De Amerikaanse schrijver, dramaticus en essayist Gore Vidal werd geboren op 3 oktober 1925 in West Point, New York. Zie ook mijn blog van 3 oktober 2010 en eveneens alle tags voor Gore Vidal op dit blog.
Uit: Point to Point Navigation: A Memoir
“At first, I thought that the Boners were just that—white skeletons like those jointed cardboard ones displayed at Halloween. Bony figures filled my nightmares until it was explained to me that these Boners were not from slaughterhouses but from poorhouses. My grandfather was against granting them a bonus. A onetime fiery populist from the Mississippi up-country, and a contributor to the only socialist constitution of the fifty states, he had come to the conclusion that “if there was any race other than the human race, I’d go join it.” He was a genuine populist; but he did not like people very much. He always said no to anyone who wanted government aid. On one memorable occasion, the blind senator was denounced to his face by a blind suppliant for federal aid. On the other hand, he believed in justice—due process, anyway—for all, equally.
As the summer grew hotter and the Depression deepened, and Congress debated whether or not to give the veterans a bonus, rumors spread: they had attacked the White House; they had fired on the Capitol; and, most horribly, they were looting the Piggly Wiggly grocery stores. I dreamed of skeletons on the march; of Boris Karloff, too—all bones and linen wrapping.
On June 17, 1932, the Senate met to vote on the Bonus Bill. I drove with my grandfather to the Capitol, sitting beside him. Davis, his black driver and general factotum, was at the wheel. I stared out the open window, looking for Boners. Instead, I saw only shabby-looking men holding up signs and shouting at occasional cars. At the Senate side of the Capitol there was a line of policemen. Before we could pass through the line, Senator Gore was recognized. There were shouts; then a stone came through the open window of the car and landed with a crash on the floor between us. My grandfather’s memorable words were: “Shut the window,” which I did.
Shortly after, the Boners were dispersed by the army, headed by General MacArthur and his aide Major Eisenhower. Guns were fired; there were deaths. The following Sunday, my father and I flew low over what had been the Boners’ encampment at the Anacostia Flats. There were still smoking fires where the shanties had been. The place looked like a garbage dump, which in a sense it had been, a human one.”
Gore Vidal (3 oktober 1925 – 31 juli 2012)