— Bill Bailey (Spanish Civil War veteran) American labor activist 1910 - 1995
Kontext: Well, first of all, if you’re not—if you’ve never been on a soap box, it’s sort of awkward. You get up on a chair, and you look out—‘specially when the guy will precede you by saying “And the next speaker is Bill Bailey, a member of the Marine Workers Industrial Union, and a great—and this, and on—“, you know. They give you a big razzle-dazzle, and you get up there and you look out over a couple of hundred faces… Nobody’s laughing, no expression, you know, no nothing… You don’t know if they got a ham sandwich in their hand they’re gonna hit you with or what! And you’re supposed to razzle-dazzle them, you know, stir them, you know, really get ‘em up to where they’re screamin’ “Bloody murder!” Well, you know, and you get up there, and you’re mouth is dry, you know. Butterflies in your stomach. I mean, you’re complete emotional, ready to collapse, and the first thing you said to yourself, “I wish an earthquake takes place at this very minute,” you know. But anyway…! Like anything else, you take a deep breath, and you say your first word. And the second one comes out a little bit easier, after you get the word “Fellow-worker”, you know, out of your mouth—that’s the way it is. Then, bit by bit, you start warming up.