|Excerpt of Child's Letter to Mayor Lindsay - Courtesy NYC Municipal Archives|
Children told Lindsay how the strike disrupted their lives. “I could not go to school today,” wrote Rhonda Greenstein from the Bronx (age 11). So she spent the day taking a survey of neighborhood sentiment about the strike: “1. Terrible; 2. Miserable; 3. Crazy; 4. It Stinks…” Kathleen Susan Grass (age 7) from Flushing complained “…most of the children cannot go to religious instruction.” “You should see Main Street,” remarked another child from Flushing. “During the transit strike,” complained David Philips from Long Island, “my father had to leave for work much earlier than usual.” He was anxious to know “what precautions you have taken in case of another transit strike” in the future.
|Excerpt of 4th Grade Class News Report - Courtesy NYC Municipal Archives|
Many children connected with Mayor Lindsay on an emotional level. Matty Podbielski (Grade 7) was “… very sad that on your first day in office this terrible thing had to happen.” Gwendolyn Perry (age 9) wanted Lindsay to know “how proud I am of you for the way you stood by the people of New York [during] the strike.” Even from Connecticut, Maryclaire Plunkett (age 11) was “worried” and “felt very sorry” for the mayor, “and all New Yorkers.”
Most of the children were eager to put the strike in terms of right and wrong. Nearly all of them sided with the mayor. “I am with you all the way,” wrote Podbielski, adding “Mr. Quill harmed many people.” Greenstein’s survey of neighborhood sentiment concluded, “Everybody…said that you, Mr. Lindsay are a good mayor….Everybody also said that Mr. Quill is a discrace [sic].” Diana Garry (5th Grade) tried to put herself in the mayor’s shoes. “I believe you are doing things the way I would do them if I were you….”