It is said that one reacts to a contemporary event in ways strongly influenced by the past. This seems true of myself. Now I am troubled by the actions by U.S. District Judge Michael Mosman that in effect ban attorney Marcus Munford from practicing in Oregon, as described in the Jan. 9 Gazette-Times.
Perhaps my past in Cuba is influencing my aging mind more than it should.
In 1958, as a new Castro rebel, I gasped “¡Tan corto!” (So fast!) during a summary trial against an alleged Batista spy. This ended with me accompanying the prisoner, walking beside him as he was executed with a pistol shot to the nape of his neck. I was placed in charge of the burial team.
Just after we won victory over the Batista regime, and I had resigned from Castro forces, I was asked to testify in favor of a Rural Guard, who had provided us rebels information with which to set up an ambush. This time my testimony was successful. However, as I left that town of Manzanillo in the front seat of a crowded cab, I was nearly murdered “accidentally.”
It was only the continued screaming protests of a generous older woman who had been one of my fellow witnesses that saved me from receiving an “accidental” discharge of a pistol being held in the hands of a malevolent and furious communist, sitting behind me.
Regardless of whether it is right or unjustifiable, the far more minor actions of this federal judge evoke the past and that bothers me. If others can offer me advice or suggestions, please do it. Perhaps such counsel can set my doddering old mind at rest.
Laurence S. Daley
Corvallis (Jan. 9)