20/11/2014 § Leave a comment
May 5th, 1919
Samuel Johnson’s mechanics shop,
West Bridgewater, Mass
[Sacco, Vanzetti, Buda and Coacci] plan to meet in West Bridgewater around 9pm to pick up Boda’s 1914 Overland from the mechanic. They needed to gather their “anarchist literature” as they were afeared of intensified government crackdowns on foreigners again (this being the tail end of the Palmer Raids).
Sacco and Vanzetti arrive in West Bridgewater early on the #109 streetcar. They find an open diner/ coffee shop in which to wait.
While they wait to pass the time they order coffee and discuss the wording of a flyer to promote an upcoming Vanzetti lecture at a local labor house. They drink coffee, Vanzetti’s with cream, Sacco’s black. They scribble notes and a general outline on a napkin. Sacco pockets the napkin to bring to printer friends of theirs for the final flyer.
About this time Buda and Coacci show up on Coacci’s motorcycle with Buda in the side car. Sacco and Vanzetti step out to meet and greet them. All are well having just had a spot of dinner. They walk over to Johnson’s house, hopeful to pick up Buda’s car.
They knock at his door. No answer. They wait. They knock again.
Inside Mrs Johnson frets and stresses over the unfolding of events. Sam Johnson slowly gets dressed and tries to calm her down. He tells her to answer the door, to delay them saying he was getting dressed and would be down. In the mean time “ go to the neighbor’s to borrow a cup of milk. Or of flour. Then make the call to the police Chief…”
She does, in her simple dress and apron and her repetitive smoothing gestures on the folds of her skirt. She walks over to the neighbors, and loudly proclaimed her desire to borrow a cup of milk (or flour). She swears that two of the gentlemen follow her. She swears they are Sacco and Vanzetti. She swears they point toward the phone wires leading into the neighbors’ house and she hears them say “telephone.”
She goes in and makes the phone call, desperate, twisting the cord of the phone on her finger.m
Meanwhile Sam comes out and talks to Boda and his friends. He tells them that the car is fixed, but needs new plates as the ones on the vehicle are expired. The men huddle and decide it best to come back the next day. They thank him for his time, then huddle again to plan their morning trip. Coacci and Boda then enter the motorcycle and side car and speed away. Sacco and Vanzetti gaze up at the moon and carefully stroll over to the streetcar stop. They wait. The Car comes. They ride out of town. They are the only passengers.
The police car show up at the Johnson location. The lights are everywhere, blaring. The cops rush up to The Johnson house, only to be met by Mr Johnson. They are all gone- they left a while ago. The policeman kicks the dirt then asks who has the phone. He rushes to the neighbors and bangs on the door to get in. He jiggles the receiver to get the operator, then demands the police station in the next town over. Brochton. They dispatch an officer. Hr waits at the station for the streetcar. Upon entering the street car,
he arrests the only two passengers.
Sacco and Vanzetti.
They asked why were they are being arrested
They are told
For being suspicious characters..