Newsmakers with JR
SB Authors: Dick and Mickey's Epic Memoir
“Making History Making Blintzes,” the long-awaited, two-voice memoir written by community heroes Dick and Mickey Flacks, provides an up-close-and-personal political history of seven decades of a life shared in activism and struggles for social justice on the American left.
While they still were pounding away at the job a few years back, Dick and Mickey explained to a future Newsmaker the intriguing premise and fascinating process of the unusual, dual memoir project:
These “Red Diaper Babies” soon met as counselors at a progressive summer camp, fell in love, and eloped in 1959. Over the next 56 years, their enduring marriage was shaped and sustained by nonviolent struggles for social justice, as together they opposed McCarthyism, nuclear proliferation, the Vietnam War, and the tyranny of the FBI, while fighting for peace, civil rights, gender equality, and grassroots community power in their adopted hometown.
Now in their seventies, Dick and Mickey Flacks are hunkered down in their comfortable Eastside home, in the final stages of crafting a dual memoir of intrepid, frontline lives on the left. Parents of two long-grown children (“While people were making revolution, I was making babies,” she recalls of the late ’60s), they’ve shared a personal and political odyssey, carrying them from New York to the Midwest and Santa Barbara, and social crusades ranging from the 1962 founding of SDS to the 2002 creation of SBCAN.
“We come from left-wing families that go back more than a hundred years,” said Dick, UCSB emeritus professor of sociology, who’s researched and written previous volumes on left-wing activism. “Rather than figuring it all out together, we decided we would each write separately.”
“The theme is the interplay between politics and the personal,” said Mickey, a retired university biology researcher, a leader of the secular Jewish community, and a prominent Democratic activist. “We’re writing [recollections] side-by-side … There’s some Rashomon to it.”
Check out video producer Jon Zuber’s five-minute look at the iconic couple and the book that’s on YouTube, right here.
Just in time for the holidays, “Making History/Making Blintzes” is available in SB bookstores for those who support local business,
or from Amazon for those too lazy to get off the couch.