FLEX, Ltd. Facts

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  • FLEX was founded by Paul Knatz.
  • For most of its existence FLEX was run from the apartment pk shared with his wife, Hilary, son, Brian, and dog, Angus.

    The Free Learning Exchange, Inc.
    305 Riverside Drive #7E
    New York NY 10025
    (Riverside Drive & W 103rd Street)

    pk had no capital and no income. The bulk of what financing FLEX had came from Hilary’s employment at the Barnard College Placement Office.

  • FLEX’s first, best, and last volunteer worker was Noreen Connolly.
  • FLEX’s next, welcome, and invaluable volunteer was Charlie Herr.

    The FLEX logo was designed by Bob Price.

    FLEX received two grants: both from the United Methodist Women: offices at the InterChurch Center. Wouldn’t you know it, old Illich colleague, Helen Volkomener, was instrumental in both.

  • FLEX Trustees
  • Msgr. Robert Fox
    Dr. Larry Grimes
    Ronald Gross
    Rev. John E. Halborg
    Dr. Steven Marcus
    Dr. Sidney Morgenbesser
    Dr. Helen Volkomener
    Paul Goodman

  • FLEX Advisory Council
  • Nat Hentoff
    Ivan Illich
    Roy Innis
    Everett Reimer

    Deschooling scholars will recognize core Illich colleagues in the above lists: Paul Goodman, Everett Reimer, Helen Volkomener, and Larry Grimes in particular. Of course many of the above people lived all over the world. No corporate meeting was ever held. Councilors were welcome to advise.
    Actually, no advice ever came. Neither was any financial contribution ever received from any trustee or Council member with the exception already mentioned of Helen Volkomener’s role in obtaining a couple of modest grants from the United Methodist Women. Paul Goodman died soon after contributing his name. (The funding of course should have come from the public.)

  • FLEX was invited to utilize some “free” space in Hell’s Kitchen and did.
  • 549 West 52 St., ground floor
    (weekday evening 6-10)

    My typewriter was stolen.
    Noreen’s bicycle was stolen.
    One evening I found the Free Food people dumping FLEX records onto the floor to steal our file storage boxes to transport cabbages.
    Everything was routinely vandalized by Hell’s Kitchen youth.

    A liberated women’s group had the top floor. The atmosphere for public dedication was hostile: in the extreme.

  • I don’t doubt that I did everything wrong. (I had told Illich that I wasn’t the guy to be the leader. I wanted him to be the leader.) The point remains: I and FLEX’s handful of volunteers were the only New Yorkers trying to do anything to deschool kleptocracy.
  • Why ten years ago did I title this piece FLEX, “Ltd.” Facts instead of FLEX, “Inc.” Facts? I titled my corporation PK Fine Arts, Ltd. in 1974, punning on “limited editions.” But FLEX I’m sure was plain old incorporated. If anything I would have wanted it thought of as unlimited; not limited. FLEX UnLtd.
    @ K. 2001 11 07


    About pk

    Seems to me that some modicum of honesty is requisite to intelligence. If we look in the mirror and see not kleptocrats but Christians, we’re still in the same old trouble.
    This entry was posted in DeCentral, deschool, pk Teaching, social order, society. Bookmark the permalink.

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