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-Staff Photo JUDGE WILL WILSON For Politics, No &motion The one great rule of composition is to speak the truth. Thoreau Mrs. George Pc Haggard 1507 Hardouin Austin, Texas 01.11r &xtt,s Obstrurr An Independent Liberal Weekly Newspaper 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. VOL. 47 JUNE 27, 1955, AUSTIN, TEXAS 10c per Copy NO. 11 Porter Woos Conservatives Unworldly Little Marfa Cowboys from Burbank Make Super-Collossal Film of Ferber’s ‘Giant’ By BILL BRAMMER Associate Editor The Texas Observer MARFA This bleak and blissful and altogether unworldly l i t t 1 e town in the Big Bend region is besieged by sophisticates. The Kulaks hereabouts have lost some of their provincial squeamishness, as Hollywood has come to Marfa. The mysterious strangers from the West, in fact, have taken over the community, and the natives–particularly the local Chamber of Commerceare enjoying it im Taylor, Chill Wills, Jane Withers, James Dean, Monte Hale, and, until two days ago, Mercedes McCambridge. After they shot her death scene in the movie, Miss McCambridge packed up and departed. But there are hundreds of other members of the “Giant” location crewtechnicians and carpenters and cooks and truck drivers, makeup men, hair dressers, and press agents, They , have descended on this city, and business is booming. There isn’t a room left anywhere, and most of the stars have been shuttled into private homes. The drouth didn’t help Marfa’s economy, but “Giant” makes everything look rosy for a while. What strikes you first on entering the town is the current mode of dress. The townspeople haven’t changed much, but you hardly notice them. The people from Burbank, California, however, have attempted to dress like Texans, and you can spot some of the more garish ensembles blocks away. The women have been wearing such things as denims and stoles and stetsons and four-inch wedgies. One lady was even seen wearing riding pants and a turban. The men are turning out in levis and tennis shoes and English jodphurs, along with khakis and dress shirts and French cuffs. There have also been some Jungle Jim “safari” helmets. It’s something like seeing a mob of zoot-suited drugstore cowboys. Horrors! All the moviemaking is going on outside of town on various mesquite-studded and stunted ranch lands leased by the studio. It’s hard to break in. It suddenly became clear that the peoples from California haven’t heard of The Texas Observer. The Dallas News, perhaps, but not the Observer. They weren’t even impressed when circulation figures were quoted. Your agent has been twice thrown out of the location area and three times bounced back in. The AUSTIN Texas conservative Democrats were much in demand last week. The National Democratic Chairman, Paul Butler, picking his words carefully so as not to bruise the feelings of his liberal backers, wound up his Texas tour with a polite plea for conservatives to return to the fold. The Texas Republican National Committeeman, Jack Porter, didn’t have to mince his words. Speaking at an Austin Republican rally, Mr. Porter said Texas conservatives are Republicans at heart, and these maverick Democrats “unquestionably belong in the Republican Party.” “There is absolutely no doubt,” he told a reporter for The Texas muster a majority in Texas if we had these people. Only about onethird of the people in Texas vote the Fair Deal ticket year in and year out.” Porter was the speaker at a Central Texas GOP rally here early in the week, planned, he admitted, to make the most of the Butler visit and the rift in the Texas Democratic Party. mensely. Director George Stevens is here with his super-colossal location outfit for the filming of a Warner Brothers’ super-colossal story of Texas”Giant.” Edna Ferber wrote the book some years ago and made a lot of people mad. Warner brothers bought the story, and it has now made a lot of people in Marfa happy. The movie may make Texans out as buffoons and robber barons, but the local folks would probably like to see this go on and on. Throughout the town, population about 3,550, are hundreds of signs. They’re on store fronts, in showwindows, on private residences, and even on the fence posts. “Marfa is they proclaim. The Chase Some of the Lone Star Stateshaped placards are being used by autograph-hungry youngsters and oldsters. A great covey of ladies was spotted pursuing the male star, Rock Hudson, on such a mission. Hudson, an incredibly handsome galoot, signed them gleefully. There are other starsElizabeth HARLINGEN Teachers in Harlingen are barred from taking part in school board elections under a rule adopted by the school board of the Harlingen Independent Public School District. The motion came at the end of a routine business meeting of the board. It was not on the agenda. Three of the seven members of the board were absent. Dr. John Welty, a pediatrician and a member of the board, feels that the teachers should be “protected” from what he regards as the politi cal coercion or pressure he believes they are subjected to from officials in the Harlingen school system. This protection, he believes, should take the form of prohibiting the teachers from taking aily part in elections of school board members. The school superintendent, S. E. Burnett, and Welty are not on the best of terms. Welty was elected along with two others in April. It is understood that the matter is to be reconsidered at the next meeting of the board because of some objections from teachers. “Now what I am going to say is more than an invitation,” said Porter. “It is a challengeand I have been extending it for a long time to those conservative Democrat: in Texas who think as we do, believe as we do, and consistently vote nationally as we do.” Porter said it was a matter “not for bitterness or ridicule, but rather for sympathy and understanding” for the conservatives in Texas who “persist in casting their lot with the Democratic Party.” The ‘Radical Slide’ “They have tried to preserve the good things of a former era in the JACK PORTER Come on, Men …. Democratic Party,” he said _, “kr’ irig all the time it is now the Darty which has cast its lot with a radical slide toward socialism, toward Trumanism, toward Fair Deal and big city bossism. It is the party of the DeSapios and Tammany Hall, the Walter Reuthers and the CIO, the Humphreys and the extreme leftwingers.” He said conservative Texas Democrats who vote their own POLITICAL ACTIVITY BAN VOTED FOR CITY’S TEACHERS AUSTIN A Texas Supreme Court justice like Will Wilgon is in a spot if he aspires to high political office. He can’t take sides in partisan controversies because he is sometimes called upon to rule on such controversies if they reach the courts. But Wilson, a 42-year-old fellow with an itch for higher office, is making the best a it under such limitations. He is a self-styled middle-roader, and he’s playing it straight. He won’t talk about his future in Texas politics, because he can’t. He will say this: “I think the same spirit of fair and open-minded inquiry which prevails in the judicial branch of our government should prevail in the executive a n d legislative branches as well.” That leaves the way open for possible shots at the Senate, Attorney General’s Office, or the governorship. And taking it a step further, you could reason that only a middle-roader would be bent on “fair and open-minded inquiry.” Wilson went to Dallas two weeks ago and presided at the dinner for Paul Butler. He does not interpret this as taking sides in any partisan politics. “It was a dinner for all Democrats, and I run as a party nominee,” he said. He was hoping for harmony at the dinner, and he hopes the harmony pitch appeals to liberals and conservatives. He may have won some over to his way of thinking from both extremes, but then again, he may have alienated those highly partisan votes. He does think there is a place in Texas for the moderate and the middle-roader who does not represent big business or big labor. “When I’m running for office”he has run and won three times now “I can’t depend on any special groups. My campaign contributions come in a little at a timesmall ones, hundred dollar ones. It’s harder that way, but you don’t have to make any promises, either.” On Being Moderate It’s a wonder Wilson is the temperate sort in politics. Neither his upbringing nor his early political labors point to it. Perhaps it’s the result of sitting on the Texas Supreme Court for five years. He doesn’t fit the poor-boy-madegood political stock type for one thing. He was born in Dallas, attended Highland Park High School which is not exactly a poor boy’s neighborhoodand played football there. His father, Will R. Wilson Sr., is chairman of the board of Cullum and Boren, the city’s big and successful sports equipment store. He attended the University of Oklahoma, intent on becoming a geologist, and after graduation he worked on a geophysical survey along the Gulf Coast for a while. He wasn’t happy with this, so he re turned to Dallas in the midst of the depression to take a law degree at SMU. He was first in his graduating class. He joined a Dallas law firm, became an assistant attorney general under Gerald Mann and Grover Sellers, then joined the Army. He fought in the jungles of Northern Luzon with the field artillery and left the service as a major. In 1946 he ran for district attorney in Dallas on an anti-crime ticket. Dallas was then plagued with organized policy-making, prostitution, a n d gambling. After the election, his drive on crime and vice attracted national attention. In 1950, Wilson organized for his first statewide race for office, and his friends say he’s a master at this, although not anything spectacular as a speaker. “In politics, you’ve got to have a plan,” he said. “When I get into a race, I map it out like a military campaignV-Day minus one, Vday minus two, and so forth. It’s planned out day by day. “The most important thing,” he adds, “is to keep your issues narrowed d o w n. You can start out with 10 or 12, but then you find one the people respond to and you ride it hard … That’s the mistake a lot of politicians makenot keeping the issues basic and at a minimum.” He had conservative backing in 1950, and his opponent for the Supreme Court job was Fagan Dickson, wealthy Austin attorney who WILSON’S MIDDLE WAY