Edith Roller – August 6, 1975 – Wednesday

Transcript || PDF from 89-4286-HH2-35-37

I have been assigned to work for John Stewart, a black attorney, this week and next, before his newly hired secretary comes on duty. He is taking Carol’s place in Garb’s unit and will be handling the jobs she was responsible for. I’m remaining at my own desk. He gave me only a few items to do today.

I filled in journal entries on last weekend.

I had to make a few changes in memos typed yesterday for Garb’s signature on billings of outside attorneys, including the one on the Puerto Rican job which we have had so much trouble with.

I ate my lunch early at my desk and went to hear the Energy Forum speech at 12.15. The speaker was R. Paul Schmitz, Chief Nuclear Engineer of the Thermal Power Organization, a Bechtel entity. The talk, “Disposal of Radioactive Wastes,” was very informative. But like all in this series was designed to show how essential and how safe are nuclear power plants. He did admit there were some problems. The room was packed, and I had to stand throughout the speech.

I took a short walk before going back to my office. I looked for a bathing suit in two of the stores near California in which cut-rate clothes are sold, but I didn’t find anything suitable. I want to get a new suit for the Temple trip.

When I got home tonight I took an hour’s nap.

I ate a fried egg, a toasted English muffin, frozen vegetables, and a plum.

I dressed for tonight’s service.

I gave rides to Magnolia and Mary. Mary and I had a dispute over a trivial matter. Tired of her constant paranoia, I protested. She retaliated; after throwing a few insults toward me, she went off on her own. I am determined to give her no more rides until she can be pleasant to me. I told Magnolia that not only do I go out of my way to pick her up, which makes me late, but she has paid me only one dollar for all the transportation I have furnished her.

I brought to have sold at the Temple bazaar the basket I bought at Cost Plus, as I am not likely to get any good out of it.

Magnolia and I were in the midst of the Valley people who were just arriving, and I couldn’t get a seat in the front section.

Sue Noxon filled out a questionnaire on me to be added to my medical record. She questioned me about my fall on Saturday. She gave me a copy of the vegetarian reducing diet. She urged me to make arrangements for a physical examination.

After congregational singing, Rick Cordell, using material from Yette’s book, The Choice, read proposed legislation for suppressing blacks and imposing martial law in the ghettoes.

Jim came on the podium. He said be had been seven days without sleep. He and staff members had been dealing with a threat to the life of our organization. It was a media campaign initiated by Lester Kinsolving and backed by the CIA, involving both newspapers and radio. The Temple had set up offices in San Francisco and with our own staff had handled everything, reaching news media throughout the country, putting pressure upon advertisers, bringing suit, and so forth. Under our prompting the Muslims had been persuaded to sue Kinsolving for libel. The job was nearly finished now, and we had won. The Hawaiian trip had had to be postponed but might take place later.

Our members who would have been on a plane to the promised land were saved from a crash. Deanna Mertle had also been saved from dying of a ruptured appendix, which would have been mistaken for sea sickness had she been on our boat in the promised land.

I participated in the offering, which Jim took by sum.

Several small boys were brought on the floor for stealing cookies in a supermarket. Jim warned them that if they stole, a policeman would catch them and they would go to juvenile hall where they would be beaten on the head. They were given twenty-five whacks.

Debbie and Rick Schroeder were called on the floor. They are very uncooperative in the communal living arrangement set up for them. Debbie is still following bad practices with her son, Tadd, taking him in her bed, dressing him like a girl, objecting to Barbara Cordell’s care of him. Rick does good work but doesn’t put in an eight-hour day, refused to help out Cathy Tropp with transportation during the present emergency, so that she had to go without food and clean clothes, though he and Debbie each have a car. Debbie wouldn’t leave Tadd with Shirley Smith, the other member of the commune. Debbie admitted she had resented having to live communally. Jim said: if you don’t like communalism, you don’t want the benefits for yourselves and your child. Both Debbie and Rick stated that they wanted to be in the group because they could see that society outside wasn’t going anywhere.

Jim in a broader context than their situation spoke to the congregation on the necessity for the poor to unite in communal living as the only way to defeat the enemy, the System, which relies on the nuclear family as its most important means of opposing socialism. He showed how much would be gained if our membership was gathered together in a communal living arrangement in terms of finance and ease of handling work. “The greatest gift I have given you is not healings, but I have made the poor rich.”

Jim gave Debbie and Rick two weeks to make satisfactory adjustments or leave. He appointed a committee to discuss details with them. Each is to raise one hundred dollars.

Judy Houston received many awards at school, in spite of having had a vision and hearing problem. Anthony Pike was commended for correcting adults for wasting food.

All were asked to come to the altar, as the Temple needs money. The service ended about 12.30.

I was supposed to have Sylvia Grubbs look at my head, but I didn’t see her. I had Vicki Moore look at it. She said it was doing well.

I took home first Valor, then Contonia, then Magnolia and Kaye Gibbs, who was staying with Magnolia in the city.

I got home at 1.35.

I pressed clothes for a few days.

I read To the Finland Station by Edmund Wilson for about an hour.

I went to bed at 3.15.