Being elected President of the Academic Society may have been a joke but I parlayed it into new friendships and to my shame it was Out with The Old, In with The New. I still talked to Sander but Rex and James were discarded. I slowly came to understand my fellow students. The black and white students just didn’t mingle. Strangely, some of the school, maybe 10 or 15% were Jewish, but they kept it well hidden.
I was volunteering with the UFW after school and my parents talked to me about it and it became a family outing. We’d get together Saturday and drive to the chosen supermarket and spread out and hand out leaflets. My family had a strange idea of family outings. Later on, when I was in High School Mom used to invite the head organizers over for a home cooked meal at least once a month. I felt the decency of my parents. If a campaign was conducted so that it helped the average person and not just the bigwigs my parents would be there. This is the case even with my Dad who started out very conservative but when his eyes opened to the day to days slowly became more liberal.
By the time the family was using political boycotts as an outing I was starting to help out with organizing. The kids who worked for Cesar were students on sabbatical from Rice and they didn’t have any Compunction about a Junior High School boy helping them. Eventually they went back to school and I organized the Westside of Los Angeles for Cesar.
I still ran, I got good grades mostly by accident (the New York school system was way ahead of the Los Angeles system), and lusted after the landlord’s wife who I acknowledged was not particularly nice and certainly not to me.
We met more of the family. On the Greek side I found out there were additional cousins to the ones back East. For the most part they were nasty though. and not particularly friendly and didn’t want anything to do with us. My Dad’s uncle sold us a car whose transmission went out after fifty miles and their reaction was “tough!” We’ll get to the Jews next time.