered how he got by with hiring 
me so shortly after this Las Vegas business, [tape turned off] 

An Aside About When the Party Went Underground 

Angela: We took all these documents and these books we had a marvelous 
Marxist library up to the ranch that belonged to Estolv's 
father. We thought that was a good place to put all that stuff. 
It turned out that it probably wasn't a good place, but anyhow 
that was our intention. We put it in the back of a car that we 
had bought from Dave Jenkins. It was a good car, but kind of 
old. It was a convertible, and we were driving up to Sonoma 
County to get to the ranch, and we were going to put all this 
stuff in a secret place until times got better and we could give 
it to the labor libraries that were beginning to come into 
being. On the way up there we were rear-ended so badly that only 
by some miracle the trunk didn't fly open, which would have 
strewn this stuff all over the highway. We got the car, with a 
broken and leaking gas tank, up to the ranch, and had to leave it 
at the bottom of the hill because it couldn't make it up. There 
were a bunch of comrades up there for the weekend, so they came 
down and jacked open the trunk. Here was all this stuff that 
came pouring out onto the field, because the car was parked sort 
of on a hill. It was the considered judgment of everybody that 
we should get rid of it right away, and it was burned. 

Rubens: All the books and leaflets from Basic Magnesium? 


Angela: Yes, sure. I remember there was a leaflet that was a directive 
against Estolv. There was talk that he should run for Senator 
against McCarran. 

Rubens: When was this? 

Angela: This was while we were still in Las Vegas. But it never came to 
anything, because with his reputation up there he never would 
have gotten to first base. But there was a leaflet that showed a 
cartoon of Estolv lying in a coffin, dead, and then all these 
remarks about how he's going to meet his maker because of his 
vile Red affiliations. There were a lot of leaflets that we put 
out and that the other side put out that certainly would be very 
handy now to refresh our memories. 

Rubens: Was this in the fifties that you burned all these things? 

Angela: Yes, when the underground movement in the Party was underway. In 
fact, it was right when things were really tough. 

Rubens: You went underground? 

Angela: Oh, we were not underground. We attempted to function; I was on 
the county committee. You couldn't go out our front door without 
running into an FBI agent. It was a miracle that I had I just 
had wonderful bosses at that time. I was no longer with the 
Utility Workers because I had been fired for Taft Hartley. I'd 
be down on Market Street in front of Party headquarters, just 
bumping into a leader of one of our local Party units, and we'd 
be talking. I'd turn around, and there was the FBI taking a 
picture of us together. Everything that I did was Estolv not so 
much, because he was not in the same position. That was one of 
the reasons we didn't want this material to get into the hands of 
anyone if we got arrested or whatever. 

Lou Goldblatt was in a different position when he was doing 
his oral history, because all he had to do was go to the library 
and read the dispatches and all the stuff that the union put 
out. I think to myself how stupid we were. 

[Interview 7: 16 July 198?]## 

Rubens: Let's begin with you making a general statement about your state 
of mind and the state of the labor movement when you returned to 
San Francisco after what I suppose was a defeat at Basic 

Ward: It certainly was a defeat. 
Rubens: The war was still on, right? 










We came back in January of '44 to San Francisco. It was more 
than a defeat at Basic Magnesium. Because at times down there we 
had indulged in dreams, that I think originated and that were 
certainly supported by the top leadership of that union, that if 
we could carry Basic Magnesium that would very shortly overshadow 
the AF of L setup in southern Nevada, and eventually possibly the 
whole state of Nevada. In which case we could get rid of 
Senator McCarran and the other senator, and elect our kind of 
senators. The dream went further than Nevada. It included 
possibilities in Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming. We got as far as the 
possibility that we might emulate those Auto Workers in Detroit, 
and send eight Senators to the Senate in those four states, and 
possibly more: Colorado, Montana that would be ten. It was all 
smoke, of course, but it was a lot of fun to think about. 

So those dreams were buried in Nevada, and we came home. 

You mentioned that you had been tired of traveling and living at 
the edge of a conflict. So you spent almost a year building your 
house, Angela went to work for the Utility Workers. What was 
your state of mind about what was going on in San Francisco and 
the labor movement, and where you were going to make your next 

Angela will have to speak for herself, but it seemed to me that 
she fitted into her job with the office workers at PG&E right 

How did that you make you feel, having your wife back on the 
front lines again? 

Why not? I don't know that I had any feelings except that it was 
a good thing somebody in the house was making some money. I was 
offered a job very quickly thereafter with the American 
Communications Association, the ACA, which was engaged in an 
effort to organize Western Union in San Francisco. In fact I was 
offered leadership of that effort in San Francisco, but I 
declined the whole thing at the time because we had just bought 
this house, and I was very busy. 

Why did they offer this to you? 
of what happened? 

You weren't in disgrace because 

Anything that happened in Los Angeles didn't matter that much in 
San Francisco. You know, the old feeling was there 

I want you to characterize that; I want you to make a judgment 
about your reputation here in San Francisco. 


Ward: Oh, I had just had bad luck in Nevada, and a bad time down south, 
that's all. I don't think it affected our stature with Bill 
Schneiderman, the Lambert brothers, the other Party members I 
knew. They were just glad that we were home, that's all. 

Angela: Weren't we offered a job to go to Hawaii by Lou Goldblatt? 

Ward: Oh, yes. I forgot about that. We'd been away from home too 

Rubens: Goldblatt wanted you to organize pineapple workers and sugar 
workers for the ILWU? 

Ward: That was one of the things Lou was just beginning to cope with at 
that time. But we were so glad to be home that Hawaii simply 

More on Organizing ACA 

Rubens: So you took an organizing job with ACA? 

Ward: They wanted me to go to work on that. I said I was interested, 
but first of all we had just bought this house and I was in the 
middle of trying to make it livable. That went on until the Fall 
of that year before I finally reached the point where I went to 
work for the ACA. 

Rubens: What was your position? 

Ward: Organizer. The campaign was run in San Francisco by Paul Schnur, 
who was then the secretary-treasurer of the San Francisco CIO 
Council, and also an old long-time telegrapher and member of the 

I spent my days in front of the U.S. Western Union offices 
handing out leaflets and talking to people, and doing what 
organizers do. 

Rubens: About how many Western Union workers were there at this time? 

Ward: Somewhere between 800 and a thousand, I think. 

Rubens: It was a significant workforce? 

Ward: Oh, yes. There was more than one Western Union office in town. 


Rubens: People depended on the wire service ouch more. 

Ward: This was wartime, in the middle forties. You oould fly back East 
if you had the pull, the pass, and the money. You could make a 
long distance call which, if you were lucky, might get through. 

Rubens: How large was the ACA up here? Who was the head of the union who 
offered you that position? 

Ward: The head of the international was a man named Mervyn Rathborne. 

Rubens: Who was the big wheel out here? 

Ward: Paul Schnur. 

Angela: Wasn't Eddie Barlow one of the ? 

Ward: Eddie Barlow was one of the guys 

Angela: President, yes. 

Rubens: Was it a leftist union? 

Ward: It was one of the leftwing unions, yes. 

Rubens: It was already in the CIO? 

Ward: Oh, yes. 

Rubens: Did you have a strategy for organizing these workers? 

Ward: Well, if we had one it didn't work. We didn't win the election 
when it finally happened. There were many to-dos about it. I 
remember there was a connection with a rather attractive young 
woman working at ACA. Somehow or other I got hold of the wage 
list what each worker was paid and we published it. That was a 
big help to our organizing, because the wages were really rather 
pitiful. But it infuriated one lady worker, who was rather 
pretty and wore very nice clothes and told everybody that was 
because she had a much higher salary than she actually had. It 
made it appear that somebody was keeping her, which was probably 
the fact. 

Rubens: You had said when you were in Los Angeles with Mine-Mill that you 
didn't much like organizing, that you weren't good at it. 

Ward: I was much better helping the organized do their business with 
the companies. 

Rubens: Yet you were willing to take this job? 




Oh, yes. I don't feel like I was a good organizer. 






But you took the job anyway, 
the job? 

Did the Party encourage you to take 

^f the Party was consulted about it, I'm sure they would have 
said yes, but I don't remember any consultation. It was simply 
that Paul Schnur asked me to take the job, and my saying to wait 
a while because I was awfully busy fixing up this old house, and 
then finally going to work for him. 

So you lost the election. How long had you been organizing? 

Yes, we lost the election, although I had done everything that I 
was supposed to do; it was no fault of ours. The Western Union 
workers were almost all women, and we of course got to know a 
great many of them during the course of it all. 

When we lost the election Paul Schnur immediately offered me 
the job of political action director of the San Francisco CIO 
council. We were one of the earliest active PACs in the CIO out 
West here. Which meant that I very shortly found myself with a 
regular seat, one that was occupied by the CIO PAC man alongside 
the AF of L character at the meetings of the San Francisco board 
of supervisors. 

I remember one of the big fights we had was over the 
five-cent fare, which had been the case in the San Francisco 
trolleys (I don't think the buses had come in yet; it was all 
trolleys). By that time we had moved into our home at 
680 Sanchez Street. The J line ran up Church Street and ran 
through the uphill side of Dolores Park. It was a handy thing, 
because standing at the top of that one-block hike from Church to 
Sanchez (our house was just off the corner) you could see if the 
other guy was going to get home, get off the streetcar at the 
right time that night. This became a matter of great importance 
a bit later. 

One of the issues was that the five-cent fare was going to be 

One of the issues was the retention of the five-cent fare that 
had been a part of the administration in San Francisco. 

Who was mayor at the time, 194 4? 
Roger Lapham. 

And Oleta O'Connor Yates was head of the San Francisco Party at 
this time. I think Lapham had appointed her to the war 


Ward: I doubt that. 

Angela: I don't doubt it. !_ was on one of the commissions; I forget who 
appointed me. 

Rubens: In Los Angeles? 

Angela: Even up here war manpower. 

CIO Political Action in San Franoisco, 1945 

Rubens: How do you characterize the politics in San Francisco in late '44 
and '45, vis-a-vis labor and the issues you were concerned with. 
Was it a hopeful period? 

Ward: I can answer that in this way: if the AF of L and the CIO took 
similar positions on anything, we carried the board of 
supervisors without question. If the AF of L and the CIO 
disagreed, somebody else carried it. 

Rubens: How often were you in agreement? 

Ward: Not too often. But when we did, there was just no question; we 
had that board right in our hands. 

Rubens: In terms of organizing, you weren't successful at Western Union. 
But was there a big drive to organize workers the shipyards, the 
machinists ? 

Ward: Well, the longshoremen, the warehousemen. I think the shipyard 
workers were a problem child, I can't remember exactly why. 

Rubens: There were issues with the machinists, and blacks 

Ward: The machinists, both in the East Bay and in San Francisco, have 
either been in the CIO or were friendly to it. In the East Bay 
they were in it for as long as I've dealt with them. In San 
Francisco they were in the AF of L but very friendly to the CIO. 
There was a character, Ed something, the head of the machinists 
that friendship remained until the late sixties, when there was a 
machinists' strike which we thought was not advisable but which 
the machinists bought, and which cost this character and his 

Rubens: I wanted you to be setting the stage for your work as political 
action director. What were the concerns and hopes that the CIO 
had? The war was still on, so it was going to change very 
dramatically after the war. 


Ward: The war wasn't on for much longer by the time I went to work for 
the ACA. I still remember the night when the final armistice was 
signed on the deck of the Missouri in Tokyo harbor. I was at a 
Party meeting at 9^2 Market Street. We broke up that meeting at 
about ten o'clock and tried to go home. The streets were utter 
chaos, utter bedlam. I suppose if anyone had recognized us as 
Communists, we would have been killed right there. Girls were 
getting screwed right on the sidewalk [laughter]. Oh, all sorts 
of things were going on, everything from fistfights to whatnot. 
Finally we walked up Market and the crowds got less and less 
noisy. We got a streetcar up around Van Ness and got home. 

Rubens: Did you and Angela attend the same club meetings? 
Ward: I think we were together most of the time. 
Angela: Yes, at that time. 

Ward: I remember one of the ladies who used to sit next to me, Louise 
Todd, was the widow of Rudy Lambert. 

We fought the five-cent fare issue in the board of 
supervisors, and the mayor had vetoed the resolution which we 
supported, which was to retain the five-cent veto and the hell 
with cost to the City. At one point in the discussion we had the 
eight votes necessary to override the mayor's veto, but when that 
became obvious to the City opposition, our eighth vote began to 
get phone calls which took him out of the room. While I can't 
prove it, I was told that the head political boss on the Examiner 
got on the phone to this character, telling him he better not run 
for supervisor again if he didn't vote no on it. So we didn't 

That was the 31st of December, and that night I managed to 
get hold of this guy on the phone. Before that he had been very 
attentive to what we wanted and what we had to say. I bawled him 
out, and he bawled me out. Very shortly thereafter he got caught 
in a homosexual mess at the Olympic Club. Goodbye to him! 

Rubens: These were days when the Party was running Archie Brown and Anita 
Whitney for supervisor or assembly. 

Ward: They ran him for governor. I remember his campaign for governor, 
and in fact when we meet now I always call him "Governor." 

Angela: Was that at the time of the Schnur campaign? 
Ward: I think the Schnur campaign came later. 


Rubens: What other issues did you deal with as political action director? 

Ward: For a long time when I called up certain members of the board of 
supervisors, believe me, they answered the phone to find out what 
I wanted and what they could do about it. 

Rubens: How many unions were in the CIO? About how many unions and how 
many workers did the council represent? 

Ward: At that time, wartime still, about 12,000 longshoremen, and 6,000 
to 8,000 warehousemen. 

Angela: And the utility workers, the ACA, and cannery workers, electrical 

Ward: We had a good slice of the working population around the bay. 

Then we began to get at loggerheads with the old boy who had 
been the assemblyman for the twentieth assembly district for 
many, many years. Tom Maloney had been state senator at one 
time, and then they had shifted the senatorships around and he 
had been an assemblyman. I had to lead committees of workers up 
to Maloney 's office. Sometimes he was helpful, sometimes he was 
not sympathetic. When he was non-sympathetic and the voices 
began to rise, he'd reach into his desk drawer for his best 
quart-bottle of scotch. He didn't drink himself, but he thought 
that was the way to settle arguments. 

We finally came to the point where we decided to run Paul 
Schnur against Maloney. And we did. 

Rubens: Was this after the war? How long were you political action 
director? You went to work there in '44, or was it '45?. 

Ward: I think until late '46 or '47. 

The Schnur Campaign 



When was the Schnur vs. Maloney campaign? 
the Spring or Fall of '46. 

It must have been in 

Probably. Arranged by the Party at my request, I caught a 
certain longshoreman who I wanted to work in this campaign in the 
middle I went to a meeting in some deserted building on the 
waterfront, and upstairs in a room there was a little meeting of 


Ward: comrades who were quite surprised to see me. (The person who was 
presiding at that meeting is still a very dear and close friend 
of ours.) I carried the edict that this young fellow was to be 
pulled off the waterfront regular work and work at regular wages 
for the Schnur campaign. We did all those things, and the 
campaign was fought. We lost, but that campaign was different 
from any other campaign I've ever engaged in, such as the Bridges 
campaign where we had the assistance of this very smart money 
man, Ed Reite, longshore secretary-treasurer. On the contrary, 
the bookkeeper in Paul Schnur 's office, who was supposed to be 
able to let me know at any time what we had and what we hadn't, 
just didn't know and wouldn't keep up; so I had no idea how our 
money stood. The result was that at the beginning of the Schnur 
campaign the council had set up seven thousand bucks in the 
kitty, and by the end of the campaign we had nothing, which was a 
sad discovery. It need not have been that bad, by any means, if 
the bookkeeper had been up to her job. 

Rubens: Did Schnur lose badly? 

Ward: He lost undoubtedly, but not badly. 

Rubens: Did the Party put a big effort behind that one, too? 

Ward: Oh, yes. Because the Party wanted him. I remember during the 
course of the campaign they even made a deal (which was quite 
common in those days) with the San Francisco Seals baseball 
team. On a Sunday afternoon we had a box with Paul Schnur, and 
at the seventh inning stretch the announcer introduced him to bow 
from the box and he made a little speech. 

Rubens: Was he a good speaker, an attractive personality? 

Ward: He was a pretty good speaker. Time didn't allow more than a 
hello and how are you, "I'm running against Tom Maloney." 

Rubens: Were you excited about him? 
Ward: Yes, I was in charge of it! 
Rubens: But did you have faith in him? 

Ward: I had hopes. Dick Lynden of the warehousemen had put in a lot of 
money. Everybody was a little tight. Dick Lynden told me what a 
wonderful job I had done. But the day after wasn't so very 
good we found out we didn't have any money and we didn't win the 


The Brewery Workers 

Ward: About that time the Brewery Workers came to town with a problem. 
The Brewery Workers nationally were CIO, but in California their 
links were with the AF of L, particularly in San Francisco and 
Los Angeles. So they set up a campaign to straighten that out, 
and sent out a couple of characters from Detroit to run the 
campaign in California. 

Rubens: The international sent them out? 

Ward: Yes, the Brewery Workers International. They were a young man by 
the name of Harold Bondy and an older man named Charlie 
somebody. Money wasn' t abundant. Since the CIO Council was kind 
of flat on its face financially, it was suggested that I help the 
Brewery Workers. I did, somewhat to my distaste, because I was 
not used to working with Detroit mobsters. 

Rubens: How did you know they were mobsters? 

Ward: From the way they wanted to organize; they brought goons unless 
you bought that, and so forth. And you might even put out a 
leaflet once in a while! Anyhow, we did what we could. Bondy 
had only recently recovered from being shot and seriously wounded 
in some kind of street fight in Detroit. That's the way they 
settled things there. 

Rubens: These were not lefties? 

Ward: Oh, no. Also there was an office worker in some connection with 
Schnur's office that he was glad to get rid of, so we got her. 
Thus there was friction in many ways. Incidentally, the Brewery 
Workers had to have legal counsel, so they got Gladstein, 
Grossman, and Margolis, who assigned Norman Leonard to the 
Brewery Workers. He and I had quite a time. We always found 
ourselves in agreement and got along somehow. 

Rubens: Is that when you first met Leonard? 

Ward: No, no. This was when he returned after the war. We're talking 
about '46 and '47 now. I knew him slightly before he went into 
the war, just a new young man in the law office. When he came 
back from the war he was, of course, older, the need for his 
services was bigger. This was still one of the less desirable 

Rubens: How many breweries were there in San Francisco? 

Ward: There were at least three. Budweiser was by the freeway, and one 
at Twentieth 











The AF of L character who was the secretary-treasurer of the 
local brewery union had a young assistant 

Del Moorehead. 

Yes. We learned somehow that Del Moorehead was not quite so sure 
that he liked the Teamsters, which was the union that they wanted 
to go into. I picked up the word and got to him, and for quite a 
long time he remained as the assistant to the other guy but was 
telling us what they were doing, until it reached the point where 
he figured he was about caught. So he came over openly to our 

I remember one night at the old labor council hall on 1 6th 
just below Mission the Brewery Workers were meeting upstairs. We 
sent Del Moorehead up there alone to tell what he had done and 
why he had done it, and suggesting that they drop the Teamsters. 
Outside they had their goons and we had about 200 guys, but we 
got out of there with nothing worse than three or four 
fist fights. Until eleven o'clock the whole labor movement on all 
sides of town held its breath. . 

Was this an unusual confrontation? 

Oh, very unusual. I must say that guy had a lot of guts to agree 
to do it. So Del went to work for us, the Brewery Workers. It 
was not an easy situation. One of the girls from the council 
office that Paul Schnur had wished off on the brewery workers, I 
simply could not get along with. She was a very difficult person 
and, oddly enough, found a sympathizer in Del Moorehead. I think 
that was the occasion where she had me brought up before the 
Party on some kind of charges. 

She was also in the Party? 

Oh, sure; everybody was, except the Brewery Workers. 

She brought you up on charges of male chauvinism, [laughs] 

So there was a hearing. Did you defend yourself? 

I remember going down there. She had a witness, the wife of a 
prominent Party guy in Alameda County, and I had myself. The 
hearing officer was a guy who would have been here yesterday 
afternoon to visit us 

Leon Kaplan. 


Rubens: Who lives in L.A.? 
Angela: Yes, they're in L.A. now. 

Ward: At that time he was stationed in San Francisco. Kappy got the 
idea of suggesting that that one or the other of us quit that 
office. I said that was fine with me, and I quit and let them 
stumble along as best they could. By that time I had decided 
that I wanted to write about the labor movement rather than be 
active in it. Bondy called me up once or twice to ask my for 
advice, which was a funny thing for that guy to do, but he did. 
It didn't work, and they lost the election. Then the question 
was what to do with Del. He had a wife and a child. He was sent 
to Sacramento by the Warehouse workers; he went to work for the 
Warehouse people in Sacramento, organizing them. There he got 
into clashes with a guy who's rather famous in the ILWU, Frank 
Thompson. He was a brilliant organizer, and his personality was 
such that it was easy for some to clash, which included 
Moorehead, and they had a bad time. 

Rubens: Moorehead came over to your side as a Brewery Worker, but when he 
left he went to work for the Warehousemen as an organizer. 

Ward: Yes. That didn't last. Frank Thompson wound up in the 

organizing drive in Hawaii, and Del Moorehead, when I last heard 
of him, had gotten some kind of a state job. 

Angela: The Department of Employment. He signed a statement saying he 

was not a Communist. His wife (her name might have been Eileen) 
was a very ardent Catholic. We went up to see them at Auburn. 

Rubens: Had he come into the Party? 

Ward: Oh, yes. I recruited him into the Party. She was aware of it 

and not very happy, but not unsympathetic either. At that time I 
was writing a book, or attempting to. I wanted to write a book 
about Catholicism, for some reason. I remember going up there 
and spending a weekend with them. She took me to church on 
Sunday morning and asked me what I thought about it. As a 
result, to the great excitement of Angela's sister, I went to a 
Catholic school at Old St. Mary's on California Street. 

Angela: The Paulist fathers. 

Ward: Yes. I listened to some young fellow show us all the vestments 
and gowns and robes that were worn on certain occasions. 

Rubens: Why were you interested in this? 


Ward: I was not interested in becoming a Catholic, but I had to pretend 
to be interested in order to find out something about it. I 
can't remember why I wanted to write on this subject, and it 
would be silly for me to try; it was silly of me anyway! 

Rubens: You quit the brewery campaign and the CIO as political action 
director at the same time, is that right? 

Ward: Yes, or shortly thereafter. 

Angela: When the Schnur campaign ended with no money, then he went to 
work for the Brewery Workers. 

Rubens: The CIO sent you there. Then you didn't want to come back as 
political action director, and they didn't have any money 

Ward: Paul Schnur had resigned, Eddie Barlow was running the CIO 

Council that was going on a shoestring; there was no money. All 
the poop had gone out of it. 

Rubens: Why did it get to that state? 

Ward: Partly because of what was going on in the CIO back East. The 
CIO was divesting itself of these left-wing unions. It was all 
involved with the ILWU and the Bay cities CIO councils. 

Angela: All those selected unions. 

Writing About the Labor Movement 

Rubens: You were talking about your book on Catholicism. 

Ward: I was working on a novel called The Piecard, which was about a 
very good guy who became an important labor official, and what 
caused him to go phoney and why. It was the result of conflict. 

Rubens: Did you have someone in mind when you were writing it? 
Ward: I had a half a dozen people in mind. 
Rubens: Do you want to say who they were? 

Ward: Of course not. It was a composite of several people. Here it 
is. It came out in Polish as Renegat. 

Rubens: Was it published only in Poland? 

Ward: That's the only place it was published. 


Rubens: So writing this novel was the first thing you did. 

Ward: Yes, and I was getting along with that. At the same time I 

thought I'd like to know something about the conflict between 
Catholicism and Communism, and I thought I'd write a book about 
that. So I went to church with Del's wife, and to the school on 
California Street where I asked questions. I forget what the 
questions were, but this middle-aged priest couldn't answer me, 
and I began to be a bit of a nuisance, I guess. He finally 
suggested that I go to the top guy at St. Paul's and see if he 
could answer me. So an appointment was made, and I went to see 
this man, who I remember was slender and obviously a very smart 
guy, middle-aged. He hadn't listened to me five minutes when he 
said, "Get out of here. You're a God-damned atheist." 


Rubens: We're setting the stage, the background of your work. Angela was 
still with the Utility Workers; she was supporting you, 



I think that would be correct. 

Rubens: The labor movement was under attack. The CIO had been very 
prominent in San Francisco, and now was the beginning of the 
purge of the Left. 




Rubens: What was your relationship to the Party at this time? Did you 
regularly attend meetings? 

Ward: Oh, of course. 

Rubens: You mentioned recruiting this one fellow, Del Moorehead. Had you 
done that very much? I know you had set up a small club in 
Nevada, but had you recruited people into the Party? 

Ward: Wherever we could, I guess. 

Rubens: But did you spend much time recruiting people into the Party? 

Ward: Well, as I told you, up in Nevada I recruited a person, in San 

Francisco I recruited Del Moorehead, and that sort of thing. But 
it was always in the line of work; I didn't go out and say, "Hey, 
join the Party." 

Rubens: While you were writing these two books, what was your Party 

work? Were you very active in the Party, or did you take a back 
seat there during this period? 

Ward: I think that my role lessened so far as active Party work was 
concerned. I was consulted on things from time to time. 

Angela: [microphone interference] There was big intra Party debate about 
its postwar role, and the DuClos letter came out. Moorehead and 
I both attended meetings where we heard all the different sides. 
That was the time that a lot of people, like Lou Goldblatt he 
had not been active in the Party at that time, but he took an 
active part in the discussion. Estolv was discussing with 
people, and I think it was at that time that his adherence to the 
Party line began to falter. 

Ward: It was a bit of a jolt, I admit. I felt sorry for Earl Browder, 
whom I had met and whom I had come to admire, not only 
politically. I wasn't in any way close to him, but I thought he 
was a pretty decent, intelligent, likeable person. I had seen 


him as close as from here to there [pointing to distance between 
himself and Rubens, about three feet] and in private conversation 
with Bill Schneideraan in San Francisco. I had heard him talk in 
New York. There I had heard particularly one of the big 
underlings, who I had no use for whatever some I liked, some I 
disliked; some I honored and respected and some I didn't. 

There was a feeling that Joe Stalin had won the war, and his 
troops had enabled the United States to play a very significant 
role in the end of the Oriental end of the war. His troops had 
beat back the Japanese in Manchuria before anywhere near the end 
of the United States' war with Japan. I really don't think the 
doubt began to creep in, but little by little I know that by the 
early fifties, little by little, I had reached the conclusion 
that the CP USA was not getting anywhere and was not likely to. 

Angela: But in 1945 that's not vivid in your mind your response to the 
DuClos letter and the debates that went on? Did you take a 
leadership role in debating within the Party? 

Ward: I knew that I no longer wanted a leadership role in the Party, 

let's put it that way. I was not yet ready to give up my ideas; 
these things came slowly. But, as I said, by the 1950s I came to 
the conclusion that I could see no immediate future for the 
Party. I saw not the slightest evidence of a revolution in the 
United States or the advent of any form of socialism. But I had 
a wife who is a loyalist at heart. I know that I definitely 
waited and functioned in my own way for four or five years before 
she gradually reached my point of view. 

Rubens: During this period, 19^5-^7, you were becoming more of an 

Ward: Instead of blind faith, I was looking around. I know I probably 
would have left the Party earlier than I did except that I knew 
that Angela wasn't ready for that sort of thing yet. 

Rubens: I noticed in Angela's oral history that you taught a course on 
Mark Twain at the Labor School. Was that during your writing 
period, while you were writing these books? 

Ward: Yes. 

Rubens: Why Mark Twain? 

Ward: He was one of my heroes from childhood. He was quite a radical 
for his day, and I thought very highly of him. I don't remember 
who suggested it, but I did teach such a class. 

Rubens: Did you just teach it once? 




I think just one time. I taught other courses at the Labor 
School, God knows, on socialism and stuff. I was very active in 
the Labor School in those years. 


No, I was writing at home then. 
Brewery Workers. 

I had previously worked for the 

Another Organizing Drive for Mine-Mill; 
in Salt Lake City, 19^7 

Jurisdictional Dispute 

Ward: Just at the time I had finished the first draft of this by the 
way, The Piecard does not at all resemble my next book. It was 
nineteen years old when the Mooney book came out. I had gone 
through the Catholics, and just about that time Reid Robinson 
called me up. 

Rubens: From Mine-Mill. 

Ward: Yes. They were having the beginning of a big Jurisdictional 

fight within the membership of some locals who wanted to join the 
Steelworkers. The Steelworkers Phil Murray and so forth were 
actively pursuing Mine-Mill. Reid asked me to go to Salt Lake 
City and conduct a publicity and possibly a radio campaign to 
preserve Mine Mill. I said I would go for a while. I was up 
there for five weeks or thereabouts. 

I remember the first night I was active there, after I got 
settled in some little motel, I was invited to a left-wing party 
of some sort. Among those to whom I was introduced was a young 
fellow by the name of Hoxsie. I suddenly remembered that the 
Wards in Rhode Island had cousins named Hoxsie, and I knew that 
the Hoxsies had come out to Oregon with my grandparents and that 
family in the late 1880s and early 1890s. 

And I knew that there was a Cousin Lizzie who was a 
Connecticut textile worker who married John Hoxsie, who became a 
cop in Portland, Oregon. (The story was that when he stood up 
and put his arm out straight, she could walk under it.) 

He had gone to Alaska and disappeared, and Cousin Lizzie, as 
we called her, had raised her family. I had seen them up there, 
and there was quite a connection between the families. So I knew 
there were Hoxsies, and when I got to Salt Lake I knew that one 
of the Hoxsies had gone to Utah and become prominent there. 


Ward: One time in my childhood, when we lived down here on Oxford 

Street, a Mrs. Hoxsie from Utah had come with her children to 
visit us. So my first night out in Salt Lake City I was taken to 
this affair, and here comes in a young man named Hoxsie. I asked 
him how he spelled his name, and he said Hoxsie. He looked at me 
and said, "Ward do you know Cousin Art?" That's my father! I 
met the old lady, his mother, who had been one of thirty children 
by one father and the three sisters that he married. At the time 
I met her in Salt Lake City she had just come from a reunion of 
the family at a place called Spanish Forks someplace in Nevada 
and Utah. She was telling who was there: a general, a Mormon 
bishop, and a whole lot of other people, including herself and 
this young fellow. 

Rubens: What were you doing for Mine Mill there? 

Ward: I set up a radio program; I ran a nightly radio program and put 
people on it from our side. 

Rubens: What industries? What were these workers? 

Ward: Mines and smelters. 

Rubens: It was a general campaign to keep them from going into ? 

Ward: Keep them from breaking up the union and going into the 

Angela: The Steelworkers wanted to take care of us Reds. 
Rubens: Mine-Mill had been purged from the CIO? 

Ward: Yes, it was among those that were being purged. I forget what 
the final finale of that particular job was, but anyway it came 
to an end. There was an election that we lost and that somebody 
else won. I remember a couple of reporters always busting into 
the Salt Lake Mine-Mill office and trying to find out who was in 
the inner room. I had to stiff the reporters, which was a hard 
thing for me to do as a reporter. But I did it. 

Rubens: What does "stiff" mean? 

Ward: I'd refuse to give them information, like who was in the next 
room. I just said, "It's none of your business." It may have 
been Reid Robinson with some important personage that they would 
have very much liked to have known about, because they watched 
the railroad stations and the planes and everything. It was a 
big thing in Salt Lake City and Denver, what was happening to 
this union. 










So this was just a short job. 

Yes, five or six weeks. I forget how it was, but I was able to 
return home feeling that I had done my best, and that was that. 
I think Angela was glad to see me, and I was glad to get home. 
Very shortly Reid Robinson was on the phone wanting me to come 
back and do something else. I said no soap, not then. 

These were tough times for Angela, 
just come ? 

Hadn't Taft-Hartley 

I was being put to the test about Taft-Hartley. And this was a 
period where I was in trouble with the Utility Workers because of 
my role in the Taft-Hartley; I was also working for the Party, 
not for pay, but I was on the county committee and all that. 
Then Estolv was having this period with the Mine-Mill. I don't 
recall too specifically what he was doing. All I know is that he 
wasn't very active in the Party. I think he read Political 
Affairs and would go to his meetings. 

By now you had separate meetings? 

Yes, because I was on the county committee, and I was in charge 
of the professional section of the Party. I don't know where he 
went for his meetings. 

I remember coming home from someplace one night, and the house 
was full of people, a committee headed by Oleta. The good 
Republican Congressman had died and there was a question of 
electing a replacement to fill his term. The Party wanted to run 
Hugh Bryson, of the Marine Cooks and Stewards, for the job. By 
that time I was becoming more thoughtful, less one-sided, and I 
walked into this meeting, in our house, in which they had voted 
to go to Bryson that night and ask him to run. I told them they 
were nuts, crazy. 

There were a lot of state committee members there. 

I don't know that I put it that bluntly. I said that what they 
were proposing was utter nonsense. 

You then went to work for the Wallace campaign in 19^8, didn't 

Yes, I'm working up to that. So the committee took off for Hugh 
Bryson, and he had more sense than they did and turned them 
down. He also was getting a little more practical. 

Was Bryson in the Party? 

Oh, yes. I think that was before he did time, wasn't it? 


Angela: Sure. 

Ward: Then they turned to a young lawyer, Charles Garry, and he ran. 
And Angela got named his campaign manager! 

Angela: Estolv was really very opposed to this. 
Ward: Oh, I thought the whole thing was crazy. 
Rubens: This was for Congressman? 

Ward: Yes. Angela was named campaign manager and I was writing a 
book. I just went up to the ranch and said to hell with the 
whole thing. Angela came up to see me when she could get away on 
weekends, and I stayed away for that whole campaign. 

Rubens: When did your father die? 

Ward: In 1956. 

Rubens: So he was still alive, and the ranch was his? 

Ward: Yes, it was his. 

Rubens: Was he a force in your life during these years? 

Ward: Oh, yes. He supported me morally. He was not too taken aback 
when I told him that I had joined the Party. After all, he had 
been a Socialist when that was pretty far left. 

Rubens: So you spent time at the ranch writing. 

Ward: Yes. I remember a family were in the big ranch house, and I 

stayed in my father's little cabin and went to the big house for 
meals. I must have been writing The Piecard. 

Rubens: Did you have anything to do with the Wallace campaign? 

Ward: Yes, I had a hell of a lot to do with that. I was back in San 

Rubens: Let's save that for next time and fill in some questions I have 


Reflections on the State CIO 

Rubens: I wonder if you had any relationship with the East Bay CIO? For 
almost two years you had been director; when you were working 
back in San Francisco, what was you relationship to the East Bay? 

Ward: Very little, because my successor in office was Paul Schlipf. 

And I would say this: that if he had a problem where he thought 
I could be helpful, he came and asked me. There was that little 
personal relationship, but I don't remember attending any 
particular meetings, except those that I told you about in 
connection with Bridges' defense. No, I was perfectly happy. 

Rubens: The CIOs operated separately? 

Ward: Sure. The CIO Council did its work, and 

Rubens: Did you go to State CIO conventions during this period during the 

Ward: Oh, yes, I was at the State CIO conventions, and gradually I 

underwent a political change from I was in the top election for 
vice-president the first time, then lower among vice-presidents 
in the second, because of less and less activity after Goldblatt 
took over the State CIO. 

Rubens: This refers to the late thirties. I meant while you were working 
in San Francisco as the political action did you have any 
relationship to the State CIO? 

Ward: Oh, of course. Sure, Goldblatt and I were always conferring 
about this, that, or the other. We were not only politically 
interested, but we were close friends. 

Angela: The other thing was that when you talk about relationships 

between councils, when there were State CIO conventions, for 
example, or political action meetings, then the San Francisco 
council and the Oakland Council would confer. They were all part 
of the setup, so it wasn't that they never saw each other. Paul 
Schlipf organizing drives and taking part to help out the 
situations in Oakland, for example, that might happen, or vice 
versa in San Francisco. 

Rubens: Do you remember any specific things? 

Ward: Oh, there were so many little things. I suppose we must have at 
least been on the telephone with the East Bay people several 
times a week. 


Rubens: The other question I have, related to this, has to do with the 
Oakland general strike in 19 1 *?. 

Ward: I was there, and I suspect I was with the Brewery Workers at that 
time. I was sitting in an office of some brewery over there and 
was having a very good discussion with the manager about whatever 
it was. My two Detroit friends were along. The phone rang and 
somebody told the manager that it looked like there was going to 
be a general strike as of midnight that night, and that he might 
want to know. It seems that his men at that time were loading 
trucks to deliver beer towards Los Angeles. He asked me, 
"Mr. Ward, could you find out for me if this is true that there 
might be a general strike tonight?" I said maybe I could, and I 
picked up the phone and called Schlipf. He said yep, that was^ 
it. I told him why I wanted to know, and he said, "Tell them to 
get the hell out of here." And they did. 

Rubens: I think it began with the Retail Clerks in Oakland. 
Ward: That may be. Now I want to go back to J. Paul St. Sure. 

Ward: I had no further contact with St. Sure until the fifties when I 
met him at the California Labor School. That was an entirely 
different situation. 

Rubens: Was he in Oakland when you organized the council? 
Ward: Oh, yes. That's when I had problems with 
Rubens: We never discussed that. 

Ward: Yes, we did, how he and I crossed swords right away, almost the 
moment we met, in a contract negotiation at some plant in 
Oakland. About the last thing I did in Oakland was attend the 
meeting at which the workers voted to strike that plant, and 
Schlipf took over from then on. 

Rubens: I wanted to talk a little more about your disaffection from the 

Ward: Well, I wouldn't call it a disaffection, but I was standing back 
and taking a clearer look, a more balanced look. 

Angela: It was a period of inactivity [laughs]. 

Ward: Writing and thinking and not so much Party activity. 

Rubens: Your thinking was that you wanted to be a writer, that you had 
things that you wanted to say? 


Ward: That's right. 

Rubens: And you sat down and wrote. 

Ward: If you could read Polish you'd see it all told in here. 

Rubens: You tried to get it published here? 

Ward: Yes, but it fell into the hands of an agent who was also an old 
Pole, and a left-winger, obviously. I didn't know this at the 
time, but he was apparently getting into more and more hot water 
in New York as the McCarthy period began to develop, with the 
result that he finally went back to Poland. He got my book 
published there. 

Dinner with John L. Lewis, 19^7 
[Interview 8: 30 July 1987l 

Rubens: We've come quite a long distance. We ended our last interview 
with you describing your writing of the two books and your 
beginning of a distancing from the political activities going on 
about you in San Francisco. I want to have you make a frame: 
this was 19^7; can you say something about how you assessed the 
labor movement and your position in it at this point in history? 

Ward: The most important thing to labor people on the left at that time 
was the goings on in the East between John L. Lewis and Phillip 

Murray. John L. Lewis was I'm not sure of my timing here 

becoming more interested, I think, in the presidential campaign 
of Wendall Willkie than strictly labor matters. 

Did I tell you about my evening with John L.? I think at 
that time I was the active person in Labor's Nonpartisan League 
in Northern California. I had already written and published my 
book on Harry Bridges. One morning I picked up the paper and 
read that John L. Lewis had been recognized as a patron of one of 
the Geary Street theaters at a showing of "Pins and Needles," 
about the people in the seamstresses union (that was the one in 
which some famous movie actress made her beginning). No one had 
any idea that he was in town. I got down to the office, took out 
a copy of my book, phoned him up, told him who I was, and asked 
if I could come up and present him a copy of my book about Harrry 
Bridges. Whereupon, on second thought, I figured that better 
than seeing him alone, I'd better be careful; so I told Harry 
that I was going and asked him if he'd like to come along. Harry 
told Lou [Goldblatt], and he also would like to go along. 




So the three of us presented ourselves in the late morning at a 
whole suite of rooms at the Mark Hopkins, and there was John L. 
We had a very pleasant conversation. It was so pleasant, in 
fact, all the way around that he invited us and any other person 
or two we thought important to dinner that night with him and 
Mrs. Lewis. Of course, everyone was delighted. We came to 
dinner that night myself, Harry Bridges, Lou Goldblatt, and 
Harry Bridges' good friend, George Wilson. Wilson had been 
Bridges' defense secretary in the years after '39, and was on 
some public thing called the Federal Housing Authority in San 
Francisco. The four of us had dinner with John L. and his wife. 
She was a pleasant, quiet lady who said almost nothing and got up 
from the table and disappeared right after dinner. We had an 
interesting conversation and a drink, and we gradually got the 
impression that there was some secret political goings on which 
had brought John L. to San Francisco. 

The evening came to its normal close, and just as we were at 
the door being ushered out, John L. told us what it was about. 
He was for Wendall Willkie for President. That was the start, so 
far as we had known, of the Wendall Willkie campaign, which was a 
very difficult thing to put over in any imaginable union. We did 
what we could,, more or less half-heartedly. I'm quite sure I did 
not vote for Willkie. I didn't vote for FDR, either. I never 
voted for FDR, except the last time, when I thought he was 

But this was in '44. Roosevelt died in '45. 

No, this was 

'-40. Roosevelt ran against a guy from New York in 

Angela: Dewey. 

Rubens: You were telling me this because I wanted you to set the stage 

for your attitude towards labor. You had been in the front lines 
for so long, and now you were taking a step back out. You were 
saying that in 1947 there was this conflict going on between 
Lewis and Murray. What were your impressions as an observer? 
This was not a hopeful time; the left was being kicked out of the 
CIO, Taft-Hartley . Did you have anything to do with the Oakland 
general strike? Some of your old colleagues from the council 

Ward: I have a very clear memory of the Oakland general strike. I've 
told you about the Paul Schnur campaign. I had been required to 
take over, assist as much as I could, the Brewery Workers 
campaign to prevent them from going over to the Teamsters. 

Rubens: You didn't play any negotiating or supporting role? 


Ward: No. After all, I had nothing except memories so far as Alameda 
County was concerned at that time, no real connection. 

Rubens: In 1947, then, you were distancing yourself from Angela's 

meetings regarding supervisorial elections in San Francisco, and 
you thought the Party had made wrong choices; you were going up 
to your ranch to write. Can you remember what your attitude was 
towards the Communist Party at that point? You had been a very 
loyal member. 

Ward: The book on Catholicism never got written. I found that the 
closer I came to the practicalities of Catholicism, the less 
interesting they were. And that to write anything sensible about 
Catholicism I would really have to immerse myself in Catholicism 
and its problems, as against Protestantism and its problems, 
neither of which I really gave a damn about. 

Rubens: Was this a point in your life when you were trying to come to 

terms with ideology how does Marxism or religion or philosophy 
deal with political and social problems? I'm asking you why you 
are distancing yourself from the Communist Party. Do you feel 
they made choices you felt you could not agree with? What was 
your relation to the Party in '47 and '48? 

Ward: I go back to the incident of Labor's Nonpartisan League, which 

was the creation of John L. Lewis, primarily for the furtherence 
of his own political ambition, but also for the furtherence of 
many good causes in which progressive unions were interested or 
became interested. 

The Effect of Taft-Hartley 

Rubens: Tell me what you did after you wrote your books. 

Angela: She wants you to talk about 1947-48 when the Taft-Hartley bill 

was causing all the unions to break away. And it caused problems 
with Communists who were in the unions and had to take the Taft 
Hartley it affected me; I lost my job eventually. It affected 
Estolv, too. 

Rubens: How did Taft-Hartley affect you? 

Ward: It was dismaying. I was already becoming less interested in the 
day-to-day problems of the trade unions. 

Rubens: What did you do when Angela lost her job? Did you get another 

job? For a few years you did not bring money into the household 
while you were writing your book. 


Ward: I was drawing unemployment checks, and they were coming to the 
end of the line. I remember distinctly two interviews, outside 
of just simply appearing at the window and so forth. You had to 
be interviewed once in a while, and one of the interviews was at 
the request of a woman I knew in the state employment setup. She 
had somebody call me aside and bring me into the inner office (I 
won't name her, and you'll see why). She said, "You belong in 
this kind of a job; all you have to do is apply and I'll see that 
you get it." I said it was impossible, that I would not take I 
think it was called the Levering Oath. I said I didn't think it 
was a good risk for me. I knew that she had taken that oath. I 
said that I just didn't dare. Later, some person that I knew 
only slightly in that office called me inside and said, 
"Mr. Ward, we need people like you; I can help you get a job 
here, a good job." I said no, that I wouldn't take the oath. 

Rubens: Did Louie want you to go to work for the ILWU? 

Angela: Yes. There was an offer made for us to go to work. 

Rubens: That was earlier, but were there other job offers later? 

Ward: I can't recall any other offers to me. 

Working at Electrical Manufacturing, San Francisco 

Ward: Out of this same business with the unemployment people I wanted 
a job! So I began actively looking for a job, and I found one in 
a place called the Electrical Manufacturing Company. It was a 
little bit of a joint on Ninth Street in San Francisco and 
employed probably seventy-five or eighty people all told. 

Rubens: What was your job? 

Ward: In the first place I went into the office and said I understood 
they wanted somebody to do simple work. They said yes they did. 
I took five years off my age; I was then in my late fifties and I 
told them I was in my early fifties. In die casting they were 
actually taking resinous materials and stamping them into, for 
instance, typewriter keys and things like that. 

Rubens: Was it a union shop? 

Ward: Oh, yes IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers), 
although there wasn't an electrical worker in the joint 
[laughs]. My job was the most unpleasant in the plant. The die 
crystals were in their natural state quite oily, and that oil had 
to be dried out before they could be put into the machines and 


processed into these various objects. The drying out was done in 
quite a small room heated to about 130 degrees, with these great 
big shallow pans of this plastic material steaming away and 
oozing off this very fragrant smell of the oil escaping from the 
plastic. Then as the machine operators called for plastic, I 
brought out a hot pan (I wore gloves, of course) and poured it 
into the hoppers of their machines. 

Rubens: You had never done labor like this? 

Ward: Oh, no. 

Rubens: Did you join the union? 

Ward: Of course I joined the union. That was an interesting experience 
in many ways. The salary was minimal, but it grew to the point 
where it was very helpful to us as a young couple financially. 
First I worked an eight-hour day; then I began to work a ten-hour 
day, which meant I had to be there on the job at six in the 
morning. Thus I got acquainted with some of the people who were 
on the graveyard shift. Little by little I came to discover that 
this was a home for Communists who couldn't find other jobs. One 
of the gals in the office, one of the gals who worked on the day 
shift, and one of the gals who worked on the graveyard. The ways 
in which these discoveries were made for instance, one gal was 
just one of the people that I saw between six and eight a.m. as 
they were finishing the graveyard shift. I go to a public 
meeting at one of the bigger halls off the civic auditorium 


Ward: And although it was a public meeting, it was very definitely a 
left-wing meeting. Who was taking tickets at the door? This 
same gal. We recognized each other and said hello, and the next 
morning I said, "Let's talk about it," and so on. 

Forming a Party Unit; Assuming Union Leadership 

Rubens: Was the employer sympathetic? 

Ward: Ohhh, anything but. We got together and formed our little Party 
unit and held meetings. We found a time and a place where we 
could get together. There wasn't really much that we could do, 
just the four of us. We knew that we would get nowhere. The 
union had a steward (it was almost always a woman, because most 
of these machine workers were women) 

Rubens: Why was that? 


Ward: Well, it was a low-paid, miserable, lousy job in which the union 
was as close to a cipher as you can get. Also, it was a place 
where they didn't ask any questions. If you looked able to work 
you got a job; they didn't poke around or try to find out 
anything about you. I never had any reason to suspect there was 
even anything they should find out. They were a couple of odd 
dumbbells who owned the joint. 

Anyway, the day came when the shop steward either resigned 
or got fired. The women approached me and asked if I were 
willing to be nominated for the job. I gathered that if I said 
yes it would be tantamount to election right then and there. I 
don't know why, particularly, because I was, I felt, very careful 
and discreet. But, again, they would bring me into prominence in 
a very distressing situation where I tried to give 
representation, but I could see that I would have no support. I 
couldn't call a strike either from those above me, the officers 
of the union, or the rank and file. And I turned down the 
offer. I said I just didn't think I could handle it. By that 
time I had become more realistic. In a certain sense I should 
have taken it, but in a practical sense I couldn't see any 
possible chance of success. I decided not to attempt it. 

Rubens: This was period of collapse, of conservatism in the union, very 
different from how you started out in '34. This was a more 
cautious period. 

Ward: I don't see how that question fits exactly, because the IBEW was 
the exact opposite of any other type of union that I had 
encountered. What little I came to know about it, the less I 
thought of it. 

Rubens: They were AF of L. 

Ward: Of course. As a member, I remember there were probably forty or 
fifty people at one meeting. It was at annual contract time, and 
of these forty or fifty people all but two or three were women. 
The union leadership had numerous plants under its control in San 
Francisco and in South San Francisco and nearby. The contract 
renewal should we make demands that might lead to a strike. 
They told us that in the other plants, which had already had 
similar meetings, it was decided to just renew the contract as it 
was, and they advised that we do the same. Otherwise we'd 
probably have to go on strike. 

Here I was, a guy who during the war in Federated in Los 
Angeles told management if they attempted a certain thing that 
they put over in a sister plant in San Francisco, and which had 
been accepted by no less than Sam Kagel as a war necessity . 
The management in Los Angeles said, "Mr. Kagel you know who 
Mr. Kagel is." I said, "I don't give a fourteenth of a damn what 
anybody else did, but I say this stinks, this is anti-union, this 


Ward: is a regression in conditions. And while I cannot as an officer 
of the International recommend that they go on strike, I 
certainly would not oppose a strike." The change was not put 
through in Los Angeles, but it was in San Francisco. 

So here I was in a situation where I knew where I would land 

immediately in an outfit like the IBEW, because I would come to 

blows with the leadership of the union and the management of the 
company immediately. 

Rubens: How long did you stay on at Electrical Manufacturing? 

Ward: I was there for a couple of years. We were coming along in the 
world. Angela, after several jobs here and there with the 
lawyers and so forth, had become associated with a firm which 
eventually became Western Benefit Plan Consultants, and she had a 
steady job. This was an outfit started by Paul Pinsky and later 
he took onBenBerkov as partner. Angela was their office worker, 
first alone and then, as the thing grew, she was the office 

For a couple of years after we bought this house we had no 
car at all. Then we bought a car from Dave Jenkins. It was a 
good buy, but it was a mess. That's when we had all our 
literature strewn on the highway. 






The Communist Party Under Attack 

Why did you move all of your papers out of your house 

up to 

We were afraid of a raid. 

What was going on that there would be a raid? 

This was a period during which, fearing all kinds of attacks and 
imprisonment and God knows what, much of the leadership of the 
Party, nationally and locally, went underground, as they called 
it just disappeared. 

This was 1951, '52, the time of Smith Act indictments? 

Along in there, yes. After working in the plastic factory all 
day I would come home and take a shower and eat dinner, get in 
the car and drive to help transport these underground people to 
attend to their needs a guy needs a dentist, has a hell of a 


Ward: toothache, and he's underground, I'm the guy who knows the kind 
of a dentist who will pack up a kit of tools and come out at 
night to his hiding place. 

Rubens: Had you been opposed to the Party going underground? 

Ward: No, I was not opposed to it. My feelings were in regard to 
things that I considered to be hopeless adventures, like the 
election campaign in Los Angeles. No, I agreed that this was 
probably a good idea to go underground. And it worked along 
pretty well, with little adventures here and there with people 
you had not known before, very pleasant. 

Rubens: It was a scary time, but there are some very funny stories, about 
some people in the mountains who kept asking for bagels and lox. 

Ward: I personally had no knowledge of the people up in the Sierra; 

that was a little above my status, I guess. When that broke, it 
caused a general folding and greater caution. I know there were 
many times because of that the J car would stop at 20th Street, 
and it was a steep block up 20th Street. Our house was just on 
Sanchez, just off the corner, so if you wanted to see who was 
getting off the streetcar, you had to come out of the house and 
down the steps. Whoever got home first waited to see if the 
.other was coming home that night or not. 

Rubens: Rather than having been arrested? 

Ward: Oh, yes. Angela was accosted on the street by FBI guys, and all 
that sort of thing. She had more trouble than I did by a good 

Indicted by a Federal Grand Jury 

Ward: My only thing was that I opened the door one day to an FBI agent 

who handed me a subpoena to go to El Paso, Texas, to a hearing 

about the union to which I then belonged, Mine-Mill (I still kept 
up that association). 

Rubens: Who was holding the hearing? 

Ward: A federal grand jury. I couldn't figure out what in the hell 

it's a very complicated story. It seems there was a wealthy 
Communist woman, married, who had some kind of a place like a 
fancy mountain resort somewhere in the southern end of the Rocky 
Mountain chain, to which were invited all sorts of CP members who 
could help to influence various political happenings around the 


Ward: country. I can't say whether or not I was aware of it until this 
Harvey Matuso was arrested. He had been there and had something 
to do with it, and I think had told federal officials things that 
may or may not have been true about this resort. 

Rubens: Was Matuso in the Mine-Mill? 

Ward: I don't know. Here in San Francisco some months prior to the 

issuance of this subpoena I had attended a little Party meeting 
at the home of a Mine-Mill activist a few blocks away from us. 
The guy who owned the house I had known slightly, but he was not 
there. His wife was an activist with whom I had had 
correspondence in the East over the Bridges case years before, 
and she was there with several other people. We had our little 
meeting, and as we were breaking up the husband came home with 
[tape off briefly] 

[discussion about whether to mention Travis by name] 

Ward: Maurice Travis had been secretary of the Contra Costa CIO 
Council at the same time that I held a similar position in 
Alameda County. He advanced to the point where he became 
secretary-treasurer of International Mine, Mill, and Smelter 
Workers. He's a man about my age (I don't know if he's alive or 
dead; I haven't heard from him for years). 

At our little meeting at this house in San Francisco, not 
too far away from our own, here comes the man of the house with 
Trav and a third guy. Travis sees me and says, "We got Matuso, 
he's on our side now." I said, "Gee, that's good; I hope it 
works out all right," or something like that, and went on my 
way. The third guy was a spy, it turns out. 

So I am ordered by this subpoena to go before a federal 
grand jury in El Paso, Texas, to tell what I knew about Harvey 

Rubens: What did you know about him? Who was he? Why did he matter? 

Ward: You [addressing Angela] tell me what Harvey Matuso was, because I 
forget. He was the kind of a guy who seemed to be mixed up in 
things to some extent and who had become a government witness, 
and then had turned turtle about events about which he never knew 

Rubens: You said he also ratted about this resort run by a Communist 
woman. Was she a benefactress of Mine-Mill? 

Angela: I think she was a benefractress of the Communist Party. 


Rubens: Did you go to the grand jury hearing? 

Ward: The man who owned the house where this meeting had occurred was 

an official organizer for Mine-Mill for years, and he had married 
a woman from Washington who I think had been active in the 
left-wing. I think they were quite prominent in Washington. 

Angela: Was it Jessica Rhine? 

Ward: Right. But that wasn't her husband's name. 

Rubens: Who is Maurice Travis? 

Angela: He was the secretary-treasurer of the International Union of 

Ward: He later became president, too. 

Angela: And he was hounded by the FBI. He was brought up on charges by 

the government of being a Communist. All the offices of the 

Mine-Mill eventually for violating the Taft-Hartley Act, and 

signing the non-Communist affidavit. 

Rubens: What did they want to know from you? Did you go to El Paso? 

Ward: I immediately called Norman Leonard, my lawyer, and we went down 
before some federal official in the Post Office building in San 
Francisco and arrangements were made for the time and place when 
I should be in El Paso, and my transportation and all that, and I 

Rubens: What year is this? Was this before the new car? 

Ward: Yes, so it must have been 1951 or '52. I came in at night and 
was to appear before the federal grand jury the next morning. 
That night I met Harvey Matuso. 

Ward: He struck me as being a very average kind of individual. Even 

though I had this feeling, I thought for a man to change sides so 
quickly there must be something strange I couldn't figure out. 

Anyway, we had dinner, and all the people at the table were 
Mine-Mill people except Matuso and me. As I got up I saw Matuso 
talking to the waiter about the bill, and it was explained to me 
that because of some odd reason Matuso could not be the guest of 
the union; he had to pay his own way. It was a little legal 
problem. I also found that Jessica Rhine's husband had been 
subpoened along with me, because he was one of those 


Ward: three guys that came in the door at Jessica's house, 
were there in El Paso. 

So he and I 

I was called first. The federal d.a. has been all 
buttercups and kisses with me in all the preliminaries and so 
forth. There were twenty-odd other men, none of them seemed to 
be any older than I, and I gathered very quickly that they were 
mostly cattle ranchers from the Southwest Arizona, Utah, Nevada, 
Colorado, and so on all sitting there in white shirts (it was 
warm) listening to me. This guy questioned me, beginning at the 
beginning: where I had come from, my various positions in the 
labor movement, what I had been, what I was doing, and so forth, 
all very sweet and cozy. Oh, yes, and what connection did I have 
with Harry Bridges and the Angel Island trial? I said I was his 
defense secretary. "Well, why did you become his defense 
secretary?" Well, because I thought he was wrongfully accused, 
and was accused only because he had become an important and 
successful trade union leader. "How did you know he was not a 
Communist?" I said I really felt that any political association 
was a matter of no genuine importance, really. "All right, 
Mr. Ward, are you now or have you ever been " I took the Fifth. 

I was asked to explain which part of the Fifth I took. 
Technically I had a lawyer, but there was another part of the 
whole business going on in another courtroom about two blocks 
away, and the only lawyer representing the Mine-Mill was at the 
other courtroom. So I couldn't step outside the door and ask for 
my lawyer. So I took the whole Goddamned Fifth, and the hell 
with it. 

Rubens: Did you say that? 

Ward: [laughs] Something like that. 

Rubens: Did they ask you specifically whether you knew people in the 
Mine-Mill were in the Party? 

Ward: I forget. Whatever they asked me, the questions all revolved 

around the point of whether I was a Communist or not. They soon 
gave up and excused me, very dour-faced: after being so nice and 
kind to Mr. Ward, it's too bad he wouldn't cooperate, and so 
forth phew! So I was through, and the other fellow went in. I 
sat and waited, and he came out and we went back to our hotel 
together. It was the same thing for him: they weren't so much 
interested in Matusso as such as in whether or not we were 
Communists in leadership of Mine-Mill. I came home, and that was 

Rubens: You were not called before the Tenney Committee in California? 


Ward: Did I tell you about being waked up in the middle of the night by 
Jack Tenney playing the piano? But, no, I wasn't called before 
his committee or the Yorty committee. 

Helping the C. P. Underground 

Rubens: Was there anything more about that period in the underground that 
you wanted to talk about? 

Ward: Oh, yes. In the underground I had certain escape routes. For 

instance, when I went out in the evening it wouldn't matter where 
I was going, but I figured I might be followed leaving the 
house. I had two or three ways to deal with this. If I were a 
block ahead of a following motorist, there were turns I could 
take that unless he were within a block of me he couldn't tell 
whether I went this way or that way. So I would use those 
different spots, and then go on my way to wherever. 

Rubens: You were driving Dave Jenkins' old car at this time? 

Ward: Yes. Then I ran into some very amusing situations. People whom 
I would never have suspected were doing the same thing that I was 
doing. My dentist was giving dental help to people in the 
underground with toothaches. The underground folks were trying 
to hold political meetings, too. 

Rubens: What kind of political meetings? 

Ward: Well, these characters who were in hiding were thought to be the 
cream of the Communist Party, so they had to lecture us on the 
latest developments in the Communist world. 

Rubens: So you would meet with them? 

Ward: Of course. Although I must admit that in one or two instances I 
began to think that this was just a waste of time; they didn't 
know any more than anybody else. 

Then there was the Sierra Nevada group 

Rubens: Can you just tell me something about that? Many people have 
talked about it. 

Ward: I really was so far away from it, both physically and 

knowledgeably in fact, I didn't know such a thing existed until 
it was exposed by the FBI. 


Angela: What are you talking about? 

Ward: This little group of top leaders 

Rubens: Three men and a 

Ward: in the national CP. I think they were living out in a cabin up 

Rubens: And they kept coming to the nearest store to ask for lox and 

Angela: Yes. The woman who was sort of the housekeeper would go down to 
the village and she'd ask if they had sour cream, lox, bagels. 

Ward: This New York stuff that nobody else ever heard of. 
Rubens: So these were New York people, not California people? 

Angela: Yes. The people in this cabin I think Norm Leonard talks about 
them [in his oral history], because he was one of the attorneys 
(he and Richie Gladstein) who defended the guys or one of the 

Ward: I think Norm Leonard defended one of the women who was running 
errands for them. 

Angela: She wasn't exactly underground, because she had to go to the 
village. But anyhow, she was arrested and accused of being a 
co-conspirator. When the case broke it was really funny. All 
the left really got [tape turned off] 

Rubens: I asked if you had originally opposed the underground, and you 
said no. Angela said you were both basically disciplined. 

Angela: No, I said we were philosophically beginning to have doubts, 
certainly about the underground. When that broke we were 
critical of it. When we were first told that the Smith Act 
necessitated the people going underground, we figured yes, that's 
all you can do. Otherwise the whole Party leadership will be 

Rubens: You figured Fascism was really just around the corner. 

Angela: Right. And we accepted that position. Even Estolv did, too, 
although he had doubts later. 

Ward: Oh, of course. 








We accepted the position that Fascism was practically here, and 
that the concentration camps were being readied to receive us. 
But then when these things the Sierra business broke, and then 
there were other little things that indicated that this was 
crazy. We were functioning and had our jobs. I was working for 
Paul Pinsky in Western Benefit Plan Consultants. 

It was embarrassing for you. 

Yes, it was very embarrassing for me, because Paul Pinsky was a 
Party member (I don't know if I should say that). 

He was sympathetic to you. 

More than that, he was in the organization. 

Sure, and sympathetic to your ideas. 

The thing was that people from the security division of the Party 
would come up to my office and walk in unannounced, and they 
would signal me to go out in the hall. Oh, Lee Kutnick was the 
guiltiest of this; I used to get so mad at her, because after 
all, she should have known better. I began to think that these 
people were just exposing everybody. And the Pinsky firm was 
very good and very progressive. 

Not only that, but you as the secretary knew that Pinsky, 
particularly, was getting calls from business associates 

No, this was at the Un-American hearings. 

Yes, his business associates would ask him, "What is this? 
kind of people do you have in your employ?" 



At that time I began to think that these Party people were really 
stupid. In fact, I complained to Oleta, "For God's sake, it's 
important for me to have this job here, and I'm working with 
people who are Party members in different "(it was all in the 
CIO building) "why are we exposing this all in this stupid 
fashion?" She agreed with me. Then I began to think that there 
were these diehard people in the Party who were so completely 
taken over by this theory that we were living in a Fascist world 
that they kept making things very difficult, and Jeopardizing not 
only me but the whole apparatus. Then it became sharper in the 
later period. 

Were you called in San Francisco? Was that the next major event 
before the Un-American Activities Committees? 

Ward: The Un-American Activities was in 1957, and we're still in 1953. 


Bubens: By 1954, once the underground broke and the Smith Act trials were 
well under way, there was a big debate in the Party about the 
leadership. So many people think it was because of the 
revelations of the Kruschev letters that everyone went out of the 
Party after that, but there really were precedents to that with 
this debate over the leadership. Were you involved in that? Did 
you have positions that you were arguing for or against Foster? 

Ward: I don't remember any problem there at all, particularly. I think 
the only problems with the Party that I had I've already told you 
about, and they evolved around what I considered to be political 
campaigns that were utterly ridiculous. 

r T : :cir-g = ".-.:.:;- a : - T - 

What did you do after you left Electrical Manufacturing? 

Ward: I didn't leave exactly. In the first place, in '53 we had a 

little money and we wanted to do something. I bought this car in 
Detroit (buying it here and picking it up in Detroit), and we 
took a trip through lew England. We went to see the old family 
home in Kb ode Island, found my father's birthplace. I was very 
interested in that. Then we drove on home by way of lew Orleans. 

Angela: Then didn't you become interested in photography and go to the 
San Francisco Art Institute? 

Ward: Oh, in there somewhere, yes. 

- " ~-csi for Gabriel Moulin at 

Ward: I became interested in photography, and under the stairs of 

house I built a darkroom. I put it under the stairs because it 
was easy to block off the light, and it had a toilet which could 
be arranged as a sink. I went to the San Francisco Art Institute 
on Chestnut Street to learn the ins and outs of fancy 

Was this after the end of the underground period, and yon didn't 
have so many Party obligations? 

It had nothing to do with Party obligations. We still kept 
Party obligations until January 30, 1957. I was not very active, 
I admit, in any Party activities. 

: That's right, yon weren't. But you went to meetings. 





I worked at the Moulin studio. 

Be was a well-known San Francisco studio photographer. 

A famous photographer. 

Has it easy to get that Job? 

Oh, yes. The beginning phases of lab work were very simple. 
They didn't pay much, either. Sometimes I worked with an old 
boy, an old German photographer who made murals. Be would take a 
scene on a four-by-five film, and he could make a picture out of 
that that would be, say, thirty feet wide and twelve feet high or 
more. But doing that would require a sort of reproduction on 
paper, and that can't be done in a minute. It meant we had to 
wait until the main studio, which was a great big room with a 
high ceiling, could be cleared completely. He would start 
shooting the film at about five or six in the afternoon, and 
start pulling down a couple of sheets of paper because there are 
no sheets of paper that big; they had to be put in with 
thumbtacks on the wall. He'd take them out and roll them up and 
go down to the darkroom. He would start developing around fo 

o'clock the next morning, and I'd get h 

around six or 

o'clock. He'd be back at work at ten or eleven that day. 

Did you keep your Job at Electrical? 

That was long since past. 

Has there any Job in between Electrical and Moulin? 

I'm trying to think. I worked for the California Labor School. 
I think that was an actual paid Job. I taught classes there. 

s: Did you enjoy that? 



Rubens: He 

ntioned your Mark Twain course there, but that was in '47. 


I had relations with the Labor School from its foundation until 
its demise, on and off. 

It was closed in 1952 or 1953 by the Treasury Department. 

That could be. Hhy do I confuse that with '57. when my father 
died? I know that on the day of his death I had been helping to 
arrange for the transfer of certain photographs from the Labor 
School, which had Just been closed, to the PV :?e::lrs Horldl. 
it home for lunch and I got the phone cal 


Ward: dead. That was on May 10, 1957. So the Labor School couldn't 
have closed in '52 or '53. 

Rubens: Maybe it lost its accreditation in '52. 

Angela: Yes. That may have been it. They had to struggle 

Rubens: That's interesting to hear about you transferring things to the 
PW, because the story I have heard is that the Treasury 
Department had come in and locked up 

Ward: These were things they had not yet found or locked up. 

Rubens: So you had a long relationship with the Labor School? 

Ward: Yes. Not always necessarily close, but I was always 

Angela: You worked closely with Holland Roberts. 

Ward: Oh, yes. If he wanted me to do something, I'd do it; or anything 
they thought I knew something about, I would give a lecture or 

Rubens: Were you involved in any of Harry Bridges' other trials? 
Ward: No, only the one. 

Rubens: You said Harry never liked you very much. Did you have any other 
relationship with him? 

Ward: In one of the later trials Norm, Elly (Elinor Kahn), and Merle 
Richmond were the behind-the-scenes team. Once in a while they 
would call me up to ask what I knew or thought about some aspect 
or other. But it was nothing of any importance. To say I had 
absolutely no contact at all is not exactly true, but I had very 

Friendship with Louis Goldblatt 

Rubens: How about Louis Goldblatt? Did you maintain a social 
relationship ship with Louis? 

Ward: Oh, yes. We were close friends. There were periods when we just 
didn't seem to have much to we were always friendly, but 
particularly as the association between Goldblatt and Bridges 
began to turn sour, Louie and I became closer. 


Rubens: Would he talk to you about his dispiritedness or his unhappiness? 

Ward: I did get Louie to talk about this came years later, of course, 
after the whole thing ended, when the leadership of the ILWU had 
been turned over to new hands, and Bridges and Goldblatt were 
both retired. That's a jump of twenty years, so I better tell 
you about it later. 

Rubens: I want to make sure we get that story. But at this time he 
didn't talk to you about the rift that was occurring between 
Bridges and himself. 

Ward: Oh, no, not at all. 

Rubens: But you knew relations were strained and he was becoming closer 
to you. 

Angela: Everybody was talking about it, except Lou. 
Ward: Lou was very 
Angela: Discreet. 

Ward: In spite of the fact that he had come to lots of disagreements 

with Harry, he still respected the man, and he had a respect for 
their past together. He didn't really want to talk about it. 

Thoughts on the Henry Wallace Campaign 

Rubens: I have one other left-over question: did you have anything to do 
with the Wallace campaign? I know Angela did. 

Ward: Yes. Angela had a great deal to do, not with the Wallace 

campaign but with that silly thing that started down in Los 

Angela: The Progressive party. 

Ward: No, the guy who was lieutenant-governor under Olson, Ellis 
Patterson the Patterson slate. 

Angela: I didn't have much to do with that. 

Ward: You had a hell of a lot to do with that, and I got so mad about 
the whole thing I went up to the ranch. 

Angela: No, that was over the Garry and Bryson campaign. 


Rubens: Then Angela went from that to the Wallace campaign. 

Angela: The Wallace campaign was conducted by the Progressive party, and 
I was to get the City and County of San Francisco secretaryship 
(or director, or chairman whatever it was called) of the 
Progressive party. I was working with Dave Jenkins. 

Rubens: The Party had made a decision that they should put a lot of 

effort into this, because it was a test case. If it got on the 
ballot here and did well here in California, it would do well in 
the rest of the country. 

Angela: There was a luncheon given for Garry, and the Party people were 

there. I remember Leon Kaplan getting up and warning us all 

warning the few Progressive trade unionists who were there and 
the Progressive party people who were working that if we did not 
go whole hog into this campaign, we were going to end up behind 
the concentration camp gates. Those were the words of Kappy. We 
laugh about it now. When I see him we talk about it, and he 
says, "My God, did I say that?" I tell him yes, he did. I don't 
think Estolv was involved. 

Ward: I was on the ranch. 

Angela: But when I'd tell you these things, you'd get more and more 
disgusted. You'd say it was completely haywire. 

Rubens: Did you have any role in the Wallace campaign? 

Ward: I took no part in the Garry campaign, and I can't remember 

anything specific about Wallace. I was for Wallace, I know that. 

Angela: I think you did little things, but 

Rubens: I'm asking because in retrospect a lot of people comment that the 
Party's insistance on the whole hog effort for Wallace was a 
mistake, and it was the beginning of many mistakes they made from 
48 into '57. I was trying to get you to talk about that period. 

Ward: I think I recall that we were surprised at the vote Wallace got 

in San Francisco because we figured that he would get at least as 
much as Oleta O'Connor had gotten in her campaign for something 
in the same political area just a couple of years before. In 
fact I think I made a bet on it at Keynes betting parlor that 
Wallace would get so many thousand votes in San Francisco, which 
was about what Oleta had gotten. He didn't get anywhere near 
that, and it was a surprise to me that he did so poorly in the 
eyes of the electorate. 

Angela: We did precinct work. 

Ward: Oh, yes, but nothing outstanding. 



Rubens: Next time we'll talk about the HUAC hearings. Did you leave the 
Party before or after that? 

Ward: We left the Party together on January 30, 1957. 

Angela: And the hearings were in May of 1957. That was what the irony 
was: we had left the Party, and we were already 

Ward: There were five people at that meeting at our house when we left 
the Party: Angela, myself, Oleta, and two other persons, one of 
whom was and is today a famous entertainer. The other was a 
writer of children's stories. 

Angela: She's dead now, Iris Noble. 

Ward: I remember the meeting very clearly because, after all, when you 
have given twenty-one years of your life to a cause, it's 
something to bid it goodbye. But we did. I had been convinced 
for several years that the Party was not going to get anywhere in 
this country during our lifetimes. But I had to wait for Angela, 
who was more of a loyalist than I was. 

Rubens: Would you and Angela argue about it? 

Ward: No, I don't think we argued particularly, but she knew that I was 
cooler toward the Party than she was. Or to put it the other 
way, I knew that she was still more enchanted with the Party than 
I was. 



What led to your disenchantment? 

The political campaigns? The 



In '56 and '57 there were events in various countries around 
Baltic that made me feel, and I think Angela, too, that the 
Joseph Stalin setup wasn't as sweet and smiling, as correct and 
thoughtful, as we had previously believed it to be. In other 



Ruben s : 





words, the disillusionment became stronger, to the point where we 
agreed that we would quit the Party. 

Who called the meeting? 
I think we asked for it. 

The two of you had made up your minds that you were going to 

These two other people I mentioned had been members of Angela's 
Party group for which she had been a leader or officer for quite 
a long time. 

Was Oleta still the head of the San Francisco Party? 
No, I think by that time she was in the state setup. 

The other two people said they were also determined to quit. 
Oleta asked us particularly (maybe she also asked the others) if 
we would continue on an informal basis to meet with the Party. I 
remember that I answered, and Angela agreed, that we would meet 
with anybody on any subject of common interest, but not 

After all, it was the professional 


Oh, Peggy Sarasohn was there, 

I guess that's true. 

Well, this was a big step in your lives. 
It was very sad. 

I remember the date because it was FDR's birthday. For some 
reason or other I connect the two things. On May 10 of the same 
year Angela was called up before the House Un-American Activities 
Committee in San Francisco, and was asked about that meeting that 
we had on January 30. Now, you try to figure that out. The way 
I figure it is that we have no feeling that anyone who was at 
that meeting was directly responsible. But Oleta had 
responsibilities to report to a state committee, and there, we 
suspect, was where it got out. 

And we found out later, talking to Al Richmond and others, that 
the state committee at that time was riddled there were more 
spies than there were actual God-fearing Communists! 

Rubens: Oleta left the next year? 


Angela: Yes, and I think Al and Dorothy (Healey) left shortly thereafter. 

Ward: Kappy left about the same time Oleta did. I remember Kappy 
coming up from Los Angeles and trying to tell us what damned 
fools we were to leave the Party. A year later he left himself. 

Rubens: When did Jenkins leave? 

Angela: I think he was having a lot of problems. He was always being 
brought up on charges of one kind or another. 

[Interview 9: 20 August 198?]## 

Ward: Do you want to begin with the five people? 
Rubens: That's where we had ended. 

Ward: Angela and I have had a little discussion about the five people, 
and the question arose as to whether there had been a sixth 
person there. The conclusion I came to was that the sixth person 
would have been there except that she was ill (and is now dead). 

Rubens: So you don't want to identify that person? 
Ward: No. We talked about the other five people. 

Rubens: You chose not to use the name of the entertainer. There were 

Oleta, Estolv, Angela, Iris Noble, and an entertainer. You want 
to leave it at that? 

Ward: Yes, I think so. 

Rubens: This was January 30, 1957, which you remember because it is the 
anniversary of Roosevelt's death. We talked some about how five 
months later Angela was called before the hearings. Do you want 
to spend a little more time on the record talking about what it 
meant to leave the Party and then, I assume, to hold Angela's 
hand through this ordeal? 

Trouble Publishing The Piecard 

Ward: We have to go back a little bit, because that date of '57 comes 
about four years after I began to try to sell my first book, my 
novel, called The Piecard. Angela reminds me of something that 
had slipped my mind entirely: that my first nibble was from a 
black man by the name of Bucklin Moon, who at that time was on 
the editorial staff of, she thinks, Simon and Schuster. He 
thought the book should be published. 

Rubens: Had you had an agent, or were you sending it out to publishers? 

Ward: I don't think I had an agent at that time. Bucklin Moon put up a 
fight on the editorial board of this outfit for the publication 
of the book, but was outvoted. 

Angela: Very close vote. 

Ward: I don't know what the details were. I then turned to an agent in 
New York, named Maxim Lieber. He was a man of Polish birth, and 
evidently a leftist, who had come to New York and made a name for 
himself as an agent for leftist writers. He sent the book back 
to me and said it needed more work, was not ready for 
publication, he thought. I did it over again (that may account 
for the length of time). 

This was during the early fifties, the McCarthy period, and 
the word was that all of a sudden Maxim Lieber had disappeared. 
His wife answered his letters, and so forth. I got word somehow 
or other that he feared arrest in New York, as not only a 
Communist but a foreigner a Pole. The next thing I knew, 
Mr. Lieber and his wife turned up in Poland. I got a letter from 
a Polish publishing company saying that they were publishing my 
book. About two or three days after I got the letter, I got a 
check for $398, which vastly surprised me. Two or three days 
after that I got six copies of the book. 

Rubens: It all happened so quickly. 

Angela: It didn't happen that fast. Some time elapsed between the time 
you got a letter from Lieber saying the book was going to be 
published and the time you got the check. 

Ward: Don't spoil my story! That's the way I remember it. [laughs] 
Anyway, I had a copy of the book, which you've seen. 

Rubens: Yes, I saw a copy of it. 

Ward: I think I translated the first sentence for you. What I wrote 
was, "The meeting ended as the chairman's gavel fell." The 
translation was, "The meeting ended as the chairman banged his 

Rubens: So this was published in early '57? 

Ward: It must have been published in '53, because ten years later, in 

'63, Angela and I arrived in Warsaw in our Volkswagen camper. We 
began looking for this publishing house, which we knew as 
Czytelnik. But the nearest we could find to Czytelnick on the 


Ward: streets was Czytelnia, which we found out means "library." 
Eventually, after finding people who could speak a little 
English, we found Czytelnik, and the offices. 

We were almost immediately ushered into the office of the 
editor, who spoke not a word of English. He sent somebody 
scurrying, and in came a woman who I would say was in her late 
thirties, who spoke perfect English. Not only that, she had been 
a Fulbright exchange scholar and had spend six months in the 
United States, and had even been to San Francisco. Her name was 
Krystyna Jurasz-Damska. Krystyna immediately brought the meeting 
to life. I was particularly interested in meeting the translator 
of my book. 

Rubens: Was Lieber around anymore? 

Ward: I'll come to Lieber in just a minute. I don't remember if the 
translator had died or disappeared, but he was not available. 
But this Krystyna was a very pleasant person and we had a nice 
time chatting with her. We told her how we had arrived in Warsaw 
in our Volkswagen camper and that we were living in a camper park 
on the outskirts of town. In a day or so contact was made again, 
and what had happened in the meantime was that Krystyna and her 
father had gone to that trailer camp. They had arrived when we 
were someplace else, had seen the trailer, had talked to the 
manager who said we were who we said we were and that was our 
trailer. And we got an invitation from Krystyna to come to her 
home she lived with her parents for tea. 

We drove up to 11 Humanska Street, and that may well have 
been the only private home in Warsaw. At least if there were any 
other private homes we didn't know of them; everybody lived in 
great big apartments. Lo and behold, not only did Krystyna speak 
English, but her father spoke American; he knew all the latest 
slang. He had been educated to be an engineer. He had fought in 
the Polish army here and there at different times; he had fought 
in the German army at various times, out of necessity; he had the 
"Heidelberg" German education; and he spoke Polish, German, 
French, Spanish, English, and I think one or two others. He was 
a linguist for fair. He had spent years in Colorado in the 
development of various mines and other industries there, and had 
spent a lot of time in South America. Meanwhile his wife had 
stayed in Warsaw raising their two daughters. 

The war came along and the Nazis invaded Poland. One of the 
daughters was killed on the streets of Warsaw by the Nazis as a 
suspected Communist. The father was arrested several times on 
suspicion of underground activity for the resistance, but they 
could never quite pin it on him. When he was under arrest, Mama 
would go to the church and pray she was very religious; the old 
man was not and every time she prayed she got him out. 


Angela: I'm having quite an attack of deja vu. 

Visiting the Polish Translator 

Rubens: We haven't discussed Poland before, although we did mention 
earlier that the book had been published in Poland. 

Ward: We were in Poland in either '63 or '64; we were two years in the 

Angela: It was '64. 

Ward: Anyway, to finish the story, we met the old man, who was a 

charming guy. He was seventy-five then. His wife had a little 
English not a lot, but she knew what we were talking about, all 

Rubens: What did you talk about? 

Ward: One story stays in my mind, out of the many, many things we 

talked about what he'd done, where he'd been, and what we'd done 
.and where we'd been, and so forth. After the war was over, the 
Germans had been defeated, and the Poles were again in possession 
of Warsaw. The whole place was in ruins. There was virtually 
nothing standing. And worst of all, the railroads had all been 
torn up because the Germans changed everything as they advanced 
to their gauge, which was different from the Polish gauge, and in 
retreating they had torn up the railroads. 

They asked this man to see what he could do about getting 
their railroads put together again. And he did it! He got the 
main lines running again. They asked him what they could do for 
him, as he had really performed a marvelous service. Well, it 
seems that for generations his family had owned a vacant lot at 
11 Humanska Street. So he thought a minute and then said he 
would like to build a home there. There was no such thing as 
timber, but he said there were a lot of old railroad rails that 
were so twisted up that they could not be used again for rails, 
and maybe he could have them. They said certainly, so he took 
those rails and straightened them out, and he made the frame of 
the house from the rails. How he got the rest of it together, I 
don't know. 

So here they were in this two-story house with a lovely 
little garden in the backyard. 


Rubens: Did you discuss the Soviet Union, or the Iron Curtain, or any 

Ward: Some of this will come out in my story. We had tea and discussed 
things, and it became late afternoon. We went back into the 
house from the garden, and down the steps to our car with them 
following us. All of a sudden they almost burst out crying, 
saying, "Won't you get out of the car and stay to dinner? We're 
not through talking." I must admit we were having a marvelous 
time, so we went back in and stayed for dinner. 

We talked about the ghetto and what had happened to the Jews 
(these people were not Jewish) and that sort of thing. Oh, one 
of the things was that he was a member of the British Royal 
Geographic Society, one of the many things he had joined and been 
active in. We asked him if he would like a subscription to our 
National Geographic Society. He looked pensive for a moment, and 
then said, "Don't do it." Why? He said I could send it, but he 
would never get it. That told you volumes right there. I said, 

Krystyna had been married and had a ten-year-old son who was 
away at school somewhere. We never did find out what happened to 
her husband; he just wasn't there and wasn't discussed. When we 
got home, we sent the boy for Christmas a collection of rare 
types of rocks' from here. They got it! We wrote back and forth, 
although our correspondence has somehow lapsed for a long time 

During all this we found out the address in Warsaw of Maxim 
Lieber, and went there. It was a big apartment house, and there 
was no answer at the door. 

Rubens: You had not been in correspondence with him since the book had 
been published? 

Ward: No, that had lapsed. I don't think there was any correspondence 
with the Liebers in Poland; the only correspondence I had was 
with the publisher. 

We found somebody at the apartment building who could talk a 
little English, and we learned that the Liebers were in Rumania 
or Bulgaria, or someplace like that, doing what they did looking 
for books, writers. Nobody knew very much about it except that 
he had gone in search of or to meet authors in some of the 
satellite countries. So we didn't see him. 

Rubens: Let's get a little perspective, because you've jumped from '53 to 
'63 here. Were you still trying to do something with the book in 
the United states after it got published in Poland in '53? 


Ward: No, that was the end of that. 

Rubens: Were you still working for Moulin when you left the Party in 

'57? You had quit your electrical job. I want you to tell me 
what it really meant to finally leave the Party. In Angela's 
oral history you do not deal with going before the House 
Un-American Activities Committee, and I think you have been 
loath for some reason to sum up your thoughts about that. Did 
you accompany Angela to the hearings? Your feeling was that 
there had been spies in the central committee of the California 
Party, because how else would they have known that Angela was at 
that meeting? 

Angela: He was sick at that time, recuperating from an operation at the 
time of the hearings. In fact, we rented a television, because 
we didn't have one, when they told us ahead of time that this was 
the first time in the history of the hearings that they were 
going to be televised. He sat at home and watched me at the 
hearings on TV. 

House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) 

Rubens: When were you called up, Angela? 

Ward: In May of '57. 

Angela: Yes, I was subpoenaed. 

Ward: About four months after we left the Party. 

Rubens: This was not the hearing where the students were washed down the 

Angela: No, that came later. 

Ward: One of the people who was called before that meeting of the House 
Un-American Activities Committee committed suicide rather than 

Angela: A Stanford professor, or a teaching assistant. 
Rubens: How much did the hearings disrupt your household? 

Ward: It was interesting, because Angela dressed up for the occasion. 

I think she bought herself some new duds and a new hat. When she 


Ward: was excused from the stand her lawyer, who was Norman Leonard, 
said, "Now get the hell out of here; get lost." So she 
disappeared and went back to work. She rode home on the 
J streetcar that night, and people were reading the afternoon 
paper with her picture on the front page. They began to stare at 
her [laughs], 

Rubens: Were you worried about her? 

Ward: Well, I was concerned, but I don't think I was particularly 

Rubens: What were the House un-American persons asking her? 

Ward: All sorts of questions. Was she the head of this little group, 
was she this, was she that? 

Angela: Oh, they asked me to name other Communists in the professional 

Rubens: They knew you were the head of the professional section? 

Angela: Yes, they asserted that I was, and of course I'd never admit it. 
I only gave them my name and my address. That's what the 
instructions were. 

Ward: She took the Fifth on everything. 

Angela: I took the Fifth forty-eight times. It made the national papers; 
it was even in the New York Times. 

Rubens: Why didn't they call up Estolv? 

Ward: By that time she was much more active than I was. To go on with 
that day, nobody actually accosted her on the streetcar, but she 
could see the eyes following her as she got up and got off at 
20th Street and walked up the hill. Immediately the people were 
looking from their windows as she walked up the street, so they 
knew where she lived. The next door neighbors, with whom we were 
quite friendly, came right over and wanted to know all about it. 

Angela: They handed me a martini over the back fence [laughs]. 
Ward: They congratulated her and all that sort of thing. 
Rubens: And you had seen her on the stand on television. 

Ward: Oh, yes. And as an aftermath, a man that we did not know even by 
sight on our square block around the other corner from us, on 
the Noe Street side got up a petition demanding that we leave 


Ward: the neighborhood. He started circulating it among the people on 
the block and could not get any signature except his own. 

Rubens: Here you've left the Party. A lot of other people have left the 
Party at this time as well, and yet you're going through one of 
the most difficult encounters I would think that you had had. 
What kind of support group did you have? Did you have strategy 
meetings? Was Estolv involved with that? 

Angela: He was in the hospital part of the time. 

Rubens: That must have been very difficult for you, Angela. 

Ward: It is a fact that your employer got quite a few calls: what was 
he doing having that kind of a woman working for him? 

Rubens: You were still working for Pinsky? 

Angela: Yes. 

Rubens: So Estolv wasn't really involved with the hearings. 

Angela: Well, we used to talk about it all the time. 

Rubens: Can you sketch out what you did between '57 and '63? Was the 
trip in '63 your first big trip? 

Angela: No, the first one was in '59. 

Rubens: Is there anything significent in terms of your professional and 

political life between '57 and '59? Did you work? Did you start 
the Mooney book? 

Ward: I didn't start the Mooney book until '64. Part of that time I 
worked for the Moulin studio. Then I worked for the California 
Labor School. I think part of that time I was just plain 
unemployed. I was usually busy with something or other, but 

Rubens: It's an interesting period in your life: you don't have the 
Party, you're not involved in labor per se I think your 
experience with the Electrical Manufacturing Company was your 
last labor-organizing period. How were you evaluating your 
life? You were recuperating from an operation, you were seeing 
your wife on trial, you were now in your fifties. How were you 
evaluating your life; where did you think you wanted to go? Had 
your father just died? 

Ward: My father died May 10, 1957. 



Rubens: I see this as a very transitional time for you. Do you look back 
thirty years and see it that way? 

Ward: You ask me about my political feelings. I became progressively 
disillusioned, not so much with the Party ideals but at the 
prospects of getting anywhere, accomplishing anything of any 
moment in this country. I began to suspect that there wasn't 
much future in it, quite a long while before Angela did. I think 
if I had been alone I would have left the Party earlier, but I 
could see that Angela had not reached that point in her own 
thinking, and I waited until she did. Then we had the session in 
which we resigned. 

Rubens: Did your father's death affect you in a dramatic way? 

Ward: Well, remember that my father had been dying for ten years. He 

had Parkinson's, and at that time the doctors didn't know what to 
do about it. I don't think they know a hell of a lot more now. 
He finally came to his death in '57, and that made some changes 
economically. He had given me the ranch already, and I had sold 
on his behalf some timber from the back of the ranch for 
$10,000. I had been holding that to see him through whatever 
might transpire, but he died just about two months before I would 
have had to use some or all of that $10,000. 

He had a hundred-foot frontage just below Euclid. The house 
sat on one lot and there was a great big garden on the other. 
While my stepmother was still alive she retained the right to 
live in or use the house in any way she needed to, but I had 
immediate control of that lot. And I sold it. This didn't 
happen instantly, but by 1958 we had a little money for the first 
time. We began to talk about what we'd like to do. We started 
in on our hikes on Tamalpais on Sundays. Angela was still 
working for Pinsky, and I was in and out of things like the Labor 
School and this, that, and the other. 

Rubens: What is "this, that, and the other"? 
Angela: Estolv spent some time on the ranch. 

Ward: I spent time on the ranch, sure, at times when there was nobody 
up there and I'd have to take care of things 

Rubens: Was it a working ranch? Did you have cattle? 

Ward: Oh, we had cattle, but to call it a working ranch forget it. My 
father used to call it "the pretty place," and that's what it 


Ward: I told you about going up to the ranch in disgust during the 
Charlie Garry campaign when he ran against Jack Shelley and 
Angela was Garry's manager. I was writing a book there, and I 
showed it to the wife of the people who were running the ranch at 
that time. I had written everything but the last chapter, and 
she'd been after me to see what I was up to. So I let her have 
the script except the last chapter, which had not then been 
written. She said very sadly, "Oh, my, is this as good as it's 
going to be?" The last chapter was not very long, and I had a 
twist to it that had not occurred to this lady, where it came out 
very happily instead of sadly. She was very surprised and 

Although the Communists lost the election in this union, the 
Communist hero would have won it hand-over-fist except for the 
Taft-Hartley Act. The support was so obviously for him that 
although his one-time friend and later enemy won the election, 
there was nothing he could do to harm in other words, let's say 
that out of four thousand votes the bad guy got a majority of 
only eighty-one votes, which meant that there was nothing he 
could do about the Communists. Absolutely nothing. Because his 
margin of victory was so small. And it would obviously have been 
the other way had it not been for Taft-Hartley. 

Rubens: What was the effect of the Taft-Hartley Act? 

Ward: Under the Taft-Hartley Act, if you elected Communists to 

leadership in your union they were immediately arrested. So you 
had no leadership. 

Rubens: We're now half-way into '57. 

Ward: Yes, June. Then she was up before the Committee. 

Rubens: Did you ever take another job working as an organizer, a writer, 
a publicist? 

Angela: He did some freelancing; people asked you to write pamphlets. 

Ward: My biggest desire was to make the New Yorker, and one of my 
pieces that I submitted was sent back by the reader with a 

notation on the right-hand side: 
I ever got. 

"Good try." That's as close as 



Rubens: So you had kept on writing; your ambition really was to write. 
Ward: Oh, yes. 

Angela: Was that the time you wrote the article on employment which was 
published in the American Academy of ? 

Rubens: Maybe you could get a little collection together of your writings 
and photography. 


Rubens: Did you keep doing photography during this period, too? 
Ward: Yes, I was very much interested in photography. 
Rubens: What kind of pictures did you take? 

Ward: Well, you can see them on the walls around here. That one up 

there was in a little town in the mountains of Algeria, and it's 
remarkable. The mother has her veil off, and a nurse is helping 
her with her child. The story there is that if that picture had 
been shown in Algeria she would have been immediately killed, 
because her veil is off. Her veil is off because she was in the 
house and with the nurse, and the nurse told her not to worry. 
Oh, we had quite a time. At that time I was taking pictures for 
the Quakers. 

Rubens: How did that come about? 

Ward: Do you know anything about the Quakers in San Francisco? They 
had a great big house in the 3100 block of Lake Street. Some 
friend of ours did something some woman who was along in years 
and was no longer working wanted something to do, and she found 


Ward: some little thing to do for the Quakers. She got to know them 

and found out that they were looking for a photographer. Here I 
was, and she knew me. She introduced me, and I took pictures 
here and yonder in California. 

Angela: He went to an Indian reservation. 

Ward: I went to the Tule Lake reservation twice, I think. I would go 
with some young fellow from San Jose, a Quaker. He and his wife 
were childless, so they had adopted four or five children of all 
colors and races. We went down there and shot pictures all over 
the place. 

Rubens: You were freelancing, then. And were you writing articles? 

Angela: Yes, he wrote this article, "How Organized Labor Views the 

Problems of Transition." It was published in The Annals of the 
American Academy of Political and Social Science, "Winning Both 
the War and the Peace," Vol. 222, July, 19H2 

Rubens: Did you become involved in any political party campaigns? Or did 
you do publicity for labor unions? 

Ward: I wrote a lot of pieces about labor and leftist problems that 
were published in The Peoples' World, until I left the Party. 
After that, of course I was persona non grata to some extent. 

Rubens: Did you remain friends with people who had been in the Party? 

Ward: Oh, yes, some. Most of our friends were Party members at one 
time or another. 

Rubens: And dropped at the same time you did? 

Ward: Some dropped out later, some dropped out a little earlier. It 
didn't seem to make much difference. 

Angela: We were close friends with people like Kappy [Leon Kaplan] and 
Celeste Strack. In fact, we had Oleta and her husband, Allen 
Yates, over to dinner after we dropped out of the Party. I was 
very close to Oleta, and I liked her very much. We kept up 
contacts with all these people. 

Rubens: Didn't she leave in '59? 

Angela: She left the Party a year after we did, in '58. 

Ward: Kappy came up from Los Angeles to try to talk us back into the 
Party, and a year later he was out. 


Rubens: Because your wife worked, because you had an inheritance, you 
didn't need to have a regular Job? 

Angela: That's right. 

Ward: When I wasn't working I was drawing unemployment insurance, so 
although mostly the the mainstay was her salary, still I always 
added a little something. And then my father's death the fact 
that I was able to sell .the lot next door to his house. We began 
to talk travel, and she got a six-months leave from her Job, 
which we later expanded to eight months before we left. We 
started to plan at least six or eight months ahead of time. 


Rubens: You had never travelled abroad? 

Ward: Of course, we had passport trouble. Jack Shelley was then in 
Congress, and we got him to go to bat for us. 

Rubens: You told of another time he helped you out. He had been friendly 
to the left he had appointed Oleta to the War Unity Board. 

Ward: There are many stories about Jack Shelley, some I knew about and 
some I didn't. He was the guy who introduced me to the 
Monsigneur at the church who said I could have a half-hour alone 
with the lady from Franco's Spain. And if Harry Bridges wanted 
to communicate with Jack Shelley, he had to go through me because 
Jack Shelley wouldn't talk to him. 

Rubens: Why? 

Ward: Communist! Whew! I'm sure Shelley thought I was a Communist, 
but it wasn't as open a deal as Harry's was. 

Rubens: Were you friends at this point with Louis Goldblatt? Would you 
see him occasionally? 

Ward: We were always friends. 

Angela: Lou gave us the name of his brother in Paris to visit, and we 
discussed our trip with him. 

Rubens: You had never thought of going to work for the Dispatcher? 

Ward: No. One time earlier Lou had asked us to go to Hawaii, but we 

had just had it up to there; we didn't want to go anywhere. The 
winter we spent in Marrakech 


Angela: This is getting ahead. That was in '64. 

Ward: We decided we wanted to travel, and we enlarged our plans until 
we finally went around the world in '59. 

Angela: This is important: on the passport issue, Norman Leonard got in 
touch with Louis Boudin, who had gotten the passport for either 
Paul Robeson or Rockwell Kent; they were the first ones who were 
given passports. Boudin went-- 

Rubens: You had just said that Jack Shelley helped with the passports, 
and Boudin had had to go to the office as well. 

Ward: Yes. It took a bit of doing, but we got passports. How did we 
get to Europe the first time? We left in February of '59. 

Angela: Yes, and we went to New York. 

Ward: Is that the time we stopped and saw Roger and Lou in Omaha? 

Angela: No, I think we flew to New York and we stayed there three days. 
We saw Dick Sasuly, and we met the ILWU research director, Bruce 
Wayburn. Then we went on a ship, the Cristoforo Colombo, and 
Bruce Wayburn and his wife and little daughter were on the trip. 
Our first stop was Italy. 

Rubens: Did you have a goal in terms of how you shaped the trip? 

Angela: We had an itinerary, more or less. 

Rubens: Were you planning to go to the Soviet Union? 

Angela: Yes, I think we were. 

Ward: We were in third class. 

Angela: We were in tourist class. They didn't have such a thing as third 
class [laughs]. 

Ward: Then it was second class, and that's where the Wayburns were. 
Then there was somebody we knew in first class. 

Rubens: I'm interested in how the trip reflected on your life at that 

point. I see it as trying to make some resolution of what your 
life had been, and picking new directions. 


Visiting Italian Communists 

Ward: There are things about those trips that I would like to talk 

about. We landed in Naples. Angela had written the relatives 
before; of course Italy was just lousy with relatives of hers. 
Our plan was to land at Naples, first go to Rome and spend a few 
days by ourselves, and then start seeing relatives. But Angela 
had written to the old man from Ceccano telling him we were 
coming and on what ship, but not where we were going to get off. 
So he had sent relatives to Genoa, the various ports of Rome all 
the ports that the Cristoforo stopped at. 

We got off at Naples, and all of a sudden a man began 
yelling, "Angela Gizzi, Angela Gizzi." It was one of her 
cousins, Sancte de Sanctes (Saint of the Saints) and his wife 
from Ceccano. They took us there via Monte Casino, the famous 
Catholic monastery. 

Angela: With a Polish-Italian cemetery. 

Ward: I got some wonderful pictures at Monte Casino. And the family, 
the old home, with the doorway that had been imported by ox cart 
from Naples six hundred years before. 

Angela: The doorway is a national monument. 

Ward: We had quite a time there, then we went around for a while. We 
really wanted to go to Russia. 

Angela: What about my Communist cousin? You used to have discussions 

with Sancte de Sanctes, through me. We used to discuss the Party 
and the United States. 

Rubens: He was still a Communist? 

Angela: Oh, yes. He was comparable to a county supervisor in America. 

Ward: He would be comparable to the chairman of the board of 
supervisors of a big county. 

Rubens: Was his wife active, too? 
Angela: No, his wife was not at all. 

Ward: At the table would be the old man, Sancte' s father, Ugo, who was 
a Fascist; the son was a Communist; his mother was a Christian 
Democrat and so was his wife; and they had a ten-year-old 
daughter who wasn't anything yet. And they all got along. This 
also took place with other people. There were no yelling matches 


Ward: between family members who were Communists and Christian 

Democrats, but get a Socialist and a Communist together they 
might be brothers, but they fight like hell [laughs]. 

Rubens: Did this uncle ever come to the United States? 

Angela: No. He was a prisoner of war. 

Ward: Yes, he got himself captured early in the war. World War I. 

Angela: No, World War II. Sancte is younger than I am! 

Rubens: Had you ever met him before you went to Italy? 

Angela: No. 

Ward: We knew about him not only through the family, but Angela's 

younger sister, Maria, went to Italy long before we did and she 
met Sancte. They had a little fitful romance that didn't amount 
to much; she came back home and it quickly evaporated. So 
through Maria he knew a lot more about us. 

Rubens: Angela, in your oral history you talk about the role of women in 
Italy, and how he was a Communist and believed the wife should be 
at home. 

Angela: And these things that happened when we got off the ship and he 
took us to the 

Rubens: He let you carry the suitcase? 

Angela: Even though he was a very strong Communist, both in his position 
and in his beliefs, he'd call the servant girls (they had servant 
girls in those days), "Rafaela, Michelangela, come and get the 
suitcases" all this in Italian. I was wanting to carry them, 
but I thought it was awful to have these kids 

Ward: It's a good thing they carried the suitcases, because this house 
was built up the side of a cliff. It was one room deep, and the 
staircase was in back, up the face of the cliff. It was five 
stories high, and those stairs, the first time we were there, I 
think were the original marble stairs. They had been worn down 
so you could slide down them very easily, but it was quite a feat 
to walk up them; you had to work around to the sides, because it 
was just a trough! 
[Estolv leaves the room] 

Rubens: Was Sancte holding you to account about why you left the Party? 




Yes, we had many discussions about that. Estolv couldn't speak 
Italian, but he carried this little dictionary around with him. 
Sancte would say, "Ask him this," and I'd ask him, and he'd 
answer and I'd translate. It was very wearing, you know. 

Sancte would pat us on the shoulder and say to us, "Well, 
you know, the American Party was never a working-class Party." 
And it was too attached to the Soviet Union. The Italians were 
always very independent. They were loyal to the concept of 
Communism in the Soviet Union, but they were very independent 
when it came to strategy and line and all that. They didn't go 
along with the Soviet Union. Sancte thought the American Party 
was too slavish to the Soviet Union. And Estolv would agree with 
him. That really opened my eyes when I saw that situation. 

Then we'd have these discussions at the table, and Sancte 
would talk about his campaign. He was running for office, and he 
got the highest vote on the Communist ticket. Well, Estolv would 
tease his mother and his wife. He'd say to him, "Aren't you 
going to vote for Sancte on election day?" The mother would say, 
"Oh, he's a devil," but she would never say no, she wasn't going 
to vote for him. It turned out that she did vote for him. See, 
that's the difference between 

She was voting for her son, not the Party. 

And also the Italian Communist Party is very broad. We even 
discussed the religious aspects of the Communists being so 
powerful. Estolv would say, "How can you reconcile ?" Because 
we were in Rome, virtually, and here was the Vatican and the 
Pope. Sancte would say, "We let the Church take care of our 
souls, our spirits, but the Party takes care of our bellies." 
[laughs] That's how he'd answer that question. We had a lot of 
interesting discussions. 

More on Angela and HUAC 

Rubens: While we have a moment here, let me ask you some more about your 
testimony at the HUAC hearings. Did you just testify one 

Angela: One morning, yes. 

Rubens: Who else was called up at that time? 

Angela: The second witness was Peggy Sarasohn. 


Rubens: You were the first? 

Angela: I was the first woman. There was a man before me, who I think 
was a social worker. 

Rubens: Was Oleta called? 

Angela: No, she wasn't called. 

Rubens: Do you recall how they selected people? 

Angela: They were trying to get the professional people. They got me 

because they figured I was the head of the professional section. 
Then they subpoenaed dentists and doctors. 

Rubens: Really, a dragnet, a fishing expedition. 

Angela: Yes, and they didn't subpoena any of the lawyers, which was very 

Rubens: Why not? 

Angela: I guess because they figured the lawyers were 

Rubens: Too sharp. Were they just a couple of days of hearings? 

Angela: Oh, no, the hearings lasted I think three or four days almost a 

whole week. 

Rubens: The next hearings (when the kids were washed down the steps) were 
not until 1960, I think. 

Angela: I don't think we were even here then; we were on another trip or 

Visiting the USSR, 1959 

[Estolv returns to the room] 

Angela: I was telling Lisa about our discussions with Sancte, and how he 
took us around the whole Ceccano area, discussing not only the 
Communist Party but all the antiquities. He was very 
knowledgeable about the "Latium," as he called it. 

Rubens: The Latin background. 

Angela: Yes. He was like an archeology buff, and he could tell you all 
the names of things. And he'd tell Estolv all about the Cyclops. 


Ward: Some of the old cities he took us into were fascinating. And 
there were towns that he couldn't go into because he was a 
Communist! There were other cities where he was the fair-haired 
boy because they were Communists. They were an interesting 

Rubens: Is this the trip where you go to the Soviet Union? 
Angela: Yes. 

Ward: It began in San Francisco in '45, really, because of the United 
Nations. There were delegates there from all over the world, 
including the Italian delegation. One of the major participants 
was Guiseppe di Vittorio, who came with his wife. Angela was 
assigned by the Party to entertain her, show her around town, and 
translate for her. There was a party that began after the 
meetings were over, on a week night, at a home on Russian Hill 
which was owned by a then-leftist lawyer 

Angela: Herb. 

Ward: where the prominent Communists of San Francisco were assembled 
to chat with di Vittorio and his wife. 

Angela: It was a meeting that was called by the trade union fraction of 
the Party. Archie Brown and people like that invited Dick 
Lynden, who may or may not have been in the Party at that time, 
and all these trade unionists to come and meet di Vittorio, who 
was the general secretary of the CGIL (Confederazione Italiana 
del Lavoro). 

Rubens: Was di Vittorio a Communist? 

Angela: Oh, yes. Archie wanted these trade unionises to know how the 
Party functioned in Italy to tell the trade unionists that in 
the Italian Party the legislative deputies from the Communists 
were paid the same as any deputy, and they gave the difference, 
what they earned as deputies, to the Party, to you know, to show 
how working-class the Party was. 

We were seated at this meeting at Herb Resner's house. His 
wife was very social, and she didn't recognize that this was a 
political meeting. So she had a big sterling silver punch bowl 
in the middle of the dining room table stuffed with a lot of ice 
and a lot of Coca-Cola bottles stuck in it, and then little 
snacks. She came sailing down the stairs in a long white gown, 
and they had a curved staircase [laughs]. The Party people were 
so embarrassed to have the Italian Communist Party see this 


Rubens: How did the idea of going to the Soviet Union come about from 

Ward: Because Angela knew Anita di Vittorio and helped her during her 
stay in San Francisco in '45; we looked her up when we got to 
Rome. Her husband had died, but she was quite somebody in the 
Communist Party of Italy, and they soon put us in touch with her. 
The minute she saw Angela she remembered that meeting and what a 
surprise it was. 

We told her that we wanted to go to the Soviet Union and 
what, if anything, could she or would she do about it? She said 
she was going, too. We tried to arrange things so that we could 
meet in Moscow. That did not work out, but I don't remember 
why. Anyway, she was not there at the time we were, but she did 
arrange for a meeting with an official who spoke Italian. 

Angela: He was the secretary of the Moscow consulate. 

Ward: We couldn't say exactly when we could enter Russia, and you had 
to have down exactly when you were going to enter and where you 
were going to go, who you were going to see, when you were going 
to leave, and so on. So we couldn't get our visa until we got to 
Stockholm. There we went to the Russian embassy, and if I was 
ever in a civilized fortress, that was it: the window open just 
a slit, and all that. It took eleven days to get our visas. 

Rubens: Did it ever come up that you had been members of the Party? 

Ward: That wouldn't have helped at the embassy, to say that we were 

former members. No, we were just tourists. We boarded a ship in 
Stockholm and headed for Leningrad. From Leningrad the ship ran 
to some port in England, then France, Holland, Denmark, 
Stockholm, Helsinki, Leningrad. We were in the company of 
twenty-eight British and three other Americans. We got along 
very well with people generally. We stopped in Helsinki, which 
to this day I remember as one of the most beautiful cities I ever 
saw anywhere. Then we went on to Leningrad. We were awakened at 
five o'clock in the morning by the customs inspector knocking on 
our door. They turned everybody out, went through all our 
luggage . 

By that time we had become quite friendly with one of the 
English people, a woman editor of some publication in London who 
had prepared for this trip by going for three years to a night 
class in Russian in London, taught by a Russian woman who had 
armed our friend with a letter to people she knew in Moscow that 
she wanted this lady to meet. She had written to these people, 
but she couldn't say exactly when this gal would arrive, but for 
them to expect her. Using a telephone for any purpose in Moscow 


Ward: in those days, particularly if your Russian wasn't perfect, just 
didn't work. So there was no way our friend could advise them 
beforehand when she would come. But she had the address, and she 
asked us to go with her, which we did. 

We had a charming evening at their home. The man was a 
retired mechanic of some kind, apparently well-thought of in 
Communist circles, because he had been allowed to go on 
delegations to Paris and London. By means of translation offered 
by our English friend, we had quite a conversation. 

Rubens: You had no one you knew to look up? 

Angela: We did have this Russian head of the Moscow city central labor 

Ward: He came to visit us at our hotel. 
Rubens: What about Pop Hanov? 

Ward: No. Lord knows what became of him when he got back there. 

Rubens: More than twenty years of your life had been tied up in the 

Party, and you had studied much of Soviet life. What did it mean 
to you to be going to the Soviet Union? Could you say why it was 
that you went? 

Ward: It was interesting in Leningrad, first of all. The warmth of the 
people for instance, we got tickets to the ballet. The only way 
we had to get there was by streetcar, and at the hotel they told 
us what streetcar to board. We boarded it, but we didn't know 
where to get off. And nobody, of course, on that streetcar could 
speak a word of English. But we showed our tickets, and 
everybody they practically ushered us in the door of the 
theater. They were just so friendly. 

The difference between the Leningrad underground and the 
Moscow underground Leningrad was built on a marsh, virtually at 
sea level. The result was that there was no solid ground up top 
and you had to go down and down and down by elevator to get to 
their subway. 

Rubens: In terms of the Soviet Union being a model 

Angela: We still believed in Socialism, to put it in a nutshell. And we 
wanted to see how this Socialist state was working out. And 
especially after talking to the Italian Communists, we wanted to 
figure out why the Italian Communists didn't always go along with 





the Soviet Union and were very critical of it at certain stages. 
The main reason was that we wanted to see this great experiment 
because we believed that it was the future. In fact, I still do. 

There are other ways of putting it, but fundamentally she said 

You knew a lot about Soviet life. 

We had read a lot about it. 
is not always the same. 

But reading about it and seeing it 

We found the people very warm and friendly, even though we 
couldn't speak Russian. One of the things that fascinated us was 
those people who had lived through the nine hundred days the 
siege of Leningrad by the Germans. You could tell immediately; 
their faces had an ineradicable look of pain and sorrow. 

They had starved! 

They literally almost starved to death, and many of them did. If 
I can believe what I've read, there was even a black market in 
human carcasses for food. 

We took the Red Arrow train, a night train, from Leningrad 
to Moscow. In the first place it never got really dark; this was 
summer and it just got a shady look. The sleeping compartments 
were usually three bunks to a side, and we found ourselves with 
some English ladies who didn't like the idea of sleeping with 
strange men. So we stayed up most of the night, looking out on 
the scene. I'll never forget, going along some 60 miles an hour, 
a little opening in some trees in a forest, and in this tiny 
little dell there were what appeared to be a man and woman on the 
ground engaging in what men and women frequently do in all parts 
of the world, particularly at that time of night. Marching 
towards them were about twenty or thirty people from the nearby 
village, just about to break into that little dell. I'll never 
know what it was all about! 

In Moscow we were assigned to Room 99 on such-and-such a 
floor at one of the better hotels, right around the corner from 
Red Square. Each floor had its lady that you met at her desk 
when you got off the elevator, and she kept your keys. This lady 
told us very quickly to ask for "patch patch" ninety-nine. 

The streets were washed, and the downstairs windows of the 
big buildings were washed at night by middle-aged women. We also 
noticed on Red Square that you lined up early in the morning to 
go to the tomb. In those times Stalin was still highly honored, 
so we saw both Lenin and Stalin. 







Despite the Kruschev letters Stalin was still ? 

This was just a few weeks before the kitchen conference between 
Richard Nixon and Nikita Kruschev in Moscow. 

You're talking about the DuClos letter. Well, Stalin was still 

For the common Russian, their line was stretched way, way around 
out of sight of Red Square, around the Kremlin wall, waiting to 
enter the tomb. But we just walked right in. I thought that was 
a little odd. There was Lenin. Angela said, "Doesn't he look 
lifelike?" He looked like he was made of wax; I would have sworn 
he was. To some, he looked like he might wake up any minute. 

We were walking along the sidewalk outside of GUM, the 
famous department store, with our guide (our guides were always 
women), and here comes a guy from one of the outlying provinces 
with his little Tartar hat. The girl guide whispered, "We don't 
like them," which shocked me. I was surprised that there hadn't 
been that much assimilation. It was pretty obvious that the 
greater Russians always felt that they were "it." The other 
people were just lucky to be taken in. 

Then the English lady we had become friendly with on the 
ship approached us. She had to go and see these people in 
compliance with the letter that she had been given by her teacher 
in London, and would we go along? 

Let's get an overview now. 

How long were you in the Soviet 

Three weeks. 

What was your impression? Did you feel people lived well? 

I saw that apparently there was no poverty. The splendor we 

The Hermitage. 

Talk about splendor! 
fountains and steps. 

You approach it via esplanades and 

It's hard to make a comparison, but I would 

say that it makes our buildings look a little "new fashioned," 
crummy . 

I felt almost instantly that it was very interesting to 
visit, but not to live. I hoped that when we got Socialism, it 
would be our type of Socialism and not the Russian type. 


Rubens: What did that mean? 

Ward: It's hard to define. I guess the language barrier had something 
to do with it. 

Rubens: What is "our type" of Socialism? You had thought about this a 

Ward: I can best define it by comparing Eastern United States 

Communists with Western United States Communists that I knew. 
The Western type Communists that I knew, if you were a comrade, 
you were a comrade, period. And with some exceptions for 
personal likes and dislikes, if you were single and your office 
secretary were single, there wasn't any reason why you couldn't 
go out together. You know what I mean? But in the Eastern 
United States, among Communists that I met in Washington, 
particularly that wasn't so at all. There were class 
distinctions. There were people who did such and such, and they 
were beneath you; there were people who did such and such, and 
they were really above you. All in the same Party. I never 
could understand that. I felt there as a big difference between 
the great Russian and the poor bastard who lived out in the 

Angela: Another thing that you talked about was the atmosphere in the 
Soviet Union, where you did feel shut in. You couldn't buy a 
Western paper, for instance. All you could read was occasionally 
a Daily Worker. There was a rigidity about it, and a lack of 
freedom that you found oppressive. I think everybody else in the 
group felt the same way. 

Ward: There were five Americans on this trip. 
Rubens: Was this an organized tour? 

Ward: Oh, yes. You did certain things on certain days, and certain 
times you had off to look around by yourself. Of the five 
Americans, two were a young New Yorker who had just finished his 
tour of duty as a lieutenant in the American forces stationed in 
England, and his mother. Mama was a New York Jewish lady, well 
along in middle age, who had been born and raised in Odessa, and 
who wanted to go and see her uncle who was still living there. 
She also remembered her early girlhood days in Moscow and wanted 
to see those things. So they had made arrangements that he was 
going to buy a fancy car, and they were going to tour Europe and 
then leave the car somewhere temporarily while they went, at 
Mama's insistance, to see Moscow and the uncle in Odessa. They 
had no sooner gotten to Moscow than Freddie decided he couldn't 
stand the place or the people, and he was after his mother to 
hurry up and get it over with so he could get back to someplace 
decent again. 


Ward: So she had tried to change their itinerary. Oh! The last we saw 
of them was in one of the small semi-public rooms, a meeting room 
on the ground floor of this hotel, with about half a dozen dour 
looking Russians, and Freddie and the mother 

expostulating Freddie demanding, the mother explaining all this 
to these guys, and their faces were all sour as hell. We passed 
by and the mother came out and said, "Oh, Freddie, he's going to 
get Lubianka." I never found out what happened to them. 

You couldn't change anything. If you said you'd be going to 
such and such a place at such and such a time, you'd better go 
there at that time and no other time. That's what their travel 
amounted to. That I heartily disliked. However, although I felt 
sorry for Mama, I didn't feel sorry for Freddie. And so we left. 

Rubens: Did you take a lot of photographs? 

Ward: On the whole trip I took 4,000 photographs, 1,400 in color and 
the rest in black and white. I think I took about 300 in the 
Soviet Union. 

One of our adventures was when we were taken to see a still- 
functioning monastery about forty miles outside of Moscow. This 
was our only sense of actually passing throught the countryside. 
It was scattered forest, heavy at times, and the houses in the 
villages were all log huts. The water supply was always a simple 
pump no running water in the houses at all. You'd see the women 
coming, two or four together, gathering around the pump and 
chatting. The women did the hard work always, we thought. In 
the monastery, here I was with my camera. Along came a 
priest he must have been more than an ordinary priest, because 
he looked pretty fancy and had a heavy silver cane and all 
that and he charged me with his cane. But I was a lot younger 
than he was; no problem. 

So that was the Soviet Union. 
Rubens: Was North Africa on this trip also? 

Angela: No, that was in '64. 

Rubens: Did you ever try to publish any of your photographs from the 
Soviet Union? 

Ward: No. My picture of the old boy with the silver-headed cane came 
out very well. 

Then we went on the usual thing, Greece, some of the Greek 
islands, Egypt, and then we flew to India via Pakistan. I 
remember that for some reason we had to stay overnight in 
Pakistan at the airport hotel; we were on the outskirts of 





Karachi but didn't go to town. Lying there at night we watched 
the insects crawling across the ceiling over our heads, wondering 
if they would drop. But none of them did. 

So you really did go around the globe. 

Where did you go from 

We had some adventures in India in Darjeeling. You had to take a 
plane from Calcutta to the foothills of the Himalayas, about four 
hundred miles, and from there you took a jeep. We took the 
plane, about five o'clock in the morning, to the town of 
Bogdobra. On the plane we met a couple from Miami, Florida, who 
were obviously American and friendly enough. They were going to 
Darjeeling also, and we quickly agreed that we would take a jeep 
together. But they had another idea. They had read or heard 
somewhere that a town a couple of hours drive away, up in the 
mountains, was having its annual fair that weekend. They thought 
it would be nice to see what that would be like, and then we 
could take another jeep and go on to Darjeeling. 

So we went to this other town. The main street was not 
quite as wide as this room, with shops and restaurants and 
whatnot on every side of everything. Everything was for sale. I 
remember passing a steaming bin of what looked like rice with 
raisins in it. But when we got up close we saw those weren't 
raisins, they were flies. But we were awfully hungry, and this 
couple said there were places to eat there. They decided they 
were going to eat and asked us if we wouldn't join them. We 
watched, but that was all. Nothing doing; we'd go hungry. 

After seeing what we wanted of the town, we got a jeep and 
driver and started off for Darjeeling. En route those two poor 
people got deathly sick. I really suffered for them. At 
Darjeeling they were put under a doctor's care in the same hotel 
where we stayed, but we never saw them again. They were still in 
bed under a doctor's care when we left Darjeeling three or four 
days later. 

There's a photograph I took in Darjeeling in the other room, 
showing what looks like the wash out on the line, and the big 
mountain in the distance is Kanchenjunga, the second highest 
mountain on earth. Everest was just out of sight around the 
corner. Kanchenjunga hadn't been seen for several weeks because 
of fog, but they thought it might clear, so I got up at l*:30 in 
the morning before dawn. Here we were up at 7,500 feet in 
altitude, and there was a little Buddhist temple where I went, 
about a quarter of a mile from the hotel, on a little peak. 
These prayer flags were fluttering around the ceiling of the 
temple, and they look like the wash out on the line in the 
photograph. Way down in the valley I heard a bugle blow, and 


Ward: then the dogs began to bark. Then the clouds rolled by and you 
saw a snow-clad mountain that was it. But no, that wasn't it. 
A half hour later another, higher mountain emerged and so on, 
until eight o'clock, when I got my picture. 

The couple who owned the hotel were Tibetans. They were in 
their sixties, I guess, and they could drink more gin! I 
actually saw them put down a fifth of gin between them before 
dinner perfectly sober. One of their daughters was an internist 
at Cedars of Lebanon in Los Angeles, another was someplace else 
in the world doing something. They were well educated, spoke 
perfect English, and you met people there from all over, doing 
all sorts of things. A fascinating place. Don't go to Calcutta. 

Rubens: Let's finish your trip. 

Ward: We went back to Calcutta and took an English ship there 

Angela: Cunard. 

Ward: which had accommodations for twenty-one first-class passengers, 
twenty-one second-class passengers, and fifteen hundred steerage- 
class. The most interesting were the steerage class. There were 
seven different religions among those steerage passengers, and 
each one had its practitioner or priest. Some of them did it 
this way, and some of them did it that way. 

Angela: And different foods. 

Ward: We left port at Calcutta at midnight, and we had to go through a 
series of locks before we got to the river, which was one of the 
branches of the Ganges. We were about forty or fifty miles from 
the ocean. We got out onto the river before we went to bed. We 
woke up the next morning and we were way down, with houses and 
trees on banks forty or fifty feet above us. We were down in the 
mud, stuck, until the tide changed. You see, they have 
fifty-foot tides. 

We got out into the Indian ocean, and we met another ship, I 
suppose by arrangement. There was a transfer of a couple from 
the other ship to our ship, exactly why I don't know. There was 
a little launch from the other ship, and here was our stairway 
being let down, rising and falling, rising and falling. When it 
was just right, you jumped for the rail. The wife made it all 
right, but when her husband came to jump he slipped. He got one 
hand on the rail, and everybody watched him. He made it. We 
became friendly. They had been going to Australia from wherever 
they came from, to start life all over again. 


Rubens: Where did you end up? 

Angela: We went to Penang, Burma; then Singapore, stopped at all these 
places, and landed in Hong Kong. 

Ward: It took twenty days. Angela won the ping pong championship. 

Angela: Then we went to Japan for three weeks. 

Rubens: Had you ever had this much leisure in your lives? 

Angela: No. [laughs] 

Rubens: This was an eight months trip. You came back in October of 1959? 

Ward: We left in February and got back in October. Angela's boss 
wanted her to come right to work the next day. 

Rubens: You left again in 1963 for a two year trip. When did you start 
your work with the oral histories at the Regional Oral History 
Office at UC Berkeley? 

Ward: That was much later. It's been about ten years. 

Rubens: For next time, think about the political or philosophical meaning 
of your next trip, and what you have been doing with your time 
between 1959 and over the next twenty years your writing and so 

Ward: I went back to work in the plastics factory. I know that I left 
the plastics factory in '61. 

[Interview 10: 24 August 198?]#tf 

Rubens: I'm still trying to get a characterization of that '57, '58, '59 
era. I also want to look ahead a little bit. I want to make 
sure we have your work employment. The way I see it, you worked 
at the plastic factory, you then worked for Moulin, and then you 
said you did go back to the plastic factory. 

Ward: In '53 we bought a new car to be delivered to us in Detroit, and 
I got time off from the plastic company at that time to fly to 
Detroit, pick up the car, and tour Canada and the New England 
states. That was when we looked up the old home on the Boston 
Post road. 

Rubens: Did you then come back and work at the plastic factory? 
Ward: Yes, I went right back to work at the plastic factory. 


Rubens: You started working for Moulin at night while you were working 
for the plastic factory during the day? 

Ward: I quit working in the plastic factory a year or so later. 

Rubens: Did you go back to that factory later? 

Ward: Only after the trip to Detroit. 

Rubens: Never after Moulin? 

Ward: No. 

Rubens: Then in 1957 you had an operation; in '59 you went to Europe. 

Did you ever again work in the industrial sector? Did you have a 
factory job? 

Ward: It seems to me that when we got back from Europe I worked for 

Rubens: You went back to Moulin? 

Ward: I never went back to it; I either worked there or I didn't. 

Angela: When did you go to the San Francisco Art Institute to study 

Ward: There was quite a while there where I I was always doing some 
writing about something or other, and I had picked up 
photography. I went to the San Francisco Art Institute, and had 
one day of training by Ansel [Adams] himself. I never was able 
to understand the man, really the zone system. 

Rubens: I don't understand it, either. It's too complicated. 

Ward: Very. 

Rubens: How long were you at the Institute? 

Ward: I think it was a full semester, or something like that. I was by 
far the oldest student there. I remember a couple of social 
affairs. In the classroom it didn't matter, but socially I just 
didn't belong. Here I was in my late fifties I usually took a 
drink and left quickly. It just wasn't my generation; it didn't 

Rubens: I get the feeling (correct me if I'm wrong) that a lot of the 

work that you took earlier had two impulses: you were committed 
to the labor movement, but you also were a member of the 
Communist Party. And the Party had an emphasis on working in 


Rubens: factories, downplaying intellectualism, and that a whole other 

side of you always had been an artist, an intellectual, a kind of 
Bohemian. Leading up to your leaving the Party, that part of you 
was emerging. After all, you said you would have left the Party 
earlier, but you waited for Angela. Is that a fair assessment? 

Ward: I think there's some truth to that. I wouldn't put it quite as 

sharply as you have phrased your question, but I guess the more 

immediate practical side of leftism was being somewhat submerged 
in my writing and photography and things like that. 

Rubens: What do you mean by the practical side of leftism? 

Ward: Of course, the many meetings that I no longer attended. And I 
had more time to study photography and try to take better 
pictures. I was interested in the annual photographic exhibit in 
the art festival in San Francisco. The ferryboat picture even 
got a mention in the press once. Yes, I would say that writing 
and photography became my primary interests at that time. 

The CIO Purge of Left Unions 

Rubens: One more question before we get back to the travels: Is there 

anything we should have said about the expulsion of the ILWU and 
the Mine-Mill in 1950? 

Ward: The union I then belonged to was the Mine, Mill, and Smelter 

Workers. My original union was the Newspaper Guild, and that had 
turned so conservative that it wouldn't have been expelled from 
anything except the Communist Party. 

Rubens: When did the Guild become conservative? 

Ward: The American Newspaper Guild (as it used to be called; now 
they've dropped the "American") consisted only of editorial 
department employees, although it was predominantly leftist 
because newspaper editorial people are usually (not always, but 
the majority of them) a little bit skeptical about everything 
that is routine and normal and polite and gets elected. So it 
was quite natural for instance, when I went to the founding 
meeting of the Congress of Industrial Organizations, of the nine 
Guild members who were there, only four of them were real Guild 
delegates. The rest of them were like me; I went as the delegate 
from the Alameda County CIO Council. 

Rubens: I thought it was reporters as well as editors. 










[adamantly] Editorial employees; editors, my foot! They were 
reporters, librarians, copy boys, copy desk men. If an editor 
had joined, he would have been frowned upon. In fact, it would 
have cost him his job right then and there. 

I understand now. So when did it turn to the right? 

When the theory of industrial unionism caused the Guild to open 
its doors to all newspaper employees who were not already 
unionized. Of course, the pressmen were unionized, the 
stereotypers were unionized, and this and that were unionized. 
But not the business office employees, so when they came in they 
were much more numerous, in the first place, than the reporters. 
In the second place they were much more under the influence of 
management, and they thought in terms of management. And they 
still do. 

When did that happen? 

Shortly after the Congress the Guild began as a member of the 
AF of L, and we fought expulsion as long as possible. I remember 
standing at the door of the old Alameda County Central Labor 
Council, facing Bill Spooner, who was the secretary-treasurer of 
the AF of L there, and saying, "We demand entrance." He said, 
"I'm sorry, my friend, but you're out." That's when we began to 
form what became the Alameda County CIO Council. Almost the 
identical thing happened in San Francisco, with different 
personnel you see, Bill Green ordered it. Bill Spooner didn't 
want to fire us, get us out of there. But it was a case of 
either these councils lose their charters or they kick out the 
CIO membership. That was in '37 or '38. 

You were in the Mine-Mill because of your organizing? Carol 
Schwartz said you were president of the Mine-Mill here in San 
Francisco, and her husband, Monroe, was secretary-treasurer; and 
a black guy, Percy Edmonds, was vice president. George Broadhead 
was the business agent, and I guess he really ran things. 

I can see you shouldn't have talked to Carol, 
the little local Mine-Mill at one time. 

I was president of 

She said it was remarkable because you hadn't been a Mine-Mill 
worker, but that it spoke to the regard people had for you. 

That's a long story, and not very important. 

I think it bears on the reason why you were called back. 

This little local of Mine-Mill had about three hundred members in 
San Francisco. It was during the CIO council days. 

Rubens: Was it before or after the Brewery Workers business? 

Angela: He wore so many hats I think it was in later forties or early 

Rubens: Do you have any memory of what it was like to be president of 
that local? 

Ward: George Broadhead had been the business agent for years. He and I 
kind of cozied up. The controlling outfit was the employees of 
Federated Metal. This must have happened before we went to Los 
Angeles, because I had been president of the local for one term 
and one term only, prior to the time I represented the Federated 
Metals bunch in Los Angeles. 

Angela: No, it's just the other way around. When you transferred into 

Local 50, I think it was, of the Mine-Mill in San Francisco. You 
transferred into it because you were a member of Mine-Mill, and 
you went into the Local 50. Because of all your experience you 
started helping blundering George Broadhead, who didn't know from 
anything. You were all delegates, I was a delegate to the San 
Francisco CIO Council from the Utility Workers. So that was the 
late forties. You were a delegate to the CIO Council from 
Local 50 of the Mine-Mill. 

Rubens: I think that's what led to your being head of the CIO Council for 
a while. 

Ward: Anyway, George Broadhead and I became friendly. The members from 
Federated Metals weren't the majority of the total membership, 
but they were the cohesive part. To simplify matters, there was 
the Federated Metals bunch, and then there was the rest of the 
membership. The rest of the membership had more members than 
Federated Metal, but Federated Metal controlled. And George had 
a tiff of some kind with them. There was a delegated 
convention not a Mine-Mill, but a state convention. The two 
main boys who were wheels from Federated Metals were elected to 
this convention, and didn't even bother to be present at our own 
annual officers' election. They were down at this convention. 
While they were away and expecting to be reelected, I ran for 
office and got elected. After I was elected I went down in one 
of my several capacities I think I was a delegate for the CIO 
Council to this convention in Santa Cruz or Paso Robles, or 
wherever it was, and told the other two boys to go home; I was it 

Rubens: How did they respond to that? 

Ward: They looked pretty glum, but they went home. I think I was 

elected a time or two. George Broadhead wanted a raise in salary 
every year, and as long as I supported George I won reelection. 


Ward: But it came to the point, knowing by that time intimately what 

our bank account was, how much dues we collected each month, and 
how much George made each month, that I felt it was my duty to 
tell him that the union simply couldn't afford to give him the 
next raise he demanded. Whereupon he switched over to his old 
friends from Federated Metals, and I was defeated. He ran for 
the California Assembly or something. I remember he bought 
himself a tuxedo to do his campaigning. He got nowhere, and died 
shortly thereafter. 

Rubens: Were these people leftists? Was George a lefty? 
Ward: No. 

Angela: Percy Edmonds was. 

Ward: Yes, he was the only leftist, and he worked for Federated Metals, 
and whom I recruited into the Party. He was a good friend. 

Angela: You recruited him through Mine-Mill? 

Ward: Well, I met him in Mine-Mill, and he became a Communist. 

Rubens: I think Percy went on to the Steelworkers. 

Ward: The whole International Mine-Mill union was eventually absorbed 
by the Steelworkers. 

Rubens: Just before your European trip, were you involved with the 1958 
right-to-work law campaign here in California. 

Angela: Yes, we were. 

Ward: I'm sure I was, but I don't remember anything specific. 

Angela: He was always being asked to write leaflets or little press 

releases about this and that, and he may very well have written 
some stuff. 

Rubens: You found this article from 19M2 on how organized labor views the 
problems of transition about what's going to happen after the 
war. You said virtually all your papers from '52 and before were 
burned up at the ranch. 

Ward: Not papers, our literature. 

Angela: And also the leaflets 

Ward: and booklets. 

Rubens: Do you have writings from after that period stored somewhere? 


Ward: We have a lot of left-wing books in there. 


Rubens: Who was your agent in New York? 
Angela: This was later on, not in this period. 

Angela: Here's another leftover I have to ask you: did you ever publish 
anything in New Masses or the Political Organizer? 

Ward: I don't think that I ever wrote for the New Masses . 

Angela: Didn't you write something for Political Affairs once? 

Ward: I may have. I know I wrote for the PW, People's World. 

Rubens: Regularly or intermittently? 

Ward: Oh, intermittently. 

Rubens: In this period, '58, '59, '60? 

Ward: Not in the sixties, no. I was out of the Party by that time. 

Rubens: When we get to the sixties I want to ask you some questions about 
[San Francisco Mayor Joseph L.] Alioto. 

Ward: I don't think I gave one tenth of a damn whether Alioto was 

Rubens: From the position of the ILWU, it tore apart the left community 
in San Francisco. 

Angela: Yes. 

Ward: Alioto' s closeness to Harry Bridges and so forth came at a time 
when I took no part in local elections on broad questions, yes, 
but on local elections I took no part. I was out of that sort of 

Meeting the Exiled Left in Paris 

Rubens: Let's wrap up your trip in '59. We want the focus to be your 

politics on this trip, and Angela wants you to add a little bit 
more about how the visit in Italy shaped how you looked at the 
Soviet Union. 


Ward: Our first night in Paris, first night ever, in '59, we came up by 
train from Le Havre. We went to a hotel recommended to us by 
this woman artist we had come to know, and we got a room there. 
First thing, I looked in the phone book and found "H. Chevalier, 
Homme de Letre." I hadn't talked to him for years. He had been 
virtually run out of the United States not exactly expelled, but 
he had felt it advisable to go and live in Paris. 

Angela: Because of the Rosenberg atmosphere. 

Ward: So I called the number, and a male voice answered. I said, 

"Haakon?" He said, "Oui." I said, "This is Estolv Ward; I don't 
know if you remember me." He said, "Estolv! I've been waiting 
for you to call me." [laughs] Nothing would do but that we go 
right over to dinner and meet his wife, Carol, and his little 

Rubens: Angela, had you met him before? 
Angela: Yes. 

Ward: Remember, this was the first time in Paris. While we were at 
dinner at Haakon' s, the phone rang and it was Tom Van Dycke. 
Haakon told Tom that I was there. We had known him very slightly 
in Los Angeles; we had met him several times at social affairs. 

Rubens: Who was he? 

Ward: Tom Van Dycke was a New York Jew, very Jewish. He had had some 
kind of a relationship in Los Angeles with the ILGWU 
(International Ladies Garment Workers Union). He couldn't have 
held this position if it had been known that he was a Communist. 
There was some mixup about that. 

Angela: He wrote for the Peoples' World under his pen name, Tom Farrell, 
or something like that. 

Ward: He did all sorts of things under his pen name. I think I was his 
successor on the CIO radio down there, writing for them; there 
was another person doing the actual announcing. 

Angela: Johnny Johnson. 

Ward: Van Dycke had been the writer, and I followed him. I wrote for 
the radio program for a little over a year. I told you about 

Well, we had to rush right out to see Tom the next Sunday 

Haakon and Carol had a car. It wasn't much of a car, but Tom 
said nothing would do but that we should drive out in this car 


Ward: with Haakon and company to Montfermeil, a suburb of northern . 
Paris, to the Van Dyckes. We met his wife, whom he had met in 
New York where she had been 

Angela: the research editor for Time, Life, for the Luce company. 

Ward: Yes, she was a big wheel in magazine circles in New York. They 
got married by Mayor La Guardia. In 19M8 the war in Palestine 
took place, which brought about the establishment of the Israeli 
government as a very tenuous fact. Van Dycke had done some work 
for the Paris edition of the Herald-Tribune in Palestine at that 
time. I don't think he was a regular reporter, but a stringer or 
something like that. 

They had a dog, and they came back by way of Paris. There 
was no room; it was jammed, no hotel rooms available anywhere. 
So he went to the American embassy and said he was a reporter 
returning from Palestine with his wife and his dog. He said he 
knew they had rooms reserved for such people, and would like one 
of their spare rooms in a nearby hotel. That was a fact, and 
they gave him a room. The dog had been trained to eat at the 
table, and the staff fed him on a silver plate. The Van Dyckes 
said, "Well, if they treat dogs and us like this, let's stay in 
France!" [laughter] 

Rubens: Was he still in the Party at that point? 

Ward: Oh, yes. 

Rubens: The Party would tolerate such treatment of a dog? 

Angela: That's the French custom; dogs have first place. 

Ward: Haven't you ever eaten at a table with a dog? We have! Even 
though we didn't know the mistress or the dog. That wasn't 
unusual in France. 

Mrs. Van Dycke had money and also a lot of friends, many 
more than Tom had. So they bought this little old place in this 
suburb of Montfermeil. We found them there and they immediately 
adopted us as bosom friends. The relationship continued, and in 
later years we were in and out of Paris frequently. 

Rubens: They had been out of the United States for ten years? 
Angela: They lived in Palestine and then 

Rubens: I'm asking because I would think that your discussions with 

Chevalier and Van Dycke would have been about what had happened 
in the Party. After all, you had left the Party. Were they 
still members? 








-Ward : 




I couldn't say what Van Dycke's exact status in the Party was at 
that time, but we were all old lefties, that was obvious. In 
fact, Tom and his wife met because they were leftists in New 

Tom Van Dycke had been very successful in Paris, from the time he 
had come from Israel. He had worked with Marcel Pagnol, the 
great French writer who wrote Marius and Fanny you know, the 
great trilogy. Tom, I think, did some translation for Pagnol. 
Anyhow, that was a very lucrative job that he had. He was like 
Pagnol' s press agent. He also met a lot of the writers, and so 

Didn't Tom and Liz have to go to the south of France to do some 
press agentry for Pablo Picasso? 

Yes, he was a press agent for Picasso, 
and did very well economically. 

He had real fancy jobs 

Besides which, Liz had money of her own. By the time we took up 
with them as I say, we instantly became bosom, old-time exiles 
from Los Angeles and San Francisco. Well, we could go back if we 
wanted to, and so could Tom, and so eventually could Haakon, 
because he did come back. 

Much later. During this period, the first time we were there 
with Haakon and Tom, there was a lot of talk about how Haakon had 
literally had to flee the United States because of the Rosenberg 
thing. He was afraid they were going to tie him up with their 
spy cases and all. Oppenheimer and 

I don't know where you get the Rosenberg thing; it was the Oppie 
thing that got 

But at that time everybody was talking about the Rosenbergs and 
how serious it was. That was one of the things that everybody 
talked about. Andre Malraux was a close friend of Haakon 
Chevalier, and Haakon had translated many of Malraux 's books, 
like Man's Hope, Man's Fate, and so on. That's how he lived in 
France, as a translator of all these books. 

Yes, Haakon was very busy and very happy, and that's where he 
married Carol. 

Did you ever have any particular involvement with the defense of 
the Rosenbergs? 

Angela: We contributed money, that's all. 


Ward: We knew a couple who had been close friends with the Rosenbergs 
before they got into trouble. 

Angela: Sylvia and Harry Steingart. And we went to meetings that were 

held for the Rosenbergs during the height of the attention. You 
ask what were we doing in the period from, say, the late fifties 
and early sixties that's what we were doing, things like that. 
We were not in an organized party any more, but we were very 
active in all these activities that the Party was promoting, and 
which we favored. 

Rubens: Before your next trip, in late '62, '63, '64, let's look at those 
years when you returned from your first trip. I guess you missed 
the second HUAC hearings. 

Angela: Yes, I think we got back shortly after that. 

Rubens: There was the Caryl Chessman affair 

Angela: We didn't have anything to do with that. 

Rubens: Kennedy was elected 

Angela: Yes, we worked in political campaigns. 

Rubens: What year were the Rosenbergs killed? 

Angela: 1954. 

Rubens: You were still in the Party then. 

Angela: Yes. 

Rubens: I'm wondering if there was anything domestically that shaped your 
lives in the years between the trips. Or could you just not wait 
to get back to Europe? Did something happen to you in Europe? 

Angela: Yes, we wanted to travel some more. 

Ward: We talked about this gap between the trips. We both thought 
that, while we were active, there was nothing special. 

Rubens: You weren't writing anything? 

Ward: I was very interested in photography. 

Rubens: Did Angela go back to Pinsky? 

Angela: Oh, sure. 


Rubens: Were you active in your own union? 
Angela: Not very much. 



Ward: We approached our second trip with a very different plan, a very 
different outline of what we wanted to do. We knew we wanted to 
be gone two years. This meant that Angela had to quit her job, 
and we had to have some money saved up, all of which we got 
arranged. We took a Norwegian freighter from the Port of 
Oakland. It was one of these pick-up freighters that pick up a 
little cargo here, a little cargo there. There was some to-do 
about when we could board this ship, or where. We finally 
boarded her at the Port of Oakland on a Sunday afternoon in late 
October of '62. We had had time to notify our friends, and we 
got to the ship in time to notify the steward's department that 
we were going to have a party. That was fine with them. They 
put on the champagne. Everybody came; I think there must have 
been thirty or forty people there, in and around the cabin and 
the ship. Everybody got there except Paul Schlipf, who got lost, 
which is one of his best traits. When he phoned earlier in the 
day the ship was up the estuary, but in the meantime it had moved 
to the Port of Oakland, so it wasn't really his fault. Anyway, 
he came with a bottle of champagne, which he had to drink himself 
because he couldn't find us. 

The longshoremen were still loading. The party came, 
everybody had a big time. People came from San Francisco, 
Alameda County, Marin County, and we all had a good time. They 
left, and the longshoremen were still loading. We were exhausted 
and went to bed. We woke up to find the ship still there, the 
longshoremen just covering the hatches, finishing their job about 
eleven o'clock at night. Just at the right moment the fog rolled 
in, so dense that the ship stayed there; they didn't try to go 
out. So when we woke the next day we were still there, still 
fogged in. Eventually, about three o'clock in the afternoon, we 
got going and got out the Gate. The fog lifted just enough that 
we could look up and see the Gate bridge as we went under it. 

We got to Los Angeles and were there three days loading. 
Our son, David, came down with one or two of the kids and took us 
up town. It was a good thing we were there three days, because 
on the way down the coast I developed a toothache, and it was 

Estolv and Angela Ward 

Thanksgiving on Sanchez Street 



Ward: very bad. David took me to his Hollywood dentist and I got fixed 
up after two or three visits in two or three days. 

Angela: This was the beginning of the Cuban Bay of Pigs. 

Ward: We were escorted here and there by destroyers down the Pacific 

Angela: But we had a lot of political discussions while we were in L.A. 
for three days, because we met our friends there. 

Ward: People didn't know what was going to happen, whether we were 
going to go to war with Castro or what. 

Angela: Or with the Soviet Union. 

Ward: We were accosted by this American destroyer on the way down the 
coast, and after we got through the Panama Canal, we had some 
political discussions on the ship that were pretty heated, too. 

Angela: The American planes buzzed the ship. 

Ward: Some of our fellow passengers were of the opposite persuasion 
than we were. Most of them got off in Panama people going to 
visit Colonel So-and-So, and all that sort of stuff. 

Then we went all the way through the Caribbean. Of course, 
we couldn't go near Cuba; we had to go way around the other side 
of Puerto Rico. It was pretty stormy, but eventually we got 
across the Atlantic. We were supposed to get off at Le Havre, 
but our first port of call was Dunkirk. The captain gave a 
dinner almost every night, which meant the champagne was on the 

Everything was pretty quiet, and at Dunkirk we were in port 
all day. 

Rubens: Give me a little overview having been with your friends in 

Paris, did that awaken in you some sense that you'd like to spend 
a lot of time abroad? 

Ward: Yes, we intended to spend two years, and we intended to get some 
kind of a vehicle. 

Rubens: Did you have something you wanted to resolve in your mind, or was 
it just to see and broaden yourself? 

Ward: We wanted to do whatever we felt like doing, whenever we felt 
like doing it, and stay as long as we wanted. 

Ward: At Dunkirk the ship was unloaded all day. All the longshoremen 
were young, very active, very agile, and worked as hard as could 
be, really hard. And the captain told us they were all 
Communists. It was so different from, say, San Francisco or San 
Pedro. The longshoremen of San Francisco at that time out of 
ten thousand in the local there might have been a dozen 
Communists in the whole bunch, all of whom we knew. Whereas here 
they were all Communists and they worked four times as hard as 
any San Francisco longshoreman would think of working. That 
struck us as being very different, very odd. 

Eventually we got to Le Havre. 

Ward: I remember we had quite a to-do with customs. We had a shotgun. 
Angela: I don't know why. 

Ward: What I wanted that shotgun for, I don't know. The customs people 
wanted to know what it was for, and then they wanted to see the 
shells. I couldn't find the shells, and I caused quite a 
confusion. But we got by customs and we got to Paris. When we 
got there we immediately called the Chevaliers and the Van 
Dyckes. We arrived just the day before the Van Dyckes gave their 
annual big party out at their place in Montfermeil. 

More on the Exiled Left 

Ward: We had a reunion with Haakon and Carol and their daughter, 

Karen. We had a letter of introduction from Alvah Bessie, a 
black-listed Hollywood screen writer, one of the Hollywood Ten. 
He was at that time a rather good friend of ours. In fact, he 
had been in Angela's group in the Party at that time, up to just 
a few years before. 

Rubens: Did he leave the country when he was blacklisted? 
Angela: No. He had a hell of a time getting work. 

Ward: He had worked for Bridges at one time, for the ILWU. And then he 
had worked for the Hungry i. Through a letter from Alvah Bessie 
we came to call up Lee and Tammy Gold, who were blacklisted 
Hollywood screenwriters living in Paris. We met them and were 
invited to a party where we met a number of people: Edita 
Morris, author of Flowers of Hiroshima, and her husband, Ira; 
Sylvia Jerico, wife of Paul Jerico, and their son, William; 


Ward: Vladimir Pozner, who was then recovering from wounds he had 
suffered during the recent Paris OAS terror. 

Angela: The Algerian war period. 

Ward: William Marshall, a very handsome Negro actor; and a couple named 
Peritosh Sen from Calcutta. 

Angela: These were all exiles from Hollywood. 

Ward: Adrian Scott, a movie director; and also quite a few people we'd 
known before. Then we met a gal from Berkeley, Barbara Shuey. 
Did you ever hear of the Shuey Creamery? When I was a little boy 
in Berkeley the Shuey Creamery delivered our milk to our house; 
you left the previous day's empty bottle out and you got your 
bottle of milk in it's place. This was done in the night hours, 
and so when I got to be a bigger boy I and other rascals would go 
around stealing milk whenever we felt the need. 

On our previous trip we had met an English woman named Ella 
Moody, who took us with her to visit some Russian people. Well, 
we went to see her, and she gave us a Christmas party at her 
home. We also met Kay and Lester Cole at their home in 

Rubens: Had you known them before? 
Ward: I don't think so. 

Rubens: When you said you were close with Alvah Bessie, did you mean as 
social friends? 

Ward: Yes. 

Angela: We had them over for dinner, and that sort of thing. 

Ward: After Christmas we returned to Paris, and a little later Kay Cole 
and her daughter came to visit us in Paris. 

We went to our old hotel, where we had stayed the first time 
we were in Paris, and got a room there. We looked around and 
found all the places that catered to American tourists had 
nothing for rent for less than six months. 

Angela: We were looking for an apartment. 

Ward: Yes. Of course, we couldn't afford to stay in a hotel all the 
time, and we didn't want to. It was simply impossible. The 
rents were high for Americans, and this six months or more 
business was not to our liking. We had prepared for this by 
going to French school in San Francisco. 


Angela: I took French lessons for a long time. 

Ward: Angela's French was pretty good, so she tried the French papers. 
This put us in touch with a French businessman who had recently 
split up with his mistress. I guess he owned the apartment that 
she had occupied, and he had it up for rent for a reasonable 
sum. He had his secretary take us out to look at the place, and 
it would do. It was just down the street, at 68 Rue Butot, from 
the Institute Pasteur in a very nice part of Montmartre. So we 
took it, cleaned it up, and moved in. Our first big affair there 
we had the Van Dyckes and the Chevaliers -to dinner. Angela had 
oysters on watercress, soup and so forth they thought it was 

Rubens: I heard you are both cooks. 

Angela: No, he's no cook. I'm a good cook, if I do say so myself. 

Ward: On February 6 we went with Tom and Liz to a Beethoven concert 
which was the first concert for Piet Veenstra, a Dutch pianist 
and student of Rudolf Serkin. He played exactly like Rudolf. 
Later that night we went to La Coupola with Tom and Liz and met 
Piet and his date, a luscious Portuguese fada singer. Fada is 
the saddest thing, a mourning for the days of glory of Portugal. 

I failed in my French class; I couldn't understand the 
French very well. 

Angela: We went to school in Paris. 

Rubens: Why were you drawn to France? The rich community of friends who 
were political as well? 

Ward: It was a good starting point. 
Angela: We loved France. 

Ward: Yes. Fundamentally, you might call it the base of our operations 
for that two years. We were in and out of Paris several times. 

Rubens: Give me a very simple, quick overview of where you went in two 

Ward: There are two or three details that I think you'll want. In the 
first place, it took time to get a camper. We wanted a camper; 
we wanted to travel that way. By the time we got a camper it was 
Spring and we'd been studying French all this time. 

Angela: We had planned this. For three months I went to the Alliance 

Francaise, I don't know about you. You went part time and then 
you lost interest. And you were writing all the time. 


Rubens: What were you writing? 

Ward: Damned if I know. 
Angela: Short stories. 

Rubens: Why don't you remember what you were writing? Why is your 
writing less important to you than other things? 

Ward: Something about the Puritan in Italy. 

Rubens: About your earlier travels? 

Angela: Yes, your first contact in Italy where you met all my relatives. 

Rubens: What happened to that story? 

Ward: I sent it to my agent in New York and didn't get anywhere. 

Rubens: Who was your agent? 

Ward: A woman named Toni Strassman. 

Rubens: How did you get that agent? 

Angela: Referred by someone, probably the Van Dyckes. 

Rubens: So it was another goal of yours to write, and you did keep 

Ward: I was writing all the time, one way or another. 

Rubens: Were these fictional pieces, life stories, political 

assessments? Did you write about the exile community in Paris? 

Ward: I can only remember the one about a Puritan in Italy. 

Angela: Actually, you worked on that for a long time. You had revised it 
time and again at her suggestion. It was something that you 
really worked hard on, and when we got to Marrakesh, after we'd 
been there a while, you got a letter from Toni Strassman saying 
that she was so sorry that she couldn't do anything with the 
short story (which was actually a novella). It Just missed 
being it was sad. 

Ward: At the Van Dyckes we met a man named Elliot Sullivan, a Hollywood 
actor. He was very witty. 

Rubens: What did you think of this exile community? Did they seem like 


Ward: I felt very warm towards them. I thought they were victims of 
rotten politics. I felt sympathetic. But I must say that they 
all seemed to be very comfortable, very happy. At these parties 
we went to occasionally here and there, the surroundings were 
magnificent, the apartments were large. They were very 
prosperous and very pleasant. 

Rubens: Did you find yourselves talking about what politics in the 
thirties and forties had meant? 

Ward: Oh, yes, of course. 

Rubens: Were these people bitter about their Party experience? Were they 
the type of people who would have written in The God that Failed? 

Ward: I don't think bitterness is quite the right word. Regretful, 
understanding, hopeful not so much of returning. Well, there 
were people there who were still writing for Hollywood under pen 
names. There was one man, Wilson, who was selling stuff to 
Hollywood all the time. 

Finally we got a loan camper because ours wasn't ready, and 
when we went back to get our real camper, it was the day before 
the Van Dyckes. were giving their big party. There was a mob of 
people there, theatrical people, painters, writers, and even a 
few musicians. A very lively affair, a couple of scandals and 


Then we met Elinor Kahn, one of the wheels in the Bridges 
trial, for the defense. She was the gal who made the trip to 
Scotland to find the Marine Firemen's official who had retired 
from San Francisco somebody named Ferguson. She got an 
affadafit from him denying that he had ever seen Bridges' 
Communist membership card. 

She was Elinor Kamath in her own right. 

She had married a man named Mahdav Kamath, a Hindu. Elinor had 

been some kind of a representative at the United Nations in New 

York, and there she had met Mahdav Kamath, who was a journalist 
for the Times of India. 

Angela: The important thing about Elinor is that she was writing for the 
World Medical News, and she was one of the first people who 
spotted thalidamide, the terrible drug that they gave pregnant 
women to induce them to sleep at night. She was the one who 
alerted the U.S. Drug Administration. In fact, she has a letter 
from them, lauding her efforts. She was very prominent in 
exposing the use of that drug. 


Ward: At a dinner party at the Kamath's we met Julio Alvarez del Vayo, 
who was the exiled Republican foreign minister of Spain. There 
was much talk about Franco and what he was doing, and how soon 
the people were going to throw him out. 

Angela: He also said something interesting. We had come back from 

Rubens: You didn't avoid it because of Franco? 

Angela: No. Some people thought we shouldn't go, and others felt we 
should. Del Vayo said, "Yes, you should go!" 

Ward: I remember his parting words that night: "See you in Madrid." 
Rubens: Did you experience Fascism in Spain? 

Angela: No, because it had loosened up somewhat. But we observed police 
all over the place. 

Ward: We had our camper, vacated our Paris apartment. 

On John XXIII, The Liberal Pontiff 




What major countries did you visit in a two-year period? 

We headed for Italy, among other places. One of the reasons we 
were particularly anxious to get to Rome was because John XXIII 
had just died. Everybody was saddened, and we were, too, because 
in our previous visit we had seen John XXIII about as far as from 
here to the hallway, on his throne. 

Was he the one under whom Vatican II took place? 
first liberal pope. 

He was the 

Yes. We went to a Good Friday thing in Rome, where by priestly 
error we got tickets right up there in front and saw Papa real 
close and watched him taking a snooze in between acts. 

He died, and we hurried to Rome to see who was going to be 
the next pope. I have found in reading my diary that my 
description of the day when the pope was chosen is good enough to 
quote directly [reads from journal]: "We were in camp in a 
suburb of Rome. We made it to San Pietro's by 10:50 a.m. The 
traffic jam going to San Pietro's was terrific. We walked the 
last quarter mile. When we got into Piazza San Pietro we hugged 
the shady side of the street, the sun being that hot. At 


Ward: 11:20 a.m. there was a puff of white smoke. False alarm, thought 
many, including many young seminarians. Another puff of white 
smoke, and another. The crowds, excited now, and 


Ward: " beginning to believe a new pope had indeed been chosen, surged 
out from the shade of the colonnades into the blistering heat of 
the piazza. Now the smoke was coming in puffs, white, white, 
white. Men could be seen running along a flat roof near the 
papal apartments, high above the crowd. The rattle of 
hand-clapping came, and cheers and shouts. Many seminarians felt 
the early decision meant Montini, the progressive cardinal from 
Milan who had pledged to carry out Pope John's program, had been 

"Half an hour passed. An army band marched into the square, 
past the battery of photographers, and into the inner square 
directly in front of the basilica. This square had been fenced 
off to the public. Then two platoons of soldiers marched out of 
the basilica. They were in uniforms of dark blue with 
red-tassled cockades in their hats, and scads of gold braid laid 
on. The band tootled neatly. The soldiers marched and 
counter-marched and saluted in a glorified version of guard 
mount. Finally the soldiers lined up across the front of the 
basilica and did an about-face, looking straight at the center 
balcony over the main entrance to the church. The bells tolled 
softly, and all eyes were fixed on that balcony. People were 
pouring through the colonnades and into the square, a thousand a 
minute or more. 

"The white drapes were snatched aside from the huge glass 
doors which gave access to the balcony. The doors swung open to 
the tune of a mass groan of exultation from the thousands in the 
square. At first nothing could be seen except the glitter of a 
golden crucifix. Then the cross was brought out onto the 
balcony, held aloft by one of three cardinals in purple robes. 
Cardinal Ottoviani spoke into a microphone, his voice booming 
over the hushed square: 'Habemus Papem, ' plus the additional 
words for which the crowd had waited a full hour in the merciless 
noontime sun. It was Montini, and he had taken the name of 
Paul VI. Seminarians and others noted immediately that the name 
Paul V appears in huge letters on the church front, right above 
the balcony where Paul VI would soon appear. 

"The balcony was vacated. Men in mufti placed the papal 
flag, draping it from the side balcony filled with cardinals. At 
a distance they looked like purple toys with pink faces. The 
crucifix came forward again, and out onto the balcony a 
protective screen of cardinals parted, and there stood Paul VI. 


Ward: "He raised his arms to bless the crowd. Many dropped to their 

knees, others genuflected. But a full half of the audience stood 
erect, looking straight at the pope. He raised his voice into a 
chant of Latin prayer: 'Urbi et orbi' (which means 'city and 
world.'), singing a line and then receiving a response, sung loud 
and clear by many voices in the audience. As the last 'amen' of 
the chant died away, the pope spoke a brief message of greeting 
in Italian, blessing those before him, those listening on the 
radio and television, and all people everywhere. Then he was 

"The bells burst forth in joy and the crowd slowly streamed 
away, faces filled with happiness as mass emotion drained away 
and each person slowly returned to normal." 

Rubens: Did you just write this out like this, or did you rewrite it? 

Ward: It's just a diary. But it was quite a moment. He didn't turn 
out to be a very good pope, either. 

Rubens: Does your diary record what other writings you were working on? 

Angela: Yes. He wrote a book, Money on the Floor, a real long novella 
type thing. 

Ward: I'll tell you what Money on the Floor was all about. We had 

driven our camper up to as near the petrol station as possible. 

I think we'd gone on to the Van Dyckes, and when we came back 
found that the window had been broken. For some reason or other 
I had spilled some small change out of my pocket on the floor, 
and that was the only thing that was stolen. That's the "money 
on the floor." It was really a story of our adventures in the 

Rubens: Do you have a copy of that? 
Ward: I don't think so. 

Angela: I spent a lot of yesterday looking for this stuff. It's odd 
which things he kept and which things he didn't keep. 

Rubens: This was a very important two years for you, wasn't it? 

Ward: Oh, yes. 

Rubens: Tell me where else you went. 

Ward: The furthest north we went was Warsaw, Poland; our furthest south 
was an outpost at the northwestern edge of the Sahara desert. We 


Ward: went as far east as Tlemcen in the mountains of Algeria, where 
there is a Quaker establishment where we stayed. We had 
credentials from Quakers I think I told you had taken pictures 
for the Quakers. 

Angela: We went to Greece you went to Athos while I lived in the camper. 
Rubens: How did you determine when to come home? 

Angela: There were some interesting interludes. We were in Marrakesh 
when [John F.] Kennedy was assassinated. 

Ward: We saw things there that most people don't see when they go to 
Marrakesh because we had a letter of introduction from our 
brother-in-law, George Curran, who was then one of the four 
foreign vice-presidents of Bank of America. We had a letter to 
the bank manager in Paris. From the bank manager in Paris we got 
a letter of introduction to the head of the Bank of Morocco in 
Casablanca. In Casablanca the head of the bank there called in 
all his subheads to say that here was this nice couple from the 
United States, and he wondered where they thought we ought to 
spend the winter in Morocco. They unanimously said we had to go 
to Marrakesh. They didn't have a bank branch of their own in 
Marrakesh, but they had a representative who was the head of the 
Marrakesh branch of the Le Credit Lyonnaise. So this banker 
called Marrakesh and told him that we were coming, and to please 
take care of us. That was done; we drove to Marrakesh. 
Mr. Petrucci (he was from Marseilles, I think) and his wife 
showed us the ropes, got us an apartment right across the street 
from the estate where Winston Churchill used to go when he was 
feeling poorly during the war. 

Angela: He still went there, painting and so forth. 

Ward: I was writing something there I think it was Money on the 
Floor and finished the first draft and part of the second. 
Marrakesh in the wintertime was a favorite jumping-off spot for 
the mountains. 

Angela: For the High Atlas the Haute Atlas mountains. 

Ward: They were a little behind and to the east of us, up thirteen or 

fourteen thousand feet, and we were full of ski enthusiasts going 
there. In January sometime we decided we'd see some of the back 
country, which we'd heard a lot about. So we went up over the 
ridge I think we climbed up to about seven or eight thousand 
feet (about like Donner Summit). At the peak there we were 
stoned by children because we had French license plates. We were 
stoned a couple of times because of that. But we made it to a 
small town which was a good stopping place. Somewhere along the 





line we had picked up some kids from the Peace Corps, and we were 
pleasantly entertained by these people. We went from that town 
up into the Haute Atlas, and we came to a town where we wanted to 
spend the night. It was the sort of town that had three or four 

We stayed at a place that was a combined bar, restaurarnt, 
and hotel. The bartender-owner and general facto tern was a Greek 
who had been in the French foreign legion. He had a friend who 
stayed there who as a child had been a page boy to Emperor Franz 
Josef of Austria. He himself had been a priest, and he had shed 
his priestly talk and priestly robes. These two old boys were 
raconteurs and buddies and heavy drinkers. We left our stuff 
there and took off to someplace further up the line that we 
wanted to visit, and said we'd be back that night for dinner. At 
the bar we met a French woman 

I love this story, but I 

don't think it belongs in your oral 

Some of these stories are very illuminative, but we have to be 
selective. The Algerian trip was very important because we were 
doing work with and for the Quakers, and we stopped at these work 
camps. This was really significant, much more so than the pope, 
for instance. 

Working with Quakers in Algeria 

Rubens: What were you doing for the Quakers? 

Angela: He was taking photographs of their work camps. In fact, they 

used that picture [pointing to the wall] of the woman lifting her 
veil for a Christmas card nationally. They blew it out so the 
faces wouldn't show, because she would have been killed if they 
found out she had allowed somebody to photograph her face. 

Rubens: It would be good to have a copy of this photograph for the oral 
history. We need to have some of your photographs. How many 
work camps did you go to? 

Angela: We went to three: Tlemcen was the first one, the second was 
Skidka, and the third one was at Phillipsville but it has 
another name now. That's the one where Camus was born. 

Rubens: Did you write about the work camps? 

Angela: You wrote in your diary, but you weren't writing for any papers. 
You didn't have any assignment. 

Rubens: Do you have some descriptions of the work camps? 

Angela: I think we have some somewhere. 

Rubens: When did you come home? 

Ward: We were gone, almost to the day, two years. 

Angela: October, 196H. 

Ward: We have more diaries than you can shake a stick at. 

Angela: We have about five. 

Rubens: When you came back did you start on the Mooney book? 

Ward: Not quite that fast. 

Angela: We went to Turkey, too. And Bulgaria. 

Ward: We got as far east as Istanbul. Rumania. 

Angela: Czechoslovakia, Poland. 

Ward: Warsaw, yes. And Krakow. We met a man from San Francisco on the 
second highest peak in Poland. We were hiking right near one of 
the famous concentration camps. We went to Dachau and 
Auschwitz. So we got around. One winter we spent in Paris 
trying to learn French, and one winter in Marrakesh. We really 
should talk about some of the things we learned about the customs 

Angela: The Algerian trip was important, politically and otherwise. We 
can pull out some of that material. 

Rubens: Were you ready to come home? 

Ward: We'd had enough of it for a little while. 

Rubens: Did you come home with some vision of what you wanted to do? 

Ward: Yes. Because before we came home, very close to our last stop, 
again in Paris, a beautiful Sunday afternoon in Tom Van Dycke's 
garden, I began telling stories about Tom Mooney. Tom says, 
"Estolv, that's it; you've got to write that book." That started 


Ward: it. So when I came home I knew exactly what I was going to do. 
Then I spent three and a half years in The Bancroft Library and 
other places in order to write it. 

That was our most rewarding trip, I think. 
[Interview 11: 7 September 198?]** 

Ward: We marched in several Labor Day parades, in the days when labor 
did that sort of thing, and which I think is a mistake to have 

Rubens: Last time we were talking about your European trip, and how 
unusual it was. 

Ward: I have three volumes of diaries for that trip. 

Rubens: We should make a note of that if people want to read them. 

Ward: No, they're not available. I don't want people bothering me with 
such things, and I can't imagine why anyone would want to read 

Angela: Let's get right into Marrakesh and the Kennedy assassination and 
and all the political implications. 

Ward: We had established these contacts through the letters of 

introduction from our brother-in-law, and we got an apartment in 
Marrakesh, and had some interesting neighbors. This was in what 
was considered the French quarters. Every morning I used to 
start the day by walking a few blocks up and around down the main 
street and back home. One morning as I passed a newsstand, I 
glanced idly at the headline, which was in French: "J. F. K. 
Assassinee." I read it with shock and surprise, and got home and 
told Angela. People who knew where we lived even came to the 
door to gasp and weep about Kennedy. And on the street people 
would come up to us, recognizing us as those two Americans: 
"Kennedy, Kennedy," crying and so forth. 

We headed for the United States Information Service just in 
time to see them hauling down the flag to half-staff. We had 
previously met the manager, who was a Greek American, very 
pleasant and very helpful. While we wre there, the caid, what 
would be the mayor of Marrakesh, came in formal attire all his 
robes and fancy fare to offer his sympathy. That established us 
as regular visitors at the United States Information Service. 

Angela: Which in Marrakesh was very good! 







The manager's time in Marrakesh was coming to an end, and 
Washington had sent out his replacement, a man whom I remember as 
Mr. Rhodes, who was just fresh from Washington. The three of us 
sat together in the office, and Mr. Rhodes told us the scoop, as 
he knew it, of that assassination. On the night that Oswald 
returned from a trip he had taken to Mexico, which was common 
knowledge by that time, he spent his first night back in the 
United States in a motel in Brownsville Texas, which is right at 
the border. In the room next to him was Jack Ruby, the guy who 
then killed Oswald. They said that everybody who was in the know 
would like to find out whether it was just sheer coincidence, or 
whether it was what it appeared to be. 

Much later, when we got home, I called Herb Caen and told 
him about it. He said he would try to get hold of this man 
Rhodes. I never heard anything further. So that ended that. 

What was your reaction to the assassination? 
have been a hero to you. 

Kennedy must not 

It was a shock. I suppose I couldn't help but admire the guy. I 
didn't think much of the Bay of Pigs adventure, but in many 
ways Anyway, the assassination of a president is an unsettling 
thing. With all these people coming up and crying at us and 
expressing as best they could their sympathy, it wasn't a 
pleasant experience, to say the least. 

Yes, but be honest. We were very upset over the assassination of 
Kennedy, and we could feel why the people felt that way. It was 
entirely new to us, coming from a country where we were very 
critical of him, his brothers, and everything. It was a surprise 
to us to find that the population of Marrakesh, and subsequently 
in other places, that Kennedy was a real hero and represented a 
great deal to the people of Africa and Europe. The further we 
traveled, the more we came upon this. 

The banker who helped us when we got to Marrakesh was 
Mr. Petrucci. He took us to the soukh to a rug merchant there 
with whom he had done business. We bought some rugs, including 
this one right here [pointing to the floor]. When it came to 
closing the deal, I didn't try to bargain, and he didn't. When 
the deal was closed, the merchant told me, "Because Mr. Petrucci 
is here, I cannot cheat you." 

Mr. Petrucci had a client, a man who used the bank to borrow 
money when he needed it, who was a very wealthy Arab landowner a 
few miles out into the country from Marrakesh. This guy invited 
Petrucci to come out one Sunday and to bring any guest he would 
like. So he invited us. It was quite unusual for a woman to go, 
but Petrucci thought it would be all right. 








And his wife, too. 

It was a nice home, and there was this pleasant middle-aged man, 
and his sons; no women. We had roast lamb. 

They cooked a whole lamb. 

Oh, it was a very elaborate feast. The lamb was brought to the 
table whole. It had been buried underground and cooked in an 
underground fire. They didn't drink, but they gave us a Scotch 
before dinner and wine with dinner. There was no sign of women. 
I think he had three wives, or something like that. After dinner 
he took us out to show us a new planting. He had just planted 
16,000 acres in almonds. As we walked around looking at these 
trees coming up, the tillers of the soil came running in their 
robes to kneel and kiss his hand. 

But we women were not allowed to go. 

We had to stay in the 

To go back to the rug merchant: Petrucci arranged it so that we 
were entertained at his home by this guy. This was the only 
place where we saw a native woman of any class whatever without 
her veil. The woman was pretty, but for my taste a little on the 
plump side. Among other things, he told us he was about to take 
a trip to New York, where he had not been before. He had been to 
Paris and London and so forth. I asked if his wife was going 
with him: oh, no, it was no concern of hers. 

Tell me about the work camps. 

I had taken pictures for the Quakers in Northern California. My 
friend was the man who used to live right up the street here. I 
think we later on rented the house he had owned. He gave us a 
letter to Quaker establishments in Algeria, and we went to two or 
three of them. The one that was most interesting was in the 
little mountain town of Tlemcen. There was an old chateau, quite 
a large building on spacious grounds, which had been taken over 
by the Quakers. With this letter we met the people there and 
were made very welcome. Incidentally, our friend here who gave 
us that letter had gotten into trouble with Philadelphia Quaker 
headquarters for giving me that letter. 

Because of your past politics? 

No, because that letter should have come from Philadelphia and 
not San Francisco. 

We lived in our camper, but we had our meals with the 
Quakers. We made particular friends with an American doctor who 
took us around the villages and showed us native life. 


Rubens: Had you been assigned to take photographs of these work camps? 

Ward: I hadn't been assigned to anything. I just did it. It was 

assumed that I would take pictures, and I did. The doctor took 
us into native huts with dirt floors. I remember meeting a 
couple that the doctor had helped, and they described for us how 
women gave birth standing up, held and helped by a couple of 
other women doctors. He had seen a birth or two, but it was very 
rare for a man to have anything to do with childbirth. One thing 
I never figured out was that if a child was born while the mother 
was standing up, what happened to his poor little head? 

Rubens: In Mitla, Oaxaca, in Mexico, there are carvings of the Zapotec 
women giving birth standing up and catching the baby. I always 
thought there was a link between the design of North Africa and 
Mexico. Why were the Quakers there in Algeria? 

Ward: They had been on the fringes of the African countries. For 

instance, they weren't permitted into Algeria during the French 
Algerian war. They had to operate on the fringes of the country 
and do what help they could at a distance. With this same 
doctor, walking around on the little winding dirt roads and the 
hills, we came upon a little boy, between eight and ten years 
old, who had been leading his father's donkey. The donkey got 
ideas of its own and somehow got away from the boy. Here we 
found this boy screaming at the donkey and crying. I wouldn't 
have known what it was all about, but the doctor understood. The 
boy was afraid his father would beat him for losing hold of the 
donkey. We were able to pass the donkey because he didn't know 
us, so between the three of us we corralled the donkey and saved 
the boy from a beating. 

Rubens: Why were the Quakers there? 
Ward: I don't know. 
Angela: Of course you know. 

Angela: They had camps in Mexico they still do; our niece was there a 
whole summer working at the Quaker camp. Sandy Saxton's 
daughters worked at the Quaker camp. They have Quaker camps all 
over the world, where they're permitted. I think they even have 
some in Russia. During the Algerian war against France, the war 
of liberation, they couldn't get in. But when that was over, 
they permitted them to come back. The same way with the Peace 

Rubens: Did you encounter the Peace Corps? 


Angela: Oh, yes. We encountered Peace Corps people quite a few times. 

Ward: At Tlemcen they had a well-baby clinic, and we took a number of 

pictures there. Because these women had babies on the average of 
about once a year, and the new baby was breast-fed, when the next 
baby came along the previous baby had to subsist on the native 
food. Most of them died; only the sturdiest survived. There was 
a baby that was literally starving to death, and they came to 
this clinic and patched him up. [points to photo] There's one 
of them there with a nice healthy baby, and I took a number of 
pictures, of which this is the most graphic, and sent them 
airmail to Philadelphia to be processed. They warned me not to 
send pictures of native women with their veils off, or they would 
be killed. Months later when we got to Philadelphia, it was late 
September, we went to the photography person there, and they were 
just planning to send that picture out worldwide on their 
Christmas card. They had quite a to-do, but it was stopped in 

I remember one woman, an English nurse, and the American 

Angela: And a whole corps of young people who were teaching the Algerian 
peasants how to till the soil and how to irrigate. They were 
Quaker agriculturally trained workers, who taught them how to 
build irrigation canals and a whole system to water that land so 
they could raise vegetables and improve their nutrition. 

Rubens: So after two years you came home. 

Ward: We landed in New York with our camper, and they unloaded it on 
the dock. Then here came customs, and a young black man was 
assigned to see if we had any taxable items or contraband in the 
camper. He took one look the thing was stuffed with luggage, 
edibles, and God knows what-all and just sighed and said it was 
okay. I guess he went back and said he had inspected everything. 

One incident I remember going cross-country was going though 
the Amish country and seeing these people in their horse-and 
buggies, their beards and so forth. They were very pleasant 
people, very odd to me; very out of step with modern times. 

We got home and took over our house again. 

Return to San Francisco to Write about Tom Mooney: 
The Gentle Dynamiter 

Rubens: Were you still living in San Francisco? 


Ward: Yes. We had rented the house during our absence, but it had been 
vacated in time and we took right over. Within a few days I 
began going to The Bancroft Library, to which Mooney had willed 
his possessions. There were many things that I did there. The 
first thing I found was that I was one of several people 
proposing to write a book about Tom Mooney. All of them gave up 
except one other man to whom I talked a little. He said he was 
quite far along in his studies of the Mooney case and was writing 
a book. 

Rubens: Did he ever? 

Ward: Oh, yes. He wrote the book and it was published. 

Rubens: Who was that? I can't remember any other books besides yours. 

Ward: Well, you wouldn't remember for good reason. It was not only, if 
I may say so, a lousy book, but one important labor strike in his 
version took place two years out of time, out of context, and out 
of sense. And the name of Eddie Cunha, the prosecuting attorney 
who got the conviction of Mooney, was misspelled every time it 
was mentioned throughout the book. I didn't even try to count 
the number of times. In all, I listed eighty-seven other obvious 

Rubens: Did his book come out well before yours? 
Angela: Oh, yes. 

Ward: I sent a copy of my list of eighty-seven errors to him, to his 
publisher, and to other interested parties. I never heard what 
he thought of my efforts. 

Angela: Then there was another book written that was very scholarly the 

guy from Stanford. 
Ward: Oh, yes, very dry and scholarly. Somebody connected with the 

chamber of commerce. 

Angela: It was pretty accurate. 

Rubens: Why was there such an interest in Mooney in 1964? 

Ward: As I found out to my sorrow, there was not such an interest in 

Mooney by that time, because he had already been dead for twenty- 
two years. 

Rubens: But why were people writing books? Why were the scholars 

Ward: You'd have to ask them; I don't know. 


Rubens: I think part of the explanation is that it was the Kennedy era, 
the aftermath; the end of McCarthyism. People were looking back 
at the early labor days and the left. 

Ward: Most of my research was done in The Bancroft Library, and in the 
newspaper room on the fourth floor in the main library, and in 
other libraries in the ILWU library and all sorts of places. 

Rubens: Is that why you moved to Berkeley so you wouldn't have to 

Ward: No, I commuted most of this time. 

Rubens: Were you working, Angela? 

Ward: Yes, I was working with him. 

Rubens: You never went back to Pinsky? 

Angela: Yes, I did, on and off; whenever I was needed they called me up. 
But most of the time I was working with Estolv at The Bancroft 

Rubens: So this was a real collaboration. 

Ward: Oh, yes, she was very helpful. My main job was reading thirteen 
thousand single-spaced typewritten pages of transcripts of 
testimony in the Mooney trial, to which I had been sort of an 
onlooker in the court years before. I read all of that, taking 
notes. Then the job was to write it. My first attempt I got 
absolutely nowhere. I can't even remember how I started it or 
much about it. But I got enough criticism to make me realize I 
hadn't found the right approach yet. It's a difficult story, 
there's so much to it. 

I took a second breather and wrote some other stuff, and 
then in '68, I think it was, when we went to I wanted to go to 
Crete; I had planned to go to Crete to write the next version. 
But I went to the Greek consulate in San Francisco to get a visa, 
which was necessary at that time. This was during the Greek 
junta regime there, and when the consul found out what my purpose 
was in going to Crete, he practically ran me out of the office. 
The Greek junta was very fascist. So that ended Crete. 

Angela: You also made very complimentary remarks about Melina Mercouri, 
which kicked them off the wall. Don't you remember? They were 
so angry at you. 

Ward: I got a thank you note from Melina afterwards. 


Ward: So we went to the Balearic Islands, to the island of Ibiza, 
Spanish, about an overnight trip by ship from Valencia or 

Rubens: Wouldn't it have troubled you to have been in a fascist place 
like Crete anyway? Of course, Spain wasn't much better. 

Ward: Well, after all, when I had been in Spain, Franco and I hadn't 
been to Crete. But in Ibiza we found several friends, the 
British consul particularly. We were a little bit out of town, 
maybe a mile, in what I would call the suburbs. In the mornings 
I used to take a stroll before I went to work, and I found a 
little corner store setting, sort of, where there was a barber 
shop. I needed a haircut, so I went in and got one. The barber 
was Spanish, but he also spoke French, and I had just enough 
French that I could just figure out what he was talking about. I 
took Angela over there, because her French was pretty good. We 
learned that at the age of fourteen or fifteen he had joined the 
Spanish republican army. I think he was a Communist. 

Angela: He was a Communist; he showed you his Party card. 

Ward: Oh, yes. He told stories about the Spanish republicans coming, 
and then the anarchists. The Spanish republicans had imprisoned 
all the leading fascist activists on the island of Ibiza, and had 
jailed them in an old fortress on top of the town mountain peak. 
Then the anarchists came and took charge, and they promptly 
executed all the imprisoned fascists. That's the difference 
between the anarchists and the republicans. 

The barber was captured and spent several years in prisons. 
But somehow during that time he got married and became a parent. 
He and a couple of other guys escaped and rowed in a local boat 
130 miles to Algeria, the nearest point you could get to. And 
there he was a barber for a number of years. Some kind of an 
amnesty was worked out, and he was under some kind of a 
pledge that he could return provided he was not at all active in 
any way against the Franco government. So he rejoined to his 
wife and family. 

Rubens: At this point in your life, you weren't hiding your politics when 
you applied for the Greek visa; did you talk to him about your 
roll in organizing anti-fascist 

Ward: Yes, I guess we both did. 

Angela: Oh, there's no question. We admitted that we were ex-Communists. 

Ward: Well, we were buddies. We invited him to dinner, and the 

earliest you could think of having dinner was eleven o'clock at 


Ward: night. He came with his son men only at first. Then we got 
invited to his home and met his wife. He looked much younger 
than she, because she had had all these lonely years with the 
kids, and all that. It had been very tough on her. We all 
became close friends. 

Angela: We still write to each other. 
Rubens: Were you writing every day? 

Ward: I wrote two other versions of the Mooney book there, and came 

back to Paris eventually. We didn't have a camper this time; we 
had a regular Volkswagen. I talked to Van Dycke again. 

Rubens: Did he read it? 

Ward: He read it, and he thought it was greatly improved. We tried to 
peddle it but, again, nothing. 

Did you ever hear of Al Richmond, the editor of The Peoples' 
World? We knew him quite well. I showed the manuscript to him, 
and he sat down and wrote me a nine-page, single-spaced critique 
telling me how he thought I could make a better story out of it. 
I let it soak mentally for two years, and all of a sudden it came 
to me that it was always in my mind how I could do what he 
suggested. So I wrote it. 

This time I had a lively agent, but he couldn't sell it, 
although he liked it. 

Rubens: The version that was printed, then, was written basically in 

Ward: The final version was written in the late seventies, I would say. 
Rubens: So Al Richmond was the catalyst? 
Ward: He was the man who really did it for me. 

Ward: It didn't take very long. Then we began to try to sell it, and 
efforts were made by people who liked it. But, again, no dice. 

Alvah Bessie had some dealings with an outfit up in Marin 
County, a publisher, and I went to see them. They were two men 
in a tiny little setup, struggling harder than we were, you might 
say, trying to make a living in publishing. They said they could 
do it, they liked the book, but for "$12,000, please," to get 
started. That gave me pause. 







I'd heard of Ramparts Press in Palo Alto, and I showed it to 
Larry Moore there, and in due course I went down to pick it up. 
He said, "Wait a minute, I'd like to talk to you about it." And 
he said he wanted to publish it. I put up some money, but not 
any $12,000. He could do it that way because he had his own 
printing press, and his wife was the printer. They were 
middle-aged people, their children (I know they had one child at 
least) were grown, and that's what they did. 

Several months were taken up because there were some changes 
that he wanted in my script, principally in the preface. Also, 
the book had originally ended when Tom's lady friend picked up 
the phone and called Herb Resner and said, "Herb, Tom just 
died." But he wanted to go on with an epitaph. So I wrote that. 

I like that ending. 

The way Ramparts did it, this gal (the wife) had to find the time 
to sit down at the machine and set the type. Eventually it got 
done and it got published. 

How was it reviewed, and how did it sell? 

It hasn't sold much yet. I don't know what the situation is. 
The Chronicle gave me a nice review. 

And you got a good review in Publisher's Weekly and in legal 

This was about 1983? 


Did you make your money back on it? 
No. Some, but not by any means all. 

The Oral History Decade, 1980s. 

Louis Goldblatt receives his oral history, 
April 4, 1981. House of Estolv and Angela 
Ward, Berkeley. 

Louis Goldblatt, Angela Ward, Estolv Ward, 
Andrea Nakagawa, Willa Baum. 

Interviewing session at the Ward home, 1986. 

Norman and Marjorie Leonard, Estolv and Angela Ward. 



Conducting an Oral History Interview with Louis Goldblatt* 

Ward: Meanwhile, a friend of Angela's was doing some work in the 

Regional Oral History Office of The Bancroft Library. Angela had 
quit her job and didn't have enough to do, so this friend 
suggested she go down there and see if she could do a little 
volunteer typing. So she did, and they gave her to finish typing 
the Henry Schmidt oral history manuscript.** She said it was 
kind of interesting, but all jumbled up and mixed up. 

In the meantime, this had attracted my interest, and I 
thought of Lou Goldblatt. Of course, both he and Harry Bridges 
were retired by that time. I happened to know that after having 
been boon companions and fellow workers for many years, they had 
become bitter enemies. And I knew that people had been after 
Goldblatt to do his oral history, but he said he would be damned 
if he would asking friends to put up money so he could blow his 
own horn. I thought, well, we'll see. 

I think it was at a Christmas eve party at Bill and Eva 
Mass's, where most of the guests were old friends of ours. Lou 
and Terry Goldblatt were there, so I spoke to Terry first about 
it. She loved the idea, and thought he ought to tell his story. 
Then I spoke to Lou. Of course he and I have been good friends 
all along. 

Louis Goldblatt, Working Class Leader in the ILWU, 1935-1977, an 
oral history interview conducted 1978-1979, Regional Oral History 
Office, The Bancroft Library, University of California Berkeley, 

"Henry Schmidt, Secondary Leadership in the ILWU, 1933-1966, an 
oral history interview conducted 1974, 1975, 1981, Regional Oral 
History Office, The Bancroft Library, University of California 
Berkeley, 1983. 


Rubens: You have always been friends. It went back to the early days of 
the CIO. He had offered you a job, which you didn't accept, but 
you stayed friends. 

Ward: Yes. Lou didn't say yes, but he didn't say no. 
Rubens: What was he doing when he retired? 

Angela: If you read the oral history, as Estolv described, he was like a 
beached whale. He was so unhappy. He was in a terrible 
psychological state. 

Ward: Oh, yes. See, he had plenty of working life left in him if he'd 
had an opportunity. Knowing quite a bit about him and his 
affairs and activities, I sat down and wrote an outline and sent 
it to him. 

Rubens: What year was this? 

Ward: In the seventies, before the Mooney book came out. I've been 
active with the oral history outfit for at least ten years. 

Rubens: It was right after he retired. 

Angela: Yes, and the convention they both retired 

Ward: Lou called me and said he would go for it, with two exceptions: 

he would not talk about Harry Bridges and he would not talk about 
the Communists. Well, the Communist part was easy; I quickly 
showed him that since it was well known that he had been a 
Communist, there was no secret, he could talk about himself. He 
didn't necessarily have to name anybody but himself. So we 
began, and met for fourteen months, once a week over at his 
place. He didn't come here; I always went there. 

Rubens: To Mill Valley. And by this time you had moved to Berkeley? 
Angela: Yes. 

Ward: We've lived in Berkeley nearly fourteen years now. Again, I had 
to do considerable research, and this time most of it was at the 
ILWU library. The librarian there, Carol Schwartz, I had known 
since I had met her at six o'clock in the morning in the 
plastics factory. One day I was digging away in the files of The 
Dispatcher, and she said, "Estolv, I have something here that 
might help you." It was a copy of an oral history given by 


Ward: J. Paul St. Sure* in the late fifties. She told me that when 
Harry and Lou resigned and left their offices, in cleaning up 
Harry's office they had found a copy of this oral history, which 
nobody in the ILWU knew existed except Harry. 

I read it, and parts of it were very pertinent to what I was 
doing with Lou, because it gave an analysis from the employer 
point of view. 

Rubens: For the historical record, who was St. Sure? 

Ward: He was a management attorney specializing in labor contracts. 

Rubens: In fact, he had been working with some of the cannery operators 
when you were directing the CIO he was just coming out. 

Ward: I had met J. Paul St. Sure in negotiations, and he was one 

difficult and dangerous and smart cookie. He saw through my 
little ploys and maneuvers before they were fully uttered, 
sometimes. He was a difficult combattant to deal with. 

In the meantime, I had seen the different J. Paul St. Sure 
as a lecturer .at the California Labor School. He and I 
collaborated, more or less, in a rather distant way, in teaching 
classes there at one time or another. That was after he became 
the attorney for the Pacific Coast Maritime Association, the PMA. 

Rubens: Why would someone like St. Sure lecture at the labor school? 

Angela: This was a period when the waterfront and the longshore union 

became buddies. There was a name for it the "new look." When 
the M and M agreement was worked out there came this period of 

Ward: Now they call it glasnost. [laughter] 

Angela: That's why Paul St. Sure was teaching at the labor school. 

Ward: Harry always thought the M and M was a wonderful agreement, or 
said he did. You know St. Francis Square (the ILWU housing 
project for workers)? St. Sure helped Lou raise the money for 

Joseph Paul St. Sure, Some Comments On Employer Organizations 
and Collective Bargaining in Northern California Since 193*1, an 
interview conducted by Corinne Gilb for the Institute of 
Industrial Relations Oral History Project on March 7, 21, 29; 
April i, 11; June 13, 21, 1957. University of California 
Berkeley, 1957. 


Ward: that. And all sorts of things like that. On the other hand, in 
the final analysis, Goldblatt came to the conclusion that 
St. Sure had rooked the longshoremen again. They didn't get by 
any means as much as they should have gotten of the M and M 

So weekly, every Tuesday, for fourteen months Lou and I met 
for a couple of hours getting him to talk. Then when I got hold 
of St. Sure's piece and read what St. Sure had to say about these 
two men, Bridges and Goldblatt, and his relationship with them 
and their relationship with each other, it was very interesting. 
Frequently the three of them would get into battles, each against 
the other. Goldblatt and Bridges would disagree; both of them 
would of course disagree with St. Sure. The next morning they 
had to break it off because they were all so upset and angry they 
couldn't go on. Then they'd meet again the next day, and Bridges 
and Goldblatt had unified their position and faced the employer 
as a unit. And usually, according to St. Sure, it was the way 
Goldblatt had wanted it in the first place. In other words, 
whatever went on between those two after a meeting with 
St. Sure, Goldblatt apparently almost always won. 

Rubens: What was your conclusion from that? Why did it go that way? 

Ward: I think St. Sure said it himself pretty succinctly: Bridges 

fundamentally was an old-fashioned labor guy. He was interested 
only in hours, wages, and working conditions. Goldblatt was of 
course interested in those things, but he was also interested in 
housing, dental care for children, health plans, and so forth. 

Angela: I think St. Sure said Goldblatt had more of an overall vision, 
rather than just meat and potatoes. 

Ward: I told Lou that this document existed. Up to then he wouldn't 

talk about Bridges. He ran, not walked, to the ILWU library and 
got that thing and studied it. From then on he talked about 

Rubens: Lou is dead now. When you look back on doing that oral history, 
do you feel he still held back on what he could have said about 
Harry and his relationship with him? 

Ward: Lou may have pruned the sharpest edges of his sharpest thoughts, 
but he was frank enough to do that I thought should have been 
done, say what I hoped he would say. 

Beginning with the Mooney book, I had come to know, first 
very slightly, Andrea Peszewski at The Bancroft Library, who 
became Jim Hart's secretary. I began the oral history with Lou, 
and Angela began typing and keeping up with me to a considerable 
extent. Our dining room table became full of the rough copy, an 


Ward: enormous pile of paper. I called Andrea and said that I had 
something that she might like to see. I suggested she and her 
husband, Lech (a Pole), come by on their way home and have a 
drink. So they came by, and I showed her this pile of 
manuscript. She took it home and read it, and said, "Oh, yes." 
Of course, The Bancroft never has money for ROHO [the Regional 
Oral History Office]. 

Rubens: You were doing this as a volunteer. 

Ward: Oh, sure. Almost all our work for ROHO has been volunteer. 
Andrea found $3,000 someplace, and that helped. 

Angela: She arranged a meeting with Hart and Lou Goldblatt and Estolv and 
me. Because Hart wasn't too enthusiastic. 

Rubens: Here is your opportunity to flesh out history. People ransack 

that interview looking for an explanation, and I'm wondering what 
your own conclusion is about the discord between Harry and Lou. 

Ward: That is a very difficult question. I repeat again that the 

difference began with Harry being an old-fashioned labor guy and 
Lou being a new-fashioned labor guy. 

Rubens: So you agree with St. Sure. But from your own experience you 
lived through that period, you knew them both. Do you have 
something further that you think should be added to the record? 

Ward: Harry grew up as a sailor, sailing out of Melbourne, Australia. 
His father was a wealthy man; he was a big shot. Harry's 
mother's brother his uncle was a very pleasant, dashing, bit of 
a ne'er-do-well seaman. He would come around and tell Harry 
stories, and Harry ran away and went to sea very early, in his 
late teens. And he did a little gun-running, particularly 
regarding some one of the South American revolutions of those 
days. That sort of thing. Harry didn't have much of an 
education. He was brought up in a Catholic school; he was an 
altar boy as a small child. Where other kids would be going to 
high school or college, he was running around the world as a 
seaman, listening to the forecastle tales. 

Goldblatt, on the other hand, went to City College in New 
York. He grew up in The Bronx. His parents were Russian 
immigrants, 1905ers, who were childhood sweethearts in Russia. 
The father was conscripted into the Czarist army and found 
himself in charge of prisoners somewhere on the Black Sea. He 
found a companion prisoner, and the two of them just walked off 
together. He got to this country, where he re-met his childhood 
sweetheart, who had come to New York also, and they got married. 


Ward: Goldblatt, early in school, was classified as a gifted child. 


Ward: He was interested in two things in City College: political 

debates and playing the piano. He could play the piano quite 
well. He temporarily thought of becoming a great pianist. 

Rubens: You're basically saying that their backgrounds are very 

different. Do you think there was any anti-Semitic ism on Harry's 
part? Maybe unconscious? 

Ward: Lou spoke about that. I don't think so. There's not the 

slightest evidence in anything either of them has said, or that 
other people have said about them, that would indicate that. 

Rubens: Harry was much older. And there was a real contention for power; 
they represented different industries. 

Ward: I don't think it was a question of power. Both of them were men 
who wished to be active and useful. That was certainly true of 
Goldblatt, whom I knew much better than I knew Bridges. I think 
there was disagreement about where goes the union, and what the 
union should be doing. As I think you know, it reached the point 
where for years whatever the one said, the other opposed. 

Rubens: They literally did not speak to each other. 
Ward: That's true. 

Angela: Let me remind you what you said so many times when you were 

arguing with people like Norm Leonard about Lou and Harry: that 
the conclusions you reached were that after Lou did all this 
great work in Hawaii, for example, and organized the whole thing 
there and then his union, the warehouse union was a powerful 
union, much larger that was when Harry got real scared. He 
wanted to hang on to the leadership. That's what you always 

Ward: You see, the longshoremen were Harry's baby. The warehousemen 

were Lou's baby, to a considerable extent on the mainland, and to 
a ninety-nine percent in Hawaii. When Harry went over there and 
tried to stick in his oar, in contravention of Lou, people didn't 
pay much attention to him. So I think that must have annoyed the 
old boy a good deal, too. 

Angela: That's one of the reasons that Jack Hall and Harry were at such 
loggerheads. Because Jack Hall sided with Lou in this whole 




Lou found Jack Hall, 
offered that job. 

I'll tell you about it. Angela and I were 







When you came back from Basic Magnesium. 

I came to know Jack Hall when he spent his last years in San 
Francisco. But, of course, it was merely a social relationship, 
and I really can't say what he would have been like. He 
apparently was a very successful organizer. 

Did you ever propose doing Harry's oral history? 

I would know better. That would be the most foolish thing I 
could do. When I got myself elected as the director of the 
Alameda County CIO council, my first labor job, I was a green 
pea. I was not stupid, but I was ignorant. If I do say so 
myself, I was a quick learner. But in the beginning Harry must 
have thought, "What the hell is this guy doing here?" 

You never had a relationship with Harry. 
Not a good one, no. Never. 
He didn't like the book. 

He made no bones about it at the first Landes trial: he wanted 
Jim O'Neill to do his defense work. But he hadn't done anything 
about it, and I was called upon to do the job, and I did it over 
Harry's dead body. 

So at no other point was there a relationship with him? 

If we walked together down the street a block, I don't think ten 
words were exchanged between us. We were not friends. And the 
more I came to know of him, I admired him there's such a thing 
as admiring but not liking him. 

Would you apply that same analysis to Goldblatt? Was the 
relationship something that ate him up, or did he just seem to 
come to terms with it? 

I don't see how I could apply the same analysis to two entirely 
different relationships, two entirely different persons. 

But in terms of how Goldblatt responded. By the time you were 
interviewing Goldblatt, what was his emotional state regarding 
his relationship with Harry? 

He had been robbed of his occupation. He was left without a job. 
Because he had agreed to step down at the same time? 


Ward: It was the obvious thing if one stayed, both stayed. And if 
they both stayed, the union was being torn apart. It was not 
good for the union, not good for either of the individuals. 

Angela: What ate Lou was the fact that he had ten more years to give to 

that union and to the labor movement, and he was not permitted to 
do it because Harry insisted that he wouldn't get out unless Lou 
got out. In fact, he introduced a resolution at an ILWU 
convention to get him out. 

The thing that ate Lou and Terry said this many times was 
that Lou was left stranded, and he was still so concerned about 
the union. He wanted to be part of it and he wanted to continue 
to make his contribution, and he couldn't do it in an official 
way. It was tough even to do it unofficially. That was the big 
thing that ate Lou up. 

Ward: Harry did his best to get rid of Lou, but he couldn't do it 

without a vote of the entire membership. Because the warehouse 
was by far the biggest unit at one time in the ILWU. I don't 
know, of course, but I bet there were many times when Harry 
regretted the ideas that caused him to bring in the warehouse 
people, which I'm pretty sure must have had some origins at 
121 Haight Street (the local CP headquarters). It was the 
cooperation between the inland workers and the dock workers. The 
maritime federation didn't attempt unity between the seafaring 
and dockside workers. The leftwing Communist-sponsored 
organization, MWIU [Marine Workers Industrial Union] since Harry 
listened to what the Communists had to say very attentively, it 
must have had some effect upon his thinking. 

Rubens: Did Lou every talk about the Party and evaluate it? 

Ward: He talked about it. I was talking to Bill Schneiderman at his 

home after he retired, years ago. We were talking about Lou, and 
he claimed that Lou really never did leave the Party. That 
because of the type of work he did, the job he held, it would be 
advisable for him and them to say he left the Party. Lou doesn't 
agree with that. Well, I don't know that Lou knows that 
Schneiderman made that claim, because this was after Lou died. 

Rubens: Do you know why Lou did not want to talk about the Party? 
Ward: He talked about people Schneiderman, and Oleta. 
Angela: Did Lou approve of the general role of the Party? 

Ward: One point of disagreement he had was on super-seniority for 

blacks, which was a Party position for quite a while. He said 
that just wouldn't do. It just meant that the white unions 


Ward: wouldn't take in blacks. The Party advanced the theory that 
since blacks had been put upon for centuries that they should 
have a better chance than the whites. 

Rubens: When was this? 

Angela: It was post-war. 

Ward: In the late forties, I think. 

Angela: Even in the fifties. 

Ward: When I was still working at 150 Golden Gate, Lou and I once went 
together to Party headquarters down Market Street. We talked 
with Oleta about super-seniority for blacks. That would have 
been before 1950. 

Rubens: Lou doesn't talk about the Party pre-World War II. In your 
evaluation, why didn't he want to discuss what influence the 
Party had on the shaping of the union? 

Ward: That's very simple: you don't ra't on your friends. 

Rubens: Couldn't he do it without names? 

Ward: That's what I told him. Then it was no problem. 

Rubens: But he doesn't discuss the Party as an influence in the early 

Ward: I think the Communist Party had been a very useful and helpful 
organization. He was a very happy and active part of it for a 
long time. He didn't become a paid functionary of the ILWU until 
19*12. However, he would have been Harry Bridges' assistant 
director of the West Coast CIO, except for the story I told you. 

Rubens: Which is not in Lou's oral history. 
Ward: No, it is not talked about there. 

Rubens: Were there any other political activities you and Angela were 
involved in that we should talk about next time? 

Ward: Well, we never went to Livermore; we have not participated 

actively in any of the more lively struggles in recent years. 
But we have gone on marches in San Francisco. 

Rubens: For next time, why don't you think about the current meaning of 
politics of the last ten or fifteen years how you see that 
period and your evaluation of it. 



I have thought about that, and I'm pretty well prepared to 
discuss events, in a very general way, of the last few years, and 
my feelings about the immediate future. 

Rubens: And there are some threads that should be tied up. 

Fear of a Revived Right Wing in America, and the Prospects for 

[Interview 12: 17 September 198?]## 

Ward: I understand I am supposed to express my opinion on the past few 
years and the prospects I see for the immediate future. Going 
back eight or ten years, I have a feeling of growing concern for 
the right-wing tendencies of the American public. They seem to 
be increasing, although if we elect a Democratic president next 
year that will indicate a slight turn to the left. However, 
unless a Democratic administration is able to produce very 
dramatic results in the improvement of the economy and the 
standing of our country in regards to the rest of the world, that 
moment of bliss will pass within four years. 

I think it is possible that Americans will dip into a 
strictly American form of fascism. It won't be called by that 
name except by the leadership of some of the other countries, 
particularly the Soviet Union. If such a tragedy should occur, I 
think it will be very short-lived. In order for the tragedy to 
occur, the right would be very strong in the presidency and in 
the Supreme Court, and there would be a momentary willingness to 
go along by the Congress. Commenting upon the briefness, I would 
hope not more than two years, because Congress is re-elected 
every two years. I'm sure that the fascist mood would be quickly 
resented by the common people when they saw the rich oligarchy 
taking over utterly and running everything to suit itself without 
going through any democratic process. 

I think the revolt I hope the revolt, if there has to be 
one, will be purely political, and that the nature and intent of 
both the Senate and the House will become open and grasping for 
new ideas, new ways of getting out of the mess. If that hope 
cannot be realized, then there would have to be a struggle. I 
don't think that will happen. I think the American people have 
enough latent good sense to settle their problems in a democratic 
and peaceful way. 

Rubens: You basically rest your hopes on the democratic process and free 


Ward: Well, I think we're damn well accustomed to the democratic 

process, and to this moment we are still the most democratic 
important power in the world. 

Rubens: If you look back over your political life, moving from a 
conservative, apolitical 

Ward: No! Moving from a left-wing start. 

Rubens: Not a left-wing start. 

Ward: Oh, my father was a socialist. 

Rubens: Yes, but you talked about your early maturation as a conservative 
and free spirit who converted to a left perspective. 

Ward: Those formative years were the most important ones in my life. 
The temporary few years of trying to adjust to a reverse set of 
ideas did not work. 

Rubens: Looking at those twenty years of being in the Communist Party, 

how would you assess that organizational form as being successful 
or not successful in terms of transforming the country? 

Ward: The chances of anything bearing the name "Communist" getting very 
far in the United States are nil, as far as I can see it. Nil. 

Rubens: If you were to critique the Party strategy, what would it rest 
on? On it's being undemocratic? 

Ward: I can't answer that question directly, because I have no idea. I 
would say this: that no American Communist that I know or knew 
or know of could adjust because obviously, if America ever does 
step into the socialist world, it will be under other names, 
other forms, and decidedly of an American vintage. 

Rubens: Do you look to any organization or sector of leadership that 

gives you hope? Dorothy Healy left the Party and joined DSOC 

Harrington's organization, the Democratic Socialist Organizing 

Ward: Well, in the recent past I haven't been able to read enough to 

have any thought on that subject. My attention span and my 

feelings about what I just told you would not lead me to form any 

pinpoint of hope. I think it must be there somewhere, but I do 

not know of it. 

Rubens: Do you recall a time in your own history of feeling as 
pessimistic as you feel now? 


Ward: Of course, as a youngster there was no such thing as pessimistic 
thought. Pessimism began to become noticeable in the years 
immediately following the end of World War II, and have become 
stronger, as I have indicated, in the past few years. 

An Oral History Interview with Norman Leonard 

Rubens: I want to ask you a question outside this topic. We didn't talk 
about the other oral histories that you did. Is there one that 
you enjoyed doing more than all the others, or that you learned 
something more from? 

Ward: I think it's unwise to answer that question. 

Rubens: Do you have any observations to add about the oral history you 
did with Norman Leonard? 

Ward: I think that a great number of young legal scholars of the future 
will want to read that book because, I would assume, up until now 
legal scholars entered law with the hopes of making money. And 
up until now the left has not been the easiest way in the law to 
make money, by a good deal. So if the situation of right and 
left were to be considerably reversed, there would be a rush of 
young law students to the left. That would be easily 

Rubens: We certainly saw a lot of that in the sixties and seventies, with 
young lawyers doing neighborhood legal work or becoming district 
attorneys rather than corporate lawyers, more women entering the 
field. I think there was a real push in that way. 

Ward: Let me ask you: do you think young women lawyers will be more 
inclined to go left than young men? 

Rubens: No. But I think we have seen a real explosion of community 
consciousness in the sixties and seventies. 

Ward: In some phases of our society, but I have seen a real explosion 
of the so-called "yuppie" consciousness. 

Angela: But Lisa's talking about the sixties and seventies, when Norm 

Leonard's son and all these young people were working down in the 
farm groups and so forth. 


Ward: I'm not quite sure I understand you, but remember that Norman 

Leonard didn't start in the sixties and seventies; he started in 
the twenties and thirties. 

Angela: But Lisa is asking about the later generations of young lawyers. 

Rubens: We never talked about your observations on the civil rights 
movement or the environmental movement. 

Ward: Of course I think there's hope. I am full of hope. I am simply 
pointing out that it is possible not necessarily probable, but 
quite possible that we will go through a pretty dim period in 
this country. 

Rubens: It seems to happen every twenty years or so, doesn't it? The 

1920s was a very bleak period. That was one of your periods of 

Cycles of History 

Ward: I've lived through four cycles, I would say. My childhood, my 

first marriage, my entrance into the Communist Party, and what's 
happened after that. 

Rubens: I'm just wondering if you'd like to look back over it all and 
draw any conclusions or observations. 

Ward: You must realize that in looking back, my memory of what I look 
back at is colored by my thoughts of today. So whether it would 
come out honest down to the final degree, I don't know. I don't 
vouch for it, but I do say that my thoughts today, I think, are 
based primarily on my parenthood and youth, as amended and 
altered by all the experiences. 

Rubens: I'm hoping you can find some of your photographs that could be 

included. I thought particularly the one of the woman who lifted 
her veil in the Quaker clinic. 

Ward: I have to think of the warning. I doubt if my oral history would 
ever reach Algeria, so I guess it would be safe. 

Rubens: It would be nice to pick another photograph, too, that you think 
is representative. 

When did you stop being a vegetarian? Was that when you 
went up to Santa Rosa? 


Ward: It was when I went up to the ranch. That's when I got the forty- 
two boils. 

Rubens: From that time on you never went back to being a vegetarian? 

Ward: Not completely. In the last two or three years I have come very 
close to it. No red meat, to my wife's great distress. 

Rubens: Was your father a vegetarian all his life? 

Ward: From the age of nineteen on. I guess he wouldn't have lived that 
long if he hadn't been. There's no question that heavy 
meat-eating shortens the life, in my mind. 

[tape off briefly] 

Rubens: Your book on living in a camper for two years abroad sounded like 
a good story. Did anything ever come of it? 

Ward: My agent said it was rejected because our average daily expense 
for the entire trip, outside the original cost of travel tickets 
and so on, was about $14 a day. The publisher that took the 
greatest interest in my book said that there were European travel 
books out which listed expenses as low as $9.95 a day. 

Rubens: I have a note here that says that during those years when you 

were revising the Tom Mooney book, you wrote some other things. 

Ward: It was mostly stuff in the Peoples' World. 

Rubens: Angela, do you feel there's anything else that we should talk 
about now? 

Angela: The main writing he has done in the last period has been around 
the Mooney book and the oral histories. 

Never Truly a Conservative 

Angela: There's one thing that disturbs me about your reference to his 
conservative period. Having known his father and his 
relationship to his father, who was anything but a 
conservative even though his marriage was surrounded by 
conservative people, basically he recognized the disparity. I 
don't see how he could have been truly conservative for twenty 
years; it seems an awful long time. 

Rubens: I just meant in the twenties. Estolv has labeled that section 
"the making of a conservative." 


Angela: But even so, that's probably one of the reasons why the marriage 
couldn't work out. He was close to his father all the time, and 
his father had very little use for 

Ward: What is this all for? 

Angela: Honey, I'm trying to say that you were never truly a 

Ward: Oh, no. Even when I was under that influence I think I told you 
that in at least one presidential election I didn't vote at all, 
for anybody. Gradually, gradually, it began to swing further and 
further left. For instance, I never voted for Herbert Hoover, 
nor Calvin Coolidge. I don't remember who I voted for, but 
probably the losing Democrat. Then it went further left; in '32 
it went to Norman Thomas. 

Rubens: We want to make clear that in summarizing your political path we 
don't label you as a conservative, but rather someone who had 
attempted to appear as one for a brief while. Then your true 
self came out. 

Ward: I often think of when we were trying to organize Basic Magnesium 
in Nevada, how I used to pick up workers from the plant along the 
highway and take them either into town, where I could use the 
telephone without knowing that the company would hear every word 
that I said; or on the way back from town to our office, out in 
the middle of nowhere. The Negro cotton-picker (I picked up 
quite a few of those; they scoured the South for them) when I 
told him I was CIO organizer 


Ward: he grinned and looked at me with shining eyes, and he says, 

"Mister, my mammy done told me if I ever meets the CIO, j'in it!" 

Continued Support for Liberal Causes 

Rubens: Is there anything else we should add about the last ten or 
fifteen years, any observations? 

Angela: All I know is that in the period that he was writing the Mooney 

book, and later the oral histories, our participation in politics 
was mostly in demonstrations, going to meetings, and that sort of 
thing. We were not affiliated to any organization as such, but 
we supported all the causes. 


Rubens: Anti-war 

Angela: We continue to do that, too. 


Anti-nuclear activity? 

I had some of it when we first came here, but when he started to 
work on the oral histories I transferred my activities to doing 
the transcribing and some of the editing and research. 

Transcribers: Marilyn White and Judy Smith 
Final Typist: Judy Smith 


TAPE GUIDE Estolv Ward 

Interview 1: 8 June, 198? 

tape 1 , side A 

tape 1 , side B 

tape 2, side A [side B not recorded] 

Interview 2: 15 June 1987 

tape 3, side A 

tape 3, side B 

tape 4, side A 

tape 4, side B 

Interview 3: 22 June 1987 
tape 5, side A 
tape 5, side B 
tape 6, side A 
tape 6, side B 

Interview 4: 6 July 1987 

tape 7, side A 

tape 7, side B 

tape 8, side A 

tape 8, side B 

tape 9, side A [side B not recorded] 

Interview 5: 9 July 1987 

tape 10, side A 

tape 10, side B 

tape 11 , side A 

tape 11 , side B 

Interview 6: 13 July 1987 

tape 12, side A 

tape 12, side B 

tape 13, side A 

tape 13, side B 

Interview 7: 16 July 1987 

tape 14, side A 

tape 14, side B 

tape 15, side A 

tape 15, side B 











Interview 8: 
tape 16, 
tape 16, 
tape 17, 

30 July 1987 
side A 
side B 
side A 

tape 17, side B 

Interview 9: 20 August 1987 

tape 18, side A 

tape 18, side B 

tape 19, side A 

tape 19, side B 

tape 20, side A [side B not recorded] 

Interview 10: 24 August 1987 

tape 21 , side A 

tape 21 , side B 

tape 22, side A 

tape 22, side B 

Interview 11 : 
tape 23, 
tape 23, 

7 September 1987 
side A 
side B 

tape 24, side A 

tape 24, side B 

Interview 12: 17 September 1987 

tape 25, side A 

tape 25, side B 







The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 

Vol. 2.22, July 1942 

How Organized Labor Views the Problems of Transition 


UNIONS in southern California af 
filiated with the Congress of In 
dustrial Organizations view the prob 
lems of transition from war to peace 
through a heavy screen of the pressing 
emergencies which they face as partici 
pants in the war itself. There is good 
reason to believe that this attitude ex 
tends to the other branches of the or 
ganized labor movement in this area, 
and, in fact, to all responsible labor 
bodies throughout the United States. 

Labor is reminded of a saying preva 
lent among American soldiers during the 
last World War, which philosophized 
away the physical dangers of military 
combat to its final climax: "... if you're 
killed, you have nothing to worry 
about." Labor is keenly conscious of 
the fact that if Hitler and his Axis al 
lies win this war, there will be "nothing 
to worry about." Democratic America 
ind its principal bulwark, democratic 
American unions, will be killed. Labor 
greatly fears the possibility of such vic 
tory for fascism, and is straining every 
muscle and nerve to forestall this 

We also fear the possibility of a nego 
tiated peace with Hitler. This would 
mean only a partial postponement of 
the Axis program of world enslavement. 
Since this is a global war, with the po 
litical, economic, and military forces of 
toe entire world acting in close inter 
relation, a stalemate, amounting to a 

f-victory for Hitler, would strengthen 
hand of reaction in all countries, in- 
| eluding the United States. Further so- 
ral progress, further reform, further 
I Development of civilization, humanism, 
tnd culture, would be effectively 
eked. In fact, the onslaught of 

*live fascism would gain such power 

*' Americans would be in grave dan 

ger of losing all the gains they have 
made thus far. 

Labor's attitude, therefore, is predi 
cated upon the fact that the Axis must 
be crushed militarily and politically, and 
that the ruler-slave ideology upon which 
fascism is based must be eradicated from 
the face of the earth. 

With the hope that these aims can be 
accomplished, and with a united deter 
mination to accomplish them, at what 
ever -cost, labor then looks forward to 
postwar problems. 



Leading executives, economists, and 
publicists, in our national administra 
tion and in the labor movement, wish to 
avoid economic and political dislocations 
which commonly follow the war. We 
hear general expressions of fear that a 
national collapse, more severe than any 
heretofore, will occur in this country 
when peace returns. 

Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt commented, 
only the other day, that unless Ameri 
can standards are maintained during the 
war, our soldiers, should they return to 
a wasteland which offers them no hope 
of life and decency in return for their 
sacrifices, may become a "dangerous 

If this be true, and the CIO firmly be 
lieves it is, then part of our postwar 
planning perhaps the most important 
part must involve a definite program 
geared to the present, to preserve 
America especially in wartime. The 
CIO has such a program and is doing 
its part to secure its full adoption and 
enforcement. The major fundamentals 
of this program are: 

1. Co-operation of government, labor, 
and management in total war produc 





2. Taxation on the basis of ability to 
pay in order to meet both war and civil 
ian expenditures; 

3. Extension of full democracy and 
equal economic opportunity to racial 
minorities, particularly Negroes and 

4. Maintenance of wage stales and 
working conditions, the mainstay of our 
economic standards of living, and the 
improvement of these scales and condi 
tions in depressed areas; 

5. Preservation of existing social and 
labor legislation and stout resistance to 
all who would endanger it. 

We lay down these fundamentals as 
an essential prerequisite to postwar 
planning, believing that if the CIO pro 
gram can be realized, transition from 
war to peace economy will have been 
greatly simplified. 


The immediate shock of peace will be 
the cessation of war industry and the 
demobilization of millions of men in our 
armed forces. These two operations 
will create a glut in the labor market. 
.In other words, we shall have with us 
again the unemployed. CIO economists 
estimated that at the depths of the last 
depression there were 17,000,000 unem 
ployed in the United States. Circula 
tion of money was diminished, and mass 
buying power, particularly for consumer 
goods, was seriously crippled. 

Not knowing how long the war will 
last, how many men will be inducted 
into the armed services, how many 
women will be drafted into war indus 
try, how complete will be the change 
from a butter to a gun economy, no one 
can accurately estimate the number of 
Americans likely to join the postwar 
army of the unemployed. The pros 
pects, however, stagger the imagination. 

The Los Angeles Basin and San Diego 
are important centers of war industry 
and war activities. An estimate of 

400,000 engaged in war work 
areas within the next year would 
ably be conservative. Add to these fi? 
ures the men who will have joined j 
been inducted into the armed serviS 
during the war from these areas v 2 

jl_ _ . ._ ..i * .*" 

the new recruits to the labor 


from among women, youth, and 
inhabitants, and we can arrive "at 
tentative estimate of something over 
million persons who must be reabsorbed 
into a peacetime economy in southern ' 

To fail to make this readjustmenTJn' 
southern California and the rest of fa 
Nation would be immediately tottlje 
problems of the most pressing nature 
first economic, and then political, ^fc 

Part of our hope that these problem 
can be solved before they become disaj-' 
trously acute arises from our conviction* 
that mass buying power can be 
tained. This means that public ''and 
private employment must be provided, 
at wages that will permit circulation * 
among the people generally. Vf 

In the field of private employment, 
we look first to the questions of transl- 4 
tion in the aircraft industry, the larg- > 
est southern California war employer. 
Air-borne transport should improve in 1 
quality and quantity as a result of de-'jj 
velopments made in wartime. Provided, j 
the general state of the Nation permltv| 
we can look for continuation of the,.? 
aircraft industry, even though on a re- ^ 
duced basis, in peacetime. Thus, 'we * 
have some feeling of stability in this ,. 

In shipbuilding, the second largest '' 
employer in this area, we face prospects . 
of rapidly dwindling employment, be- 
ginning six months after the end of the _ 
war and running down to a comparativt 
zero in about eighteen months. 

Most other forms of war employment 
will end virtually immediately with the 
peace. Some slack will be taken op 
gradually by resumption of peacetin* 




consumption; how much we cannot tell 
until we know what the wages of the 
people will permit them to consume. 

So, although by a considerable degree 
of optimism in the field of private em 
ployment we have reduced our problem, 
we have by no means annihilated it. 


Before surveying the possibilities of 
public employment, let us estimate the 
assistance to be given by social legisla 
tion now on the books. Unemployment 
insurance and social security will serve 
somewhat to cushion the shock. The 
reserves now being built up should not 
be dissipated, but should be driven 
higher to take up the slack when the 
crucial peed arises. Attempts by some 
employers to reduce their contributions 
to these Federal-state unemployment 
and old-age insurance agencies should 
be stanchly resisted. These social bene 
fits should be increased, and the laws 
under which they operate should be 
liberalized to include seamen and all 
classifications of American workers. 

Because of the sacrifices they will 
have made, we must first consider de- 
'.- mobilized servicemen in taking up the 
needs of the great residue of postwar 
unemployed. The CIO has always in 
sisted that complete protection must be 
provided for the re-employment of those 
who leave jobs to enlist or be drafted, 
*nd is providing such protection in the 
contracts it signs with employers. 

Adequate guarantees must also be 
iade for protection of job rights of 
those workers who temporarily take the 
place of the workers who go to war. 
Strides toward the provision of protec 
tion for men transferred from civilian to 

r production have been taken by the 
notably in the arrangement worked 
^ l between the United Automobile 
Corkers, the Office of Production Man- 
nt, and General Motors Corpora- 

' n > whereby these workers may trans- 

fer back to their old jobs after the 
emergency without loss of seniority. 

There should be provisions for the 
granting of either social security bene 
fits or guaranteed work on public proj 
ects for all men discharged from the 
armed forces who are unable to procure 

Again taking time by the forelock, the 
CIO also advocates that during the war, 
full protection should be afforded the 
families and dependents of our soldiers 
and sailors. Such protection should be 
provided by agencies vested with a pub 
lic responsibility, rather than by private 
organizations. The Soldiers' and Sail 
ors' Relief Act should be greatly liberal 
ized to protect the men and their fami 
lies, during the period of military service 
and for a reasonable period thereafter, 
from foreclosures or eviction from 
homes, the lapsing of life insurance poli 
cies, and the seizure of chattels such as 
cars, furniture, or household goods. 


These steps in themselves will greatly 
ease transition problems. During the 
last depression, labor economists were 
stating that the housing shortage in the 
United States was so acute that, even 
under a planned economy, it would take 
ten years of producing and construction 
to provide decent living quarters for 
all our population. Nothing was done 
about this shortage until the war. The 
influx of war workers in southern Cali 
fornia has created a housing crisis 
which, if not solved, may seriously en 
danger production and morale. 

Federal housing agencies, stimulated 
by labor, have begun action to relieve 
the local housing shortage. The CIO 
favors housing projects under the Mu 
tual Ownership type, commonly referred 
to as the Camden Plan. Such work as 
is being accomplished toward the con 
struction and occupancy of such proj 
ects meets the bitter opposition of some 




private real estate interests, which are 
using political and economic pressure 
to prevent or emasculate all public hous 
ing projects. These private interests, in 
their most recent maneuvers, seek sub 
stitution of temporary defense housing 
or barracks for single men for the genu 
ine, permanent, public housing projects 
the government contemplates and the 
workers desire. The CIO is fighting 
temporary housing and barracks because 
they encourage instability and imperma- 
nence, destroy the principle of personal 
home ownership, and provide the breed 
ing ground for a new type of slum where 
vice and poverty may fester during the 
postwar period. 

If labor's fight for proper public hous 
ing is successful during the war, the way 
will be paved for much more of this 
sorely needed construction work after 
the war is over. The building and 
democratic operation of home projects 
along the lines of the Camden Plan will 
provide the great mass of southern Cali- 
fornians with work and with homes in 
which they can take pride. Such proj 
ects, with social centers, recreational fa 
cilities, and educational and cultural 
opportunities, on a group basis, will 
preserve morale, maintain health, and 
stimulate responsibility during the tran 
sition period. 


The major curse of the Los Angeles 
Basin has always been lack of proper 
transportation. This great, sprawling, 
decentralized community can never real 
ize its full opportunities until trans- 
portational lacks have been corrected. 
A great program of road and rail build 
ing should be launched under the aus 
pices of government agencies at the 
conclusion of the war. High-speed arte 
rial highways and fast rail lines should 
lace the basin from end to end. The 
working out of such a program will re 

quire an understanding on the partW; 
local business that its immediate ' 
ests must be set aside for the 
prosperity of Los Angeles and all 
residents. Once this is done 
comprehensive transportation 
adopted, a virtual army of technicians^ 
skilled, semiskilled, and unskilled laborv 
can be put to work for a period of sev' 
eral years. > 3t v 

Other public projects must be consid- 7 
ered and developed to the point where 7 ' 
actual work can be commenced within^ 
a short time after peace is declared,^ 
The CIO suggests that the construction ' 
of more public hospitals and sanatoria,^ 
and improved operation of those exist- 1 ," 
ing, might constitute one highly desir-" 
able project. Industrial health and hyl" 
giene have been neglected to a serious ' 
degree, and if Los Angeles is to maintain .. 
itself as a great industrial center after ( ' 
the war, we should be preparing now to 
do the construction and hire the tech-, 
nicians who can correct this situation. 
Under this general beading we should 
properly include preservation of the' 
beaches, improvements in sewage and , 
garbage disposal, flood control, and fire 

Except for the privileged few, south-" 
ern California is not the garden of the^ 
Hesperides. The possibilities of the 
land and the sea and the climate have 
not yet been given to the great working 
mass of people in this area. 


If America wins the war, southern 
California will have a choice. Con 
servatism, refusal to plan, failure to 
absorb the unemployed, will condemn 
this smiling section of the earth, these 
great factories, to the degeneration of 
despair and give the people over to the 
first demagogue who comes along. 
the other hand, a sturdy, realistic, pro 
gressive spirit which insists on the con- 



tinued and improved function of democ 
racy, which inspires co-operation rather 
than individualism, can make of south 
ern California a genuine land of milk 
and honey more glorious than that de 
picted in any Chamber of Commerce 
tourist ad in a travel magazine. 

To accomplish these things, there 
must be more than the will of southern 
Californians alone. Throughout the 
Nation, there must be an atmosphere 
of optimism, a determination to pro 
gress. This atmosphere must permeate 
the legislative halls, the administrative 
offices, the judicial sanctums of our 
Federal and state governments. 

We must abolish the poll tax. We 
must eradicate oppressive labor prac 
tices by some employers. We must pre 
serve and expand the civil liberties of 
the people. Social security must be 
come a fact and not a token. A rea 
sonable system of health insurance must 
be established. The incomes of the 
common people must provide good liv 
ing standards. There must be more 
democracy not less. 

To such a program, for an indivisible 
Nation of which southern California 
could well be the most favored part, 
the CIO dedicates itself and urges the 
support of all Americans. 

Estolv E. Ward, Los Angeles, is an International 
Representative oj the Casting Division, International 
Union oj Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers, 'CIO. He 
was a newspaper reporter for ten years, and an attache 
oj the Supreme Court oj the State oj California for two 
and a half years. He has also been secretary oj the 
Alameda County Industrial Union Council; vice-presi 
dent oj the California State Industrial Union Council; 
CIO State Legislative Representative; state secretary 
oj Labor's N on-Partisan League; and executive secre 
tary oj the Harry Bridges Defense Committee. He is 
author oj "Harry Bridges on Trial." 

OV./DEC. 1983 


Lewis Goldblatt speaking at the San Francisco Civic Center 

during the 1936 warehouse strike. The warehousemen 

had been ignored by organizers until Goldblatt 

and the "Young Turlu" uient to work. But eventually, their 

numbers made them a force to be reckoned with in the 

International Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union. 

All photos courtesy the ILWU and the Goldblatt family. 

The Calif ornians, Nov/Dec 1983 

Looking Back 

on the Labor 

Wars: Lewis 



By Estolv Ethan Ward 

Recently- deceased labor leader 
Lewis Goldblatt left a legacy that 
Dr. Clark Kerr (UC president 
emeritus) has described as "a most valuable 
. . contribution to the history of half a cen- 
ury of great social change." 

That legacy Goldblatt 's two-volume 
>ral history vividly recreates the struggles, 
riumphs and failures of Goldblatt 's 42 years 
if active membership in the International 
-ongshoremen's and Warehousemen's 
Jnion (ILWU). As the union's secretary - 
reasurer for 34 years, Goldblatt was right 
x>wer to Harry Bridges. 

Kerr first encountered Goldblatt in the 
early '30s when both were graduate stu 
dents, the former at Stanford University, 
the latter at U. C. While visiting a friend 
on the Berkeley campus, Kerr saw Goldblatt 
leading a group known as the Social Prob 
lems Club members, mostly, of the 
Young Communist League calling on all 
listeners to join them in opposing some 
position the Board of Regents had taken. 
Later, during his years as an arbitrator of 
union-employer conflicts, Kerr frequently 
met Goldblart and observed him in action, 
often in situations of great tension. (Some of 

these situations involved students versus the 
university, during Kerr's regime as presi 
dent.) And in the introduction to 
Goldblatt's oral history, Kerr praised the 
labor leader's accomplishments and com 
mented on four specific points: 

"The goodwill and respect of the 
employer representatives with whom he 

"His sadness over the break with Harry 
Bridges. I once asked Harry in the '70s 
about Lou, and his only reply was That 

"The tremendous change from class war- 

PAGE 24 



NOV. /DEC. 1983 

fare on the waterfront in the '30s and '40s 
to the climate of peaceful co-existence 
today; and from the violent enmity be 
tween the ILWU and the Teamsters to 
cooperation with Jimmy Hoffa. 

"The development of stable labor-man 
agement relations in Hawaii out of the 
most nearly semi-feudal conditions that ever 
existed on U. S. territory a transforma 
tion of historic proportions." 

Early in his long love affair with the 
ILWU, Goldblatt's total immersion in 
union affairs left him no time for radical 
theorizing. Although he maintained contact 
with Communists wherever common in 
terests or personal friendship existed, and 
although there was no resignation, no 
expulsion, no formal break of any kind, 
Goldblatt's official connection with the 
Communist Party simply dwindled to 
nothing. However, many disagreements 
cropped up between Goldbiatt and the 
Communists, largely stemming from the 
difference between armchair-radical theoriz 
ing and the stern realities of the everyday 
workers' world. 

Those differences leapt into sharp relief 
in 1942, soon after Pearl Harbor, when 
Goldbiatt was head of the California State 
CIO Council. The times were difficult along 
the Pacific Coast for anyone of Japanese 
origin or ancestry. The Communist Parry 
kept silent on this touchy subject, but not 
Goldbiatt: he came forward on his own to 
testify before the Tolan Committee in 
opposition to the wartime internment of 
Japanese-Americans. No one in the labor 
movement either objected to or supported 
his action. He and Al Wirin, an attorney for 
the American Civil Liberties Union, were 
among the few persons of any prominence 
who took the Japanese part. Looking back 
on his difficult hour in the Congressional 
committee's witness chair, Goldbiatt said in 
his oral history: 

"It was just a gut feeling that you don't 
kick people around. ... I said it would be a 
dark chapter in American history, the 
Hearst Press screaming about the Yellow 
Peril, this attitude we were taking against 
the Japanese. Actually, the only people who 
showed any class in the situation were the 
Japanese. Many of them said, 'The quicker 
we can get into the army and defeat the 
Emperor, the better.' " After the war, this 
act of Goldblatt's stood him and the ILWU 
in good stead with Japanese workers in the 
Hawaiian Islands during the organizing cam 
paigns there. Much later, returning from a 
reunion of sorts at Manzanar, Goldbiatt dis 
cussed why he had given such unpopular 
testimony during wartime: 

"My folks (Jewish Socialists and atheists) 
felt that when a group of people like the 

Jews were in struggle against what they 
called the 'disabilities,' various forms of 
discrimination, pogroms and what-have-you 
somehow the Jews did not have the same 
right to be sons-of -bitches that other people 
have. It is something 1 have carried most of 
my life. I feel the same way about the black 
movement. It's gotten me into some hot 
water, but it also made me some very warm 

During the war the Communist Party 
conceived the idea that because blacks had 
for years been "the last to be hired and the 
first to be fired," it would be only fair for 
progressive unions like the ILWU to correct 
that discriminatory situation by discriminat 
ing the other way, in other words, giving 
blacks super-seniority. But Goldbiatt dis 
agreed sharply: "I felt, for one, that this was 
a terribly mistaken policy. Eventually the 
whole thing was dropped; somebody sits 
down and works these things out on the 
typewriter before they think them 

Goldbiatt disagreed 
with Communists and 
unionists who would 
pull out large numbers 
of workers to support a 
small number of 
strikers: "You don't ask 
somebody else to put his 
job on the line." 

And just after WWII, when Lodge 68 
of the Machinists Union in San Francisco 
struck, those 4,000-5,000 strikers demanded 
and received the support of 45,000 other 
workers in factories and warehouses. The 
result was 50,000 workers on the streets 
observing the picket lines, including thou 
sands upon thousands of ILWU members. 
(The leadership of Lodge 68 had previously 
been friendly with the ILWU leadership, 
often serving as a "bridge" between the 
AFL and the CIO in the Bay area.) 
Goldbiatt was not happy: "You had the 
anomalous situation of five machinists in a 
place like Best Foods shutting down a place 
with 500 workers; at Hills Brothers a half 
dozen machinists shutting down a house 
with a couple of hundred workers. I got into 
some long discussions with Harry Hook and 
Ed Dillon (Machinist leaders), and then the 
Communist Party got into the act, too. I 
thought they were terribly mistaken. 

"At some points the argument got pretty 
violent. There were a couple of Party guys 
in the Machinists Union who felt that this 
was the greatest thing since the wheel 
the ability to pull out that many workers. I 
said, 'It doesn't work that way. When you 
go into battle the first thing you do is carry 
the fight yourself. You don't ask somebody 
else to put his job on the line unless, for 
example, they (employers] try to run 
strikebreakers. Then calling on the rest of 
the labor movement to put their paychecks 
on the line is perfectly sensible, and you'll 
get that support.' " 

During a hectic meeting at ILWU 
Warehouse Local 6 (Goldblatt's home 
local) , Goldblart was asked if he was saying 
that his union members should go through 
the Machinists' picket line. When he re 
plied, "Absolutely no!", the retort was 
"They're putting our members on the 
bricks, aren't they?" 

Goldbiatt argued, "There are several 
things they could do. One, just let those 
machinists stay in those jobs if you have a 
commitment from the employers that they 
will meet whatever the new (wage) scale is. 
[Orl let them withhold their labor, but 
don't picket the place with the commit 
ment from us that none of us would do any 
of their work, nor would we allow any fore 
man or anybody else to do their work." 

In retrospect, Goldbiatt observed that 
"Although most of our members under 
stood what I was talking about, some of 
them didn't. A picket line is a picket line! 
Here was one of the real weaknesses of craft 
unionism, unless it is handled intelligently. 
Of course you're going to be a good union 
man and respect the picket line, but that's 
not going to happen throughout every es 
tablishment that is on strike, and sooner or 
later a crisis occurs. 

"This was the old craft idea that the 
Wobblies had argued against years before. 
Take one big industrial establishment and 
carved them up into crafts, at most compris 
ing only a few members; you'd have every 
thing from the Janitors' Union to the 
waitresses in the cafeteria, a moldmaker, a 
plumber, an electrician, a carpenter. This 
goes on endlessly; it is the fundamental 
weakness of craft unions. 

"Incidentally, that lesson is one we 
learned pretty damn well when we were 
organizing in Hawaii. . . . [Unquestionably! 
the pecking order in American society and 
the craft consciousness of some workers, 
even when they belong to industrial unions, 
is something you can't ignore." 

Problems between the ILWU and the 
Communist Party became particularly ran 
corous in Hawaii. According to Goldblatt, 
the Party leaders tried to pre-empt union 

" * 

GoUblatt, Secretary-Treasurer of the ILWU, addressing the 1948 meeting of Local 6. The Pacific Auditorium was the only hall in San Francisco big 
enough ro uccommooate the members. 

thinking on various matters. Essentially, the 
Party people kept suggesting that although 
the ILWU people might be pretty good 
trade unionists they didn't, after all, know 
the political scene the way the Communists 
did. Discussing problems that arose when 
ILWU and Communist leadership con 
flicted, Goldblan philosophized a bit: 

"The job of leadership means that you 
reflect as best you can the reservations, the 
reluctances, priorities of the people you rep 
resent. . . . This did not mean in any way 
compromising what I thought, or the right 
of a Red to retain his opinion when he 
became a union man. As a union we were 
not trying to change anyone's religious opin 
ion; we were not trying to change their poli 
tical registration. Neither was it anybody 
else's damn business how you as a leader felt 
about issues or political opinions. [But a) 
son of balance had to be achieved . . . any 
relations with something like the Com 
munist Party you would weigh constantly. 
. - . The issue was how could a person in 
leadership exercise judgment so as to move 
the membership along with him; not to sit 
blandly and flow with the tide, not to duck 
all issues." 

After stints as a student, 
a teacher and a " Young 
Turk" in the warehouse 
branch of San 
Francisco's Longshore 
Union, Goldblatt got 
his first paid union job 
as Northern California's 
CIO director. 

Goldblatt was born in 1910 in the New 
York Bronx, eldest son of Lithuanian 
emigres who imbued their offspring with 
their socialist and atheist beliefs. Classified 
as a gifted child, higher education took 
Lewis first to the City College of New York, 
where he learned to break away from 
"Toiry-Toid Street" New Yorkese and be 
gan learning to become what some of his 
associates have called an "electrifying" pub 

lic speaker. Also at CCNY, the political line 
he was to follow all his life, which was born 
listening to his parents' discussions, har 
dened and developed as he listened to and 
participated in the debates "screaming 
matches" he called them between left- 
wingers of different slants in the famous 
alcoves of New York's "streetcar college". 

A family move took him to Los Angeles, 
where he graduated in economics at UCLA 
at age 21. Next he did graduate work in law, 
economics and education at DC-Berkeley, 
but dropped his law studies (although he 
easily passed his examinations) when he 
decided that he could see little or no con 
nection "between law and justice." 

During those early Depression years, 
Goldblatt studied accounting and worked 
part-time as an accountant, a "grip" in 
Hollywood's movie studios, and a door-to- 
door magazine salesman. At Berkeley he and 
his friends worked weekends rustling crates 
of farm produce at the Oakland Farmers' 
Market. He put in strenuous stints body 
building in the university gym and also 
spent many nights practicing the piano to 
advance his ambitions of becoming a con 
cert pianist. 

NOV. /DEC. 1983 

' r ~N&itfl KhruscHev in the Kremlin in 1959. 77* ^incident was 


*"****"> = ' "This went quite well, and the supervis- 

ing teacher didn't look particularly askance, 
but latl one session the whole back row was 
taken up by administrators, the principal, 
some guys from the Board of Education - 
everything but students. I suppose they had 
a bit of the jumps and jitters about the 
whole thing." Not one of these school 
officials said anything to Goldblatt, but he 
nonetheless noted that ||all of us get a bit 
gun-shy in these things." 

Lack of money, a common complaint 
during the Great Depression, ended 
Goldblatt 's student life. Leaning on a shovel 
in the Works Progress Administration did 
not hold him for long, and by 1935 he had 
found regular employment in a San Fran 
cisco bottling plant. 

New Deal legislation favoring union 
organization prompted Goldblatt to join the 
warehouse branch of the famous San Fran 
cisco Longshore Union, and got him fired 
from the bottling plant. Then began a rip- 
roaring period of organizing while he 
continued to work full time on or near the 
waterfront - known in labor history as the 
"March Inland". Within months, the 
Warehouse local membership jumped from 
400-500 to several thousand, due to the 

For a time, Goldblatt flirted with the idea 
of become a teacher, and tried practice 
teaching at a high school in Oakland. But, 
he later recalled, "The courses in education 
given by the university were absolutely the 
most deadly things under the sun - so 
much drivel. You just went through a group 
of textbooks that meant absolutely nothing. 
I could never figure out how the so-called 
School of Education warranted its existence. 
1 don't think it meant much to the pro 
fessors, either." 

Doing practice teaching, Goldblatt lost 
patience with a group of difficult high schoo 
seniors not much younger than he was. 
finally turned to them and said, 'If you 
don't feel like sticking around for the 
course, just go ahead and leave. I'm not 
going to report you as playing hookey, or 
anything. Take off and let those who want 
to do some studying stick around.' None of 
them did leave; they quieted down. 

"In the course of events, I got my hands 
on a group of posters put out by the Soviet 
Union promoting things like sanitation, 
public health. I saw nothing wrong with giv 
ing examples of how a government that 
thought differently went about the issue of 
public education. In those days the illiteracy 
rate in Russia must have been pretty heavy, 
and a lot of these issues were being told by 

rime there were hundreds of warehouses 
and processing plants of one kind or 
another, almost all tied into the shipping 
industry through either the import or 
export of products useful to humankind in 
various parts of the world. Ships were the 
best and cheapest means of transportation, 
in most cases. Longshoremen loaded and 
unloaded those ships. Warehousemen and 
allied workers stored goods received or 
awaiting shipment, or bottled them, or 
packed, canned, refrigerated, roasted or 
otherwise processed them for use by the 
eventual consumer. 

Although the workaday linkage between 
warehousemen and longshoremen seemed 
obvious to the Young Turks, most unions 
had traditionally ignored the warehousemen 
so they were 99% unorganized. Rarely 
does such a golden opportunity offer itself to 
the union organizer, and as the Y ears _' ent 
by it brought great changes to the ILWU. 
Beginning as a mere adjunct to Longshore, 
Warehouse, in terms of the membership 
vote, became a force to be reckoned with. 
Finally, when put together with the or 
ganization Goldblatt initiated and devel 
oped in Hawaii, Warehouse became the tail 
that wagged the dog. 

Goldblatt's first paid union job was as 
Northern California CIO Director - right- 
hand man to Harry Bridges. Here and there 
were grumbles that Goldblatt was "a smart 
ass College boy sent in by the Communist 
Party." This was correct only in that he had 
a keen mind, always seeking to learn more 
about people and events and ways and 
means of getting things done, who became 
known throughout the West as an intellec 
tual labor leader of more than ordinary 
ability. Nobody told Goldblatt to join a 
union; he followed his own nose. Further 
more, he was a natural born workaholic. 


efforts of Goldblatt and a group of fiery 
young men known as the Young Turks. 
In the San =- ay region at that 

To hold together and 
build the California 
CIO Council, Goldblatt 
needed tact, diplomacy 
and the ability to be on 
chummy terms with 
people he had little in 
common with. 

In 1938 he was elected executive secre 
tary of the California CIO Council. Thus on 
a meager salary and expense account, he wa< 
expected to travel all over California from 











dding to San Diego, helping the 1LWU 
i all the other CIO unions solve their 
(blems all of which, in those days, 
ire difficult, some even hazardous to the 
ftlth. As Goldblart remarked, "Those 
ren't the days when a guy ran for office so 
could get rich." 

As far as the West Coast was concerned, 
CIO was an assortment of all sorts of 
ons, some with lengthy backgrounds in 
: East and Midwest, others with no back- 
unds at all. In general the greater the 
kground, the more ideologically conser- 
ive the union. But in common, they 
wed a preference for the industrial type of 
anization over the old-fashioned craft 
lion system. Some, like the Mine, Mill 
Smelter Workers, stemmed from Wob- 
rraditions. Other, like the International 
lies Garment Workers, got their ideas 
m the Socialist-versus-Communist com- 

The ILWU, which dominated the CIO 
the West Coast, pulled itself free of the 
iservative and also racket-ridden 
nix of the International Longshoremen's 
sociation, still to be reckoned with in the 
and gulf ports of the United States. 
erefore, it had the advantagous mix of 
ig experience and the influx of new ideas 
a combination that worked. 
To hold together and build the California 
D Council, Goldblart needed tact, di- 
jmacy and an ability to be on chummy 
ms with people with whom, deep down, 
had little in common. And for nearly 
r years Goldblatt managed the job, leav- 
only when he was satisfied that the 
uncil had become a going concern. 
Of this experience he commented, "You 
re dealing with such divergent characters; 
erybody from a Sherman Dalrymple (a 
jsty old Steelworker who had come out of 
e United Mine Workers) or the Coulter 
others (of the Oil Workers, whom the 
ogressives' felt were too company- 
nded), and some just plain old-line trade 
tionists, some stick-in-the-muds; a crazy 

Virtually his final act as head of the Cali- 
mia CIO Council was his appearance 
fore the Tolan Committee on behalf of 
e Japanese-Americans. Then, under his 
vn steam, Goldblatt resigned to return as 
i organizer to his first and only love, the 
.WU. He and others tried to expand their 
lion to the Midwest, South and East, with 
me initial success in Chicago, Min- 
japolis, St. Louis, New Orleans and New 
ork. But conditions imposed by World 
/ar II and rising opposition from other 
lions mainly the Teamsters made 
tstward expansion extremely difficult, and 
1943 Goldblatt returned to the West 

Coast to become secretary-treasurer of the 
International, where he stayed until he 
retired in 1977. 

During the Eastern foray, Goldblatt and 
other labor leaders were invited to lunch at 
the White House by Eleanor Roosevelt in 
one of her efforts to help defeat Hitler, 
Mussolini and the Mikado. His experience 
that day was quite different from his other 
adventures in wartime Washington: Gold' 
blatt was rebuffed by generals, admirals 
and cabinet members when he offered his 
plan to utilize the skills of ILWU longshore 
men in facilitating discharge of military 
cargo in tiny foreign ports devoid of modem 
unloading facilities. But his effort was not 
entirely lost; later in the war someone had 
the sense to put major parts of the Goldblatt 
plan to good use. 

No sooner had he settled into his execu 
tive job in San Francisco than Goldblatt, 
ever on the lookout for new worlds to con 
quer, began to think and read about Hawaii, 
then only a territory of the United States, 
operating under martial law. As he fa 
miliarized himself with ILWU records 
(other than those made by the Warehouse 
division, which were well and intimately 
known to him), Goldblatt learned that ever 
since 1935 there had been attempts at form 
ing Longshore locals in Hawaii at ports 
like Hilo, Honolulu, Port Allen on the 
island of Kauai and at Kahalui on Maui 
but no success with the employers, no 
recognition, no contracts. In 1941, when 
the ILWU finally won NLRB elections for- 
longshoremen in Hilo and Honolulu, char 
ters were issued to locals there but still no 
contracts ensued. The war came along, mar 
tial law was imposed and the people in 
charge of enforcing that law on the docks 
were the shipowners. Even so, the ILWU 
locals in Honolulu and Hilo, though muted 
by the war, held together fairly well and 
were ready to rebuild when Goldblatt 
learned of their existence. 

Looking back on that situation, Goldblatt 
said, "When we began to study the whole 
thing, we found the Island economy was 
such that longshore plays a different role 
than it does in most parts of the country. 
Longshore is a specific industry on the main 
land. Hawaii was different; longshore was 
really an economic offshoot of the principal 
industries there, pineapple and sugar. These 
would determine what, if anything, would 
be shipped out of there. 

"I began to read up on Hawaii because I 
was fascinated as to why we did not have 
well-organized longshore groups covered by 
contract or tied into the Pacific Coast agree 
ment. After all, Hawaii was at least 85-90% 
dependent on West Coast shipping. Matson 
Navigation Company (owned by the "Big 

Eleanor Roosevelt, during one of her war drives, 
received Goldblatt and his proposals for labor aid to 
the war effort more cordially than did many military 
officers and cabinet members. 

Five" at that time) had about the nearest 
thing to a complete monopoly on all trade 
to Hawaii." 

In Hawaii, Goldblatt 
and the ILWU collided 
with the Big Five, first 
successfully suing under 
the Fair Labor Standards 
Act and then striking 
on the Big Five's money 
thus netted. 

Initially, Goldblatt suggested sending 
somebody to Hawaii to look over the scene. 
First to go was an old-time longshoreman 
named Bill Kraft. Kraft reported that the 
longshoremen, by and large, wanted to be in 
the union. Next went Matt Meehan of Port 
land, former secretary of the International. 
He came back with the very specific sugges 
tion that the ILWU ask Jack Hall to go to 
work for them. 

Hall had left ship in Honolulu during a 
1936 strike and had made the Islands his 
Viome thereafter, spending his time and 
whatever money he could scrounge trying 
to organize workers all kinds of workers, 
for any recognized union. 

But when war's advent made organizing 
impossible, Hall went to work for the Fair 
Labor Standards Act in Hawaii, a federal 
job. (This was important later when, armed 
with Hall's experience, the ILWU sued the 
sugar plantation companies under that Act.) 
Also Hall, not eligible for military service 
because of his bad eyesight, was happy to be 
appointed regional director of the ILWU. 

This activity soon led to a head-on colli- 

PAGE 28 



NOV. /DEC. 1983 

Hawaiian sugar cane cutters c. 1 920. The Big 5, descended from companies formed by the first Christian missionaries to the islands, gained control of 
most of Hawaii i economy by using "the bed, the Bible, and a deck of cards". Dr. dark Kerr, University of California president emeritus and 
longtime observer of Goldblatt, described conditions in Hawaii as "the most nearly semi-feudal . . . that ever existed on U. S. territory/' 
Courtesy. The Bancroft Library. 

Notes on Hawaii's Big Five 

The Big Five in Hawaii consisted 
of the following companies: 
Alexander Baldwin, C. Brewer, 
American Factors, Castle and Cooke and 
Theo Davies. (Theo Davies was pri 
marily held by British capitalists, includ 
ing British royalty.) 

Louis Goldblatt obtained much of his 
information on the Hawaiian economy 
and its background and structure from a 
tudy done by Dr. James H. Shoemaker, 
formerly with the U. S. Department of 
Labor. This (tudy showed the enormous 
concentration of wealth in the hands of 
the Big Five. 

It is estimated that when Captain 
Cook first landed in Hawaii, the native 
population was estimated to have been 
iomt where between half and three quar 
ters of a million. Hawaii was settled by 
the people who migrated in canoes from 
the islands of the South Pacific, probably 
about 1,100 years ago. These people 

were great navigators. It was quite com 
mon for their seamen to sail down to 
Samoa, 2,000 miles away, to take in a 
royal wedding or some celebration of 
similar importance. And they navigated 
by fixed stars, showing much more 
highly developed seamanship than the 
Phoenicians, who sailed only within 
sight of land. 

The Hawaiian? lived mainly on a 
limitless food supply fish. They grew 
taro, a starchy root indigenous to the 
Islands, and they imported a few animals 
(a pig for sure, maybe some chickens) 
during their early migrations. Bananas 
and coconuts did not exist on Hawaii 
when the first humans arrived, but they 
came along in due course, by means 
known only to nature. 

In 1855, at the instigation of the mis 
sionary families, the "gr eat menek" took 
place a system of dividing the land be 
tween the king and his commoners. The 

missionaries persuaded the natives that 
there was a need to firmly establish title 
to the land, something that had not 
bothered the Hawaiians before. The 
"great mehe/e" wound up with all the 
prime land in the hands of the Island 
royalty, while the commoners got some 
bits and pieces here and there, mostly 
marginal land. The missionaries, who 
some would say had become more 
greedy than good, then began the slow 
process of acquiring the royal land. 

The technique they used became 
famous as "the bed, the Bible, and a deck 
of cards." In other words, they married 
into the Hawaiian royalty, they used the 
Bible to instruct the natives in the ways 
of civilization, including wearing mumus 
and taming the eroticism of the hula, and 
they preyed on the weakness for gam 
bling they discovered in those gullible 

Goldblatt tells how Sterling Mossman, 

NOV. /DEC. 1983 



PAGE 29 

part Hawaiian and a favorite Island 
entertainer, had a song about how 
'They're looking up at the heavens, hav 
ing been told to do so by the missionary, 
while the missionary is taking away the 
lands down below." The stench of 
this operation eventually reached the 
churches from which the missionaries 
had originally set out, and Goldblart 
stated that "there was some threat of 

Goldblart once described a visit he 
made to the home on Diamond Head of 
Paul Pagan, a very wealthy San Fran 
ciscan who once owned the baseball 
team known as the San Francisco Seals. 
He was married to a descendant of the 
Lrwin family, which owned half the 
island of Molokai and other spots in the 
Islands as well as immense holdings in 
California. During the years, Pagan and 
Goldblatt became "pretty good friends". 

"He was showing me around the 
house," Goldblatt recalls, "and there was 
a round table, five or six feet in 
diameter; it looked quite old." I said, 
'What's that?' He said, " Thousands of 
acres changed hands at that table. It was 
used for poker." Prince Kuhio of the 
Hawaiian royalty was an inveterate poker 
player. It was common for them to bet so 
many thousands of acres on the turn of a 

As Goldblatt commented, "Land by 
its very nature is the key ingredient of 
wealth on any island, partially because 
you have no frontiers. There's only so 
much; after that you're in the water. 

"Castle and Cooke, founded by mis- 
nonary families, owns or owned the big 
gest pineapple operation in Hawaii, a 
couple of big sugar plantations, a tuna 
packing cannery, 25% or more of the 
Matson line. Alexander Baldwin was 
founded by the Baldwins, also from mis 
sionary stock, primarily on the island of 
Maui. They were a pretty adventurous, 
daring lot; there are some very colorful 
accounts about them. 

"And you had interlocking director 
ates, at least when we got started. Now 
there has been a diversification, primarily 
because the ILWU helped to break their 
grip. Everything went back to the Big 
Five; the banks and utilities held places 
on the board of directors. Each of the Big 
Five was also a general agent for in 
surance companies;' one would be Pru 
dential, another would be Hancock, you 
name it. This went so far that in a place 
like Maui, Alexander Baldwin even ran 
the little railroad that ran from some of 
the plantations down to the port of 
Kahului." - E E. Ward 

sion with the Big Five those companies 
owned by the descendants of American mis 
sionaries who, according to one saying, 
"came to the Islands to do good, and they 
did well." In any case, when the organizing 
drive began, the Big Five controlled vir 
tually every phase of Hawaiian life. 

The workers Hawaiian, Portugese, 
Japanese, Chinese, Filipino had been 
chafing under not only the generally poor 
pay and conditions but also under the harsh 
restrictions imposed by employers under 
martial law. The ILWU's organizing effort 
was, therefore, a natural; the workers joined 
by the tens of thousands. 

Goldblart and Jack Hall, working in con 
cert, took great pains to lay a solid organiza 
tional foundation before doing battle. First, 
they concluded that there was no way to 
break the grip of the Big Five if they 
confined the ILWU campaign solely to the 
Island waterfronts. The waterfronts were 
merely the transportation division of 
Hawaiian industry, which consisted of 
pineapple and sugar. Therefore, most of the 
organizers headed for the plantations. 

Their second consideration was a political 
one: it was necessary to get local legislation 
permitting unionization of the agricultural 
workers if they were to march alongside the 
millhands, who were covered by the 
National Labor Relations Act. So, all the 
meetings called during the campaign turned 
into classes in politics, and by language 
groupings the new members of the ILWU 
were taught how to mark a ballot and who 
to vote for. As a result, the 1944 Hawaiian 
Legislature was controlled by a majority of 
ILWU candidates and the law allowing 
unionization of the agricultural workers was 

Third, every effort was made to wipe out 
the ethnic distinctions and pecking orders 
that the employers had manipulated to pre 
vent the workers from uniting effectively. 

Fourth, Jack Hall was instrumental in 
working out an unusual goody, at the 
employers' expense, which gave the new 
union a financial backlog to work with. 
When Hall was on the staff of the Fair 
Labor Standards Act, he became convinced 
that the plantation labor system had com 
mitted innumerable violations of that Act. 
Carrying this conviction with him into his 
new job with the ILWU, he prepared 
material on which ILWU attorneys based 
their suit against all the plantations. 

Just before Christmas, 1945, word came 
that the employers wished to discuss settle 
ment of this suit, and Goldblatt hied him 
self to Honolulu to talk it over with Hall. 
Goldblart recalled, "We weren't quite sure 
what would be a fair settlement, but 
[thought that! it ought to be something over 

a million dollars; the potential liability of 
the employers was enormous millions 
and millions of dollars." 

The first meeting with the employers, 
held a day or two before Christmas, yielded 
an offer of half a million dollars to settle die 
suit. Goldblatt, Hall and the rank-and-file 
union committee didn't even call a huddle; 
they just stuck up their noses and walked 

The next day die offer jumped to three- 
quarters of a million, and a few days later, to 
a full million. This began to tempt some of 
the union members, and even the ILWU 
attorneys. A million dollars! Whereas 
before they had had not one red cent! 

Goldblatt, however, took this succession 
of offers as a sign that the employers were 
worried, and managed to hold his ranks 
firm. The settlement achieved at that time 
was for $1,800,000, a million and a half of 
which was to be distributed among the 
workers involved, with a hundred and fifty 
thousand each to the union itself and to the 
union's attorneys. 

Long before the 1946 sugar strike began, 
the workers began planting vegetable gar 
dens. Everything was planned to make sure 
that the strikers and their families would get 
enough to eat. The ILWU used the money 
already won from the employers to finance 
needy units. Soup kitchens were set up on 
all the plantations; people could come there 
with their own utensils and take home food, 
but in many cases the families found it more 
social to eat with everybody else; the 
children especially seemed to enjoy com 
munal meals. 

Crews of people who had green thumbs 
were assigned to gardening; others to the 
kitchens and the cooking. Hunters were 
assigned to go out in the hills and bring back 
meat wild boar was a great favorite 
and fishermen went fishing all in addi 
tion to doing picket duty. 

The kitchens were huge outdoor areas, 
sometimes with a tent if it was raining. 
Nothing was overlooked: occasionally the 
strikers would hear of some farmer whose 
cattle had found a break in his fence and got 
lost. They'd make a deal to get those cattle 
back, "if we get one." Then there would be 
a slaughtering and a celebration. Some 
strikers did share cropping for small farmers, 
taking their pay in produce for the strike 
kitchens. There were bumming commit 
tees; many small merchants helped out. 
Some people needed nickels for their 
children's school lunches, and a few staples 
had to be purchased, such as flour and con 
diments. Mostly, however, the strikers 
simply reverted to a primitive economy, liv 
ing by their hands, by hunting and fishing. 

Goldblatt related, "Every once in a 

PAGE 30 



NOV. /DEC. 1983 

while, Jack and I would make the rounds of 
the soup kitchens, talk to the members and 
see what the general feelings were like, 
whether the strike was holding together. 
There was a bit of socialist competition as to 
who could turn out the best food for the 
lowest amount per head, with some of the 
plantation getting down to under ten cents 
per person. And a fairly good meal, at that." 

The soup kitchen- 
based sugar strike 
masterminded by 
Goldblatt left the union 
solid and well-organized 
but the next year, 
1947, the ILWU's tides 
of fortune ran the other 

The strike lasted 67 days; during that 
time federal mediators made several at 
tempts to get the opposing sides together, 
but nothing came of this. 

Two bargaining points of major concern 
to the employer side were the union shop 
demand and a claim for $25,000,000, stem 
ming from the borderline Fair Labor Stan 
dards Act cases. From the ILWU viewpoint 
these "give away" demands could be drop 
ped in bargaining for points more important 
to union members. The union shop, often a 
sticking point in labor management negotia 
tions because it enforces union member 
ship, was of little interest to Hawaiian 
workers. Goldblatt explains: 

"We were riding such a powerful move 
ment in the plantations that it became a 
question of status in the community, your 
whole relations to your family, your friends, 
even to doing business in the community, 
whether you were a union member or not." 

The Fair Labor Standards Act claim later 
came to an unusual and dramatic conclu 
sion, worked out by Goldblatt and Hall. 
The points of most concern to the ILWU 
were a guaranteed, substantial wage increase 
for every worker, and abolition of the per 
quisite sytem. These were won along with 
vacations, grievance machinery and for- 
malization of sick leave pay this last time, 
most union contracts on the mainland had 
no sick leave provisions. 

Probably the biggest bone of contention 
in these negotiations was elimination of 
racial discrimination. Goldblatt explained: 

"These plantations had this facade of 

complete racial equality, the 'aloha' spirit in 
Hawaii, but that wasn't even a half-truth. . . . 
There was an unwritten rule that every 
job beginning with the first grade of super 
vision what they call lunas was held 
by a haole (white man). There were a few 
exceptions, but they were rare ones. 
Integrating the people on the plantation 
was essential to putting together any kind of 
effective fighting machine. The employers 
saw our anti-discrimination drive as a move 
to open a wedge in managerial control, even 
though we did not have lunas in the union; 
we never managed to get them in. (But) we 
finally won (the anti-discrimination] clause. 
Now, local foremen are a thoroughly mixed 
group of Japanese, Filipinos, Hawaiians and 
what have you. There has been a general 
moving up. After years this began to pene 
trate the Big Five, where some of the men 
in charge of industrial relations are not 
haola; people like Ed Wong, Chinese, now 
vice-president in Alexander Baldwin; Mits 
Fukuda, Japanese, now an officer at Castle 
and Cooke, I believe; Harold Hee, 
obviously of Chinese background, is an 
industrial relations man for Brewer. 

"Sugar was a very successful strike. We 
emerged with a good, solid, well-organized 
union." All these events were master 
minded by Goldblatt, either in person or by 

The next year, 1947, was rough for the 
ILWU in Hawaii. The tides of fortune ran 
the other way. A strike called on the pine 
apple plantations soon ran into trouble. 
Harry Bridges, visiting the bland for the first 
time, exercised his leadership and called off 
the strike, over the opposition of Jack Hall 
(who had a tip from the employers' camp 
that the strikers could have won had they 
held out two weeks more). Goldblatt later 
concluded that Hall's information had been 
accurate. In any case, from that point on 
enmity existed between Hall and Bridges. 

Their pineapple victory encouraged the 
employers to enter into an all-out battle 
against the ILWU in 1947 and '48. They 
persuaded Amos Ignacio to desert his ILWU 
leadership post on Hawaii and lead a move 
to cleanse the union of the mainlanders, 
pushing a Hawaiian union for Hawaiians. 
Goldblatt claimed that the Ignacio revolt 
was partly financed by one of the Big Five. 
But whatever its money source the revolt 
had some success. Local newspapers attacked 
the ILWU and some of the union's mem 
bers began to lean toward Ignacio. 

Goldblatt recalled that the newspapers 
called him and other ILWU people from 
the mainland "kolea birds". "A kolea bird 
is a plover, and they are said to use other 
birds' nests instead of building their own. 
They didn't need any of these kolea birds. 

That combined with a great deal of redbait 
ing, which had some impact, particulary 
with the small merchants, who had been 
pretty much friends of ours in '46. This 
patriotic pull, this newspaper pull, got 
greater and greater." 

So, in early 1948 the ILWU called i 
showdown convention at the armory ir 
Hilo. Also at that time, Life magazine sent tc 
Hawaii a journalist and a famous photo 
grapher, Eliot Elisofon, to do a story on the 
Big Five. According to Goldblatt, when the 
journalists came to the ILWU headquarter! 
he told them, "I'm not sure you want tc 
talk to our people. We know you've beer 
riding around in a car supplied by the Big 
Five; you've been wined and dined by 
them; you have a special rate at your hotel 
We don't think much of your objective re 
porting. I don't think you're reporters ai 
all." The more aloof Goldblatt was, the 
more insistent the Life men became. Finally 
Goldblatt gave them a letter that gave then- 
access to all the union meetings and invitee 
them to "walk in there, sit and listen. If the 
guys want to talk to you afterwards, fine, ll 
not, too bad. We threw the whole thinf 
open to the newspapers and everything else 
Apparently the Life men realized there wa: 
a lot more to it than the story they were get 
ting about lovely Hawaii and the beautifu 
situation in which the people lived. [Tlhat'i 
the first time 1 think we had any deceni 
coverage in something like Life." 

Speaking to the 
convention called to 
confront the Hawaiian- 
dissidents, Goldblatt 
kept the members in 
the ILWU fold by 
reminding them of his 
testimony opposing the 
internment of Japanese- 

Goldblan later said that the ILWU triec 
to find Ignacio and invite him and other dis 
sidents to the convention. "We had hunt 
ing parties out all over the place looking fo 
him. I guess he decided he didn't want thi 
kind of a showdown, or would just rely 01 

I U-WU Local 142 negotiating team during the 1965 sugar negotiations, with Goldblatt fourth from left. Jack Hall is on Leu/is 's right. A majority of the 
committee and of the officers of the local are non- Anglo. Goldblatt'i commitment to racial equality particularly his vocal opposition to the in- 
| lernment of Japanese-Americans during World War II saved the ILWU's Hawaiian organizing effort from disruption by Hawaiian~union-for 

Hau'aiians dissidents 


the support of the employers and the 
newspapers. He never showed up." 

Goldblatt's key message to the conven 
tion was worker unity. But the key "per- 
uader" in Goldblatt's speech came when 
he read to the convention a letter received 
years before, unsolicited, from Dillon S. 
Myer, who had been in charge of the 
Japanese concentration camps on the main 
land towards the end of World War Two. 
Myer complimented Goldblatt for his 
testimony in opposition to internment of 
the Japanese -American, describing it as "a 
beacon light." 

After reading Myer's letter, Goldblatt 
asked the convention whether any of the 
Big Five had befriended "the local people 
when you were having the hell kicked out 
of you, when you were put in concentration 
camps, families broken up, people barred 
from certain employment, maids frozen in 
their jobs for $25 a month or less, or in a 
laundry so the colonel could get a shirt 
lometime? You just name one person. All 
you gotta do is think back and make a deci- 
H'on for yourself: are these new-found 
friends better than the old ones?" 

The impact was obvious, particularly 
among the Japanese who were most active in 
the union. When the issue was put to a 
referendum vote, more than 95% favored 
Kicking with the ILWU. 

This, however, did not solve all prob 
lems. The advent of the mechanization of 
cane-cutting and slumping sugar prices 
caused the employers to make demands that 
led to yet another strike in 1948. This time, 
the employers asked for a wage reduction 
plus a differentiation for those plantations in 
distress because their terrain was too rough 
to adapt to machine cutting. 

The ILWU studied the wage cut, but was 

adamantly opposed to differentiation, being 
determined to keep industry-wide bargain 
ing intact. Although a strike was avoided, 
one plantation, Olaa, locked out its 
employees. The union supported the result 
ing strike at Olaa but resisted the invitation 
to widen the struggle. Instead, Goldblatt 
and Hall bargained as best they could under 
difficult circumstances. 

"We couldn't get rid of the entire wage 
cut," says Goldblatt. "We got rid of about 
half of it, and then we got rid of the rest of 
it later on [when sugar prices bounced back 
upl. " 

In 1949, Goldblan and the ILWU 
turned their attention to the Hawaiian 
longshoremen who, though 100% union 
and under contract with the Hawaiian ship 
pers, had never achieved wage parity with 
their mainland brethren. The gap had 
grown to 47 cents an hour (basic wage) for 
identical work. 

The contract expired on May 1, and 
Goldblatt said that perhaps the employers 
thought the date was "more than a coinci 
dence." (May 1 was the date of the original 
Labor Day, first observed in the United 
States. May 1, in the rest of the civilized 
world, still is the day for the working class to 
show its muscle.) There was a single 
demand for a wage increase, based on the 
raise of 15 cents per hour just achieved by 
West Coast longshoremen. If the Hawaiian 
longshoremen could win a raise of 16 cents 
an hour, that would close the 47-cent parity 
gap by one cent an hour, and if they could 
repeat this gain of a single penny in each 
succeeding year, in 32 years they would 
reach equality with their fellow unionists 
2,000 miles away. 

The employer stuck at 12 cents, with 
Goldblatt sensing that 14 cents was a 

definite possibility but not 16 cents, the 
lowest gain that could make a strike worth 
while. Only a two-cent difference but, if the 
union could get that two cents, it would give 
a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel 
wage parity! The strike was on. 

Goldblatt tells of sitting at the breakfast 
table of Alex "Pinky" Budge, one of the Big 
Five, listening to an oration on the beauties 
of Hawaii which led, as always, to the stan 
dard argument that these beauties should 
compensate for the low wages obtaining 
there. Budge failed to mention, however, 
that living costs in Hawaii are much higher 
than on the mainland a fact that added 
insult to the Hawaiian longshoreman's 

The Big Five, looking for a knockout that 
would rid the bland of the ILWU forever, 
used every punch in the anti-union reper 
toire redbaiting, anti-Semitism (attacking 
in particular Goldblatt and an ILWU attor 
ney with a Jewish name), strike-breaking 
and the "Broom Brigade". (This last 
weapon, more formally known as "We, the 
Women", consisted of employers' wives 
and their maids mostly the maids 
picketing the ILWU's Honolulu office.) 

The federal government, while all this 
was going on, indicted Harry Bridges and 
two other union officers (not Goldblatt) on 
charges of Communist conspiracy, claiming 
that they had lied by swearing, at a cermony 
where Bridges became an American citizen, 
that he had never been a member of the 
Communist Party. These charges, like pre 
vious similar charges against Bridges, were 
ultimately wiped out by the United States 
Supreme Court. It seems reasonable to 
speculate that the charges were really 
intended to help the Big Five, because the 
then-U. S. attorney general, Tom Clark, 

PAGE 32 



NOV. /DEC. 1983 

issued a statement declaring that the indict 
ment "ought to help clear up the situation 
in Hawaii." 

Goldblatt credits Bridges for playing a 
constructive role in the Hawaiian longshore 
strike that contributed, more than any other 
single factor, to the victory. Under Bridges' 
guidance, the mainland longshoremen made 
it impossible for the Big Five to ship sugar 
and pineapple (or any other Hawaiian prod 
ucts) to the mainland, and also thwarted 
efforts to ship goods, other than essentials 
such as food, medical supplies and pas 
sengers' luggage, from the mainland to 
the Islands. Also, Bridges came to Honolulu, 
walked the picketline with an official of the 
Teamsters Union and did other helpful 

Goldblatt's genius for 
compromise set the 
Hawaiian longshoremen 
on the road to parity 
with their West Coast 
counterparts, and also 
helped usher in an era 
of more cordial relations 
with employers as well 
as other unions. 

The Big Five raised their offer to 14 
cents, but stuck there. Finally, the 
employers began getting restless: here the 
strike was nearly six months old a length 
of time that almost always means that the 
strikers have lost and the ranks of the 
Hawaiian longshoremen were as solid as at 
the start. Bridges, in contact with members 
of the Big Five on the mainland, sniffed a 
hint of approaching settlement in the air 
and returned to Honolulu. 

Goldblatt learned that some of the key 
money-men (e.g., Walter Buck, Paul Fagan 
and people in the Matson Navigation Com 
pany) were fed up and eager to bring the 
pay issue to a head. They sent around a 
representative with whom Goldblatt had 
dealt on the mainland, and the two had "a 
very abrasive session." In between the angry 
exchanges, however, Goldblatt suggested to 
the Big Five representative that the 
employers could cling to their 1 4 cents and 
still pave the way to giving the workers their 
demand for wage parity. How? By way of a 

two-step contract, starting at 14 cents and 
going to parity within the one-year term of 
that contract. 

Bingo! "I recall a session with Walter 
Buck," says Goldblatt. "There was son of a 
general agreement that it would be 21 cents 

14 and 7 and obviously the employer 
ranks were badly split. Buck announced the 
thing was settled; Harry did the same thing. 
And within a day or two it was settled; 21 
cents. Instead of getting parity over 32 years, 
we had it in two years. And they still get 
automatic parity." A major turning point in 
ILWU affairs came with the West Coast 
longshoremen's winning of a 1948 strike, 
ushering in an almost complete change in 
employer attitudes and a peaceful era 
known as the "New Look". Goldblatt 
turned his energies toward implementing 
his belief that unions should be "instru 
ments for change," not only in regard to the 
traditional wages, hours and working condi 
tions, but also regarding other areas of life 

pension, vacations with pay, low-cost 
housing, health plans, dental care for 
workers' childeren, etc. All these benefits 
have come to pass for ILWU members. 

Among the best known of Goldblatt's 
projects in California is the workers' hous 
ing in San Francisco's St. Francis Square. 

Into the scene of cordial cooperation be 
tween capitalism and proletariat came a new 
kind of employers' attorney, J. Paul St. 
Sure, new president of the Pacific Maritime 
Association. While unusually cooperative in 
many ways, St. Sure persuaded the ILWU 
to accept his "Modernization and Mech 
anization Plan" which revolutionized 
the longshore industry. Goldblatt was origi 
nally enthusiatic about this plan, seeing its 
inevitability and thinking it could benefit 
the workers. Experience with the plan, 
however, soon changed Goldblatt's mind 
but not Bridges'. 

In a speech at his "farewell" dinner a 
quarter of a century later, Bridges praised 
the membory of St. Sure as a man who had 
taught him many things. According to 
Goldblatt, one of the things Bridges learned 
from that source was that St. Sure, the 
employers' key man, was always right. "He 
gave," Goldblatt said, "but he took more 
than he gave. ... He was a charming 

Goldblatt thought that his resistance to 
some of St. Sure's maneuvers was the open 
ing gun in a conflict with Bridges that grew 
until almost anything one proposed the 
other opposed. Realizing that this stalemate 
was harming the union, Goldblatt forced 
both himself and Bridges to retire in 1977. 
"I called the turn," Goldblatt said. 

But in contrast, he could be a diplomat as 
well as a fighter. Starting in 1956 and 1957, 

Goldblatt engineered a series of face-to-face 
discussions, first with Jimmy Hoffa and, soon 
after, with a local Teamster official who had 
once worked for the ILWU. These talks 
eventually changed relations between the 
two unions from bitter hatred to dose 
cooperation in many fields. As another 
example of his diplomatic ability, Goldblatt 
used union, political and social contacts that 
he had taken pains to keep alive throughout 
the years to achieve what most labor leaders 
called an "impossibility" in the 1968 San 
Francisco newspaper strike. He coaxed the 
Newspaper Guild, a CIO union and 15 AFL 
craft unions (all involved in the newsprint 
industry) into a mood of unity that led to 
accord with the publishers and a successful 
conclusion of the strike. 

Outside the ILWU orbit, Goldblatt 
helped American Indians in their efforts to 
make Alcatraz an island fortress, the free 
speech movement at UC-Berkeley, Cesar 
Chavez and his fight to organize California's 
farm workers and the civil rights sit-ins of 
the '60s and '70s. 


Now it is over. Until his death earlier this 
year, Goldblatt was enjoying family life in 
Mill Valley with his wife, his three 
daughters and two grandchildren. He taught 
a class in negotiations now and then and 
would discuss China with anyone who 
would listen. But let Clark Kerr sum up the 
man: "Lou Goldblatt walks through these 
[oral history! pages as he has through life as a 
man of the Left, as an energetic participant 
in history ... as a realist, as a participant in 
many battles but who could stand outside of 
them and above them, and as a person of 
more good will and good humor than he 
appeared to be to some who knew him 
along the way. He ends these many jour 
neys, as he began them, with hope." 

From author to reader: This article is 
largely based on extensive interviews con 
ducted by me with the late Lewis Goldblatt. 

- E. E. W. 

Author Ward, a labor historian, was 
Goldblatt's oral history interviewer, and is 
now condensing that document into book 
form intended for general publication. The 
oral history is now available to the public at 
UC's Regional Oral History Office at the 
Bancroft library in Berkeley. Ward also 
wrote The Gentle Dynamiter, a biography of 
Tom Mooney recently published by Ram 
parts Press. 

Keepers of the Labor Record Honorees 
April 27, 1989 


Madeline Alverson 
Fred J. Camacho 
Margery Canright 

Pat Dunn 
Bette Eriskin 

Charles Hackett 
Zoia Horn 

Elinor Kahn Kamath 
Marjorie Leonard 
Richard Liebes 

Gwendolyn Lloyd 

Joan London 
Clara MacDonald 

Ruth Mark 

Margaret McMurray 
Doris B. Murphy 

Paul G. Pinsky 

Anne Rand 
Merle Richmond 

Carol Schwartz 
Sarah Stewart 

Kristian Valstad 
Angela Ethan Ward 

Estolv Ward 

California Labor Federation, AFL-CIO 

Teamsters Local 85 

Anne Rand Library, International 

Longshoremen's & Warehousemen's Union 

International Brotherhood of Electrical 

Workers, Local 1245 

Business/Social Science Library, 

University of California, Berkeley 

Warehouse Union Local 6, ILWU 


Assistant Research Director, ILWU 

Law Offices, Leonard & Carter 

Research Director, Northern California 

Council of Service Employee Unions 

Institute of Industrial Relations, UC, 


California Labor Federation AFL-CIO 

California Labor School; ILWU Research 

Library; Northern California ACLU 

Division of Labor Statistics & Research, 

California State Dept. of Industrial 


California Nurses Association 

The Joseph A. Murphy Center for Labor 

Education and Social Action 

Research Director, California CIO 


ILWU Research Library 

Harry Bridges Case, Law Offices, 

Gladstein & Leonard 

Anne Rand Library, ILWU 

Anne Rand Library, ILWU 

Warehouse Union Local 6, JLWU 

Union Research & Information Service; 

Western Benefit Plan Consultants 

Library; Regional Oral History Office, 

UC, Berkeley 

Regional Oral History Office, UC, 


Labor Archives & Research Center 
San Francisco State University 


INDEX - Estolv Ward 

Adams-Campbell Die Casting & 

Molding Company, 143-4 
Alameda County Central Labor 
Council, 50, 57-9, 62-5, 


Alameda County CIO Council, 
63-6, 69, 72-6, 79-81, 83, 
85-6, 91, 101, 180, 222-3, 
Alameda County Industrial 

Union Council, 59, 62 
Alioto, Joseph L., 236 
Amalgamated Clothing Workers, 

Amalgamated Garment Workers, 


American Communication Asso 
ciation (ACA), 103, 117, 

151-4, 156 

and Western Union, 151-2 
American Federation of Labor 
(AF of L), 5, 9, 62, 66, 
106, 121-2, 125-8, 130, 
136-8, 110, 151, 154, 155, 
159, 160, 177, 223 
American Newspaper Guild. 

See Newspaper Guild 
American Trading Company, 9, 

Anaconda Copper Company, 

121, 128-30, 135 
Anderson, Carleton (Andy), 
52, 70 

Ballentine, Betty, 48, 54, 


Ballentine, Henry, 48 
Barilone, Johnny, 116 
Barlow, Eddie, 153, 162 
Barrows, David Prescott, 96 
Barrows, General, 43 
Basic Magnesium, 121-3, 128- 

143, 149-51, 261, 269 
Bentley code, 16 

Berkeley, California, 8, 9, 

10, 12, 15, 26-29, 74 
Perkins Typewriter Company, 


fire, 1923, 27, 28 
Harms and Morse Stationary 

Store, 29 
Shuey Creamery, 235 

Berkov, Ben, 178 

Bessie, Alvah, 234-5, 253 

Billings, Warren, 87 

blacks, organizing, 124, 132, 
135-9, 141-2, 155 

Bogigian, Ellinore, 107, 117 

Bohemian Club, 108 

Bondy, Harold, 159-60 

Boston Medical School, 5-6 

Boudin, Louis, 206 

Bowman, Charlie, 25 

Bowron, Fletcher, 115-16 

Brewery Workers, 159-62, 171, 
173, 224 

Bridges, Harry, 43-4, 61 , 67, 
68, 71-4, 76-8, 86-100, 
102-4, 106, 121, 158, 17C 
172-3, 180, 182-3, 189, 
205, 226, 234, 238, 255- 
Harry Bridges on Trial, 

99-101, 103, 172 
trial, Angel Island, 76-7, 
90-99, 100, 102, 106, 170, 
180, 182 

Broadhead, George, 223-5 

Broun, Connie, 101 

Broun, Heywood, 45, 48, 101 

Browder, Earl, 164 

Brown, Archie, 156, 211 

Bryson, Hugh, 168, 189 

Burford, Jim, 102 

Burke, J. Vernon, 90, 105-6 

Caen, Herb, 82 

California Labor School, 166, 
171, 187-8, 201, 257 


California State CIO Conven 
tion, 71-2, 77-8, 85, 87, 


California State CIO Council, 
71-2, 77-9, 121 


California Supreme Court, San 
Francisco, 18, 51, 57, 61, 


Cannery Workers Union, 86 
Century Die Casting Company, 

Chevalier, Barbara, 50 
Chevalier, Carol, 227, 229, 

Chevalier, Haakon, 37, 50-1, 

58, 227-9, 231, 236 
Cheyfitz, Dorothy Eckert, 

Cheyfitz, Eddie, 112, 120-1, 


China, 19-21 
Clyde, Johnny, 116 
Cole, Lester and Kay, 235 
Committee for Industrial 
Organization (CIO), 58-9, 
62-3, 67, 77, 80, 108, 
110, 122, 121, 127-30, 
133, 138, 153-5, 157, 
159, 162-3, 170, 222-3 
Alameda County, 63-1, 68, 

91, 170 

Alameda County Central 
Labor Council, 50, 57-9, 

62-5, 223 

Alameda County CIO Council, 
63-6, 69, 72-3, 75-6, 79, 
80-1, 83, 85-6, 91, 101, 
180, 222-3, 261 
California State CIO Con 
vention, 71-2, 77-8, 85, 

87, 170 
California State CIO 

Council, 71-2, 77-9, 121 
CIO News, 135 
Contra Costa CIO Council, 


leftist purge, 163-5, 73, 

Local 10, 93 

Los Angeles CIO Council, 

110, 123-1, 131 
radio program, 110, 117, 

120, 128-30, 227 
San Francisco CIO Council, 

108, 152, 151, 159, 170, 

San Francisco CIO Political 

Action Committee, 153-7, 
West Coast, 72, 93-1, 105, 

106, 115 
Communist Party, Iff 

and Basic Magnesium, Inc., 

132, 110 
Bay Region, 51, 55-9, 61, 

63- 65-6, 75, 103, 151, 

160-1, 161, 192 
and CIO purge of leftist 

unions, 222-3 
DuClos letter, 118, 161-5, 

and California State CIO 

Convention, 71, 77, 83 
exiles in Paris, 231-8 
and Governor Culbert Olson, 

and Harry Bridges, 92, 95, 

96, 99, 182 
and House Un-American 

Activities Committee 

(HUAC), 198-200, 202 
Italian, 207-13 
and Labor's Non-Partisan 

League, 105-7, 171 
Los Angeles, 117-18, 119 
and Mine, Mill, and Smelter 

Workers, 180, 182 
Northern California, 91 
Soviet, 213-17 
and Taft-Hartley, 168, 

171-5, 202 
underground, 219-50, 178-9, 


Sierra Nevada Group, 


and unions, 81 
and Henry Wallace campaign, 



Connelly, Dorothy Healy, 110, 

192, 265 
Connelly, Philip "Slim," 78, 106, 

110, 116, 119, 123 
Contra Costa County CIO 

Council, 180 
Cur ran, George, 146, 242 
Czytelnick Publishing House, 


D'Angulo, Jaime, 36-7 

Dargee, Mrs., 53 

Davidson, Milt, 79, 87 

Dawson, Ralph, 123 

DeJong, Dirk, 97 

Democratic Socialist Organi 
zing Committee (DSOC), 265 

Dies Committee, 112 

Disney Studios, 116 

Dole Pineapple flight, 32-4 
"Flying School Mann," 33 

Duarte, Chile, 69 

DuCaux, Lenny, 138 

DuClos letter, 118, 164-5, 

Dyer, Dick, 64 

Eckert, Ken, 112-13, 120-1, 

123, 128, 140, 148-9 
Edmonds, Percy, 223, 225 
Edmundsen, Fred, 20 
Electrical Manufacturing 
Company, San Francisco, 

175-8, 186, 200 
Evans, Herbert M., 32 
Ewer, Johnny, 15 

Farrell, Tom, 227. See also 
Tom Van Dycke 

Federal Bureau of Investiga 
tion (FBI), 150, 181, 183 

Federated Metal, 224-5 
Fowler, C. D., 135 
Fowler, Eleanor, 135 
Franco, General Francisco, 

organizing against, 80-81 
Frankenstein, Dick, 114-15 

Garry, Charles, 169, 189, 


The Gentle Dynamiter, 87, 
166, 200, 249-51, 253-4, 

258, 268-9 
Gizzi, Angela. See Angela 

Gizzi Ward 
Gizzi, Maria, 208 
Gizzi family, 88, 118, 141 
Gladstein, Richie, 93, 95-7, 

106, 109, 145, 184 
Gladstein, Grossman, and 

Maraolis. 15< 
Glavinovich, Rose, 31, 36-7, 


Glessner, H. P., 12 
Gold, Lee and Tammy, 234 
Goldblatt, Louis, 71-2, 76, 

78-80, 85-6, 94, 105-6, 

115, 117, 123, 150, 152, 

164, 170, 172-3, 175, 188, 

205, 255-63 

Goldblatt, Terry, 255, 262 
Gold Rush, California, 3 
Green, Bill, 58-9, 223 
Grey, Fernando (Dading), 17- 

Grossman, Aubrey, 97, 109 

Hall, Jack, 260-1 
Hanov, Elmer "Pop," 91, 213 
Harrison, Claire, 139 
Hartford, Dick, 102 
Harvill Die Casting Company, 

112, 120 

Havenner, Frank, 147-8 
Haynes, Lynn, 149 


Healy, Dorothy (Dorothy Healy 

Connelly), 113, 193, 265 
Hearst, William Randolph, 12 
Heide, Paul, 58, 62, 69, 70 
Heide, Fay, 58, 62, 69, 70 
Henderson, Las Vegas, 122-3, 

128-32, 138 
Heywood, Bill, 112 
Higdon, Jack, 131-2, 136, 

138, 110-1 

Hillman, Sidney, 115 
Hollawa, Bob, 122, 128-9 
Hoover, Herbert, 11-2 
Houseman, Joe, 131-3, 137, 


House Un-American Activities 
Committee (HUAC), 185, 192, 

198, 202, 209-10 

Hoxsie, , 166-7 

Hoxsie, John, 166 
Hoxsie, Lizzie, 166 
Hull, Morgan, 57 
Humphrey, Miles, 63-70, 72, 

73, 75, 77-9, 81, 95-6 

International Brotherhood of 
Electrical Workers (IBEW), 

175, 177-8 

International Lady Garment 
Workers Union (ILGWU), 85, 


International Longshoremen 
and Warehousemen's Union 
(ILWU), 58-9, 69-70, 74, 
77-8, 86, 99-100, 121, 
152, 158, 161-2, 175, 189, 
206, 226, 231, 257, 262-3 
International Union of Mine, 
Mill, and Smelter Workers, 
112, 180-1. See also 
Mine, Mill, and Smelter 
Irvine, Charles (Ted), 59 

Jenkins, Dave, 119, 119, 178, 

183, 190, 193 
Jerico, Sylvia, 231 

Johnson, Johnny, 110, 227 

Jorgenson, _, 16 

Jurasz-Damska, Krystyna, 195 

Kagel, Sam, 177 

Kahn, Elinor (Elly), 188, 


Kamath, Mahdav, 238-9 
Kaplan, Leon "Kappy," 160-1, 

190, 193, 201 
Kelley, Mike, 31 
Kelley, Spike, 17 
Kennedy, John F., 

assassination, 215-6 
Kenney, Bob, 88-90 
Keynes, Tom, 117 
King, Carol, 97 
Know land, Joseph R., 31-5, 

10, 17, 53 

Knowland, Russ, 31-5, 12 
. Knowland, William F., 31-5, 

Kutnik, Lee, 185 

Labor's Non-Partisan League, 
76, 90, 91, 105-7, 111, 
117, 172, 171 
labor union organizing, 
American Communications 
Organization, 117, 151-1, 


Western Union, 151-5 
Brewery Workers, 159-62, 


East Bay unions, 69-70, 81 
Electrical Mfg. Co., San 

Francisco, 175-8, 200 
Mine, Mill, and Smelter 

Workers, 112-17, 121-5, 

153, 166-8 

Adams-Campbell Die Cast 
ing and Molding Company, 


Aluminum Company of Amer 
ica (Alcoa), 125-7 


Basic Magnesium, Las 
Vegas, 121-4, 128-13, 

Century Die Casting Co., 

Harvill Die Casting Co., 
Los Angeles, 112-14, 

North American, Los Ange 
les, 114-17 

Western Mechanics, 120-1 
Newspaper Guild, San Fran 
cisco/Oakland, 45-6 
La Luneta, 16-18 
Lambert, Rudy, 91-2, 152, 

Lambert, Walter, 73, 75, 90- 

93, 106, 149, 152 
Landis, Dean, 97-9, 102 
Lapham, Roger, 154 
Leonard, Norman, 80-1 , 159, 

181, 184, 188, 199, 206, 

260, 266-7 

Levy, Leo, 39, 45, 49 
Lewis, John L., 58-9, 90, 

105, 172-4 

Lichauco, Dolores, 17-19 
Lichauco, Faustina, 18 
Lieber, Maxim, 194-5, 197 
Los Angeles CIO Council, 110, 

123-4, 131 

Lowie, Robert, 37, 51 
Lundberg, Harry, 103-4 
Lundigan, Jack, 119-20 
Lynden, Dick, 158, 211 

Machinists Union, 68, 74, 

Local 1304, 74 
Maloney, Tom, 157 
Malraux, Andre, 229 
Manila, Philippines, 16-18 
Manila Hotel, 17 
Marine Cooks and Stewards, 

Marine Workers Industrial 

Union (MWIU), 44-5, 51, 62 
Marshall, William, 235 

Martin, George, 63 
Mason, Redfern, 55 
Matuso, Harvey, 180-1 
Maybeck, Bernard, 28, 51 
McCarran, Patrick, 136, 150, 


Merriam, Frank, 93 
Michener, Lou, 116 
Milner, Major, 97-8 
Mine, Mill, and Smelter 

Workers Union, 112-17, 121, 
122-5, 128, 131, 134-5, 
140-3, 153, 166, 179, 
181-2, 222-5 
Local 50, 224 
See also names of indivi 
dual companies 
Modern Age publishers, 99, 


Money on the Floor, 241-2 
Montgomery, Jack, 70 
Moody, Ella, 235 
Moon, Bucklin, 193-4 
Mooney, Tom, 79, 87, 89, 92, 
93, 166, 200, 244-5, 249- 
251, 253, 258, 268-9 
The Gentle Dynamiter, 87, 
166, 200, 149-51, 253-4, 
258, 268-9 
Moore, Bob, 70 
Moore, Larry, 254 
Moorehead, Del, 160, 163-4 
Morris, Edita and Ira, 234 
Morse, James R. , 9 
Morse, Milton, 9 
Mortimer, Wyndham, 67-8 
Moulin, Gabriel, 186-7, 198, 


Muir, John, 5, 24 
Muir, Johnny, 15 
Murray, Phillip, 73, 166, 

National Division of Die 

Casters, 112 
National Guard, 10 
National Labor Relations 

Board (NLRB), 129, 136 


Neilson, Ernie, 25 

Neilson Furniture Company, 
Santa Rosa, 11 

Newspaper Guild, San Fran 
cisco/Oakland, 15-9, 51-5, 
57-60, 61-5, 67, 75, 77-8, 
86, 101, 222-3 

Noble, Iris, 191, 193 

Noral, Alex, 103 

Norris, Kathleen, 109 

North American, strike, 85 

Norton, Stanley, 16-7 

Oakland general strike, 1917, 

171, 173 
Oakland Post-Enquirer, 16, 

55, 60 

The Oakland Times, 16 

Oakland Tribune, 31-6, MO, 

12-3, 15-53, 55, 70 
O'Brien, Aileen, 80, 82, 88 
O'Connor, Oleta (Yates), 151, 

168, 185, 190-3, 201-5, 

210, 262-3 

Office Workers Union, San 
Francisco, 73, 79, m 
Olson, Culbert, 79-80, 88-90, 

93, 185-6, 189 
Olson, Dick, 89-90, 106 
Olson, Johnny, 102-3 
O'Neill, Jim, 261 

Pacific Coast Maritime 

Association, 257 
Pagnol, Marcel, 229 
Patterson, Ellis, 106-7, 117, 

Paul VI, papal inauguration, 

Pedro Pete (A. H. Peterson), 

121-2, 133 

Pellman, Matt, 117, 119 
People's World, 55-6, 91-2, 

187-8, 201, 226-7, 253, 


Perry, Celia, 2 
Perry, Norma, 103-1 

Peterson, A. H. (Pedro Pete), 

121-2, 133 
The Piecard (Renegat), 162-3 

166, 169, 172, 193 
Pinsky, Paul, 178, 185, 200, 

230, 251 
Pittman, Las Vegas, 122, 128, 


Plowman, Auntie, 9 
Populist ticket, 1 
Pozner, Vladimir, 235 
Progressive Party, 189-90 
Prohibition, 11 
Pu Yi, Henry, 20 

Quakers, in Algeria, 212-9 
Quezon, Manuel, 18-19 
Quin, Mike, 56, 61 

Ramparts Press, 251 
Rathborne, Mervyn, (Merv), 

103, 153 

Real, Charlie, 58, 66 
Regional War Labor Board, 

California, 127 
Reite, Ed, 91-5, 158 
Renegat (The Piecard), 162-3, 

166, 169, 172, 193 
Resner, Herb, 211 
Reuther, Walter, 111 
Rhine, Jessica, 181-2 
Richmond, Al, 192-3, 253 
Richmond, Merle, 188 
Ring, Joe, 72-3 
Robinson, Jim, 127 
Robinson, Margaret, 127 
Robinson, Reid, 121, 127-8, 

131-5, 112-3, 166-8 
Rogers, Doc, 15 
Rolph, Tom, 117 
Roosevelt, Franklin D., 11-2, 

11, 85, 102, 173, 192 
Rosenberg, Julius and Ethel, 


Rosenthal, Joe, 17-8 
Russian Revolution, 1905, 19 



Sacramento Press Democrat, 

St. Sure, J. Paul, 69, 171, 

Samish, Artie, 94 

Sanctes, Sancte de, 207, 209 
Sanctes, Ugo, 207 
San Francisco 

Bernal Heights, 7 
"Bloody Thursday," 43-5 
Candlestick Park, 108 
earthquake and fire, 1906, 

10, 11 
General Strike, 1934, 43-5, 


Panama Pacific Internation 
al Exposition, 14 
Smith's Cash Grocery, 1 
San Francisco Art Institute, 

186, 221 
San Francisco CIO Council, 

108, -152, 154, 159, 170, 

San Francisco CIO Political 

Action, 153-7, 162 
San Francisco Chronicle, 45, 

48, 55, 60, 65, 89, 97-8 
San Francisco Examiner, 31 , 

45-7, 55, 60, 65, 156 
San Francisco News, 47-8, 60, 


San Francisco Press Club, 97 
Sarosohn, Peggy, 192, 209 
Saxton, Sandy, 248 
Schafran, Eva, 118 
Schlipf, Paul, 70, 72, 80, 

85, 88, 170-1, 232 
Schmidt, Henry, 255 
Schneiderman, Bill, 73, 75, 

87, 91-2, 99, 149, 152, 

165, 262 
Schnur, Paul, 152-7, 159-60, 

162, 173 

Schofield, Ron, 48, 60 
Schwartz, Carol, 223 
Schwartz, Monroe, 223 
Scott, Adrian, 235 
Scott, Arthur, 91-3, 96 
Scott, Jean, 39 

Sen, Peritosh, 235 
Sasuly, Dick, 206 
Sesuly, Elizabeth, 135 
Shelley, Jack, 106-7, 202, 


Shuey, Barbara, 235 
Sinclair, Upton, 43, 46, 88 
Sewell, Emmett, 64 
Slaby, Frank, 69 
Smith, Jin "Turkey Neck," 68 

Smith, Laura Mae. See Ward, 

Laura Mae Smith 
Smith, Paul C., 60 
Smith Act, 178, 184, 186 
Smith-Kennedy, Alma, 51-2 
Socialism, 213-16 
Socialist Party, 7, 11-16, 

26, 169 
Soviet Union, 91, 210-17, 


Spooner, Bill, 58-9, 223 
Sprott, Pesky, 25 
Sproul, Robert Gordon, 82 
Steingart, Harry and Sylvia, 


Steelworkers union, 166 
Local 96, 73-4, 79, 95 
Local 1798, 73 
Strack, Celeste, 204 
Strassman, Toni, 237 
Sullivan, Elliot, 237 
Sussman, Morris, 85 

Taft-Hartley, 150, 168, 173, 

174, 181, 202 
Teamsters Union, 58, 66, 84-5, 

160, 173 

Tenney, Jack, 183 
Thomas, Norman, 36, 41-3 
Thompson, Dave, 109 
Thompson, Frank, 1 61 
Thompson, Fred, 108-10 
Thompson, Jean, 109 
Thompson, Joe, 108 
Todd, Louise, 156 
Travis, Maurice, 126, 180 
Trorey, Eugenia Ward, 29, 37 



Trotsky ites, 81-2 

Tucker, Welcome (Welc), 2-3 

United Auto Workers (UAW), 
68-70, 74, 80, 86, 111, 
116, 151 
University of California, 

Berkeley, 13, 96 
Utility Workers Organizing 
Committee (UWOC), 131, 145, 
146, 149-50, 163, 168, 

Valentine, Max, 26 

Van der Linden, Cornelius 

"Daddy," 11, 16 
Van der Linden, Peter, 11 
Van der Linden family, 11 
Van Dycke, Liz, 229 
Van Dycke, Tom, 227-9, 234, 

236-8, 241, 244 
del Vayo, Julio Alvarez, 239 
di Vittorio, Anita, 211-12 
di Vittorio, Guiseppe,. 211, 


Virginia Military Institute 
(VMI), 23, 25 

Wallace, Henry, 169, 189 

Warehouse Ball, 98 

War Labor Board, 133, 136, 


War Unity Board, 205 
Ward, Angela Gizzi, 71 ff 
Alameda County CIO Council, 


Anaconda Copper, 135-6 
Basic Magnesium, Inc., 

122-3, 131, 133, 135-41 
California State CIO con 
ventions, 71-2, 79, 80 
Communist Party affiliation 
71, 156, 165, 173, 179, 
184, 191-3, 101, 211-12, 

leaving the Party, 191-3, 

Communist relatives in 

Italy, 207-10 
Garry, Charles, campaign 
manager, 169. 189, 202 
and House Un-American 
Activities Committee 
(HUAC), 192-3, 198-200, 
Los Angeles CIO Council, 

marriage to Estolv Ward, 


Mine, Mill, and Smelter 
Workers, International 
Union of, 112, 120, 125, 

129, 131, 133, 135-41 
parents, 88, 118, 141 
and Progressive Party, 189 
Henry Wallace campaign, 

San Francisco Office 
Workers Union, 73, 79, 


and Taft-Hartley, 168, 174 

Utility Workers Organizing 

Committee (UWOC), 145-8, 

151, 163, 168, 174 
Western Benefit Plan Con 
sultants, 178, 200-1, 
220, 230-2, 251 
Ward, General Artemas, 37-8 
Ward, Louis Artemas (Art), 
1-11, 13-14, 

16-17, 19, 23-7, 49, 61, 
167, 169, 186, 200-201, 
Ward, David Perry Artemas, 

37-8, 232-3 
Ward, Eugenia (Eugenia Ward 

Trorey), 29, 37, 119-20 
Ward, George Hazzard Mumford 

Perry, 2-4 

Ward, Uncle John, 3,4 
Ward, Laura Mae Smith, 1, 4- 

7, 30 

Ward, Aunt Nettie, 10-12 
Ward, Roger Ewing, 38 
Waste, Jean, 12, 15-16, 23-7, 


Waste, Judge, 12, 17, 31-2, 
38-UO, U9, 6M 

Waste family,, 15, 16, 2M 

Wayburn, Bruce, 206 

Webb, Miss, 12 

Weinbrenner, Dolph, 95 

Welch, Dick, 108 

Western Benefit Plan Consul 
tants, 178, 185 

Western Federation of Miners, 

Western Mechanics, 120-1 
Local 700, 112, 121 

Western Union, 151-5 

Western Worker, 55, 61 

Whitney, Anita, 35, 83, 156 

Willkie, Wendall L., 172-3 

Wilson, George, 60, 100, 173 

Woolworth's Department Store, 

World War I, 17, 2H-5 

Yangco, Teodoro, 17 

Yanov, Nat, 80-1 

Yates, Allen, 20M 

Yates, Oleta O'Connor, 15 1 *, 

168, 185, 190-3, 20M-5. 

210, 262-3 

Lisa Rubens 

Received a B.A. in American History from the University 
of California at Berkeley, and an M.A. from the University 
of Michigan. After working for the U.S. Civil Rights 
Commission, she taught United States History from 1969- 
1984 at Laney Community College, Oakland, California. She 
helped develop and taught a series of special-emphasis 
courses on the History of U.S. Labor, on the Social and 
Cultural History of Working People, and on Women. 

During the 1970s Ms. Rubens was an organizer for the 
California Federation of Teachers and also began more 
scholarly endeavors. She has written on the 1934 Maritime 
and General Strike in the San Francisco Bay Area, as well 
as on the role of women in California politics and labor. 

Ms. Rubens is currently completing her Ph.D. in U.S. History 
at the University of California at Berkeley, where she is 
specializing in U.S. social, cultural, political and labor 
history during the 1930s. She continues to conduct oral 
histories in the field of labor history for the Regional 
Oral History Office. 

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