"When I finally met Zeide at a Shabbat dinner, I made the mistake of bringing up the fact that I favored post-modernist schools of Marxist thought. He stopped talking to me for the next several hours. At the end of the evening, he explained, ‘They’re all thought and no balls, the post-modernists.’ We had a short conversation and agreed to go to a movie together the next day. At that point, in his last bout of exceptional health (throughout his 80s), he was seeing six movies in the theater every week. Since then, we stayed in close touch. A couple of years ago I had the opportunity to protest outside of one of the houses of a Bank of America Board Member in Washington, D.C. and I sent him a letter explaining that every time I participated in some form of direct action, I thought of him. I told him that he was my inspiration, which he was. His response was warm and appreciative."
"I think that when I was younger, I looked up to Zeide because of his affiliations. I was a young, leftist, working class WASP from small town Maine where rigorous political involvement—particularly radical engagement—isn’t common and here was this real-live communist, rabble rousing bombardier who had actually known Dr. King. He had seen the civil rights movement first hand, and had served in the Second World War. He was a character in not just one, but in many mythical happenings. To a large degree, I maintain this fascination though in what is perhaps a more nuanced way. I maintain an appreciation for what each of his affiliations mean on their own, but also in relationship to the others. He was a communist patriot, illustrating that you could come from various conflicting ideological motivations at once. And Zeide’s overlapping affiliation as a communist, a civil rights activist, and an atheist (which, he says, Dr. King found as funny as he found it absurd) illustrated the intersections between Marx, progressivism and civil rights, the socialist heart of which has largely been overlooked in popular memory of that time.”