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A Long Line of Peace March Supporters

March 23, 1986

I have just read Kathleen Hendrix's article on the peace march ("The Long Thin Line Gets Thinner," March 14) and was moved and impressed by it as I have rarely been by a newspaper account. She has caught the sense of what is happening there as no other reporter has (including herself on March 13).

My husband is a marcher and I drove out to the camp on Monday, the 10th, arriving just as they were finishing the day's walk. The rain was getting heavy and we retreated to my van for Scotch and pretzels, most welcome to my husband, as you might imagine. I drove him into Barstow for dinner and he ate enough for three, especially a huge baked potato with sour cream and chives! We returned to camp and spent the night in the van, and it was a wild (stormy) night, even for the desert (with which we have had a lot of experience).

Withal, next morning he was out there with his friends (and how fast and sure these friendships are) ready for what the day would bring. He is 67, a retired professor of philosophy from Cal State Long Beach, and had been walking 10 to 15 miles a day since the first of the year to train for this. He had grave misgivings when he got to camp in Van Nuys, but by the time of the Claremont experience he was solidly committed to going on. And still is. I left at mid-day Tuesday with very mixed feelings--anger that the march is so threatened by mismanagement, pride in the marchers (they seem to be a particularly fine group of human beings), hope that they will somehow pull it off and a huge desire to join them. They have already tapped a well of communality that we experienced also in L.A. during the Olympics. It is rare. But deep inside we must all know that this is one world.

Hendrix's fine article did more to convey the reality in that desert camp than anything else that has been written.

BARBARA MASSEY

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