Kicked out. That’s right; I got kicked out of the commune I had joined. I was told I had issues with privacy and property. They were correct. Other people randomly invading what I thought of as private space, my bed, was beyond my comfort zone. My guitar was my only real possession, and having it used without permission set me off. The third and final time I found Donnie with it, I refrained from putting his lights out. But, he walked funny for a while. So yes, I was asked to depart by the commune’s council—the best decision.
As one of the few left who knew much about gardening, I left a deficit in the food-raising knowledge base of the community. Most of my fellow communards had trouble recognizing a carrot grown in soil. Their primary contact with vegetables had been a grocery store produce aisle.
I didn’t miss the political orientation sessions that were required attendance. As one of the few working-class kids, I tended to howl with laughter when the doctrinaire talked about encouraging the workers to join the coming revolution. I had tried to explain that in 1968 many of the white working class had a large enough slice of the pie that they felt no need to ruin things for themselves. They drove new cars, had union jobs, and their kids went to the state university. Also, there was not a lot of respect owed to 19-year-olds who had never worked in a mill, factory, or any job. For those folks to reject their current course, things would have to deteriorate incredibly.
My experience at the Internationale farm shoved me firmly into the camp of being a recovering anarchist. Not being one to hold my feeling in, I shared my opinions. At my favorite drinking establishment, the wise heads of the Harvard Gardens sagely nodded in agreement. Visiting our table that evening was Sol. Sol was a veteran of the Spanish Civil War, an experienced community organizer, a former communist, and a local ward heeler for the Democratic organization. After letting me blather on for a while, Sol looked up from what had to be his tenth beer and said to us, ” Listen, guys. Mao’s Little Red Book is all good and excellent, but hard work wins the day, not airy theory. To mangle Napoleon – Determination is to Doctrine as two to one.”