BETWEEN THE LINES

Forty-five years ago today...

April 24, 2013

Tags: anniversary

Forty-five years ago today, Robby and I went to the Rockville County courthouse, accompanied by our close friends Becky Bolling and HernŠn Drobny, and giggled our way to marriage.

We were so young and so earnest Ė so young that Robby had to get his parentsí notarized permission. Our friends thought we were nuts. One friend predicted, ďThey wonít last two weeks.Ē Iím so glad he was wrong.

Iím grateful too that some of the friends from that time are still in our lives Ė like HernŠn Drobny and Laura Dubester and Karen Shain and Christi Johnson and Susan Riecken and Mary White and David Rosner and Arnie & Patti.

Most of all, this one's for you, Robby.

I never met my husband's biologic parents

April 4, 2013

Tags: Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, Rosenberg Fund for Children, Carry it Forward

I never met my husbandís biologic parents. They were executed twelve years before I met their son. But Ethel & Julius are a profound part of my family; their murder was a critical part of my political education.

Iíve worked alongside Robby as he sued the government under the Freedom of Information laws and as he fought to reopen his parentsí case. When he started the Rosenberg Fund for Children in 1990, I joined the RFC Board. It is now sixty years after Ethel and Julius were executed at Sing Sing. In September, Robby will retire as the RFCís executive director, our older daughter Jenn will take over leadership of the organization, and I will resign from the Board.

But before these big changes, thereís one more thing, one more event, one more remembrance. On June 16th in New York City, Carry it Forward: Celebrate the Children of Resistance will commemorate the 60th anniversary of the execution and the legacy of resistance that Ethel and Julius left their sons, and all of us. I wrote the script for this program.

Iím primarily a novelist, but this isnít fiction. Carry it Forward integrates the frightening past of McCarthyism and our familyís loss with current assaults on civil liberties in the name of freedom. It joins the struggles of targeted progressive activists today with our fears and dreams for the future. It fuses Ethel and Juliusí words with those of the activists who are part of the Rosenberg Fund for Children family, our beloved community of supporters and beneficiaries. Over the past 23 years, Iíve had the privilege of getting to know many of these individuals, either in person or through their writing. The challenge of creating the script for this program was to bring these people alive on stage for the audience, through reading and poems and dramatic vignettes.

Please consider joining us on Sunday, June 16 at Manhattan's Town Hall to commemorate the past, nurture the present, and dream together for the future at Carry it Forward.