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A cell of our own in Gardiner

June 19, 2014

Gardiner is a curious little place. Nestled in the foothills of the Shawangunk mountains, the “mountain” roads are off the beaten path, so to speak, and not part of the weekend New Paltz tourist routes. However, for whatever reasons, this corner of town has long been a refuge for the, let us say, more leftist and radical among us. Or, why beat around the bush….communists. Junius Scales, a one-time leader of the Communist Party of the US, lived here until his death in 2002, on a small road to nowhere called “Peaceable Hill Road”. Junius Scales went to prison, but I’m sure you’ll be shocked to hear that his sentence was commuted by President John Kennedy. To this day, his daughter Barbara is listed in the Gardiner Tax roles, as the “estate” still owns the property on Peaceable Hill Road. A native of New York City, former Gardiner Town Board members and avowed leftist, also lives on the road, and I’m sure she just happened to live on the same road as Junius Scales by accident. Spitting distance away, we have another civic minded resident, served on the steering committee for the Union for Radical Economists, member of the Nicaraguan Solidarity Network, and was a speaker at the Socialist Scholars Conference, author of article “Teaching Nazi Culture” and another in the “Rethinking Marxism” Journal. Sprinkle in a few like-minded souls up and down the road, all native New York Cityites, who just happened on sleepy Gardiner to spend their retirement. We’ve got ourselves a regular little cell here.

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