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The Petal paper. [volume] (Petal, Miss.) 1953-19??, September 10, 1959, Image 2

Image and text provided by Mississippi Department of Archives and History

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85044791/1959-09-10/ed-1/seq-2/

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Cast Side
Estelle as Harry Golden's son.
"I'm very pleased to know you," Estelle said, "Your father s
book is one of my favorites. I keep it by my bed and when I get to
feeling depressed and without much hope, I pick it up and read it
and feel refreshed and hopeful again."
As I said, I think that's about as high a tribute any one can
pay an author. But, you know, Harry really has paid heed to my
advice that he settle down and take it easy. Why, just last August
I had a note which read: "P.D., I'm off to Isreal on the 23rd ... be
back October 1st... Harry." All you have to do, really, is hint at
a suggestion to Harry!
But, then, if he wants to die in some hotel room, it's his busi
ness, except for one thing: Harry has more books to write and
while he doesn't "owe" anything to any of us, it would be a great
loss should he fail to get them down.
About Harry, only one more thought, I suspect that such a
fine mind, such a great heart, and such a broad soul could be
found - ONLY IN AMERICA!
^ A brief note on additional copy in this issue about Harry: The
review of his new book, "For 2c Plain," was written by Martin
Levin of The Saturday Review. The review of Harry's first book,
"Only In America," was written by Dr. W. W. Stout and was print
ed in this paper at the time of the book's publication. The article
to the right of the front page was written by Kays Gary of The
Charlotte Observer and, I thought, would give some insight in to
the character of Harry Golden.
Book Review...
Roosevelt, Winston Churchill.
Irving Berlin, A1 Jolson and John
Barrymore.” Mr. Golden also likes
Ike, Jimmy Walker, Teddy
Roosevelt, Queen Liliuokalani,
and Harry Truman. He is unen
thusiastic about Dr. Kinsey, and
he regards Maria Callas as more
indispensable than Rudolf Bing.
(“What would have happened to
Pinky Higgins of the Boston Red
Sox if he"had fired Ted Williams
. . .?) A practising liberal, he is
not one to let the shibboleths ob
scure reality. One of his most de
lightful excursions is a wistful
salute to the social utility of Tam
many Hall and to the simpler day
when a politician could discharge
his debts by tossing a chowder
bust for his constituents. (Today’s
jumbo campaign contributors ex
pect more protracted favors, and
the voters don’t get even a clam
fritter.)
Mr. Golden is a throwback to
a richer era in American jour
nalism—a day when locals wits
frnm Down East to the frontier
salted newspapers and magazines
with pithy comment of the chang
ing scene. It is a bewitching para
dox that humor in today’s mass
media has aimed to please every
one, with tre result that it has
excited no one; Mr. Golden has
written mainly to please himself
and discovered 275,000 kindred
spirits. His new book 101 2c
Plain,” should turn up a good
many more.
, —MARTIN LEVIN
(The Saturday Review)
! -
ONLY IN AMERICA, by Har
ry Golden. World Publishing
Co. Cleveland and New York.
317 pp. $4 00)
» The amazing thing about this
book is the complete memory, the
total recall with which Harry
Golden reports the Lower East
Side of New York, where he was
born in 1902.
The important thing is the pic
ture of the melting pot in Amer
ica. Here, in this foul place, the
tired, the poor, the huddled
masses of human trash yearning
to breathe free” found opportuni
Usually the second generation is
glad to forget. Not Harry Golden.
With great gusto he recalls the
ghastly details and writes a full
documentary. He knows his
theme. He knows what it means.
It is regeneration. It is wonder
fULong ago the continuity began.
The remote ancestors of Harry
Golden, before the time of Ham
murabi, looked up at the stars—
fhe orderly stars — in the ceil
of the world-cavern that invert
ed bow’l we call the sky. And
they postulated one God, one or
derly master of all things visible
and invisible within the Magian
cave.
In line with that astral religion
they declared the presence and
pressure of a necessity, both in
ward and outward, able to keep,
able to hold the stars in their
glory and human events on the
course of moral dignity.
To say that it was intended
from the beginning, from the
time the stars were set in place,
that Harry Golden must (and
could only) be born on the Lower
East Side in 1902 is saying too
much. Only faith v/ithout knowl
edge can give an answer. The En
cyclopedia Britannica does not
know. The validity of Heisen
berg’s indeterminancy or uncer
tainty principle is much in debate
these days.
Yet if we cannot see Kismet
in all things, and cannot accept
Harry Golden’s kind of deter
minism for America, we can read
the book anyhow — under a sus
pension of disbelief.
Since 1902 — by accident or
celestial plan — Harry Golden
has been hotel clerk, teacher, re
porter, promotion man, editor
and publisher. At present he
writes and publishes “The Caro
lina Israelite,” a one-man, all
editorial paper, from whose col
umns most of these essays are
taken.
The paper has sixteen pages of
five columns, and besides the
editorials carries about a hundred
card - type advertisements, with
no displays and as little copy as
possible. It is entirely in English,
and more than half of the sub
scribers are non-Jews. The cir
culation is approaching 25,000.
With great good humor, and
much chomping on a cold soggy
cigar, Harry Golden speaks for
the minority groups. For one
thing he was born in a Yankee
state and seems to be in no hurry
to become a Southerner. With his
pudgy figure, and a face like
that, he is undeniably Jewish. He
says he might as well plead the
cause of the Negro too — be
cause in the South the Jew is a
surrogate Negro. Furthermore he
is a self-styled radical.
Harry Golden needles Gover
nor Luther Hodges constantly
about many things, including
how it must feel to be governor
of a state v/here one-third of the
population is “embittered.” About
all the governor can do is smile
and call Harry Golden “one of
the most valuable citizens of this
state.”
The other newspaper men offer
Harry Golden as candidate for
the office of “Honorary Tar
Heel.” Maybe he was not “A Tar
Heel born , . .” as the song goes,
but he live? up to the state mot
to: “To be rather than to seem.”
View Of Golden..
Krank Porter Graham.
"Yes," said Golden, "we have a peculiar habit down here of
exiling our great ones. He lives near my East Side beginnings. I
live here in his city. On only one condition would I leave it. I would
make the sacrifice and go back where I came from if they'd bring
him back here."
★ ★ ★
Breakfast — Gifts — Goodbye . ..
Golden took them to breakfast at Hotel Charlotte. Corn
flakes, beef, bacon, Southern biscuits, eggs, kippers, sweet rolls,
coffee.
When it was over Mr. Kahn drew from his pocket a cap which
is the uniform of the honored Moslem. He gave it to the little Zion
ist, who put it on his head.
Flipino Jose Aruego, artist, gave him a painting of Golden's
own office. He had stayed up all night before to do it.
The four then presented him with a small stand containing
the flags of their nations with the American flag in the center.
Harry Golden didn't do a lot of talking after that.
He stood on the sidewalk and waved good-bye.
because, according to Attorney
General William P, Rogers, “no
federal law had been violated.”
The FBI’s information was turn
ed over to Gov. Coleman of Mis
sissippi, who has not yet impanel
led a grand jury. The killers are
still at large.
Do you remember the case?
★ ★ ★
It’s now September, 1959 and
Congress, frightened by the im
pending visit of Nikita Khrush
chev and the possibility that he
might want to address both
Houses, is talking of adjourn
ment. In all the ensuing months
there has been no action on
civil rights and not even very
much talk about it.
How did this situation arise?
Wore the civil rights advocates
outmaneu . ered? Just what has
happened, after so much original
indignation over Parker case, that
makes lawmakers yawn and want
to talk of other matters?
The responsibility for the delay
on civil rights clearly belongs to
Democratic Leader Lyndon John
son in the Senate and to the old
Republican-Southern Democratic
coalition in the House.
Johnson says he wants a “civil
rights” bill, but what he now
proposes is so minimal that the
NAACP and allied organizations
(Continued on Page 3)
Watch On The
POTOMAC
by
Robt. G. Spivack
The Civil Rights Impasse — On
the night of April 25, 1959 a 23
year - old Negro named Mack
Charles Parker was dragged from
his jail cell in Poplarville, Miss,
where he was being held on
charges of raping a pregnant
white woman. His body was
found nine days later on the Mis
sissippi side of the Pearl River,
across from Bogalusa, La. The re
ports said the youth was “killed
by two shots.”
At the time there was great
indignation in the press and The
Harry Golden i=: no fake.
Besides writing with such
warmth his stories of the immi
grant society of the Lower East
Side of New York, Golden is
deeply involved in exploring the
mind of the new south. He is
possibly looking — and hoping?
— for regeneration.
For the present volume, Harry
Golden, Jr., of the Detroit Free
Press made the selection of es
says for this volume and edited
the manuscrint for publication.
—W.W. STOUT.
President deplored it as a lynch
murder. The FBI was called into
the case and, apparently, without
too much difficulty found the
men involved in the crime.
But on May 25, 1959 the FBI
had to withdraw from the case
i
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