Robert R. Fenichel


Emily in the 1960s

from Deborah (Shiling) Messing

Emily and I joined the Congress of Racial Equality in 1960.  We participated in a number of sit-ins at segregated restaurants in Baltimore, from 20-cent hamburger joints to fancy upscale restaurants.  Motorists shouted and spat at us.  It was a time of lost innocence, but also a time of feeling part of something larger than ourselves.  When we sat in at the Double T Diner in August of 1961, Emily and several other demonstrators were arrested for trespassing.  I was there too, but I was too young to go to jail, so it was up to me to telephone my parents with the news.  I remember thinking that she was getting off easy.

There is an epilogue to Deborah's story.  Emily's case came to trial in November 1961.  She and I were dating by that time, so I came down to Baltimore to attend her trial, providing moral support, gaining points with Emily and with her parents, and seeing Southern Justice in action, perhaps red in tooth & claw.  On the morning of the trial, we ran a little late, so Emily and I hurried into the courthouse while Emily's parents parked the car.  We were dressed as we thought people dressed for court.  We may have been holding hands.

As we entered the courthouse, and before we had said a word, the clerk just inside directed us toward what turned out to be the marriage bureau.  Why else would a young white couple be in the building?  We missed a chance.  One thing led to another after that, and Emily married Philip G. Schrag on 7 June 1964.

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Philip & Emily enjoyed themselves at Tanglewood (UN_02, July 1964) and elsewhere, and by the time of the Yale Law Journal banquet in April 1967 (WW_15), Emily was very pregnant.  On 1 May 1967, less than two weeks before the birth of their son David, the Schrags went to a costume party at the White House.  Philip went disguised as a Man In A Suit, and Emily went as the Great Pumpkin.  Emily had hoped that her water would break onto Lyndon Johnson's shoes, but it didn't happen.

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(ST_07: aide, John Tyler, Emily, LBJ, aide, Lady Bird, Philip, dead white male, Lynda Bird [official White House photo, subtly colorized])

Emily was not charmed by labor and delivery (NS_04), but she started enjoying motherhood a few minutes later (NR_19, and on in NS_01 and WM_16 [these photos all by Philip Schrag]).  Indeed, Emily often said that nursing infants had been the best of all her life experiences.  Food was good, sex was very good, but nursing was best.  I wouldn't know.

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(NS_03: David at Emily's breast, 31 May 1967)

Under the elaborate rules then in place, fatherhood reduced Philip's risk of being drafted from very high to very low.  Philip and Emily discussed naming their baby Woodrow Wilson Schrag, but they finally decided that the reference to the successful campaign slogan of 1916 ("He kept us out of war") was too obscure.

The three Schrags moved to New York, with interspersed vacations to Wales (NY_05, 1968) and Grand Teton National Park (WX_03 and WX_04, 1969 [I was climbing Mount Moran dominating the background of WX_03at around the same time that these pictures were taken, but enlargement adequate to reveal my presence has not been attempted]).  As the decade drew to a close, Emily was pregnant again (WX_05, December 1969).

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