We were at Hofstra with 80+ REAPers (free $10 tickets) and the Goldsteins were next to us. Before the show began Edythe mentioned 'chicken incident to Shirley. It was a minor incident in the earl thirties. I will relate the incident in more detail.

I was 26, a High School student, living in a cold water flat over a laundry.and vacation was approaching. I made plans with Irving Krasner whom I met and befriended at the Turn Vereiin Vorvats (a German gym that was later part of the German American Bund). That is another story. I will stay with the 'chicken incident' that occurred on my first year trip. There was little income and it was relief to my father that I was not a burden. We became vagabonds on wheels working odd jobs and stole farm produce as we biked working odd jobs and stole farm produce as we biked That summer we pedaled to Niagara Falls. The next year we went south, to Florida where we were arrested.

I left home with a dollar and twenty cents. Irv had two dollars and seventy cents. While pedalling we looked for trucks that had tail gates with chains that rumbled along at forty miles an hour. We would slip behind and hold on to chains on either side of the truck. Some days we would cover hundreds of miles. We stole vegetables and produce from roadside farms and camped under a tarpaulin tent we made.

While peddling I noticed chickens on the raid eating bugs killed on the highway. The chickens would look in the direction of threatening vehicles and scurry to safety. I outlined my plan to Irv. I rode a hundred yards ahead of him singing and as I approached the chickens would to safety and then return. Irv in the distant would pedal slowly and make noise. He was too far away to be a threat. I turned my bike around and raced into the flock of chickens and managed to hit one and I picked up the stunned bird.

Further down we camped in a quiet spot off the road and made a fire. The bird recovered and I handed Irv an ax to kill the chicken. He refused. I had an idea, I turned my bike upside down. The chicken clucked as I put its head through the rear wheel spokes.and had him hold her. I grabbed the pedal and cranked it. The spokes guillotines the chicken Irv dropped the head and gasped while the body fluttered and beat its wings for awhile. I plucked and dressed the chicken then roasted it. Irv would not eat. Laden with guilt I ate.

Copyright 1997 by Dr. Lance Martin

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