Saved by a Strong Arm

Because I had been an exec of my college paper, TIME invited me to take part in a contest, the winners of which would be offered a job as a correspondent. We had to write a critique of the magazine, a bio, and a news story.

Living in London that year, I chose as the story to cover a mass rally sponsored by the Committee for Nuclear Disarmament (CND). Held in Trafalgar Square between the National Galley and government offices, the rally had invited, as the main speaker, Bertrand Russell. With Einstein, Russell had issued a manifesto about the dangers of nuclear war.

When the rally was done, I found Lord Russell and, walking backwards across the large pedestrian area, interviewed him. Things went smoothly until I nearly backed off a curb into a path of a red double-decker bus. Russell was amused by the intensity of the young American, and no doubt startled by my near-fall into on coming traffic.

It was the strong arm of Russell, at the age of almost 80 that saved the eager young journalist Not only that. He supplied quotes good enough to win the attention of my editors to CND.

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