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The Magpie Sings the Great Depression:
Selections from DeWitt Clinton High School's Literary Magazine, 1929-1942

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Times Square

By F. Miles Gottheimer, '39

The Magpie, June 1937, v. 21, n. 2., p. 76.

At Broadway and Forty-second Street, Times Square, "The Crossroads of America," a great, glowing glare greets the gaze. It is the symbol of a man who found gold in chewing gum and who owns a good deal of the fifth largest city in this democratic nation. Here I like to stand and watch the cosmopolitan New Yorker pass by.

A composite personality, this cosmopolitan New Yorker who dwells in the reeking flat on the East Side, in the overfurnished middle class apartment in the Bronx, in the "snooty" Sutton Place mansion:

Who reads Stern and Hearst and the Daily Worker; Dickens, Sabatinti, Marx; The Nation, Liberty, New Masses:

Who is a fat reactionary in striped pants, a timid conservative with a starched white collar, a bustling liberal in a chain-store suit, a cynical radical in rolled shirt-sleeves:

Whose income tax return is staggering, worrying, engaging, nil:

Whose father was a Greek peasant, an Italian laborer, a German merchant, a Swedish seaman, a Negro slave, a Turkish soldier, a Russian-Jewish land owner, and who is an American:

Who is a transient kid come to the big city from the bad times of sharecropping, cattle raising, coal mining, factory working:

Who is you and I and everyman and passes this spot as an integral part of a swift, constant flux of humanity!

The Magpie Sings the Great Depression

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