Page 3


NOW! life insurance protection for your family during vital years… ‘Wede all premiums returned gad dividends ,e4 .. this is now possible through modern life insurance planning one of North America’s leading life companies. The new Sun Life Security Fund “insurance or money-back” plan enables you to provide life insurance protection for your family until you are 65 with a guarantee that, if you live to 65, all the money you paid will be refunded to you in full … plus accumulated dividends. Opolicy for the original sum assured, with a balance which can be taken in cash or as a guaranteed income. Call the Sun Life representative in your district for more information about the Sun Life “money-back” plan, or mail this coupon today. 11, SUN LIFE OF CANADA MARTIN ELFANT 201 Century Building Houston, Texas CA 4-0688 Without obligation, I would like more details of the new Sun Life Security Fund plan. NAME ADDRESS AGE with the SUN LIFE ASSURANCE COMPANY OF CANADA, CULTURE IN TEXAS: THE UNFERTILIZED FEMALE FIG AUSTIN The condition of culture in Texas about the year 1940, when Erna Fergusson wrote her book Our Southwest, is pretty well symbolized by a Fort Worth couple she describes: “The hotels were filled with women whose loyalty to Amon Carter’s town had clearly not deterred them from sneaking off to Nieman-Marcus in Dallas for their clothesand men who still hold out against all that as Will Rogers used to do in the movies. For every sleek and super-finished woman there was a long and loose-jointed man whose clothes looked so comfortable you could forget them as he did…For every woman speaking in clipped imported accents which could not conceal. the flat Southern a and the hard Western r, there was a chuckling cowman rolling out the lazy Texas drawl, softened with `sho’ nuff,’ and ‘how come.’ “I heard one of them, a fairly old man, to be -sure, say to another ‘Sally? She jus’ wen’ hightailin’ by here … The’ she is now.’ And Sally, who would have died if she’d heard him, turned out to be one of the most elegantly got-up ladies in the lobby …” “The old-time cowman,” Miss Fergusson notes, farther on, “was a man of action, adaptable to new conditions, not scared by the unknown. But among the manifold dangers he met and overcame were few ideas. He was shy of thought and uncritical …He dressed his wife well, sent her traveling, bought her grand pianos and plush curtains in Dodge City or New Orleans; and he accepted her taste in all things. “His grandson is quite as ready to provide art galleries … supports the churches liberally and dozens of denominational colleges. Himself a college graduate, the typical Texan pursues culture no farther, to judge by the paucity of bookstores in his towns and their offering. He leaves all that to his wife and her advisers, generally women. Grandfather’s limitations seem to persist.” This penetrating observation of 1940 was true not only of the cowman and his tribe but of well’to-do Texas families in general. We have come another generation since then, but the pattern still holds. THE TEXAS OBSERVER Page 6 October 2, 1959 WE HAVE SEEN, since the Sec” and Warld War, one of the great sweeping changes of Texas history: the shift of population from farms and ranches to the cities. Mis Fergusson’s cowman, who was then already “fairly old,” is no longer with us. We have in his stead a businessman who has been to college and who dresses like businessmen everywhere else. Such racy Texanisms as the verb “to high-tail” would never cross his mind, much less his lips. He may drawl a little; otherwise his speech scarcely diverges from the colorless American norm. He may read more than his father did, but it is mainly such stuff as “Life” and “Time.” Living in a city has softened him: he is hardly the recognizable heir of the old-time Texan, who was nearly always, however ignorant of book-larnin’, a fierce individualist, outspoken and unin ;hibited, with a picturesque vocabulary and, often, a truly poetic feeling for the finer points of swearing: rhythm, stress, sonority, and the -startlingly fresh arrangement of aged and jaded epithets. All this has been taken away from the Texas male by women. For generations, ever since the first emancipation from the spinning-wheel, the churn and the broom, the female has dedicated her leisure to the house-breaking of the male. I say house-breaking, * San Antonio Light’s “Indus try Unlimited Section,” 26 pages of stories and ads about S.A. business plus area-boosting articles by Chamber of Commerce officials and others, included many stories on firms with ads in the section. Sample headlines over news items: “Reliable Bat tery Sales Sparked’World’s Our Market’ \(on the same page with “Pearl Beer Sales Tripled in De”Coke Plant Booms” \(a fifth-of-a President Has Pleasant Problems” \(a Plant in S. A.” \(and a corner ad because that is as far as she has got. She has not succeeded in civilizing him. He is as indifferent to the arts as his great-grandfather was before him. If he is rich, he gives to the art galleries and the symphony orchestras to please his wife. If he goes to concerts and other longhair entertainments, it is for the same reason. THE PICTURE that Miss Fergus’ son gave of the cowman’s wife in 1940a pretentious clotheshorsewould not be fair, even as Charles Ramsdell caricature, today. The Texas woman has achieved impressive gains since the war: in the cultivation of her mind as well as in the solid establishment of libraries, orchestras and galleries. She knows the difference, as her grandmother did not, between a Brahms symphony and a Brahmin bull. She even knows the difference, although her husband probably does not, between Tennessee Ernie Ford and Tennessee Williams. What little culture we have, we owe to women. In San Antonio, the only city in Texas that is endowed with the mellow charm of antiquity, the Conservation Society, composed almost entirely of women, is engaged in constant and usually triumphant ing Quality in Blue Bonnet Brooms” \(manufactured by the San Antonio Broom Factory, ,A. Item for prestige building from “Texas Businessman,” advistory newsletter to Texas businessmen: “Try auto window decals for your employees. Company emblems, for the windshield, are being used on Gulf Coast. Employees like it. Some in in. dustry expect unions to do same to identify membership. Churches notably Episcopalhave used this for several years. Makes community impact, is a subtle but effective prestige builder.” Juveniles in Texas are having many kinds of troubles. In Irving, two daughters, 17 and 9, admitted they had lied. when they told police their father had been having intercourse with them. Their reason: he wouldn’t let the older sister get married. The father, 43, who had been charged with statutory rape, was released after a medical examination showed the younger girl had not been molested and she admitted she had lied. * A Dallas school teacher, 27, denied a 13-year-old girl stu dent’s story he had been intimate PARK FOR HOUSTON HOUSTON Ralph Ellifrit, city planning director, and the Houston city planning commission have approved a 13,000-acre playground and regional park at the Addicks Reservoir 13 miles west of downtown Houston. Ellifrit said the park, “for the future million’s of Harris County residents,” would contain picnic areas, overnight camping areas with water, fireplaces, and toilet facilities, golf courses, wild life refuges, horseback riding trails, and a lake for boating. The land is now leased by private individuals. The park would require city-county financing. battle to defend that charm against the unremitting onslaughts of troglodyte businessmen uenighted enough to devour their own young. But a culture that is predominantly feminine, it seems to this writer, is at best only half a culture. The very predominance of the feminine taste in all the arts is enough to make them unattractive to the healthy male. Without his active participation, without realism, earthiness, and joy in combat, we have a culture that is merely ornamental. Like the female fig tree, unfertilized by the male, it may look very graceful, but it is not going to produce any fruit. Women, God knows, for He made them that way, are born home-makers, and they have a tendency to regard culture as a continuation or projection of the taming process that they practice, with varying degrees of success, on their husbands. Just as they are willing to believe that any man who looks and ‘behaves nice in a parlor is a gentlemanto the immense comfort of the gentlemen who embark on a career as Bluebeard or as Don Juan they are likely to feel that a good painting is one that would look good in’their livingroom. Not many days ago, I read in a Texas newspaper a critique of an. exhibit of painting in which the reporter, presumably male, with her in the teacher’s lounge. He said in court that he had spurned her attentions and told her she was only a child, and she was getting back at him. * In Kingsville, gangs of three and four boys on two consecutive days jumped other boys. One of the victims suffered a broken arm; the other was beaten with a hose. * In San Antonio a 15-year-old boy who killed his father and mother with a rifle because of their persistent “nagging” was adjudged insane and driven by an irresistible impulse” by a psychiatrist, who said the parents had TV,Program Guide: Workmen, 8 to 5 ODESSA Construction workers on a 14story American Bank of Cornmerce building here can be watched by passers-by or their employers on a closed-circuit TV set monitoring them. The television screen is set up in the lobby of the bank’s present building adjacent to the construction site, the Odessa Times, a new weekly newspaper, reported. Some workers were surprised; some admitted shying away from the area covered by the camera; most took the situation in good humor, and a few were indifferent. Lee Haney said, “There’s no telling what we’ve been seen doing on this job.” Willy Washington said he avoided the camera’s range at first but doesn’t think about it any more. Paul Herdt thought it a little exciting to be before a TV camera. A cement inspector recalled the embarassment of a carpenter who fell through a wooden platform in full view of the camera, Mel Walbaum, Atlanta, Ga., who is supervising the construction project, said the TV was a morale booster and an interesting experiment in public relations, the Odessa weekly reported. made this sniffish comment on the picture that won first prize: “No doubt, the jury had its reasons for making the award. But the prize-winner is certainly not the kind of painting I would care to hang in my house!” If you do not believe painting has become an accessory to interior decorating in Texas you have not seen one of the recent state-wide shows. Painting is the art that has made the most progress in this part of the world. There seem to be a multitude of slickly competent practitioners: the fad for abstractions has been a Godsend to artists who have nothing to offer beyond a facility for restful color and design something also found among the most “primitive” peoples. My grandmother made quilts of old rags that were more creative than some of these canvases. Besides, they would keep you warm. The impression that you get, after viewing yards and yards of these large, smooth-surfaced tranquilizers at some exhibit \(they is that there was but one emotion in the artist’s heart while he labored, and that was the tremulous hope that this masterwork might blend cozily with the wainscoating in some oil baroness’s chateau. All is bland, adroit, gutless, like the avant-garde verse in the Texas Quarterly. almost asked for it by excesses of discipline. In Houston a 17-year-old Negro boy was given the death penalty on a finding of guilt in the case of a Negro gang’s sexual assault and icebox murder of a 12-year-old white boy. In San Antonio, a MacArthur High senior was charged with possession of a bomb. The case began with a warning a bomb would explode in the school. There were more than 25 sticks of dynamite involved. In Houston. Reagan High was evacuated after an anonymous caller phoned to say “there will be a bomb there promptly at 10.” * For the record, at the sugges tion of persons concerned, we wish to qualify the item, “Offinformation that New City Center, the Houston bookstore, is owned by Mr. and Mrs. Del Weniger, and that Don Snell, the painter and a teacher at the art department of the University of Houston, is not in the bookstore ‘business, as the story assumed he was. State Park Users Near Six Million