Souvenirs of Yesteryear: Fellow traveler

“When I was a child, I spoke as a child; I felt as a child; I thought as a child. Now that I have become a man, I have put away the things of a child.” So said Saint Paul (1 Corinthians 13:11).

When Sally Chirlin was a Child (her maiden name) she also thought as one. Among her thoughts in high school was starting a young communist league. The results were rather harsh. She was expelled from school.

There she is in the photo, reenacting for me that pivotal moment as she left the front door of what was the Norwich high school in spring of 1953. Students did not normally use this door. Apparently it was reserved for solemn occasions.

I mentioned in one of my Souvenirs columns that I wanted to learn what it was like to grow up in such a small town like Norwich. Sally responded. I patiently listened to several of her escapades, but when she brought up getting kicked out of school, my attention piqued.

Communism is generally viewed today as a defunct form of social organization. It failed miserably when pitted against capitalism. Basically, communism tried to share common wealth whereas capitalism encourages most of the wealth to gravitate to those who place their capital at greatest risk in an intensely competitive free market.

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