Manny Fried at a Crossroads

That row of factories along the Niagara River came to have a symbolic meaning for me. Shortly after I had been subpoenaed to appear before the House Committee on UnAmerican Activities for the first time in 1954, Rhoda said she was going to leave me, taking the kids with her, that she could no longer take the pressure being put on her because of my union and political activity. I left the house, got into my car and drove over to the road along the Niagara River. My hands tightly gripped the wheel of my speeding vehicle as I instinctively tried to find some source of solace there to choke off the gulping sobs which had finally broken through between my wild howls into the night as I drove past the Dupont plant where I had worked and past the factories in the cities of Tonawanda and North Tonawanda, whose workers I had helped organize into unions, and on along the Niagara River past the long string of chemical factories in Niagara Falls, whose workers had been organized into unions by my good friend Charlie Doyle who had openly been the head of the Communist Party in Western New York ... and speeding by all those factories where I could imagine the guys working in there ... the night shift workers at their machines ... and the cold wind rushing through where I’d fully opened the car’s window ... my cheeks cooling off ... my face drying ... and with my mind and heart finally settling into a feeling of peace, a saddened and subdued peace, I rolled up the car window, turned the car around and drove home.

SOURCE: Emanuel Fried, Most Dangerous Man: A Personal Memoir (Kansas City, KS: John Brown Press, 2010), chapter 3, final paragraph, p. 24.

Candle in the Wind: Excerpt from Memoir in Progress

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Most Dangerous Man: A Personal Memoir
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Manny Fried: The first 100 years
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