Your Democratic Candidate for LT. GOVERNOR “HONESTY IS STILL THE BEST POLICY”. Reduce high taxes State utility commission $75 monthly pension at 65 HDQRS.: 1901 RALEIGH AVE., AUSTIN A TEXAS SNAKE TALE Victoria Youth Caught Plenty of Copperheads; Grandstand View Of a Bull Fight VICTORIA There is something about a copperhead that is even more frightening than a rattler. Probably it’s the silence, particularly when 40 or 50 of them are huddled close together many with their tongues flicking the air nervously. bit Jimmy got away.” Mrs. McClendon was referring to her 21-year-old son, who recently entered business as a professional snake hunter in Victoria. We were looking over the catch he made the week before one caught him on the ‘second finger_of his left hand. In a cage nearby was a baby armadillo; outside the garage was a bird cage full of lovebirds ; another cage contained a non-poisonous snake ; surveying the whole serenely was a large brown boxer dog. “Jimmy’s always been crazy about all kinds of animals,” Mrs. McClendon explained, waving a hand to illustrate her point. “My friends have been calling up wanting to know, “Why in the 3Arorld do you let him do such a thing?” Mrs. McClendon smiled. “They do hot know that boy. He hasn’t changed a bit. He’s up there in . the hospital right now, worrying about getting this shipment of snakes off to a Florida venom farm. The man from Laredo is scheduled to take them when he hauls in a load.” \(At the Observer’s request, Kay Crews of San Antonio has written a report on the San Antonio Little Theater. It may suggest proceilures to other communities that want to set up a local 0 SAN ANTONIO The San Antonio Little Theatre looks back with pride, and a bit of nostalgia for past-and-gone thrills and pleasures,’ upon the achievement and progress of_ over a quarter-century. In its hi -story of thirty years, SALT, the familiar abbreviation for the organization, has had seven. full-time directors, and perhaps six temporary ones, or “pinch-hitters.” First there . was Carl Glick, followed by Coates Gwynne, Frank Beckwith, Joe Clay Roberts; William Courneen, Jean Longwith, and Joe Salek, who arrived in 1949 and will definitely be kept as long as he will stay. In thirty years 135 plays have been produced with Settings designed and executed for each, some of them outstanding from a professional viewpoint. Originally productions were scheduled for one -night playing, gradually increasing to two, three, four, and now in the 30th season to five nights for the annual musical in May. There have been notable hold-overs, the most recent being for “Mister Roberts” and “Sabrina Fair.” For years only five plays were produced each season, but in 1950 the schedule was arranged for six. EMBERSHIP IN SALT has grown steadily, but has really boomed in the past six years since Salek’s superlative direction has provided entertainment that is as nearly professional as one will find this side of Broadway. Among those memberships, as conspicuous examples of patronage for the sake of theatre itself, there are 15 angels at $100, 22 sustaining members at $50, and 240 patrons at $25, all of whom contribute from $9.00 to ‘.:4.00, at least, beyond J IMMY was doing just thatworrying about the snakes. The husky youngster, his left hand and arm swathed in cold packs, lay in his bed. A few days’ growth of goatee added to his devil-may-care appear. ance. A magazine opened at an article on snake hunting and raising was on his bedside table. His hunting accident happened, he explained .,, when he slipped in some loose dirt on a river bank. “He was a pretty good size copper, about 26 to 30 inches. I had his neck in my left hand and hi’s tail in my right when I slipped. “I tried to sling him away, but he got m, with one fang on the finger. I almost shook loose, but he got hold of me again with both fangs …. held like a snapping turtle …..until I managed to toss him halfway across the river.” Jimmy explained that he “bled the bite” in a matter of seconds,”applied a tourniquet and was in the hospital in a matter of minutes. His hunting ground is only a short distance across and down the Guadalupe River from Victoria’s city park. “It was a tough break,” Jimmy said. “We’d only been hunting 25 minutes and it was a good day Cdpperheads were everywhere in the trees. Have you ever seen them ? They’re sure pretty right after they shed. their skins.” The Victoria youth was incredulous at the suggestion that maybe he should consider going into some other business. “Why,. we haven’t made a dent in them yet, building pens out at the edge of town and after we get San Antonio Little. Theatre; Achievement, Progress the price of the DOuble-Membership book of twelve tickets, two for each show. It -is also worthy of note, showing community reaction, that of this membership, about two thirds are solely interested in being audience. As a forerunner to the organization of the present Little Theatre in 1925, Mrs. J. H. Bindley and a small group worked for several years .to , establish the ‘movement in San AntoniO. This group, with no available, funds for charters and organization, met and rehearsed and produced in barns, carriage-houses, home parlors or borrowed buildings, always progressing a little further each year. They even procured the money to join a one-act play tournament in Dallas by producing “The Goose Hangs High” in a rented hall, and then walked off with Second Place for their play, “The Last of the Lowries,” and an award for Mrs. Bindley as Best Actress of the tournament. IN 1925, WITH Mrs. John M. Bennett at the helm, a Charter was obtained, and the San Antonio Little Theatre was organized. Carl Glick was employed as professional director, and the first play, “Captain Apple jack, ” went into rehearsal. There was still no permanent home for necessary, activities, but with the usual . ingenuity, the group set to work to find sonie . place. An old building in the courtyard of St, Mary’s College was renovated and dubbed the Green Gate Theatre, and it housed the first play. Immediately, however, the inspired group planned, and together with other artistic enthusiasts, prevailed upon the City to build a theatre. In 1930, and not until then, this building stood an achievement : the San Pedro Playhouse on a beautiful and prominent knoll in San Pedro Park. On January ’22, 1930, with Mayor Chambers as Master of Ceremonies, and a houseful of important the copperhead shipment filled, I’m going to rattlers.” Rattlers are more lucrative than copperheads, apparently because a there is more demand’ for rattler venom: They bring $1.50 a pound, while the copperheads are worth $1.50 each. ,Since the rattlers get so big in Texas, and are much more plentiful, Jimmy expects to make more money when he handles them. He hopes to sell nine or ten thousand pounds of rattlers annually. He’ll hunt on Matagorda Isle, at a large ranch near Tivoli, and at several other infested areas if he can get permission. “Most people are glad to give permission to come in and hunt snakes,” he explained. He wants to learn about other prospective hunting grounds. Jimmy indicated he was getting anxious to get out of the hospital and resume his copperhead hunts. “We got 22 in one morning, about four hours hunting,” he recalled. Back at Jimmy’s home, his mother added that his copperhead hunting success was particularly surprising because “all of those caught have been broadbanded, when his snake’ books said there wasn’t any of that kind in Victoria County.” Although she still seemed a little reticent about Jimmy’s snake hunting business, Mrs. McClendon indicated she was becoming accustomed to the idea. “When he hunts rattlers on. Matagorda Isle, it looks like I’ll be the one who’ll. have to go down and haul them back in the car,” she said. BOB BRAY guests from town and out-of-town, backed by encouragement in the form of telegrams and messages from famous personages, toast to coast, the San Antonio Little. Theatre opened the San Pedro Playhouse with. Ferenc Molnar’s “The Swan.” In the dedication of the Playhouse, the mayor said it was built “for the pleasures of all people, and in the interest of all arts.” For ten years following, the San Pedro Playhouse was rent -free to SALT, lights and heat being the only charge, and all activities allied with production were in the hands of Little Theatre member s. Times have changed ! Now rent is paid for rehear-. sals and performances, equal to that paid by other individuals and organizations, and union stagehands are a must. Therefore SALT’s predominant dream is a home of its own. There is a Theatre Building Committee on the Board of Directors, and a Building Fund which in four years has grown to $12,000. \( Next : How the Little Theater THE TEXAS OBSERVER Page 6 May 9, 1256 They Threw This Fellow in the Ring KENEDY The scene was in Monterrey, Mexico. It was New Year’s clay.. A friend and I had been visting the interesting landmarks around old Monterrey. We visited the saddle shop, the leathergoods shop, Sanborn’s restaurant, La Louisiane, and the fish market. Finally we decided upon going to the bullfights. There were some matinee ‘idol bull fighters on the program. The crowd was to pick the best one. There are two prices for the aficionados, the cheaper seats on the sunny side, the more expensive on the shady side. We thought the tequila would bother us least on the shady side. While waiting for the fight to start, we noticed unusual activity across the ring the sunshine. They weren’t waiting for the matador to begin. the entertainment. A few roustabouts at the top of the stands were shaking up their cerveza bottles until they worked up a good fizz and then running back and forth Dan Strawn spewing beer bver the unfortunates below. Others had red powder, a type of paint; in little bags. These funsters would throw the powder about over a large area below them, giving the victims a crimson hue and a peppery disposition. All this was accompanied by much guffawing and several screw:41s. There was one fellow below in a neon red satin shirt who seemed to require special attention the boys upstairs saved their grapefruit for him. A considerable number of the funlovers had evidently broken into a dynamite store, considering the noise they made. They tossed their giant firecrackers into the masses below; pause; gigantic explosions ; screams; clouds of black powder smoke. This lasted about half an hour. The police were evidently enjoying these little jokes, for they, made no attempt to interfere. Eventually, however, the pranksters went too far. One of them’ threW a beer bottle and conked _an aficionado on the cabeza. The federales swooped down on the audience, picked up the closest suspect and hustled him off to the calaboose. Just before the fight started we had the halftime ceremony. Dozens of luscious Latin-American senoritas paraded around the bull ring in convertibles. They were dressed in gorgeous Spanish costumes. Then they climbed up into the stands and ensconced themselves to watch the proceedings. A Mexican cola sign in the middle of the bull ring, made of red sand, was swept up and put in a bucket before they let the bulls out. After the fights started the shenanigans ceased, except for one fellow they kept throwing into the bull ring. He would climb back out and they’d throw him back in again. They finally got too tired, or too drunk and left him alone. To the fights: as I said, it was New Year’s day, and they picked one of the bullfighters as the best one. I recall that several bulls were killed. It was a memorable afternoon. Business Was Good Until One Caught Him “Well, there they are,” said my silver-haired hostess, Mrs. D. 0. McClendon. “I don’t even like to look at them,” she shuddered, but she still stared with fascination into the new four-foot-square pen where the copheads were imprisoned. “The 9ne that A Miniature SALT History
You May Also Like
The documentary in Falfurrias is sinister and spiritual.