Some Damon Runyon Types ‘Things Is Tough/ Says Chicago Joe As He Melts Into the Galveston Night GALVESTON “Things is tough,” my drinking companion observed as he peered 4-hrough the near-darkness at a row of empty bar stools. The speaker was Joseph \(Chicago Rainbow Club, an open saloon situated about a block from Galveston police headquarters. Upstairs are the Rainbow Rooms, longtime isle bawdy house that was closed a few days ago on orders of Mayor George Roy Clough. The hour was 3 a.m. on a Sunday, and even then, Joe was glancing nervously toward the door ‘as though he feared the local gendarmes might be by momentarily to cart him off to the pokey on another vagrancy rap. The mayor, for some obscure reason, has recently taken offense at Chicago Joe’s $50,000 IN BRIBES GALVESTON Mayor Roy Clough of Galveston !,..ays he has turned down more than $50,000 in bribe offers since taking his office. He said they came from “everybody from madames to contractors wanting to do business with the city. It’s enough to convince me that Galveston is suffering from the curse of the political payoff.” A prospective -cleanup candidate for district attorney, Jim Simpson, said he would not run in 1956 because he can’t get enough money to make the race. AUSTIN Holding Carter is one of those fellows the newspaper leads identify as “Pulitzer-prize winning.” What he says would, be listened. to, therefore, regardless of what it was. Since he is also a leader of a field of moderate liberals in the South, and since he has stood his ground where it is hardest to do so, in the Mississippi Delta, he was listened to even more than might have been customary as he made more specific the meaning of the “gradualism” he advocates on a recent swing through Texas. In a speech before a gathering of University of Texas students and faculty, he said it would have been allright with him if the Supreme Court had waited 20 years before it handed down its integration ruling. “It’s not what I think about what it should have been, but when it should have been and if it should have been,” he told a questioner. “I would have liked to see the decision not come for even another 20 years of the progress we were having.” The decision, he believes, has brought to a halt at least two decades of racial progress. It had “abstract morality” on its side, and there was “an international need.” “I can’t quar rel with the morals of the decision, he said. But now Southerners should stop arguing the point, accept the remoteness of integration in the Deep South, and work for better schools and a sounder economy, he advised. The Deep South states will resist integration “for a long, long time,” he said. “Very few NegroeSwill be in the white schools in the South when and if it does happen.” CARTER is s a. short, pudgy man, light on his feet, and very seri: ous, though he is given to an occa, sional anecdote with a serious point. He was introduced simply as “the South’s fighting editor.” N When the Mississippi Legislature, iv a heavy vote, had called him a liar, he called them all liars back. “That’s Mississippi,” he said. He said that from his vantage point of 20 years as editor and publisher of a small city daily, he had watched “a warm and hopeful and heartening transition in the South,” but that since the Supreme Court’s integration deci .; activities and has decided he should go back to Chicago. Just as we were preparing to draw some elaboration from Joe on why “things is tough,” the phone, rang, he answered it briefly, then hastily departed into the night. The barmaid, possibly noting our disappointment, explained that “Joe’s very busy these days.” She said the bawdy house upstairs had dosed because of “too much bad publicity” but graciously furnished the address of a place that wasn’t shut down. Joe, a pale, slit-eyed ex-convict, who admits to one armed robbery conviction and was once caught on the isle with 108 “redbirds and yellowin his safety deposit box at the bank,’ -didn’t return to his club that morning. He’s been there infrequently since, although he’s still an isle “business man.” Joe’s experience with Mayor Clough is reminiscent of that of Jo Jo Balch, a bawdy house male madam, who several weeks ago was forced to pack his gladstone and flee the city limits. The mayor put out a standing order that Balch ‘should be “vagged every 24 hours,” which at a maximum fine of $200 daily could take a great deal of the profits out of Jo Jo’s questionable operanions. After digging up a couple of fines, Jo Jo moved to the mainland. Chicago Joe, Jo Jo, the controver In Which Hodding Carter Discusses His Homeland sion, especially in the Deep South where Negroes are in a majority, there has been “a tragic and accelerating deterioration in race relations.” Since he moved to Mississippi, he said, there has been -a revolution of mechanization on the farm and induStrialization of the city, along with other changes, some social, some political, some moral: “a growing awareness of man’s responsibility for his fellow man, a growing if grudging willingness to share human rights with another.” He conceded some of this progreis has been with prodding and by apPeals to “something other than our morality,” but by and large the changes were accepted willingly “until the Supreme Court handed down its historic decision.” What brought the Souththe Deep South, the “black belt”to its present’ pass ? he asked. What are its legacies, both good and bad ? He suggested some areas of cultural contradiction, with “the presence, in considerable numbers, about one out of three, and under long established and resented patterns, of the Negro in the Deep South” as the key to each of them. First, he said, the South was one of the earliest cultures in the U.S.’, cosmopolitan, urbane, but it was ‘at the same time “a frontier society for good and bad.” This was because of its overdependence on a primitive, onecrop economy which rested “on the backs of Negroes, slave and free.” Second, the South has the most homogeneous group in the U. S., with common occupations and long citizenship, yet it still has “the largest unassimilated and unassimilatable, in the ascertainable future, racialgroup in the country.” The Southern Negro has remained “a person apart,” he, said. \(In a question period, he alluded to a “historical tendency” of “lights” to voluntarily “herd” with others likeThird, the people of the South love land and the home place more than those of other areas, yet in this region there are more landless people and land waste than in any other. This again is ascribed to the one-crop system resting on cheap Negro labor. Bob Bray sial mayor, hiniself, and literally dozens of others who have played roles in the’ Galveston Story are men and women who could haveinspired a.Damon Runyon classic. Some of .them are T. J. Parker, Margaret Lera, Anthony and Vic Fertitta, Police Commissioner Walter L. Johnston, WilMitchell, State Rep. Jean Hosey, former mayor Herbert Y. Cartwright … Parker, the original male madam of Postoffice street, is the only one of the group who has ‘not been on the island in recent months. His three houses were raided and he, his girls, and their procurers were arrested by Police Boss Walter Johnston more than two years ago. Parker had supported Johnston’s ‘opponent, Ambrose Luko AUSTIN A Texas Department of Public Welfare advisory committee has until Monday to make its recommendation to the department on the revocation of the license of Girlstown, U.S.A. State witnesses at a three-day hearing last week testified that girls in the home for neglected girls at Whiteface, Texas, had on occasion been beaten F OURTH, while they are “a kindly folk to the stranger,” South erners are “the most, suspicious of any Americans of outsiders who come to challenge their economic, social, or political patterns.” “We pride our selves on our gentility. In Mississippi it’s said a man will be polite to you until he kills you. Yet we have the most violence statistically in the country.” The South has developed a “dual systen -i of justice” under which economic and social conditions breed crime among Negroes and the white group is indifferent to crimes committed by Negroes against Negroes. In Mississippi in 1955, for example, 20 white persons were killed by white persons, but 186 Negroes were killed by Negroes. Fifth, Southerners have been patriotic Americans except for the four years of the civil war, “a patriotic, martial people,” and yet they are “most defiant of the national authority”but only when the racial systems have been threatened. Seventh, Southerners take politics more seriously, intensely, and personally, and yet they have set more obstacles in the way of voters than other states residence requirements, requirements for interpretations of the Constitution, and the like. Finally, Southern individualism is strong, a concept of personal honor persists, yet in political and social thinking Southerners have permittedthemselves to become “the most regimented” people in the country by the promiscuous use of the accusation, “Subversive !” Carter ranged over a wide area on this last ‘pointfrom condemnation of the McCarran Act to assertion of the fact that by 1948 either law or the Republican and Democratic platforms embodied many of the proposals of a leading “subversive” of the twenties, Norman Thomas. Carter said he was told he could not address the faculty at Mississippi State because of his convictions about integration “gradualism,” and he pled for a lowering of the “barriers we have put up among ourselves against any intelligent dis-, South.” vich, for police commissioner. Attorney for Parker and his prostitutes was Jean Hosey, who subsequently de.! feated Kugle and is now state repro.; sentative. tified in federal court that as a bawdy house madam she male payoffs to former Police Chief Fred Ford, is still operating her establishment near 25th and Postoffice. More than four years ago, she loaned one of the top law enforcement officers $10,000. The last of the money was repaid to; her late -lest month. The Fertitta brothers, successors to at least part’ control of the fabulous Maceo gambling syndicate, are making plans for re-opening the famed Balinese Room around Splash Day. Christie Mitchell, the island’s incomparable publicity man, whose. diplomatic job is one .of the toughest in the worldtrying to keep the gamblers at peace with the pressis optimistically preparing for a “big year,” although elections sometimes force limitation of gambling activities.and bawdy house operation for a few months. \( Next week : with brooms, sticks, and straps ; that one girl was punished by having her right arm bound to her side ; that a 12year-old girl was forced to smoke cicrarettes and became sick as a resul b t; and that two girls eight and nine years old were forced to wear diapers all day in front of the other girls because they had “acted like babies.” Miss Amelia Anthony, founder and director of Girlstown, who was named outstanding woman of the year in 1953 by the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, denied that the girls were subjected to “mental cruelty” and “unusual punishment.” She said she had seen no whippings that left marks or bruises. Defense witnesses attested to her faith and integrity. Welfare department allegations that the institution has not had a responsible governing board, that Miss Anthony does not have a suitable temperament for the governing of small girls, and that the ,institution’s accounting methods are open to question were also debated. John Winters, director of the department, gave the institution notice of intention to revoke its lkense on January 3. The advisory committee will make its recommendation on the issue to the board of the department. HAZING \(Continued from Page Dr. Albert A. Tisdale at the University Health Service told the Observer that , during traditional “hell week,” when pledges are being put through their paces by the active fraternity men, the service treats pledges “rather regularly” but for ‘injuries usually not severe. Tisdale Was glade to see some movement afoot to stop hazing. Fraternity leaders call the suspension “rather severe,” and it may be appealed. The point is made that the game in whiCh Eamey was injured was not vicious, and that the hazing was relatively mild. The committee also specified what it called “the almost total lack of responsibility” among the’ fraternity’s chosen leaders and its “general scholastic deficiency” at’ the university for six and a half years. These were weights in the committee’s decision to suspend the chapter. Earney, who made AP’s Little AllAmerican football team in 1951 when he was playing left guard at Schreiner Institute at Kerrville, got out of the Army in September, had been in the paratroops a year. He says he has been ostracized “completely” by his f raternity brothers. Is -he against hazing? “You’re damn right,” he replied. THE TEXAS OBSERVER. 1IL&RCH 1956 PAGE 5 A Southern Editor on Integration Girlstown Fate Debated
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