Title: "Here to win, here to stay!"
created on 28 Oct 20

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Comments on this picture (29):
1. chelydra wrote:
 Once upon a time . . .
2. chelydra wrote:
 [ to be continued ]
3. Vals wrote:
 Nice - waiting for story.
4. KliaMia wrote:
 I'm on the edge of my seat..!
5. chelydra wrote:
 Well, after wrting that I thought to look up Eugenio Perente (or Parente, Parente-Ramos, etc., a.k.a. Jerry Doeden)... and found his gravestone. Very sad.
6. chelydra wrote:
 He had a lot of people convinced he was organizing a farm workers' labor union, or perhaps a global revolution. It didn't take me too long to realize he was a con artist, but..,
7. chelydra wrote:
 in the meantime (during a brief spell of true-believering, if that's a word), I saw that he and his comrades were using a bunch of corn stalks as their logo...
8. chelydra wrote:
 ...which wasn't all that inspired or inspiring, besides which I think it was used by Mussolini for his party, so its associations weren't auspicious.
9. chelydra wrote:
 So I figured any self-respecting revolutionary insurrection should at least have a live snake tying its sheaves together, to give some oomph and some class.
10. chelydra wrote:
 And so, ever since that fateful (or at least snakeful) day in the fall of 1972, the logo of the Eastern Farm Workers Ass'n has included a snake-spiral.
11. chelydra wrote:
 And since I continued to hang around for several years after the con-artistry became obvious, I could fill several books with stories of "Gino" and his various organizations and semi-strategies, but right now I'm falling asleep.
12. chelydra wrote:
 It wasn't all buffoonery and tall tales... some of us were personally engaged in saving the lives of farm workers trapped on migrant camps under unspeakable conditions.
13. chelydra wrote:
 In fact the leaflets we mimeographed to attract volunteers, donations, and members were full of UNDERSTATEMENTS because no one would have believed the truth.
14. chelydra wrote:
 I figured it was one step worse than slavery, because the crew bosses and employers had no investment in their workers' lives. Cheaper to let 'em die and replace 'em than provide the basics.
15. chelydra wrote:
 I learned from a county medical worker that when one big labor camp relocated, the previous barracks and grounds were bulldozed. A mass grave was uncovered. That was a particularly nasty operation, where the crew chief didn't tolerate complainers or rebel
16. chelydra wrote:
 ...s. The was all going on and around the Hamptons, those fashionable summer colonies of the rich & famous. It was invisible because no one looked.
17. chelydra wrote:
 IN and around (is what I meant to type)
18. chelydra wrote:
 Also: THIS was all going on...
19. chelydra wrote:
 This was all going on in and around, the Hamptons [etc etc] is how it should read.
20. chelydra wrote:
 but without that pesky comma
21. chelydra wrote:
 Too sleepy... If you need a good Halloween scare, think of the ghosts of Buddy Wright's complainers and rebels rising from the sandy soil of eastern Long Island, and haunting the potato bins in the gourmet markets of the Ham Towns.
22. chelydra wrote:
 And imagine if the ghosts won! That would be a happy ending indeed. Sweet dreams, friends...
23. chelydra wrote:
 I should probably mention the members of E.F.W.A. were mostly working in potato packing sheds, sorting bog small rotten and good potatoes on a conveyor belt.
24. chelydra wrote:
 It was cold in those big old metal barns after harvest time, and workers were given rotgut wine (at their expense, whether they asked for it or not) to stay warm.
25. chelydra wrote:
 Numb fingers were often caught in the conveyor gears and chains. A gathering of ten EFWA members would probably have an average of ninety five digits.
26. chelydra wrote:
 But the organization that was supposed to generate hope and strength where none had existed before was often too busy with its own political contradictions to sustain a real grassroots movement.
27. chelydra wrote:
 By the mid-1980s, eastern Long Island's potato fields were turning into vineyards and McMansions. The organization still exists, but no one seems to know why.
28. chelydra wrote:
 The logo and slogan —"Here to Win, Here to Stay" — are still in use. Who knows, maybe Eugenio Parente-Ramos-Doeden's loyal followers will win yet, and rule us all for a thousand years.
29. chelydra wrote:
 It probably wouldn't be all that much worse than the available alternatives.



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