Cohen manuscript segment
Fragment of a description of the accidental death of Rev. Bruce Klunder at a demonstration.
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V – 50
[manuscript begins in medias res]
machine, drawing back from a group in front, and not seeing Reverend
Kentner Klunder, crushed him.* It was, you might say, an industrial accident.
As I sat there in the grubby room, Ruth Turner and David Cohen, a friend who had come in** a few minutes before, almost forgetting my presence it seemed, began to go over the event. The dead man had been their friend, and the widow was their friend, and you could tell now that
that this conversation was not new , was; it was an extension of a painfully unresolved conversation that had been going on for weeks. How did the ideal values relate to the brute human fact? That was the question, or one of the many questions, and that made Cohen burst out: “What was he dying for, then? He wasn’t dying for freedom or anything else then, he was just crying out, ‘I’m hurt, I’m hurt and dying, get me to a hospital.”
Then more calmly, Cohen said: “We can go on asking the question from now until the day we die whether his death was in
* Mr. Wes Lawrence, a prominent newspaper man of Cleveland, tells me that the driver was so shattered by the event that he does not feel that he can ever drive another machine.
** A teacher of history at the [handwritten insertion] Case Institute of Technology, in Cleveland, and active in CORE, white.
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