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TOUR OF HOMES FOR AGED FOLKS EVANT and LAMPASAS “I wonder how long it will be before we are in a home for old folks?” A middle-aged practical nurse posed this question to Edward Rogers, field representative of the State Nursing Home Licensure Section, , as’ he inspected a home near Evant. He didn’t answer. t’s Mine, 1 Tell You AMARILLO and CORPUS CHRISTI Texans at opposite ends of the state stood by in amazement last week as descendants of longtime former owners of their property came back to haunt them. In Amarillo the Choctaw Indian Nation claimed that by a treaty of 1820 a huge tract of 6.5 million acres around Amarillo should go back to them the Indians. Down at Corpus Christi residents’ received word that GenHinojosa had laid claim to 1562.5 square miles of Texas, including their flourishing city. ” The Choctaws, basing their claim on Doak’s Stand Treaty of 1820, carried their case before the U.S. Supreme Court. The disputed land included all the counties of Wheeler, Collingsworth, Donley, Gray, and Carson and parts of Potter, Armstrong, Hemphill, Roberts, Childress, Hall, Hutchinson, at a loss, helped others move into town; that he first tried to give away milk, but because they were self-respecting people and wouldn’t take it, sold it to them for a cent a quart. People who don’t like Charley Dick say he is arrogant and an interloper. For example, Mayor “Dick came here from the East, you know, to close the mines that his family was operating. We didn’t feel he was too sympathetic with our people. He wants to change our way of life … “They are following the style used in Duval, Jim Wells, and other counties,” the mayor continued. “Get at your leaders by Ronnie Dugger trying towell, take away your prestige as leaders, making your people lose faith in you. Well, I don’t think the people will ever flock to Charley Dick. He has nothing in common with our people. His way of life is just different from ours.” It is not to be denied that Philadelphia Republicans are a distinct shock to the politics of the Texas border. \(Dick has been an Eisenhower man but campaigned along with the rest of the reformers for Ralph Yarborough / Leaguers, and they send their daughter to a boarding school outside B o s t o n. Nevertheless, they and a few others, like cattleman. A. W. Gates, have assembled a group of reformers who have stirred up a mighty tempest in the local beanpot. DICK IS a blunt kind of man. So blunt, in fact, that one Old Party leader says he disrupts meetings. “These damn politicians!” he exploded one morning in his office at Reform Party headquarters. “They’re a bunch of pansies. You ask ’em their name and they want to know your affiliations.” Dick’s principal objection to the “way of life” of Laredo politics is “the absolute disgrace of bought poll taxes,” as he puts it. “My guess is that there were between 2,500 and 3,000 bought votes in Webb County this summer,” he says. There have been 17 indictments on poll tax cases in the county, some of them bearing on the advancing of money to pay poll Randall, Deaf Smith, Oldham, and Briscoe. The treaty on which the Choctaws sought recovery of the land was drawn when the massive tribe agreed to pull out of Mississippi and move to new territories in the West. Under the agreed terms, the Choctaws were ceded practically all of what is now Oklahoma and the area bounded as follows: “From a point on the Arkansas River at the Cherokee Nation boundary, up the Arkansas to the Canadian. Fork, thence up the Canadian to its source, then due south to the Red River, down the Red to three miles below the mouth of the Little River.” After .careful consideration of the matter, the U. S. Supreme Court relieved Texas Panhandle residents by ruling the land didn’t have to go lq o ack to the Indians because the Choctaws “had no valid claim.” But at Corpus Christi the taxes. \(Contrary to a reference in last week’s story, these indictments concerned Old Party people. Reform Party leaders put up bail for some of them because they had testified about practices Dick is bent on testifying before the next Legislature against the election code on poll tax erosions. “Nothing is mandatory,” he said. “Everybody is presumed to be honest until he’s proved dishonest … It takes two separate and distinct people to make the This makes two misdemeanors. Yet under the law they equal a legal vote. The law doesn’t make the vote that’s bought illegal. “I don’t know what’s so sacred about a dirty vote,” he says. “They should make the votes that result from a criminal act illegal.” TO GET to Dick’s home you drive out of Laredo on one of the AUSTIN Price Daniel is standing by the resignation he offered Governor Allan Shivers, but the senatorial speeches are dropping off because of the indecision. “Even if I sent in a new resignation, effective immediately,” Daniel said, “there is nothing to The AFL’s Program AUSTIN A state corporate income tax and increased natural resources taxes, higher legislative salaries \($7,500 for representatives and federal water program, $1 rnillion-a-year research into demineralization of salt water, increased natural resources taxes, a n d lobbyist registration are among the legislative planks of the State Federation of Labor. The federation’s executive board meeting here also approved more educational spending, higher old-age assistance, congressional redistricting, poll tax repeal, and a ban on legislators’ outside retainers. Passage of all nine constitutional amendments up in November was also urged. question was left in the air. Pancho, a 48-year-old Detroit resident and a member of the Riggers Local 575, backed up his claim with a Spanish Land Grant issued his great-great grandfather more than a 125 years ago and a land patent grant issued by the Texas Supreme Court in 1888. Paul G. Allen, business agent of Pancho’s local, said the Detroit man’s ancestors’ claims were “ruled legal \(by the Suof the various counties would not take notice of it.” Union representatives have consulted about a congressional act in Pancho’s behalf, and such a move may be instituted after the November general election. Allen, said that “Pancho is willing to make some concessions like perhaps giving up the city of Corpus Christi,” but he wants some of the other land which is not inhabited.” It happens that some of it is rich in oil and ore, he said.. potted county roads which, as much as anything, commemorate the memory of Manuel J. Raymond. The paving ends abruptly at the mounds from the old mine weathered coal-colored hills, gulleyed by the washes of decades. As you turn onto the gravel road into the old Dolores Company land you pass a naked flesh-colored hillside exposed in the midst of its black neighbors. Down the road a way past respectable enough tenant houses and shacks is the stucco estate of the Dicks, half a mile from the river &cross a flat bushy plain. There the Dicks entertain their guests in the river-fed swimming pool at the outside edge of the carpet grass. At night sometimes wetbacks creep up to the house, and the Dicks give them food and clothing and send them on. They are native here now, have taken up their claim by the river ; and Laredo will never be the same. cept it at once. The special election to name my successor does not need to be called until he does accept it.” Supplementing speculation that Shivers might accept it Jan. 15 and call a special election for later, appointing the successor for the interim, was additional talk he might accept it at once, call an election for mid-January, and appoint the successor for that interim. Ralph Yarborough, a likely Senate candidate, said at El Campo that Democrats are the only true friends of Texas farmers and small businessmen. He said the GOP veto of the DemOcratic farm bill cost U.S. farmers $3 billion and that big business profits are up 61 percent *while small business profits are down 52 percent. “I hope Texas will give the Democratic Party a half million vote majority next month,” Yarborough said. James P. Hart, an announced candidate, hailed rural electrification in a speech at Bracket\\Tulle. Incidentally he said that while the control of education must remain in the states and local governments, the federal government must “come to the assistance of the local agencies” if they “cannot give the kind of education that is necessary.” Anyone whose job keeps him in contact with the plight of thousands of the old folks of Texas is bound to consider his own future. He has a passing acquaintance with many elderly Texans who are living out their so-called “golden years” in pitiful circumstance. Rogers says that generally speaking the problem is one of economics. “You get what you can pay for” and on the state’s old age pension of $58 monthly, that isn’t much in these times. In a recent inspection trip, Rogers visited half a dozen homes to determine whether they met state requirements. They ranged from very good to very bad. The oper Bob Bray ators of the good homes took few, if any, $58 per month pensioners because they “couldn’t afford it.” Five of the homes were privately operated and the other was a charitable institution sponsored by a church. One private home, which was referred to by “guests” as the “county pore farm,” was found to be operating without a state license, despite a previous warning. Rogers put the operator on 30-day notice to comply with state laws or face charges. The home is an aging wooden barracks left over from World War II. More than a dozen pensioners live there, jammed in tiny, dirty rooms. The other five apparently passed the inspection, yet all but one of the private homes were places where most Texans would not allow their parents to live if it could be avoided. Rogers, a veteran State Health Department employee, systematically checked each’ home on the availability of attendant care and record-keeping. He even prowled through the kitchen pantries searching for roaches or other signs of uncleanliness. Sometimes cajoling, sometimes threatening, he elicited assurance from the operators that the laws would be complied with the standards of care for old folks a great deal. AS ROGERS made his tour of the homes he frequently paused to inquire about the well-being of guests, many of whom he had chatted with on past visits. There was the bedfast, gray haired grandmother who was embroidering alphabetical quilt blocks for her grandson. “A” for Apple, “B” for boy, and so on. How was she getting along? “Just with my fingers and toes,” was her pert reply. But her good cheer was only an the surface. Before Rogers left, she asked that he join her and “pray that I go back to my home or to our home above.” She was in a home that charged a minimum of $100 monthly and was thus beyond the means of state pensioners despite the fact the building was old and the furniture shabby. Across town was the dilapidated old .army barracks where city and county welfare officials apparently were directing’ needy pensioners, despite the fact the place had not met the minimum requirements for a state license. Rogers, on an earlier visit, had notified the operator of 15 “recommendations” which needed to be met before the home would standards. He noted that some improvement had been made, but the place was still filthy. The floors were covered with dirt, and a layer of dust deep enough to write in covered the bare 2 x 4 braces in the walls of the tiny living cubicles. The operator of the place at first argued with Rogers that she hadn’t “made a dime since I opened this place. I don’t need a license because this, is a charity home,” she added. But when Rogers informed her he was prepared to file charges against her, she changed her tone and promised to “get things in order” within 30 days. While the discussion was under way, a worker in the home was preparing to set the table for a family style meal, and half a dozen old timers, several in obvious need of baths, haircuts, and shaves, waited for the food. As Rogers approached one bewhiskered old gent who said he was 92, he was startled when the irate oldster demanded: “Are you another one of them priests?” Assured not, the old man’s belligerence faded. The operator explained that a priest had been paying frequent visits to the home. THE LARGEST and most elaborate home visited was a place at Evant. It was built as a nursing home and had a staff large enough to care for the guests. It did not take $58 pensioners. As Rogers prepared to leave, a slender, neatly-dressed man who appeared younger than his 88 years approached and reminded the inspector that he had talked with him on an earlier visit. “I hope I’ll be here the next time you come,? he said. “Oh, you’ve got a long way to