My first time I met Howard Zinn was in 2002 a few months after 9/11. I was making a film titled “Carpet of Gold, Carpet of Bombs” and got a chance to interview Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn one weekend in Boston. I remember when my partner and I decided that Zinn should be in the doc. we didnt know how to get a hold of him. We were both just finished with our undergrad. degrees and still trying to figure out how to put this film together. We did the most natural thing to do, call 411 under Boston for Zinn, Howard. We were surprised when we called the number and the MAN himself Howard Zinn answered the phone. A few weeks later we were flying out to Boston and got to interview him for a solid hour. (I have to find the footage somewhere and I’ll post it when i do) He was incredibly humble, funny, and full of lineage and history. I took pictures of his office like a crazed fan. After all he wrote the book that changed my academic life – The People’s History of United States of America. A must read if you haven’t picked that up. I practically switched majors and my whole direction I was going in school from that class and that book. Thank you Prof. Dick Flacks. Since reading that book I went on to his other book ” You Can’t Be Neutral On A Moving Train” and once again was inspired by one of the most influential people I was reading.
After I heard the news yesterday flying into Toronto from my friend Dan Sena, a rolodex of memories and information from my college years came rumbling back in my head. The first thing i thought of was where is that footage of that interview.. You know, we NEVER finished the film that we were making and we got some amazing interviews and footage during 9/11. I’ll make a second effort to find the footage now. Howard Zinn was one of the most important people in this century hands down. I’m so honored to have met him and been in his company. Zinn Lives On!