The ruckus at Ferguson transplanted me back to 1968 where, as a new reporter for LIFE Magazine, I was summoned to cover the street demonstrations with my partner, Howard Bingham, Mohammed Ali’s personal photographer.
I spent years working on a novel based on what I and the other team members saw and experienced. The book also contains a very passionate love story. The book is called, “Virtue’s Fool.”
In August of 1968, when the Democrats held their convention in Chicago, Life Magazine had assigned five teams to cover the streets. The team leader was Peter Fielding, who had spent five months living with a notorious 4500 member gang, called The Blackstone Rangers. He was accompanied by his photographer Howard Bingham. Another team was led by Barnaby Hart, a bespectacled man, 6 feet two, who could bench press 345 pounds in his street clothes. His body was broad and massive, not across the shoulders, so much as from back to chest. He was one of those people who are always finding something to admire and feel excited about. His photographer was a tough Pole named Gomel, an excellent photographer, who boasted that he never scared, asserting that he had no fear in his nature, he said. There was Roger Snider, the magazine intellectual, and Jarrod Macklin, was promiscuous but charming man, who dressed in excellent clothes, proving that while pretending to be unfashionable you could still be fashionable as long as your shirt, jeans and loafers were expensive. An intellectual lightweight. Snider described him a man of ideals but no principles.
The text follows below. It describes Wednesday afternoon, the third day of vicious rioting. This scene begins in the afternoon and moves to the evening.