Hall’s 1954 mugshot, taken during his prison sentence in Leavenworth, Kansas for “Conspiring and Teaching Overthrow of the U.S. Government by Force or Violence.
On election day in 1980 I went to my local school around 10:30 and entered to a line of older “blue haired” women waiting their turn. Towards the front a tall man stood out and stood over the women waiting. It was my Dad.
When he turned around and saw me at the back he immediately burst into a loud and repeating call. “Gus Hall, that’s my man. I’m voting for Gus Hall!!!”
Who was Gus Hall you wonder?
For years he was the presidential representative for the American Communist Party but really he was just a guy from Yonkers (outside of NYC) who had his beliefs.
I could see agitation in some of the women and some serious freaking out as they whispered to each other “Oh, that awful man over there is a Communist!.”
My Dad, on the other hand, looked at me, gave me a wink and went into the voting booth to vote for the man he was intending to all along … Ronald Reagan (I voted for Jimmy Carter, by the way). Knowing him like I did I know he took great pleasure in messing with those sweet ladies heads and every Presidential election I think of him standing in line and their faces.
Now, go vote for whoever you think will do the best job. Respect your democratic right as well as the people who died in order for us to have the privilege.