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Dorothy Estes: LHS class of 1911

The above plaque was recently found while preparing for this summer’s renovation work at Lowell High School. The plaque reads:

In Memory of
Dorothy Estes
1896-1916
“Greater love hath no ma than this. That a man lay down his life for his friends.”
Erected by the Class of 1911

Dorothy Estes was born on July 1, 1894, in Lowell. Her father, Frederick A. Estes, had been born in Mason, New Hampshire, and worked as a clerk. Her mother, Emma F. Estes, had been born in Lowell. According to the 1900 census, the Estes family lived at 35 Burtt Street in the Highlands. The census also indicated that Mrs. Estes had given birth to four children but Dorothy was the only one still alive. The 1910 census showed that the family had expanded with another daughter, Barbara, being born in 1903.

Dorothy attended Lowell High School and was an excellent student. She was the salutatorian of the class of 1911 and one of the Carney Medal recipients that year. She returned to the high school for a post graduate year (which was a thing back then) and began at Wellesley College in the fall of 1912.

Dorothy Estes in 1916 Wellsley College yearbook

Wellesley was a good fit for Dorothy. She excelled in academics and participated in many extracurricular activities. Among her closest friends there was a sightless classmate. The two were said to be inseparable. That experience led Dorothy to enroll in an advanced education degree program at Columbia University when she graduated from Wellesley in May 1916.

However, the Columbia program didn’t begin until September so Dorothy returned to her family’s home in Lowell for the summer. Her sightless friend from college went to work at the Perkins School for the Blind. That summer, the friend chaperoned a group of sightless female students on a multiweek stay at Pentucket Pond in Georgetown, Massachusetts. Unable to stay there the entire time, the friend invited Dorothy to take her place as the “camp counselor.”  Dorothy agreed and, accompanied by her 12 year old sister Barbara, traveled from Lowell to Georgetown and took charge of the girls.

Their daily routine involved walking to the beach and wading in the shallow water at the pond’s edge, however, within a few feet of the shore, the land under the water dropped precipitously to a depth of 15 feet. On August 10, 1916, Dorothy was on the beach watching the girls in the water when she noticed one edging toward the deep part of the lake. Dorothy called to her but the girl became disoriented and started walking further into the lake. Seeing that, Dorothy raced into the water without even removing her shoes. She reached the girl just as she stepped off the shelf and into the much deeper water. Although Dorothy could swim, the girl could not. She panicked, grabbed Dorothy around the neck, and dragged them both underwater.

Barbara (Dorothy’s sister) had returned to their cottage so the only people on the beach were the other sightless girls. Hearing what was happening, they formed a human chain and edged into the water but when those at the end plunged into the deep water themselves, they struggled back to shore and abandoned their rescue effort. Their screams brought the caretaker of the cottage to the beach. He jumped into the water, quickly located Dorothy, and pulled her out. First he and then a doctor who arrived spent an hour trying to revive her but she was dead. Others who arrived searched for the body of the other girl which they located and recovered several hours later.

Boston Post newspaper headline, August 11, 1911

Dorothy’s body was returned to Lowell. A funeral service was held at her parent’s Westford Street home on Sunday, August 13, 1916. She was buried in the family lot at Edson Cemetery.

It is unclear when the plaque was created or where it was installed at the high school.

As for Dorothy’s family, her father, who worked mostly as a real estate appraiser but was best known for his service with the National Guard in the Mexican American War and in World War One, died in 1936. Her mother died in 1940. Her sister Barbara also graduated from Wellesley and had a career as a social worker. Barbara died in 1941 at age 38. Her obituary reported that her death followed a long illness.

Love after Sixty-Five or Life with a Trophy Granny

Love after Sixty-Five or Life with a Trophy Granny

By Malcolm Sharps

It hurts writing this; for many, it must hurt to read it. But it’s a hard fact to be faced that we fall in
love far less often later in life not because of some dimming of an internal fire or a diminution of the need for love, and not because of a falling away of our susceptibility to finding an attractive other who draws us, but more because of a falling away of our own physical state which enables us to attract others. I was nearing the momentous age of sixty-five, one chosen for me by convention and law as the hiatus point between my active and inactive life, but in one sense I’d already resigned myself to retirement, from the company of women, that is. From love. At one time it didn’t seem as difficult as this to find someone. Providence it’s called. In the morning the manna from heaven is waiting there on the ground to be collected; you collect just enough and you always have enough to last you through the day, if you are not greedy. It’s there in Exodus 16.21. That’s the way it used to be; someone up above provided love; but it wasn’t being provided any more. There were problems in the supply chain, some sort of disruption; I waited and waited and when the supply was not reconnected, I decided the problem wasn’t with some outside body like a government I could kvetch about: the problem was with me: I had become old and unattractive.

An ideal place for the old and unattractive to hang out in any city is a bus stop; you’ll find enough of us there any day of the week already waiting glumly not going anywhere in particular. In Budapest, where I live, we have long bus stops for long, articulated buses; I didn’t notice at first someone standing at the stop way ahead of me. Then in a flash I saw her, one of the most sensational old ladies I have ever seen in my life. Maybe I noticed her blue-grey eyes immediately; you had to notice them eventually. I’ve established that I’m not young myself and this woman was older than me by at least five years but I didn’t care, the blue-grey eyes were timeless, which was fortunate as I was inclined to stare into them forever. In addition, she had the snuggle factor of a true granny, the thing which makes little kids want to cuddle up to old ladies and find an instant route to contentment and happiness in their arms; she had it to a degree.

We got on at different doors on a three-door bus. It felt like playing checkers advancing on my right up the bus and then stepping to one side manoeuvring myself towards a seat near her. It was one of the facing pairs and she took up the seat opposite mine. The astonishing eyes were so close now. Your eyes meet and she looks away. And then it dies, or it usually does. Both of you remain in uneasy silence to the end of the journey, you don’t dare venture a second look and it dies. But this time I couldn’t keep my eyes off her and I felt somehow she’d noticed me too and wanted to talk. I kept on staring. Eventually, it got too much for her. “Why are you staring at me?” No English woman would ever ask this directly, but we’re in a foreign country where, as you know, people do things differently. And sometimes they do things better. Such a direct question needed a direct answer, one no Englishman would normally give. It was as though the scene had been planned already and someone provided me with the lines. “Isn’t it normal to stare at a beautiful woman?”, then to leave the point in no doubt, ”I’m sure men stare at you all the time.”

Maybe it was the language which raised it above some half-remembered script from a cheap movie, in the way French can transform a shopping list into lyric poetry. But many new things are sayable in a foreign language and many new things are permissible in a foreign land. Her response, promisingly, was not prohibitive. Not in the least. We soon started a conversation where precious banalities replaced daring compliments. I was going her way to the metro, then on to the market. She was on route to the hospital where they were going to check her blood circulation, nothing serious. At that moment, I may say, no one needed to check mine. We transferred at the metro station and this time my seat was next to hers, not opposite, and while we were talking I was drawn very close by that strong cuddle factor of hers. We touched right up against each other. It wasn’t my first day here, after all, I could judge what was allowable. Nearing my stop, we exchanged phone numbers. We parted with the usual two kisses of friends on the left and right cheek: that only requires one meeting, but I departed from protocol, completing my good-bye with a kiss on the lips, an added touch which by now was a low-risk one. It had taken twenty-five minutes only to set the course for the next ten years, at least, of my life. Maybe sixty-four is not so old, after all, I reflected; even as a young man I’d never had a relationship that went off as neatly as this, like the opening of a fast-paced Rom-Com, and maybe the movie wasn’t going to be such a bad one.

So now I’ve introduced you to Éva, who has gained many additional nicknames from me since we first met: pufi, mókus, móki, dundikám. In Hungary, many men lovers get the nickname of ‘bear’ and many female lovers get the nickname of ‘squirrel’; so it was that Éva and I imagined ourselves as creatures of the woods and began to enjoy the joyful life of a bear and a squirrel together. And life was much improved all-round for both of us. Bear left the stone bed in the damp cave that he had previously occupied and found the warmth of Squirrel’s tree house where there was hot water and heating and a big soft bed. And every day they spoke about their first day. Éva said, “I have lived alone in this tree for seventeen years and I didn’t know you were so near, Bear. Why did I waste so many years like this alone, why did it take so long for us to meet?” It made Bear very happy and sad at the same time to hear this. It seemed Squirrel had lost her belief in herself when her husband had died after thirty-eight years of marriage. But Bear always assured her that the time hadn’t been wasted. “Seventeen years ago we were a different Bear and Squirrel, it might not have worked, I think we just met when it was time for us to meet.”

They enjoyed almost three years together like this and were very happy. Every day they spoke about their first day and how unbelievable the first meeting was. Life should have gone on like this, the movie of ideal love should have run on until the lead out tape from the last spool slipped off the sprocket and flapped around the take up reel endlessly. But unexpectedly on a day that didn’t seem much different from the rest, a day that began with the sun shining just like on any other day, Squirrel fell out of the tree and lay motionless on the ground.

I had just finished translating the first complete book from Hungarian I ever translated; further work ran out for a time and I went off to England to do my stint of summer teaching. Éva worked under a lot of pressure back home, just commuting took up two and a half hours per day; she should have taken retirement, she was already exhausted by her job, too exhausted even to arrive at a clear state of mind to make the decision to stop. I’d finished my class for the day when I got a call from Éva’s daughter on my mobile: Éva had had a stroke.

She had been alone when it happened. She lay on the cold kitchen floor, no one came to the house or if they did, they rang the bell, assumed no one was at home and walked away. Her daughter thought her absence was normal, so she didn’t become alarmed when no one answered the gate bell. A whole day passed, then much of the next, Éva was partly conscious on the floor but unable to move or speak. She was very close to death, no one would know about it until it was too late. How desperately lonely she must have been waiting for the final moments hour after hour. On the second day her daughter and son-in-law grew so alarmed by the fact that Éva didn’t appear, they entered the house by themselves, found Éva collapsed, hardly making any responses, and rushed her to the hospital just in the nick of time.

So began the initial two years of her recuperation, two painful years for her as a recovering invalid, two painful years for me accepting a much changed Éva. On my return, it wasn’t the Éva I had known who met me: very similar in looks though haggard and thinner, but she had lost her lightness and humour and the look of radiance in her grey-blue eyes had vanished and been replaced with a gaze clouded by suspicion and questioning. I too had become a stranger to her; she was convinced I didn’t love her. It must have seemed odd that a person she believed felt nothing for her didn’t just walk away and leave her alone. I must have been hatching some dark plot against her for later. We were like two people with imposter lovers, each waiting for the real lover to return. Éva’s wary look showed no trust in that eventuality, and I needed a strong faith myself to believe that the Éva I knew would ever come back.

In the first months, Éva’s grasp of time was at its most confused. Every number lost its fixity of value, every date, every day was systematically altered in her mind. If I said I would visit her Wednesday, she asked me later why I hadn’t come on Tuesday, if I said  we would meet at two, she asked me why I had come so early, when I had definitely said ‘four’. Times, dates and numbers got turned over in her mind and the discrepancy got turned against me personally, She seethed with resentment. I had deliberately deceived her and done it only to make her life more confused than it already was.

It happened just before our first Christmas together following the stroke, she told me when to come to the house but she wasn’t at home at the arranged time. It had ceased to surprise me. I went to her daughter’s house as the most likely place to find her. Across the fence I saw Éva moving around in the kitchen and I rang the gate bell but, as luck would have it, it wasn’t working. To shout from the street at such a distance to catch her attention would arouse the neighbours. The street felt hopelessly remote from the house, Éva seemed lost to me on another planet, but looking about it occured to me the street might provide a solution too: soft snow had very recently fallen, a thick carpet lay all around at my disposal. I could make some soft snowballs and throw them against the window. They would make a sound but not be anywhere near hard enough to break the glass. This is what I did, and Éva turned towards the thudding sound, showing that expression of resentment and dismissal that I’d got to know well. Her personal ogre had come to torment her even in this retreat and now he was trying to break the windows to get to her. In annoyance, Éva glared at me and went back to her task. She had no intention of letting me in. Not even if I froze into a block of ice waiting out in the cold.

By Christmas day, I was partly forgiven; distantly Éva was aware that this was the season of goodwill and she should make some concessions, so she invited me for Christmas. That Christmas night was perhaps the beginning of Éva’s emotional recovery and regaining of her trust in me. I held her and she was the most tender towards me that she’s been in many months. She even allowed herself to smile at the comments of mine she no longer found very witty. Towards the approach of midnight before Christmas day, I walked into the bedroom where she was like a child at prayer kneeling in innocence by the bed. But it wasn’t that at all, Éva never prays. It’s simply that climbing into bed she’d slipped and missed and, being determined to do it alone without calling for my help, had tried desperately many, many times until now she didn’t have any more strength in her body to lever herself into bed. When I tried to lift her, she was almost too heavy for me to help. But there was only me. So I kept on pushing until somehow it was done. Now we both lay panting and exhausted on the bed. But we were together, at least. And I felt a little of the Éva I had known had returned and was emanating from her close beside me. I knew then that she would slowly continue her revival until the return was complete. Happy Christmas, Éva! It was one of the happiest for me.

There were other moments which occurred and I asked myself ‘’what will happen the next time if I’m not around?” Like the time when she tapped with the long handled back brush on the bathroom door to indicate she was in trouble. The door was not locked and when I entered I found Éva had fallen over in the shower and she hadn’t enough strength to raise her own dead weight up again. I encircled her with my arms, feeling like one of those dolphin handlers in a Florida aquarium as she slipped out of my grasp. I tried again, she slipped again. I had to learn quickly and dried her off before I tried one more time, trying to pull her back on her feet while her body offered no help of its own. I cannot recall how I finally got her standing again: all that I know is that she is not still there now and I am here. If the thought should occur to you as you struggle with the body that has gone to jelly and won’t obey your wishes, so that you are ashamed to realise your own pathetic impotence and lack of strength: “did I sign up for this?”, then maybe love is not really for you, and maybe a real woman is not for you either. I wasn’t trying to be some super-Catholic bearing my cross with joy, it never entered my mind to question what I was doing; I just thank God that someone who loves Éva as much as I do was able to help, not someone who would go through the motions of caring and inwardly resent the fortune she had brought him.

Although her stroke has aged her terribly, Éva is that rarest and most beautiful thing amongst women, a beautiful woman who doesn’t know she’s beautiful. When I sometimes call her ‘my filmstar’, she gives me a look of amused incomprehension; what is this man talking about? But I find it sad in a way that she is unaware of the aura of magic surrounding her which I see. For nine years now, Éva has been my trophy granny, my prize to show off to the rest of the world. By this time, I have to say, I’m certain nobody is watching to express their admiration and approval, no one is burning with envy of me, wishing he could take my place. I am the only one watching. If Éva has anything to display, it must surely be to me. What she shows me is that love and passion and adoration are possible right up to the very last moments of our lives, we simply need the courage to express it.

Love later in life. It makes us happy and sad at the same time, as nearing the end of something that was beautiful must do. We want to believe that through the strength of our convictions life will be good to us and grant us the reward of many additional years and freedom from pain; but it is not so. Éva might have another stroke at any time, or I might be the one to suffer next; in a moment it might all be over for either of us, who can say? Meanwhile, Éva and l remain true to our chosen parts as Bear and Squirrel, we watch out for each other daily; we protect and care for one another when there is no one else. In the woods of our imagination, we frolic and play and try not to think of the dangerous world that surrounds us. The life Bear and Squirrel have made together seems so idyllically happy and joyous, we pull off the let’s-pretend so completely, at times we ourselves are convinced into believing that it can’t possibly ever end.

Boarding School Blues: Chapter 39

Boarding School Blues: Chapter 39

By Louise Peloquin

“I’m into something good.”

It was day three of her sentence and Blanche had already spent nine recreation periods in the library. Sister Claudette had acknowledged her cleaning skills and decided supervision was not required.

Blanche handled the old books with the utmost respect. After freeing them from their cardboard confinement, she caressed them with her chamois, making sure the soft cloth scooped up the smallest speck of dust. Then she carefully opened the leather-bound covers to capture any remaining grain of dirt. The librarian glanced at her from time to time. No severe look shot from Sister Claudette’s dark bespectacled eyes. Blanche’s gestures became automatic and soon, three of the four boxes were sorted out.

At the end of the ninth library session, Sister Claudette appeared impressed. “Well done Blanche. Only one box left. But you know, even if you finish before the end of the week, the headmistress’s sanction must be respected. What shall I have you do? Although it would be lovely, I can’t spend time chatting. Daily tasks summon me. Running a library is not just enjoying the company of books. I’ve got to prepare files for…. But I won’t tire you with a list of my responsibilities. I have an idea Blanche. While you tackle the last box, I shall allow you to browse. Of course, continue your careful dusting. But if you feel like reading a few excerpts, go right ahead. And, if time allows, I will open the trunk so you can clean that out as well. Do not talk about its contents, not even to Sister Gerald lest she interpret my act as leniency. This is not a criticism of my administrative superior. Not at all. Sister Gerald is obliged to act in a precautionary manner at all times and this prevents her from placing too much trust in students. I have watched you carefully these past days and my experience of human nature has allowed me to confirm that you are a young woman of confidence. Therefore, you will take charge of the trunk before it finds its final resting place in an obscure nook of the SFA attic. Just think Blanche, this week you’ve been working much like a curator tending to ancient works of art. Isn’t it wonderful? Oh my! Recreation is over. Go to class at once. See you this afternoon.”

Blanche gaped at the slight, hunch-backed, near-sighted nun in her seventies, the keeper of a booty she was eager to share with an enthusiastic adolescent. Two minds joined over a pure and simple pleasure, the love of books. Blanche had a new friend.

With twinkling eyes worthy of the constellations in the night sky, Blanche blurted “Oh yes, thank you Sister. These books are so beautiful and I was so happy to dust their covers to make them look nice for the shelves. I felt like skimming through all of them for sure. But I wanted to get the work done since I was so slow at the beginning. I’ll take a peek at the last ones. And don’t worry, I won’t say anything about the trunk. I don’t really talk to Sister Gerald anyway. And my friends don’t understand why I haven’t been down in the dumps about missing recreation. They’re wondering why I haven’t been complaining about my punishment. In fact this hasn’t been a punishment at all and if you ever need a helper, please think of me because this place is wonderful. Thank you so much Sister. I have been so worried about my Papa but I know he’ll get better. He loves books too and….”

Before Blanche could say another word Sister Claudette rose from her worn-out armchair and pointed to the door with a yellow-toothed smile. “You don’t want to risk a sanction due to tardiness mon enfant. It may not be library duty next time. Go this instant!”

Blanche skipped out the door, hurried down the hall and took the stairs two steps at a time. No, she wouldn’t be late for class. She wanted to shout out loud but silence in the halls was part of  “orderliness”. A Herman’s Hermits refrain came to mind. She hummed “somethin’ tells me I’m into somethin’ good.”

During algebra class, encouraging news in the form of a note surreptitiously transmitted by C further lifted her spirits. “During her hospital shift, my Mom got to visit your father and he’s getting better and he’ll be able to go home soon. He told my Mom to tell me to tell you ‘je t’aime’ so please don’t worry. My Mom said the same thing the nuns always say – ‘God is good’. I guess they’re right. Right?”

C’s message made Blanche smile but she didn’t exchange glances with her friend because they both had to concentrate on new math concepts far more complex than the polynomials. Even so, each one knew that the other was pleased.

At meal time Blanche was too absent-minded to connect with her friends. They had given up harassing her for details on library duty but merely reiterated how lousy recreation deprivation must be. Blanche could not admit how far that was from the truth.

After swallowing a plateful of American chop suey and a spoonful of green jello, she took leave without dilly-dallying. “Gotta get through the last box of books now. See ya later!”

As if on cue, Titi and the others toodle-ooed with a “see ya later alligator, in a while crocodile.”

The library door was not locked when Blanche arrived. She entered, scanned the room for Sister Claudette and found her in a corner.

“There you are Blanche. Come. I’ve put Mr. Dubé’s trunk here and am about to take a peek inside. You will go tackle the last box now but tomorrow, when you have finished, you will know where to find the trunk. I’ll cover it with this old table cloth so it won’t attract any attention from the class of seniors who are about to spend time doing research for a term paper.”

The librarian was sitting on a three-legged stool, the rustic wooden kind used when maids milked cows. Her tiny bent body resembled that of a girl eagerly about to fish in her mother’s chest of drawers.

“Very good Blanche. Get that last box done and remember, you may skim through a few texts if you like, as long as you finish today.” Sister Claudette pointed towards the other end of the room, much to Blanche’s disappointment. She wanted to witness the opening of the mysterious trunk. However, she would have the pleasure of perusing more old books.

******

Read Chapter 1: The Announcement

Read Chapter 2: Facing the Inevitable

Read Chapter 3: Readying

Read Chapter 4: Au revoir!

Read Chapter 5: Arrival

Read Chapter 6: Settling In

Read Chapter 7: Beginning to Belong

Read Chapter 8: Quick Showers

Read Chapter 9: Inside & Outside Study Hall

Read Chapter 10: Math Manoeuvres

Read Chapter 11: Cinephiles

Read Chapter 12: Camera, Action, Lights

Read Chapter 13: Reconnecting

Read Chapter 14: Back to the Fold

Read Chapter 15: In the Night

Read Chapter 16: Parlez-vous?

Read Chapter 17: On the Agenda

Read Chapter 18: Dress up, sit up, chin up

Read Chapter 19: Post Conference Assessment

Read Chapter 20: Orderliness

Read Chapter 21: Inspection

Read Chapter 22: The Inner Sanctum

Read Chapter 23: Going Home

Read Chapter 24: Merci Mon Oncle

Read Chapter 25: The Food Fairy

Read Chapter 26: Bon appetit!

Read Chapter 27: Friends

Read Chapter 28: A Grocery Stop

Read Chapter 29: Tempus Fugit

Read Chapter 30: The Chapel

Read Chapter 31: A Nice Kind of Weird

Read Chapter 32: Mnemonic Device

Read Chapter 33: Cuisses de grenouille

Read Chapter 34: Run along now

Read Chapter 35: Consequences of playing hooky

Read Chapter 36: Good Vibes

Read Chapter 37: Never too many, never too much

Read chapter 38: Dust Bunnies

SCOTUS decisions: rage and grief the order of the day by Marjorie Arons Barron

The entry below is being cross-posted from Marjorie Arons Barron’s own blog.

In the last 24 hours, the Supreme Court has made it easier to kill people as long as it’s with a gun, but it has barred women from removing from their own bodies embryonic or fetal material not viable as human beings– even if caused by rape or incest. SCOTUS has taken a wildly absolutist view of the Second Amendment while, for the first time, depriving women of a Constitutional right affirmed nearly 50 years ago.

On the very day that Congress, in a qualified bipartisan way, passed a modest but still helpful gun safety law, SCOTUS struck down a New York law giving police the power to determine who has the right to carry a gun in public. Massachusetts has a similar law, along with a handful other other states. Those are all in jeopardy.

The Court’s so-called Dobbs ruling allows states to ban abortion altogether, and half the states are already poised to do just that. But this historic decision also enables Congress to outlaw all abortions nationally, and Republicans in Congress want to do ban abortions in every state. The opinion opens the gates for the Court’s rolling back rights to gay marriage and contraception, though it’s highly inconceivable that the misogynists on the bench would outlaw vasectomies. Justice Clarence Thomas opined that previous rulings based on a constitutional right of privacy merit rethinking. Presumably that could include banning interracial marriage, which would be interesting because Thomas’s QAnon-conspiracy-supporting wife, Ginni, is white.

Confidence in the Supreme Court has dropped to just 25 percent, an historic low according to the Gallup Poll. And it’s no wonder. The institution has come to be viewed as little more than an extension of partisan politics. We’ve come a long way from Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s preserving Roe in 1992’s Casey decision by asserting: “our obligation is to define the liberty of all, not to mandate our own moral code.”

Today, Justice Samuel Alito’s majority decision had the Orwellian chutzpah to explain “the authority to regulate abortion must be returned to the people and their elected representatives.” These are the same “elected representatives” who get to pick their voters due to Supreme Court-endorsed gerrymandering. For at least a decade, many states in which sizeable majorities support a woman’s right to chose will be controlled by representatives voting the opposite. Remember also, four of the justices who voted to overturn Roe v. Wade were nominated by presidents who lost the popular vote. The rhetoric of democratic rule rings hollow.

President Biden decried today’s ruling as extreme and called on Congress to pass a federal law codifying abortion protections under Roe. So far, Democrats have not found a way around the Senate 60-vote requirement to federalize the right to an abortion through statute. The stakes could not be higher in this fall’s midterms and in 2024.

We are in a Darth Vader moment with a Jaws soundtrack. As bad as things are, they can get a lot worse. But we need to respond resolutely with ballots not bullets. Peaceful organizing, not street violence. Cong. Alexandria Ocasio-Ortez should immediately tone down her sidewalk rallying cry that “elections are not enough.”

There is no substitute for forging ahead, working like crazy to keep the House and Senate from going Republican in the midterms, making sure reasonable people get elected to state houses nationwide. Independent and Republican suburban women who went for Biden in 2020 but have been leaning toward Trump and, in recent polls, embracing his clones running for Congress should wake up. And Democrats and Independents who smugly assumed this day would never come, never making this a priority issue, must now reallocate their time, wisdom, and resources smartly.

These are your rights and the rights of your children and grandchildren that are being trampled. Women’s health and well-being are being threatened. This is no time to let bad news depress us into withdrawing from the political arena.

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