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 EMMA'S List: Testimonials

My mother, Esther Laddon, was a devoted friend and supporter of Emma's. She lived with us in Toronto for quite a few years. I met Emma when I was 18 and she had a good deal of influence on my life at that time. I owe her a great gratitude for persuading my parents to let me go to New York with letters of introduction to many Little Theater groups where her friends always received me and gave me employment. I played in the first production of e.e. cummings' play "HIM." I also played at the Cherry Lane. Unfortunately I disappointed Emma by getting married at the age of 21 and that was the end of my theater career. I can never forget how she sat me down and talked to me about free love which she very firmly believed in--love never interfered in a career if you're really serious. This was in the 1920's.

My first contact with the Emma Goldman Papers Project was through Queens College Professor Paul Avrich, who interviewed me in 1985 for his book Anarchist Voices: An Oral History of Anarchism in America (Princeton University Press, 1995). After a very pleasant lunch he suggested that I alert the Project to my mother's correspondence with Goldman when I moved out West. I was very impressed with the Project and the way they asked not for the actual letters but instead copied them for their work and gave a set to me that I would always have. And I have happily participated in programs that were initiated by the Project. Especially enjoyable was a reading at the San Francisco Public Library. As a member of Emma's List, I am hoping for all of their future success.

Ora Robbins
April 11, 1997


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