Looks about the same as when we moved to Oracle in 1979.
New York City was drowning in debt. Felix Rohatyn and the Municipal Assistance Corporation had just taken over the government moving it even farther from ordinary citizens. Crime was spiking. A series of bizarre murders, several nearby us in Queens, scared everybody half to death. A couple was shot returning from an evening out at a disco. A Barnard student was shot dead in the face. Mayor Beame and local law enforcement were helpless. He showed up one day near our apartment when Kaz confronted him: “Do something you asshole, “ she shouted to his face.
I had a meltdown of sorts one afternoon in Astoria Park. Sitting with my dog Roofer I put my arms around his neck and started telling him my troubles (okay, I was crying). As man’s best friend Roofer was a good listener with an ear for lament. I told him my work seemed to be going nowhere and I wanted out of the city.
Meanwhile, David Berkowitz, Son of Sam, was also engaged in dog conversation, one that included demonic instructions of murder and mayhem.
My work – “community organizing” - in light of the cataclysmic events unfolding all around us seemed piddling. I was exhausted by trying to play the hero. We were lonely for relationships that we didn’t know we missed. A weird limbo we struggled to get our heads around.
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Kaz and I moved to Oracle in 1979. The house we bought dated to the late 1940s. With little advance knowledge of the place, we set out to build a new life together, intending to settle in and raise a family.