William Derry Heasley, Oral History
Recorded: May 4, 1990
Interviewed by John Burnell
Transcribed by Rhonda Rinehart, Kathleen S. Medicus, and Craig Simpson
Note: This transcript includes geo-references to locations that are discussed in the oral history. Geographical names linked in the transcript will open in a new window or tab that takes you to that location information and map in the Mapping May 4 project. To request a transcript without geo-reference links included, please contact Kent State University Special Collections & Archives.
[William Derry Heasley]: My name is William Derry Heasley. I'm 45 years old, and I think I have a story to tell.
Kent is my hometown. I grew up here. I made an attempt to begin university in the year of 1963, didn't do so well academically, and joined the service. A few years after that I found myself off the coast of Vietnam, and went through a crisis of conscience. Realized that this war was wrong, while I was still in a Navy that was providing a very effective information blackout, but I still was able to figure that out. Thus I told my division officer that I would not pull the trigger if it were to come to that. This was near the end of my enlistment and I returned to Kent and began school as an antiwar Vietnam veteran. I participated in organizing some of the peaceful protests against the Vietnam War in '68, possibly '69. However, I saw a faction involved in the movement that seemed to be advocating aggression, and it was at that point that I really diverged from the peace movement, sort of became a peace movement individually.
My wife and I had been visiting friends in Athens, Ohio, May 1st, May 2nd, May 3rd. And we returned home on the evening of May 3rd. Driving in from southern Ohio, we came up over the hills that overlooked Kent and were astonished to see a scene out of a war movie. A scene of flashing police lights all over the city, and helicopters hovering and crisscrossing the city. And as we came to the city limits we were met with a Checkpoint Charlie. I was a junior at this point. Went to my classes Monday and my first class Monday was with Tom Lough. Somewhere along the line I learned that it was expected that the president of the University would come and communicate to students on The Commons at noontime the state of the University. Given that we were existing under martial law--martial law was the entire town--there had been an element that I felt much more reasonable. Encouraging communication was a key word--if you go back and look at the Kent Stater at that time I'm sure you'll find some articles--encouraging opening up communication channels. I felt that in that direction lay any hope for peaceful change. And it really was with that concept in my mind that I walked out early to The Commons and sat down before there was anyone there. I felt lonely. I was in the middle of the grass before the bell, with no one around me. And to my back, tens of yards away, was the burnt-out hole of the ROTC building with, I thought, kind of in a ridiculous manner, a bunch of soldiers guarding it. I didn't understand what was left to guard.
And students began to come. The bell was rung. More students came. A couple people began speaking a little bit. But what I remember was that, having come back home to Kent--I mean, Kent was my home--having come back knowing that I was a Vietnam vet against the war, and truthfully at that time not knowing that there were very many others like myself, I knew all of the people in this community who were longhairs, who were cult freaks, I knew who they were. At least I knew what they looked like. And I saw people there who were longhairs who were not local people or local students. This contingent lined itself up around the outside of the crowd--it did seem like 2,000 to me as well--they placed themselves along the very outside perimeter of this crowd and began giving the finger and shouting obscenities across The Commons to the group of Guard guarding this hole in the ground. And then I realized what this crowd must look like to the people across The Commons. It must look like everyone was shouting and everyone was giving the finger. And, no. I looked around and most people were simply students who placed themselves there to protest the war--maybe more specifically, the invasion of Cambodia after the President had promised not to do so. They were not there to, quote, attack the Guard, unquote. No. And I moved near the perimeter of the crowd and I could hear from across the Common something, I don't know what, being said over the bullhorn. Since I didn't know what, I wanted to know what. Remember, I'm thinking about communication? Well, I stepped away from the crowd and I heard that they were reading the Riot Act, to my horror realizing, There's a lot of innocent people in there that have no idea that the Riot Act is being read. The essence of communication is get the information to people and then let them decide. So I began a lonely walk from that crowd across to the lines of the Guard. I've never really read about this in any of the accounts. I was not representing organizers of any gathering or anything, I was acting on my own. I--having been in the military--had a grasp of military-think, and frankly didn't trust them. I guess somewhere in my mind I thought perhaps the state police might have an education level and enough savvy not to blow their cool. I did know the National Guard was edgy and had a reason to blow their cool. You see, these people--I'm gonna take a, I need to say this, because as I was driving back from southern Ohio, we passed tanks roaring on their cleat-tracks down the superhighway going to Kent--these people were coming from at least two weeks of unwanted National Guard duty dealing with a truckers' strike in which there were real snipers using real bullets shooting from real guns from overpasses at independent truckers. This is the mindset that these National Guardspeople had. And one of my roommates at the time was a National Guard. This was a set-up for tragedy. I'm--I can't believe somebody didn't have the anticipatory skills to read that one.
So I walked, as I said, across The Commons alone, and I sought out what I thought was the head of the state police, Officer Manley, possibly Captain Manley. M-a-n-l-e-y [spells out the name] Manley. I told him, Those people in that crowd cannot hear or comprehend the words over that bullhorn. He said he would take care of it. And then I walked back towards the crowd, my mind full of thoughts about who thought I was on whose side and whatever. It was a lonely walk back. Both walks in both directions were very, very lonely. Ironic, huh? The only thing I succeeded in was having the jeep drive the man with the bullhorn around, which got the jeep pelted with some rocks, which ruffled feathers, got the men on the jeep irate and angry. And it's really, I--I heard him say before driving off, "Okay, that's it. Let's go." And that's what led directly, as far as I know, to firing up tear gas. You know, I wasn't an organizer, but I was angry enough when the tear gas landed in that crowd of so many innocent people. I found myself throwing the tear gas away. And one of those organized--I'm telling you the outside agitator--thought I was joining the brotherhood or something and he began yelling encouragement, and I thought he was stupid.
I don't know that I want to tell any other thing. This is the lead-up, and the rest is history.
[end of Tape 1]
[begin Tape 2]
[Transcriber's note: The sound quality on tape 2 is very poor; it was recorded at a very low level and the narration is difficult to hear under all the white noise. Technicians have worked with the digital version of this recording and have improved it. However, some of the speech is very difficult to hear and there are numerous gaps in this transcript due to these sound quality issues.]
[William Derry Heasley]: Okay, my name is William Derry Heasley. I'm 45 years old. And you'll find part one of this tape somewhere else.
[Interviewer]: Was your name on it?
[William Derry Heasley]: My name was on the previous reel. And in that one I described events leading up to the shooting itself, leaving off at the point where tear gas canisters had been fired at the group of students. I had not been really in contact with the organizers, I don't think there was a great deal of organization from what I saw, mainly it was a lot of students out there who assembled, as I did, on the assumption, that the president of the university was going to bring some communication, bridge some gaps, and hopefully make some explanations about why we were living under military occupation. I was a Vietnam War veteran prior to coming to Kent State as a student during those years. And I was a Vietnam Vet Against the War and had become so while I was still on the coast of Vietnam. I grew up in Kent, so when I returned in '67, I knew a lot of people here and I certainly knew all the people that we affectionately called ourselves freaks at the time and recognized them. The contention that there may have been outside agitators is true in my experience. Couldn't verify it actually, but I do know that I saw people there that day that weren't the longhairs I know and recognize. And those are the people that moved out and sort of put themselves directly along the perimeter of the crowd and agitated moving toward the direction of the Guard. I spoke about that on the other tape.
What I do want to say is once the tear gas canisters were fired, I think my experience of the people who were willing to exert any kind control at all in the group--the expectation was that there would be tear gas--and that's as far as the expectation went. They were ameliorating, they were doing whatever they could to calm the crowd, to encourage people to act in a rational way. They were asking them to walk slowly so that it didn't appear to be a riot or anything else. It wasn't a riot. It was a lot of curious people who wanted answers. And there were some people who were agitating. Again, to me they were people who didn't go to Kent State [unintelligible] at all. At least in terms of rocks. There weren't rocks on he Commons, somebody brought rocks. But not all, or even the majority of the students, of the 2,000 at the rally that day. I got kind of energized by the tear gas, I'd never been gassed, it angered me, it seemed too much. And I remember running up to a canister and throwing it back into the grassy area between the crowd and where the soldiers were advancing with their bayonets. I wasn't--I mean to me, it was ridiculous to think that I'm going to throw a canister all the way back towards the soldiers where they fired their guns, I didn't have any such illusions. I wanted to get it out, away from the crowd, because it hurts, it wasn't a pleasant experience. I did that and then I actually went directly into Taylor Hall, the lower corner there above the Victory Bell and found a water fountain and tried to wash my eyes out as best I could. Came back outside, the advancing Guard hadn't arrived [unintelligible] at that point. So, I went up and over the hill, I was a straggler--people being pushed back as it were--and was probably the last person through the little waist-high gate onto the hockey field, it was a hockey field--a field hockey field. And at this point, I'm looking at groups of soldiers and groups of protesters who had been dispersed in such a wide area that everybody was kind of dispersed. It wasn't a large crowd anywhere, really. It was groups of five, ten, twenty, sort of spread out in all kinds of directions. There was, for a few minutes there, almost a carnival atmosphere as some of the soldiers fired more tear gas towards the small group. One of the group picked the tear gas up and threw it back. At this point, apparently they'd aimed it high enough so when they shot it, it could take a high trajectory, and land close enough to people nearby. The person I saw threw the canister back among the soldiers. One of the soldiers picked it up threw it back among the protestors. The same guy picked it back up and threw it back among the soldiers. It looked--sort of looked funny, and ridiculous.
It seemed like students and soldiers alike were at a loss for what happens next. If there was a what happens next, I didn't see anybody who had a sense of that. I'd never really saw a sense of organization. And so, people started sort of just bleeding off into different directions, in some ways it seemed to be over. And I walked back up over the hill, past the famous sculpture that now has a hole in it, walked underneath the pagoda, and I walked over towards Johnson Hall, it's a dormintory. And the lower floor of Johnson Hall, the back end of it, the windows are quite close to the ground. The window was open into the men's room there. I jumped down in through the window and sought to wash more of the tear gas out of my eyes, it still was bothersome. After doing that, and again, this sort of this unreal juxtaposition of students who were in between classes and in their dorm and washing their hands and using the can and talking about, What's going on out there. I jumped back up out of the dorm, onto the grass and was standing there, in the curl of Johnson Hall, looking back up towards Taylor, towards the pagoda when the helmets of the soldiers came marching toward us and as they were about--as they became more and more visible, they were coming up the hillside from the other side, we saw their shoulders and their chests, it was about waist-high, they turned a fired almost 180 degrees away from where I and some other people were standing. The snicker that went down among people around me, had to do, as far as I could tell, the same thought that I was having, which was, Oh, now they're using blanks and they're trying to scare people away, isn't that ridiculous? Nobody indicated that they thought somebody had been shot. People just continued to just stand around and basically watch what was happening because it was something happening. And then the soldiers regrouped themselves after the burst of thirteen seconds. Again, the people around me, as far as I could tell, thought it had been a series of blanks had shot off. Soldiers began to march their way back towards us and past us in order to return to the burnt-out hole that they were guarding which used to be the ROTC building. And as they came past, a very tall bear of a student--a bear, I mean, he was six foot, plump, carrying a briefcase, true egghead, with a beard and hair that was long enough to fall over his collar. Was coming from a totally different direction, and not, and clearly had not been here for this--any of the phases of--he was coming from offsite, and he approached the soldier as they were marching back, saying, "Can I talk to you?" Upon which, the soldier turned around and rammed the butt of his gun into this guy's jaw, with force, and went on his way. Leaving the fellow standing there, nursing his jaw, turning to us saying, "Did you see what--did you see what just happened?" And we nodded our heads, Yeah. And then, very shortly after, a man, dressed up--not much different than I'm dressed today, I'm afraid. A very non-student, non-professorial-looking man, in a suit, with tightly creased pants, very short cropped hair, came running from the directions the soldiers had come in, up near the pagoda. And he was running as fast as he could towards the line of Guards across the Common guarding the empty hole. And behind him came a very, very long-haired, upset man, yelling, "Get him, he's the one, he's got the gun!" And indeed, as this man ran, he had one of his hands, he could--was holding it underneath his coat, underneath one of his shoulders, so to speak, which was [unintelligible] as he ran. He disappeared into lines of State Police and Guardsmen. Interesting, I've never heard or seen anything in the news reports about that.
That incident was followed by someone else, longhair, running down over the hill with two of his friends, one of whom was saying, "Oh, he'll be alright!" The other one saying, "Are you crazy, half his head was blown away!" At which point I realized, Uh oh, something had happened here. And I walked back up over the hill, over underneath the pagoda, and as I rose up over the hill and my point of view encompassed the parking lot, I saw people lying about and I went to the nearest person, it was Jeffrey Miller. And I looked at him and saw a large pool of blood, large enough that I knew it was too late. And then, that girl, Mary Vecchio [Mary Ann Vecchio], that she--came up and was kneeling right down in front of me and gesturing histrionically and crying out in that famous photograph. I was a little numb, perhaps the photographer was standing right there and came up beside me, and I don't know [rest of sentence is unintelligible, then the speaker pauses]. Then I walked away, walked over to a tree and sat down and started to cry. A woman came up and asked if I was okay, I think she thought perhaps I was wounded. And I said, "Yes, I'm okay, but I'm ashamed that I served in the military of the United States." I got up, looked back at the body of Jeffrey Miller, by this time, a radical student, I believe his name was Chris, was leaping up and down in the pool of blood beside Jeffrey and screaming [pauses] something. And I didn't think that was--I don't know [clears throat]. But, I walked away at that point. And where I walked was sort of straight past the edge of Johnson walked up over--well, I made a beeline back towards the--what used to be the high school that was connected with the university, that's where I went to high school, having grown up in town. Knew there was pay phone over it. Evidently they hadn't cordoned off students at that time because I was able to walk away and I did so. Went to the phone, telephoned my wife at work, asked her to come and get me. Was a little surprised to learn afterwards, though, students had been rounded up and grouped together and held for some time, but I wasn't. A few days after that, I was picked up by the FBI. I had been a little forewarned. I had been told by a friend, "They got a photograph of you in the Common and they were asking questions about you." I was number 409 in the photographs. They came to my parents' home, at the time I was with the members of the band that I played in, that's how I put myself through college. It wasn't a rock band, it was the old-timey music, sing-alongs. And we, coming down, we just were just leaving my parents' home when we saw a car pulling in the driveway and some men getting out to speak to my father. I didn't think anything of it, but not a half a minute later they chased us down with sirens going, on my own road, just a ways down from my parents' home and asked to speak to me, so I got into the car. At which point my wife was headed out to my parents' home and she came upon this scene. She got out and screamed, "What's going on here?" She was angry at the FBI people and I assured her that I was not going to be harmed. Don't know that I [unintelligible] that assurance. But, in any event, they commenced this Mutt and Jeff routine, I'm don't know if Mutt and Jeff is the right term--classic good-guy/bad-guy--I mean, I couldn't believe they did it. I was sitting there going, "They're doing the good-guy/bad-guy routine." They couldn't understand me. They already had run down my service records. I don't know how they knew all they knew about me, but I can tell you, to this day, it doesn't make me feel real safe. I can tell you that, after serving honorably, being honorably discharged, it's curious to me that a citizen can feel--well, I'll say I don't think anyone [pauses] can consider themselves free from possibly being watched and checked on like that. I know that sounds paranoid, but then I've had the experience.
[Interviewer asks a question which is unintelligible in the recording.]
[William Derry Heasley]: I don't think so, no. They really referred to my service and saw that it was totally perfect and clean and they were baffled at how I could have served honorably and then how could I become what I had become or what they thought I had become. I certainly knew they didn't know what I had become, they certainly had some pictures. But, it was clear that they had a dossier on me and they commenced to ask questions. And to my dismay, I got my turn to be baffled. They weren't interested in the shooting of students [unintelligible]. They were interested in making Tom Lough the fall guy and questioned me extensively about a class I had taken with Lough, they extended their questions in the direction of any rabble rousing he might have done. They asked explicitly if he had described to students how to make Molotov cocktails. They didn't care about finding out about the shootings, it wasn't on their agenda. And by this time, if I was fully paranoid, [laughs] I felt it was justified! I could smell a whitewash coming and it was coming. And it did, apparently.
[Interviewer]: Did you continue at Kent?
[William Derry Heasley]: I did, I finished the next year, I graduated in '71. It was sort of--it was on automatic at that point. And I left Kent, by '73 the town felt, I don't know, when you're in shock, it's hard to tell what you--what's going on with the town, but I couldn't feel at peace in my hometown. I had been in a military-occupied territory, I had seen fellow citizens shot. I was [rest of sentence is unintelligible.]
[Interviewer]: Were you in town during the whole weekend?
[William Derry Heasley]: No, I had been visiting--my wife and I had visited friends in Athens, Ohio. We were on a farm in Athens which hadn't tuned in the radio. It wasn't until on the way back we heard something Sunday night. So, by the way I was not handed any information that riots or even assemblies were illegal. I lived in my own home with my wife in Kent and simply went to classes as I usually do on Monday and thought that a gathering at noontime on The Commons in order to hear some explanation from the President of the United--from the President of the University--was an excellent idea. Given what I had heard had gone down over the weekend, I thought that was a fabulous way. The Daily Kent Stater had been pushing, over the previous period of time, for an increase in communication. In fact, that was in my mind a great deal at that time. Because I had been organizing peace marches as an antiwar war vet, although I wasn't a member of an antiwar vet group, and I stopped that activity, or withdrew my support from it, when I saw a more radical, aggressive faction move in. I mean, I think it was Jerry Lewis sitting down at a rally and he points up to the campus cops who were, at that point, the most benign group you could imagine, starts calling them pigs, I thought that was divisive and polarizing and it argued in the direction that I couldn't support. So, anyway, that idea of communication was strong in my mind. And I thought going to hear the president communicate was a good idea. And when [unintelligible phrase] when we were standing as a crowd there, you know 2,000, whatever, these were not 2,000 people hell-bent on anything, these were people who wished they had some answers and there were a few who were hell-bent on something. And they lined them[selves] up right on the perimeter and they, they were like--I swear to you there couldn't have been 30 people at the most who did this and they gave the finger and they shouted obscenities across the Common but right behind them were all these people going, Why are they doing that? What's this about? So, when the bullhorn started trying to say something from across The Commons, you couldn't hear it in the crowd, I stepped away from the crowd and I realized that they were reading the Riot Act and there's 2,000 people here that don't know it. So, I walked, again, this idea of communication. I walked across the Common. There was nobody else out there. This one crowd in the corner by the Bell and then this group of soldiers across guarding this empty hole that used to be the ROTC building. And I walked across there. One of the loneliest walks I've ever taken. The other lonely walk was the walk back, actually, after I told State Police Officer Manley that the bullhorn could not be heard in the crowd. I don't think I've ever seen that--[unintelligible phrase].
[Unintelligible: Interviewer asks a question.]
[William Derry Heasley]: No. To tell you the truth, no. [Unintelligible phrase] ...I guess I was talking about newspaper ... [unintelligible]. I read everything I could get my hands on in that way. Except that there weren't as many in the country which was the ... [unintelligible].
[Interviewer]: What, when you came back into town on Sunday night, did you realize there was something seriously happening?
[William Derry Heasley]: Why did I realize something was seriously happening? See, I came up over--I came right through the place where the FBI picked me up later, and it's the hills northwest of Kent, and it's right near the highest point in Portage County. So, we came up over that hill and it was like coming out on the War of the Worlds. We looked--we came up over the hill, and you could see all of Kent laid out, it's in a bit of a valley.
[Unintelligible: Interviewer asks a question.]
[William Derry Heasley]: Yeah. Up Howe Road. I mean, up Mogadore Road. Came down on Mogadore Road, pressed that hill, and we, it looked, I just couldn't tell you, it was this scene out of a war movie. There were lights flashing all over town. You know, police, other emergency vehicles flashing in several different parts of the town, helicopters criss-crossing over the town with spotlights. It was astonishing to us. And then we came down to the city limits and encountered Checkpoint Charlie, and yes, we knew something was up. I don't think at that point I still knew that I was then in a militarily-occupied town, that martial law had been declared.
[Interviewer]: Had there been trouble down at Athens? [Rest of question is unintelligible.]
[William Derry Heasley]: No. We heard there was some trouble, yeah.
[Interviewer]: So, you knew exactly what it was, I mean what the trouble--[unintelligible phrase].
[William Derry Heasley]: If you mean that people were protesting or did I know specifically that a ROTC building had burned?
[Interviewer]: No, no, not that. But, that there were protests.
[William Derry Heasley]: Yes, that's the main body of what I understood from radio reports that--war protests. Some breaking of windows downtown or something.
[Interviewer]: Growing up in Kent--Kent State High School in the 60s, I would imagine was still fairly conservative--less conservative than Roosevelt, but had they had any inkling that there was any kind of radical--[unintelligible phrase].
[William Derry Heasley]: No, I'll tell you what I--I'll tell you the rant that I remember. I remember there were some guys standing outside Terrace Hall screaming up at the co-eds who were in the windows with the windows open and they were screaming, "Panties, panties, panties!" It was a panty raid.
[Interviewer]: What year was this?
[William Derry Heasley]: Fifties, it was like 1958 or something like that [laughs]. Yeah, I suppose that was crazy in its own way, but it wasn't politically motivated at all.
[Interviewer]: When were you in Vietnam?
[William Derry Heasley]: I was in Vietnam '66 to '67. Came right back to Kent in '67.
[Interviewer]: What was the atmosphere?
[William Derry Heasley]: Here? I tell what I knew before I got I wanted to grow my hair as long as George Washington's wig and I proceeded to grow my hair. And that was to make a political statement. And of the people around, I got the longest hair on campus for a while, that's a stupid thing to say, but, no, I mean it's observable, and you can measure [gap in recording]. I don't know if I was the first or one of the first.
[Interviewer]: I mean one of the persons who would like come back [unintelligible].
[William Derry Heasley]: I probably was.
[Interviewer]: I mean didn't you come back and feel any kinship?
[William Derry Heasley]: With the Vets? No, I felt very isolated, I--
[Interviewer]: What I'm getting at, was there anybody else [unintelligible].
[William Derry Heasley]: I couldn't find them if they were there. I didn't know. I felt, I felt like one weird duck. In fact, the ship that I left--one small source of joy was that after I got out, three men left that ship because the U.S. was in trouble, made their way to Sweden and held a news conference against the war in Vietnam, and that helped me feel a little bit better but I also knew that a lot of the Vietnam vets were more of the persuasion, Hell we can win this war, if we just apply more muscle, they keep holding us back. But I didn't know anyone--no, I didn't know any Vietnam vets were against the war, here. I felt more alone and I was in college with and rooming with, a crowd at least four years and more younger than myself. And I don't think they--one of them is now editor, senior editor at [unintelligible] magazine. He acknowledged [unintelligible], I didn't know what to say to you, I didn't know what impact [unintelligible].
[William Derry Heasley]: There sure were.
[Interviewer]: There were mostly students, younger students [unintelligible].
[William Derry Heasley]: It was exciting times in terms of creativity as well.
[William Derry Heasley]: Uh, several places. I mean, Kent was, you know, Kent. One of the people I jammed with was Joe Walsh, he was here.
[William Derry Heasley]: Casale brothers, were, Jerry Casale was--roommates, fellow art students [unintelligible] these people came out of that era [unintelligible] were true, at least musically [unintelligible] artistically as well [unintelligible] it didn't necessarily have any-- direct political statement as much indirect [unintelligible].
[Interviewer]: Was it more so, did Kent stand out [unintelligible] Kent was a happening place? It was clear to me that Kent was a happening place because students came from Akron and came down from Shaker Heights to go hit the scene in Kent--they knew we had a premier music scene [unintelligible].
[William Derry Heasley]: Politically? Not exactly. You know, the most politics I experienced was--now I think this group was friendly to or maybe even connected to the Weathermen--but they used to hold community dinners out at Fred Fuller Park. Somehow connected with the Food Coop. Food for free, they cooked it for free and they served it for free. People would sit around and sing folk songs [unintelligible]. That was political, but it was very benign. There wasn't any talk at all about soldiers, Guardsmen [unintelligible].
[Interviewer]: Did things escalate to the point, though [unintelligible]? You were in Kent from '67--
[William Derry Heasley]: '67...the whole time.
[Interviewer]: Did you see any kind of progression?
[William Derry Heasley]: Yeah, I did see a progression, and I was initially involved in peace marches. Then I got involved in organizing peace marches [unintelligible]. But this is in '68, '69 at the latest. And then I saw this more hard-line faction either move in or develop, it's not clear to me which. And I didn't approve, I didn't agree with it and so I stopped being involved with the organizers of peace marches that involved bringing in members of the Chicago [unintelligible] and were advocating a much more aggressive party line that I didn't care for. Yes, I saw a progression that way.
[Interviewer]: Do you know who those people--was there a community, do you know who those people were?
[William Derry Heasley]: No, actually, it seemed to me that when I was involved in organizing the peace marches it was a very diverse bunch of people and each time I was involved it was usually somebody a little bit different. I really probably recognized most consistently some of the folks from the Unitarian--there used to be a house down there--a coffee house, I mean [unintelligible]. But, they also took the soft line, they also were very clearly doves and did not support--what I remember is that they withdrew support just as I had done from the hard-line people. So, I don't know who's of interest.
[Interviewer]: But, did you recognize some of them?
[William Derry Heasley]: Kerry Blech is the only one of them I know and I think he was fairly [unintelligible] too. He used to cook up the free soups and stuff.
[Interviewer]: I had always assumed there were--
[William Derry Heasley]: Very recognizable center people? It seemed to change--leadership seemed to change, that's why I couldn't say I recognize any one person. The only person that stick[s] in my mind, it was an albino guy and this is [unintelligible] he never became a hard liner [unintelligible] he was so striking during the peace marches [unintelligible] and he, and people with him always were totally silent peace marchers--flowers [unintelligible]. But they weren't rabble rousers. So, in a sense when the rabble rousing came in, I got out.
[William Derry Heasley]: Well, see, from what I could tell, there were some homegrowners who didn't feel the power of voice when they brought someone from the outside to speak at rallies. As they say, [unintelligible] calling campus cops pigs, hey, [laughs] I grew up here, I know what they're like. [unintelligible] I walked away from [unintelligible]. That's not peace, that's not communicating for peace. That's agitating for confrontation. Now, I'm sure agitating for confrontation was [unintelligible]. Do you know, the day of that thing, I don't agree even the rabble rousers thought [unintelligible]. I think they thought they had their standard, get the group teargassed and make a splash in the media. I think tear gas was [unintelligible] as far as they were concerned.
[William Derry Heasley]: I think I'm done. ×