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s FOE _ ,1 THE PEOPt tr” …:… . LI ‘ 0 ma., f r 114W jimmpel –_ —, –=,——–, __ _.., . …,, _ c ,.. _ Ei 1w 4 ra 1.1.11, , , _ , .–___ z-7 -* -7–72-‘7-__,. ——,, _ …. __. TEXAS sERvER ..,,.: The Texas Observer Publishing Co., 1987 Vol. 79, No. 19.1.rfrt ……. September 25, 1987 Copyright 1987 by Texas Observer Publishing Company. All rights reserved. Material muy not be reproduced without permission. . PUBLISHER Ronnie Dugger EDITOR Dave Denison ASSOCIATE EDITOR Louis Dubose EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Kathleen Fitzgerald LAYOUT: Layne Jackson CALENDAR: Kathleen Fitzgerald EDITORIAL INTERN: JoAnn Evansgardner, Lexie Murray, Stephanie Roth WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Richard Ryan EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD: Frances Barton, Austin; Elroy Bode. Kerrville; Chandler Davidson. Houston: Bob Eckhardt, Washington. D.C.; Sissy Farenthold, Houston: Ruperto Garcia, Austin; John Kenneth Galbraith, Cambridge, Mass.; Lawrence Goodwyn, Durham. N.C.; George Hendrick, Urbana, Ill.: Molly Ivins, Dallas; Larry L. King, Washington, D.C.; Maury Maverick, Jr., San Antonio; Willie Morris. Oxford, Miss.; Kaye Northcott, Austin; James Schwartz. Galveston: Fred Schmidt. Fredericksburg. Robert Sherrill, Tallahassee, Fla. CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Bill Adler, Betty Brink, Warren Burnett, Jo Clifton. Craig Clifford, John Henry Faulk. Terry FitzPatrick, Bill Helmer. James Harrington. Jack Hopper, Amy Johnson, Michael King. Dana Loy, Rick Piltz, Gary Pomerantz, Susan Raleigh. John Schwartz, Michael Ventura, Lawrence Walsh. CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS: Vic Hinterlang, Bill Leissner, Alan Pogue. CONTRIBUTING ARTISTS: Eric Avery, Tom Ballenger, Jeff Danziger, Beth Epstein, Dan Hubig, Pat Johnson, Kevin Kreneck, Carlos Lowry, Miles Mathis, Ben Sargent, Dan Thibodeau. A free journal of voices We will serve no group or party but will hew hard to the truth as we find it and the right as we see it. We are dedicated to the whole truth, to human values above all interests. to the rights of humankind as the foundation of democracy; we will take orders front none but our own conscience, and never will we overlook or misrepresent the truth to serve the interests of the powerful or cater to the ignoble in the human spirit. Writers are responsible for their own work, but not for anything they have not themselves written, and in publishing them we do not necessarily imply that we agree with them because this is a journal of free voices. Managing Publisher Cliff Olofson Subscription Manager Stefan Wanstrom Publishing Consultant Frances Barton Development Consultant Hanno T. Beck , The Texas paid at Austin, Texas. Subscription: one year $27, two years $48, three years S69. Full-time students $15 per year. Back issues S3 prepaid. Airmail, foreign, group, and bulk rates on request. Microfilm editions available from University Microfilms Intl., 300 N. Zech Road, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48106. Any current subscriber who finds the price a burden should say so at renewal time. No one need forgo reading the Observer simply because of the cost. Copyright 1987 by Texas Observer Publishing Company. All rights reserved. Material may not be reproduced without permission. POSTMASTER: Send form 3579 to: 600 West 28th Street, #I05, Austin, Texas 78705. INTRODUCTION Women’s Voices THE YOUNG WOMAN, child in her arms, approaches the doctor’s office and knocks. She is in a small North Carolina town, and for all she knows, she has found the only general practioner. And her son is crying because his ears hurt. The door opens just a crack and a burly man in her memory he is well over six feet tall stares out at her. She says, “My baby has an ear infection. I need some she thinks about what a mistake it was to offer an immediate diagnosis. Doctors hate to hear diagnoses from people who haven’t spent the time in medical school that they have. The burly man says, “Twenty plus. And whatever I prescribe.” She’s got the twenty plus, so she is let into the office. The general practitioner works out of his house. In his living room a few house guests watch silently as the doctor leads the mother and her son, and the young woman’s older sister who has come along, into the patient’s room. The sheets on the bed are disheveled from the previous patient, or from someone. This is not a comfortable clinic; something tells the mother she does not want to be here. Then the doctor looks at the two women and says, “Now which one of you is the housekeeper?” He is asking them to change the sheets on the bed. The women are slightly stunned by this. But the baby needs attention. The task falls to the one without her hands full; the doctor leaves the room. From the next room they can hear him talking with his friends. He seems to be taking a long time to get back to his patient. The boy is restless. He begins to play with a model train the doctor keeps in the room. When the doctor finally comes back, he seems suddenly furious that the child has handled the train. He says it has been broken and asks who will pay for it. The young mother sees an unpromising test of wills shaping up. She suggests he shouldn’t keep the train in the office if he is so concerned about it. The doctor looks at her with sudden interest now, like a cat would notice a hobbled bird that dropped out of a tree. If he had a tail, she imagines, it would be twitching back and forth. “What did you say?” the doctor asks, with squinted eyes. She stares at him. “I don’t think you care anything about my baby,” she blurts out and heads for the door. She wonders if she will be let off this easily she knows instinctively many women aren’t. But she gets out the door and leaves him yelling about someone paying for his broken train. The child is still in pain and she has no medicine. What an absurd incident. She is first incensed, then, shall we say, demonstrative in front of her son and her sister, then in tears with frustration. It is in this state that two elderly women find her and immediately understand that she has gone to the wrong doctor in town, and direct her to the other one. Eventually the child’s ears are attended to. What is less easy to attend to is the woman’s aftertaste of vulnerability as a single mother she has rather more 2 SEPTEMBER 25, 1987