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Search for America Leads Him Abroad

October 12, 1990

Re "Crime Fears Cramp New Yorkers' Style" (Sept. 16): It's not the city. It's the nation. New York, Los Angeles, Detroit, Chicago--over the years the nation has grown mean, and, by extension, (so have) its people.

I'm 55 years old, part American Indian. This is my country. I spent 15 years in the civil rights movement. I caught a freedom bus in 1960 and went to look for America. Meridian, Birmingham, Jackson, Chicago in '68--this wasn't the America I read about.

And it has grown worse. Children starve, old people have no dignity. No food. No homes. Next month, I'm outta here--putting my van, my cooking equipment, my body on a boat to Europe, and my dreams. I plan to open a restaurant in Prague and call it the American Dream--anyone's welcome. Nothing to leave behind, except a note on the door: Gone to Czechoslovakia. Gone to look for America.

SAL GIANNETTA

North Hollywood

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