Thursday, June 18th, was my parents’ 14th wedding anniversary, but I have no recollection of knowing that fact as a six-year-old. In fact, I have no memory of this day whatsoever other than my belief that the Supreme Court was reconvened to ask Manny Bloch to provide an eleventh reason why my parents should not be killed. I think I confused everything I heard about “eleventh hour appeals” with giving an “eleventh reason.”
For Michael and me this was a day of waiting. Manny Bloch and the two new lawyers, Fyke Farmer and Daniel Marshall, argued before the Supreme Court in the morning that Douglas’ stay should be upheld. The Justices retired to their chambers after the argument and had not announced a decision by the end of the day.
Our parents were in limbo. For all they knew the Supreme Court could overturn the stay at any moment and their executions would go forward as planned at 11PM that very day. They drew up their wills and wrote what would be their last letter to Manny Bloch. In what for my brother and me turned out to be a momentous decision, they insisted that Manny become our legal guardian if they were executed. But the Supreme Court remained silent that day and so they lived to see the sun rise on Friday, June 19th, 1953.
(Check back for my final posting tomorrow, June 19th, the 56th anniversary of my parents’ execution. To be notified whenever there is a new post to Out On a Limb Together, subscribe to the blog here.)