Saturday, December 15, 2012

Stand up and be heard … NY City 1962

The main reason I started my blog in 2006 was to chronicle the memories of my life and to compile them into a book for my three children. I wanted them to be intimately connected to their past and to have some wonderful remembrances of their dad who passed away in 1990. This is one of those instances:

In the years 1958 through 1962 my husband Richard and I lived and worked in New York City. Dick was a free lance photographer and he collected a large amount of parking tickets due to double parking while delivering photos to clients.

When he was summoned to court to pay these tickets he had no idea that they would not accept a check. They demanded cash and, when he didn't have this on him, they threw him into a tiny holding area. The place was filthy … vermin on the walls, a strong smell of urine and close proximity to criminals in shackles. Dick was a Type 1 diabetic and almost went into insulin shock because they would not give him anything to eat. (he was to die at the age of 59 because of this disease.), After many hours he was allowed one phone call and he was released after a good friend brought in the cash.

Dick was furious and he got in touch with the New York branch of the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union). They asked him to document his ordeal and he did this in writing as well as in photos that he took of the holding area. It was the start of a good relationship and a few years later one of the ACLU officers called Dick and invited him to lunch. He congratulated him about his diligence in documenting his treatment and said that it played a large part in getting the rules changed. No longer would a person be subjected to such treatment for a misdemeanor.

I’ve always been so proud of Dick for his part in correcting this and I recently wrote to the NYCLU to see if they had any documentation regarding it. I wanted to have something concrete to give to the children. I received a very nice note from the archivist Erin Matson who apologized for only finding this one reference but I was thrilled. Here is the article in part:


Blogger kenju said...

What a nice addition to the legacy for your children!! Good for him for being so diligent as to get results!

4:12 PM  
Blogger Beatrice P. Boyd said...

While the article was a little hard to read, Ginnie, your post filled in all the details.

7:40 PM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Incredible story! Thank goodness the times they a a changin.

6:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh that makes me so angry and good for Dick fighting the good fight. Dianne

9:40 AM  
Blogger troutbirder said...

How proud they will be. Very proud.

12:12 PM  
Blogger Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

Citizen must fight ever little battle. The world of the police often becomes a world of its own, with its own rules and culture.

You have reason to be proud of your husband for speaking out and bringing about change.

12:34 PM  
Blogger Syd said...

That's great, Ginnie. I'm so glad that you have all of these memories for the children. And I'm glad that your husband took action.

7:02 PM  

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