When I was a kid, living in the Bronx in the 1950's - there came one night a knockin' on the front door. My father ushered me back into my own room, but curious, I was able to sneak back down the hall and peek into the living room: Two well-groomed, beefy men that I had never seen before, in dark suits, were facing me.
My father and mother were standing near the piano, and talking in low voices to these men. After a few minutes, my father walked them down the hallway and showed them out. I could tell, by the way my father was talking that he was angry - but I couldn't hear what they were saying.
I came back out into the living room and asked my father who these men were. My parents then told me something odd and scary: the men were from the FBI. The FBI? At the time, the FBI were only known to me as great gangster hunters.
My father continued: They were canvasing the neighborhood and asking certain questions.
Questions about what, I wanted to know. My father told me that he had once supported, in some way that wasn't entirely clear to me - some newspaper that was associated with some group that was associated with the Communist Party. And that there was this guy - this Senator McCarthy - and he was causing all this. I asked my father whether he was going to be sent off to jail and he assured me that that wasn't likely - but that I should realize that we were going through a rough time in the country - and to remember what it felt like to have the authorities knock on your door at night.
Of course, what brought this to mind were recent reports of the FBI Interviewing Protesters.