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By Neil Caldwell for Tho Texas Observer_ THE GOVERNOR SAYS An In Sketch, of a Press Fourteen Reporters in an AUSTIN WE HAVE ALWAYS wanted.to attend one of the Governor’s press conferences, and last week, on half an hour’s notice, we got our chance. The Governor was in town. for a day or two \(he has been vacationing with his family in Wood-. come in his air conditioned anteroom at 3:30. About fourteen newsmen turned up and arranged themselves variously along the back wall and around an oval polished mahogany conference table at the mid-point-of the large, rectangular room. Only three of us were wearing coatsDawson Duncan of the Dallas News, 0. B. Lloyd of United Press. and the reporter from the Observer. Strange are the urgings toward respectability. Governor Shivers was a few minutes late. When he did enter I half expected everyone to rise, as they do in the President’s conferences in Washington, but nobody did. . The Governor sat down at the head of the conference table, looked around and nodded here and there, and clapped his palms down on the table. There was a silence. “Well. boys, you called this conference.” There was another silencea statement on a special session had been expected. He shrugged and said “I don’t have anything.” Lloyd led with a question on segregation, and the Governor had no comment there until there are Some further developments. One soon sees that these conferences run along on two levelsthe official, question-and-answer level, and the informal. jolly-’em-up level. We were on the official level at the beginning. To a question about a special session, the Governor said he saw no need for one now. Richard Morehead of the Dallas News wanted to know if the Big Spring antiintegration suit might have a bearing, and Shivers thought conceivably it might, but court procedure very often takes a long time, he said. In Memoriam To the Editor: Kind, courageous and generous. Wayne Wagonseller was all of these, and he was much more. He had about him indefinable unostentatious qualities that marked him as an exceptional man. Foremost among all of his attributes of character that one was apt to notice first and remember longest was his great capacity for friendship and loyalties. To his friends he was the personification of kindness, loyalty, and generosity. To them he was totally and completely generous. His good name was theirs, his time, his means, his hopes and ambitions for the futureall these he shared with his friends, placing at their aid all of his qualities and resources. Their causes became his, their success or failure his own. He vvas my good friend. Yet when views and opinions of others differed sharply from his own, he was more tolerant of those differences than any person whom I have ever known. Wayne was not hostile or unfriendly to any man. Close friends never heard him utter an unkind or critical word of any human being. He was friendly and goodnatured to all men. Though the most gifted orator in the Senate of Texas, he was modest and retiring. Texans who gather at the County Courthouses in his district will have moist eyes as they remember for years to come. Those who have seen him on statewide or national television broadcasts will long remember his tall erect form, his handsome manly but kindly face, his dark hair forming a trace of a curl, strongly reminiscent of the young colonels of the Confederacy, whose memory he adored. The fate that stopped his career at the very beginning, before he. had reached the half-way mark of the of you other fellas printed that that fella Tate said he was gonna appeal one way or the other, so it’s gonna be a long time,” the Governor said. \(This was U. Simpson Tate of the N.A.A.C.P. The Observer hadn’t printed the information yet, but The Observer wanted to know if the Department of Public Safety or anyone else had reported Klan activity to the Governor, as per John Ben Shepperd’s statement that such activity is occurring in 24 cities. “No, nobody reported that to meI haven’t seen any candidate for the Klan or for the Governor’s office, either,” he replied. This suggested to the Observer that he might be considering a race for re-election, about which many have been skeptical. So we asked if it is possible he might seek re-election. A chuckle passed through the press and the official spec”Now that’s a strange question,” the Governor said. “Possible. You didn’t ask about probability.” “That’s the next question.” “I thought so. Well, I think everything’s possible. I won’t comment on the probability other than I’m not a candidate for anything 7–today. I’m going back to Woodville tomorrow.” ADL A I STEVENSON’S visit came up. “When’s he coming?” Shivers asked. Somebody said Sept. 28. Would Shivers be in town? Well, he was going to Wyoming Monday for an antelope hunt, yes, he’d be back then. Would he see Stevenson while he was here? asked George Christian of International News Service. The Governor thought a minute and said, “I have no -aplans in that direction.” Would he have him to the mansion for-a meal? “I have no plans at all …” allotted ,Biblical three-score and ten years, was as tragic as that which cut down his heroes of another generation. And Wayne Wagonseller was a real hero. He landed on the beaches of Normandy in June, 1944, an enlisted man of the Second Infantry Division, as a crusader for human freedom and liberty. At St. Lo and at Brest he was wounded in action, returning each time after recovery to fight through to the ultimate victory. When all has been said and written about him, nothing conveys the spirit of Wayne Wagonseller better than the poem he wrote under fire on the beaches of Normandy as an infantry fighter, at the age of 23. Wayne wrote about his brother: “Rumble, artillery, rumble Throughout the night Burst near me or on me; Thou burst cannot hurt! My heart is with my brother who is somewhere beside me fighting in Normandy, “Catastrophic flushings in the East and in the West. Where art thou, my brother, East or West? Wherever thou art, my heart is with thee; Not knowing just where, my heart is everywhere. “Rumble on thy classic ditties Ye whining rockets, deathly monitors. I am there in the midst of it; Lo, conspiring with a Wonderful God eloquent in the cause of my brother.” Surely in Heaven itself there must be a special Valhalla for Wayne Wagonseller and his heroes. RALPH W. YARBOROUGH Austin Conference with Its Rituals; Air-Conditioned Anteroom At this point the two levels got sort of blurred. The Houston Chronicle’s Dick Wall, who was sitting at the back near the public’s entrance to the room, asked in a well-what-the-hell-why-not voice: “Governor, Mr. Stevenson’s speech is ‘America, the Economic Collossus.’ Do you regard Mr. Stevenson as an outstanding authority on economics?” Everybody laughed, although perhaps for different reasons. Shivers, recovering, shook his head and said “I have no comment …. You answered it the way you asked it, by the tone of your voice.” Remembering that students at the University of Texas had been forbidden from inviting Stevenson until a review of University policies led to a reversal of that decision, we asked if the Governor had any comment on the propriety of a likely presidential candidate appearing on the campus. “Of course not,” he said. “I’d never comment on ,anything they do out at the university … as. long as they follow the rules and regulations of the University, the regents.” Bill Carter of International News wanted to know if Shivers had any comment on a remark made at the Governor’s Conference in Chicago that a “lame duck governor” wouldn’t have much influence at the Demberatic National Convention. Shivers said he didn’t answer abstract questions. Carter said well, would it apply to Shivers? He said he couldn’t answer that without announcing his intentions. Well, we asked, Governor Clements of Tennessee made a remark that seemed to be directed as the daily press interpreted ittoward Shivers. Any comment? What remark was that? Shivers asked. That any person who does not rely on the party of which he is a member to select an appropriate nominee should seek another party in which to participate, we recalled. Did he think that applied to him? “No, I don’t think so.” What about it as an abstract proposition? “I don’t answer abstract questions,” he said again, and there was more amusement. A reporter asked who was being mentioned to replace deposed National Committeeman Wright Morrow. “There are almost as many for that as there are for Governor,” Shivers said. And both are equally near a solution. We’re better off without any than we were before,” he said. “I mean the national committeeman.” Laughter. Somebody asked about something Stephen Mitchell, former national chairman of the Democrats, had said, and Shivers replied: “Who’s Mitchell?” We noted that Shepperd had said that segregation is still the law of Texas, ‘Got To Do Something About while the Governor had said the Supreme Court ruling is the law of the land. Did the Governor perceive a conflict between those two views? He had “no comment upon legal interpretations.” At this point we asked about the Citizens’ Councils. “You’re full of questions today,” said the Governor. “He’s on a weekly,” Lloyd explained. “More time to think ’em up,” we added. There was a little chuckling. “Say, by the way,” said the Governor, turning to the Dallas News correspondents, “I was reading in Paul Crume’s column this morning about Garland Farmchildren are always reaching for the stara” Being removed from the realization of puberty by but a flick of time, we felt ‘called upon to defend the estate we so vividly recall. “They will do it though, won’t they?” we asked. “Yep, but they don’t often reach ’em,” the Governor said. ONCE AGAIN, what about the objectives of the Citizens’ Councils? “What are thosethey nominating people for the Legislature?” Shivers asked, No, we replied. “Where are they organ-. ized, what for’?” Kilgore, Orange, Dallas, Fort Worth, Longview, Marshall, to resist integration by legal means. “I don’t know anything about it,” he said. There followed some further discussion, rather iffy, about a special session. Shivers referred a question about the Interpretive THE TEXAS OBSERVER Page 3 August 30. 1955 status quo of the state money stipend for the integrated schools’ to the Comptroller, who has said he will pay it out unless he is stopped legally, and to Texas Education Commissioner J. W. Edgar’s office. The State Board of Education has instructed the Commissioner to pay out the money. “I don’t know exactly,” the Governor said. “There are so many news stories quoting so many people as to who found a bedsheet and who hasn’t …” He was asked about the Wyoming trip, and he listed some of the governors who will be there. Is Wyoming’s Millard Simpson a Democrat? he was asked. “I don’t know for sure,” he said. “What is a Democrat?” There was a little thicket of appreciative chortling. “I think he’s a Republican. There it would be pretty much entirely a matter of geographical location,” he said. We had run out of questions. In ancient and venerable press conference style, we rose and said “Thank you, Governor.” The dash for the typewriters, however, was somewhat more casual than one steeped in the glamorous traditions of the profession might expect. R.D. That Hook