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Socialism in U.S. isn’t an outrage, it’s the sublime Milwaukee of my youth | READER COMMENTARY

Democratic presidential candidates, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., left, and former Vice President Joe Biden, right, participate in a Democratic presidential primary debate at the Gaillard Center, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020, in Charleston, S.C., co-hosted by CBS News and the Congressional Black Caucus Institute. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Democratic presidential candidates, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., left, and former Vice President Joe Biden, right, participate in a Democratic presidential primary debate at the Gaillard Center, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020, in Charleston, S.C., co-hosted by CBS News and the Congressional Black Caucus Institute. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) (Patrick Semansky/AP)

Like David Zurawik, I was astonished to hear Chris Matthews rant about Sen. Bernie Sanders (“Matthews only part of larger failure," March 4). I, too, grew up in Milwaukee during the ’50s and early ’60s, and I can remember my mother talking politics and being delighted with our socialist Mayor Frank P. Zeidler and his policies.

As youngsters in the 1950s, we kids had our choice of parks. In the summer, my cousins and I learned chess, played volleyball, baseball and four-square at nearby Pulaski Park where we also learned new songs and with great delight took in our first play with songs from the traveling theater wagon.

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Although our family didn’t have enough money for tennis lessons, I used to watch the games. My younger brothers got to play in the shallow pool just for the little kids. Once or twice a season, the whole neighborhood showed up for dancing on the baseball field with a live band under the stars.

Sometimes, we’d go to Jackson Park on Sundays when it was warm so we could swim in the huge pool. Fourth of July’s were spent here because we got free ice cream and my sister and I always won silver dollars in the races. Porches were filled with cousins and neighbors as we watched the fireworks.

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Socialist Mayor Zeidler’s parks and the care of our clean and lovely tree-lined streets gave us a treasured childhood. We also enjoyed going to the socialist library and using the post office. It was democratic socialism at its finest.

Janice Sevre-Duszynska, Towson

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