Charlie Bertsch (cbertsch) wrote,
Charlie Bertsch
cbertsch

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Retrieval of the Day

I may be able to see my friend Leanne, her husband Adam, and their two boys when we're in D.C. next week. They live in Northern Virginia, so it's a little far for us to go there or for them to come to my parents. But I've broached the possibility of meeting at the Smithsonian.

Anyway, in the honor of that hope, I'm posting my latest item from the archives. It's a postcard Leanne sent from Germany to our anarchist household at 984 57th Street in Oakland, addressed to "Charlie, Josh, Jim." The front is a black-and-white photo of police righting an overturned police van. The postmark can't be discerned, but the date in the note -- written the European way -- indicates that the card was written on October 4th, 1990.

After graduation in the spring, Leanne and her friend Alicia got ready for a long trip through Europe. I don't remember when they left precisely, but they were gone almost all of the fall semester. They came to pick me up from Sue Schweik's Honors class the day that Rachel Myrow and I were giving our presentation on Marxist literary theory, walking in right as I finished talking and making me very happy indeed. Here's the text:
Dear Charlie, Josh, and Jim,
Well, Alicia and I have already been in berlin a week and it is definitely my favorite place so far. We've had a lot of luck and lucky circumstances in terms of hooking up with people to stay with. For the last couple of days we've been hanging out with Mike E. and he arranged for us to stay in the squat where he's staying. The long awaited reunification was yesterday and people expect the cops to move in on the squats sometime soon. But it's a pretty solid, heavily supported and large community. To "celebrate" 3-10-90 we marched in a demo of about 10,000 people. Heavy stuff and fun!!! Love and miss you all,
Leanne
Rereading Leanne's note after all these years brought back vivid memories of the political crowd I hung out with as an undergraduate. I never felt like I truly belonged. And I experienced considerable class anxiety in the midst of all those fashionably distressed Beverly Hills High graduates in the anarchist scene. But Leanne always made me feel at home, never more so then when I was mourning the end of my relationship with Annalee and generally in a very dark space. That period went from August until the end of October in 1989, so this postcard was from one year later. So much had changed though, since I was deeply involved with Kim and doing well in school again, largely as a consequence of not being miserable.
Tags: archive, autobiography
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