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“BOW” WILLIAMS Automobile and General Insurance Budget Payment Plan Strong Stock Companies GReenwood 2-0545 624 LAMAR, AUSTIN Let’s Abolish the Poll Tax! Ode From Veracruz Sir: Hip, Hip Hooray and a long Huzzah for the company of Willie Morris at your writing desks. What he says so spritely and well about the kept Texas press applies generally, and with few exceptions, to the whole process of expression in . the overwrought world. P.S. Also I rise and wildly elevate My campaign hat to cheer and celebrate That politic poet, H. Mewhinney: No other verse excites me any More than his rhyming multiple Proving the passing publican culpable. THE TEXAS OBSERVER Page 6 August 5, 1960 Such art to treat banality nobly Calls for a second tequila doble. Long live Mewhinney, Willie, Ronnie! Light up the land that lies so bonnie! Up good people; down the Wicked And win the Democratic ticket! Tom Sutherland, Facultad de Filosofia y Letras, Universidad de Veracruz, Xalapa, Ver., Mexico. Mash Notes Sir: As a new subscriber, I am very pleased with the high quality of articles in the Observer. I was especially impressed by James Byrd’s article on the anecdote. Byrd did a beautiful job of depicting human nature. Douglas Cooper, Roxton, Tex. Sir: The recent article, “The Traveling Anecdote and Racial them.” The previous experiment in self-improvement for “teen and twix-teen girls” has proved “extremely successful in helping young women achieve graceful maturity,” Sanger’s announced. * An unemployed San Antonio father and his pregnant wife were jailed after they led their five children on a raid of a Good will Industries collection box. “I didn’t see any harm in taking the things,” David M. Garcia said. “The articles are for the poor, and we are poor.” He was booked for contributing to the delinquency of a minor and theft under $50. He was reported to have sat in his Contrasts In Clothing A SHROUD FOR A JOURNEY, Bill Casey, Houghton-Mifflin, 1960, 186 pp., $3.50. This, the second novel about East Texas in the last few years, like William Humphrey’s Home From the Hill reminds one of Faulkner in places, leans on almost senseless violence, and is concerned mostly with whites at the level of the white culture. Wondering while driving through East Texas why so many of the modern novels about the South dissolve, rather than resolve, in violence, we thought worth considering the possibility that in a culture based on the guilty uses of a servant class, the darker emotions are answered and relieved by violence. It is also true, though, that violence “works” when nothing else does. Casey’s writing is uneven, and one must also say careless, but he has stretches of good quality and his experiments are interesting, if too tricky a place or two. He has his own personal and convincing understanding of East Texas ways, and if he shares the Faulknerian disposition to write about familial histories and compulsions, this is also one of the large subjects in any literature. SPUN OFF, by time tricks and recollections, a two-day period in a man’s life, Casey’s theme is the violent son, searching for the truth about his also violent father. The violent end makes the whole thing pretty violent. In his search the son moves between two East Texas towns, one decaying, the other bright and full of merchants and civic clubs. The people do not mean much, meeting them in the book: what the men do is well described, but none of the ‘women make any difference. Now and then dissonant, vague, or wordy, Casey’s writings could have been improved by a little friendly editing. When Vernon, “thumbs hooked in his pockets,” in the same sentence-“hooked his . . . arm loosely around the thick waist of his mother,” and three pages later “hooked his thumbs in his tight trousers pockets,” he seemed studied, even for a literary character; nor does it seem too graceful, talking about a goat, to call it a beast to avoid calling it a goat again, even though it is still a goat. When a fellow kept the goat “within the periphery of his vision,” and “when Earl turned the ignition key and his motor stopped,” they were a little self-conscious. There is a visual difficulty in the metaphor, “a tangle of plates and cups,” and there is a digestive difficulty when, taking up a cup of hot coffee, one hapless fellow “drank down the cup.” But it is good when Casey says that some white men, drinking strawberry sodas and smoking Bull Durham as they leaned against a pickup truck in the square, “spoke with a strange shifting balance between courtesy and sarcasm,” and when a Negro called a white man’s name and mister “reflectively, not by way Bill Casey When the unhappy son’s brother drops into a Negro dance hall, one learns where Casey is. In the hall, “the dancers, black like sinful leopards, moved rapt as animals in their absorption,” and the men drank from pints of whiskey and offered the bottles to the women, who “flung their heads with pealing laughter, all white rolling eyeballs and gold-capped broad teeth.” By the time one meets “a great golden-toothed buck with a jaw like an ape,” one realizes that Casey does not know, in these passages, who he is talking about. The finest scene in this first novel is the son’s interview with an older lawman about his father. Had his father killed a man? The lawman didn’t care to say what happened 30 years ago, except that the father “was in on it all,” and did the son want the truth about himself? He tried to tell the son about our common guilt, but the son did not know about it. THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS may be said to have on its English faculty a young novelist of some promise, how much de pending on whether he becomes stricter with himself and inde pendent of the tradition that caused him to write, “the slow and purposeful impersonal bear ing down of doom.” He has a talent for shape and is only 30. R.D. * Spanish will be taught in San Antonio kindergartens eginning this fall in a project sponsored by the city’s Council on International Relations. A resolution adopted by the group said the council “believes that children of kindergarten age in learning Spanish can give vitality to the American dream of fostering understanding and affinity between and among the people of America.” A knowledge of Spanish would enable children “to share at an early age all of the different customs and traditions of the various American republics.” The Council also passed a resolution seeking the establishment of a ‘School of the Americas’ in San Antonio. The proposed school would be open to the public and would include instruction “in the Spanish and English languages, in history, literature, geography, political science, economics, sociology, art, folklore, customs, and traditions pertaining to all the 21 republics of the Union of Pan American States.” * Leo Corrigan Sr. and Toddie Lee Wynne Sr., Dallas developers, are planning three more large luxury hotels in the Far East, with a total of 3000 rooms. Corrigan has returned to Dallas from Hong Kong where he and Wynne are building a 25-story hotel costing over $12 million. Total investment for the three hotels will be near $30 million. * Walkie-talkies are being used at the Mexican border to help catch tourists who declare liquor at the federal inspectors’ station, but fail to stop at the Texas state tax station. A two-way walkietalkie at the federal station is enabling the state tax people to be on their guard and has boosted state tax revenue by around $40 during each eight-hour period it is used. The fine can range from a minimum of. $100 up to $1000, but the usual practice is to seize the unclaimed liquor and pour it down the nearest drain. * Another school, this o n e sponsored by Sanger’ of Dallas, is being established t o improve housewives and career women. Lessons will inelude instruction and movement, exercises and diet, good grooming, correct use of makeup, modeling, and “becoming fashions and how to co-ordinate and accessorize car while his wife and children, ages two through six, went through the collection box. His wife, who expects another child in September, went into hysterics after being booked and sent to jail. A patrolman said the mother and children took 12 flower pots, six bags of clothing, four pillows, one fishbowl, two clocks, one ice bag, and 25 toys. * The Yorktown high school has finally adopted a policy on. married students. Beginning with the next fall term, they will be prohibited from participating in student activities or school or ganizations. They may compete for scholastic honors, however. Purpose of the plan, reports the Cuero Record, “is to discourage high school marriages which so often result in future unhappiness for the persons involved.” Argu ing that youngsters of high school age do not realize “the serious ness of marriage,” the Record hopes to see the plan put into effect in all Texas high schools. * A fight for survival of the Grand Opera Association is now taking place in Houston, and an emergency appeal for contributions has been issued. Its president, William W. Bland, of BlandWillis Cadillac Co., said: “Unless we get $32,500, we’re out of business.” Three operas have already been scheduled for the year: “Turandot” by Puccini, “Tales of Hoffman” by Offenbach, and “La Traviata” by Verdi. “If any other city of any size in the United States can have opera,” Bland asked, “why can’t Houston? It is a pitiful situation that opera is not being supported here. The cultural progress of Houston is at stake.” * An 1800-pound Swiss bull gored a ranch worker to death near San Saba after a terrible struggle had taken place. The area where the mangled body of James Polk was found was torn up over a 100-yard radius, small trees were broken off, and clothing was ripped from Polk’s body. After a long search the bull was found and soldfor slaughter only. * A controversy has been raised in Victoria over sports in the high school. Hundreds of complaints ‘have been made that Victoria’s school system should, put more emphasis on studies. The Victoria Mirror, criticizing Trustee W. D. O’Neill for his charge that the community attack on football was being made by a “special interest group,” argued that the entire funds for the school athletic program are budgeted at $42,288 this year and come from the taxpayer’s pocket since all game receipts go into a fund that pays for maintenance and improvement of the stadium, parking lots, and related needs. * The Corpus Christi Caller Times has come out for a Coastal Bend historial society. “The indiscriminate hand of progress is fast erasing the remaining traces of its storied past,” it editorializes. The Coastal Bend, the Caller writes, “has figured prominently in history from the . . . bizarre pre-Columbian Indian coastal culture through the years of European exploration, Spanish and American settlement, piracy and smuggling, and the Mexican and Civil Wars.” *An Anderson County farmer, Charles Patterson of Slocum, has built an underground bomb ‘shelter 12 feet in diameter, with 16-inch concrete walls. His reason: ” . . . what with the world situation the way it is now . . .” *Hot inside Fort Worth’s last beatnik coffee house, a few beats took their pillows, coffee tables, and cider onto the sidewalk for a game of chess. When a man came along and started abusing them verbally they called the police. The police booked three of them \(including Pete “The the man they complained about for drunkenness. *In Beaumont, Mary Moore, 18 year-old Laredo girl 5’-7” and 36-23-36, was chosen Miss Texas at the annual contest sponsored by the Texas Jaycees. *A Negro woman homeowner, the only one in the Cedar Crest Estates addition in Dallas, saw white youths plant a twofoot cross on her lawn and set it on fire. Her husband, district manager for an insurance company for Negores, fired on them as they took out. *Applying for a Dallas permit to build air-conditioned apartments for Negroes, with a swim ming pool, LaVerne Guinn, at torney, said that whereas in 1949 only six per cent of the Negro families in Dallas earned $5,000 a year or more, today 24 per cent do. A Negro who can afford it nevertheless cannot find an airconditioned. apartment with swimming pool in Dallas, Guinn said. * A decision of the State Parks Board to name a proposed state park at Canyon Dam “San Marcos State Park” drew criticism from Rep. Ray Bartram, New Braunfels, Who favored a name specifying the region. “I would be just as much opposed,” he said, “to naming the park ‘New Braunfels State Park’ . . . I don’t believe that either city should try to take advantage of the other in this way.” The San Marcos Chamber of Commerce donated . $2,500 to the Parks Board, a cheap price to pay to have “a state park named the way you want it,” Bertram fumed. An East Texas Novel UT English Prof Writes Violent Tale of prefacing anything, but just as a kind of formula to fill the pause.” A chapter of free-verse interior dialogue is pretty good stuff. in posture Attitudes,” by Dr. James Byrd timely. Many of your readers, I’m sure, are grateful for your consistent policy of publishing articles and essays of literary excellence as well as social significance. Bob Baker, Duncanville, Tex. Sir: I think that it would be a blow to democracy for your fine newspaper to close up. I have talked to a number of college students who read it, and I know that it is helping them to think for themselves. Ava I. Humphreys, 3923 West Pickett, Greenville. Sir: I am writing to express my most humble thanks for your great courage in publishing such articles as the series, “Patman on Money.” This crusade should be carried to the nation. 0. R. Waltrip, Roseville, Calif.