Aging Political Activists: Personal Narratives from the Old Left

By David P. Shuldiner | Go to book overview

Chapter Four
With the Feelings That I Have About the Capitalist System

[First interview with Joseph Dimow, conducted at his home in New Haven, Connecticut, on April 12, 1990.]

[The conversation we had about the terms of the interview in general and occupational identity in particular, just before I turned on the cassette recorder, prompted Joe to make the first recorded remarks.]

JOSEPH DIMOW: Occupation and work involves, to my mind, two different things. One is the work you do in order to earn a living, which to me has always been separate from "occupation," or things to do because I want to do them. One took time away from the other. One was something that I had to do in order to enable myself to do the other. So if someone were to ask me, what were you doing at such and such a time in the past, in say the 1960s?, I would probably respond by talking about the things I did off work that interested me. That's not to say that there weren't some interesting moments at work, too. And I did have some throughout my working career, as a toolmaker. I had times when there were interesting things happening as a toolmaker, interesting things happening in the shop [where] I worked and [with] the people I worked with. But there were also things that had nothing directly to do with toolmaking. I might have been interested in Jewish community affairs or in civil- rights movements, or in community projects, political campaigns, and so on, which were also occurring at the same time that I was involved in [work, but] off the job.

-45-

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