Friday, January 16, 2009

Carmel's Cold War

A soft-spoken English immigrant cleaned up and maintained Carmel's Forest Theater a few years until the fall of 1950, when the City Council found out he was registered with the county Elections Department as a Communist. After some debate, Norman Duxbury was terminated from his non-paying city job, then kicked out of the Pacific Grove Gay Nineties Square Dance Club because other members didn't want to do-si-so with him anymore. So at age 67, Duxbury, a retired carpenter, took his Social Security and spent the rest of his years gardening at his Monterey home and writing copious letters to newspaper editors. Duxbury worked for Carmel for no outright compensation other than the right to live in a free shack on the grounds. He was not a member of the Communist Party (they rejected him too) and did not believe in violence. According to a Time Magazine article on the Carmel incident, Duxbury just believed the government "... will collapse from its own rottenness".

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