AUSTIN Less than a month after they had started their international tour to “sing for peace,” three young troubadours from San Francisco were jailed in Mexico and then deported as communist agents of the Castro government. One of them said, “Our only contact with the Cuban government was to shake the hand of the Cuban ambassador at a party.” The peace minstrels are Mike Gramlich, 34, Dave Freiberg, 23, and Miss Sandi Roodin, 22. Gramlich is a Marine Corps veteran of seven years service, a graduate of George Washington University in international communication, and a guitar teacher in San Francisco. Dave is a part-time college student and ari employee of the Southern Pacific Railroad in San Francisco. Miss Roodin is a recent graduate of San Francisco State College with a degree in education. Freiberg and Miss Roodin are also guitarists. The trio has a sizeable repertoire, mostly folk songs, and their theme song is “Shalom Chavarim” “Peace, My Brothers.” THEY ARRIVED in Austin this I week, broke, somewhat confused by their treatment, but still singing wherever they could find an audience, which included the University of Texas Folk Music Club, several private parties, at the Sunday services of the Quaker and Unitarian groups, and the Hillel Foundation, a Negro student co-op, and the Christian Faith and Life Community. Their first effort to sing at a white girls’ dorm was rebuffed by a matron who told them “the music hour is past.” This is their account of being evicted as “spies”: They left San Francisco Feb. 4, serenaded a day in Los Angeles, four days in San Diego, then to Tiajuana, where they caught a second class bus to Mexicali, where they boarded a second class train to Mexico Cityliving on nine pesos a day for the three of them. “It can be done, if you don’t mind being uncomfortable,” said Gramlich. “One peso will buy six tacos; a peso will get you six beautiful oranges.” “We had everybody on the train singing with us,” said Freiberg. “And we sang to the townspeople where the train stopped. They couldn’t understand the words. but they knew what we meant. You could see the change come over their faces. We learned some Spanish, enough to explain that we were traveling for the sake of peace and brotherhood.” In Mexico City, they sang for the University of Mexico and for the American Friends Service Committee. They also sang for a meeting of a group called “Movement for the Liberation of Mexico” and for a meeting “in honor of some Nicaraguan general who had died,” and apparently it was these last two dates that brought the singers under suspicion, although, as Gramlich explained, “all we did at the first meeting was go in and sing.” They didn’t get to the second meeting until. 10 p.m. and found the Cuban ambassador. speaking. Gramlich recounted: “We had just finished breakfast and were getting ready to go out to Mexico City College to sing for the students when three plainclothesmen from the immigration service knocked on the door and said they wanted to see our pasSports. They kept our papers and took us down to headquarters, interviewing us separately. They took a group photo of us and individual photos, and released these to the newspapers. “We were held in their office until one o’clock the next morning, then they took us to the ‘International Hotel’jailwhere we stayed until six o’clock. Then they whisked us out to the airport. Just before take-off we were allowed to make our first telephone call, but we couldn’t get through to the U.S. Embassy because it doesn’t open until 9 o’clock. r REIBERG said: “Our sympa thies aren’t particularly with Cuba nor with the invasion force. When they were questioning me, they even asked if there were an all-out war between the U.S. and Cuba, which side would I be on. I said, ‘The United States, naturally, that’s my country.’ He said that was the right answer. It was all pretty ridiculous.” RELIABLE REAL ESTATE SERVICE Arthur Hajecate METROPOLITAN REALTY CO. 4340 Telephone Road HOUSTON, TEXAS S2522.SZSZISBZS7S25E2SZS2SBZBZ.sa5zszzsza9s629S2S2.229..95?5Z2S22S22.93752S2525 S V Is IVVVV,”/VVVV’VVVVVVVVVVW” BOOKS FOR BOMBS EVICTED SINGERS A Most Hostile Visit TEXAS CAMPGROUNDS LAKE WHITNEY th e 600v br ate lounge coolest . . . on the drag 2610b guadalupe gr 7-0218 MARTIN ELFANT Sun Life of Canada Houston, Texas CA 4-0686 Picked up with them were Reuben London, a New York City taxicab driver who frequently goes to Mexico to take pictures which he then uses for lectures in this country, and Fernando Orames, a 32-year-old Colombian painter who studied under Diego Rivera. “The only brutality was that toward Fernando. They shoved him around and wouldn’t let him make arrangements for someone to look after his paintings,” said Gramlich. “They told him they were going to deport him to Colombia as a suspected communist agent. Colombia would be very, very rough on him if they did that. So far as I know, Fernando’s only crime was having us to his place as a guest.” Miss Roodin said that one of the prisoners in her cell was “a Colombian woman whose husband is a teacher in Waco. She has been there five months. She said somebody fixed her papers wrong.” Miss Roodin said that written on the wall of her cell was “Here since August 1960. Sally of California. I don’t know, I don’t care, and it doesn’t matter.” Gramlich said there is Considerable hard feeling toward the United States over the first attempted Cuban invasion and the current build-up of a new invasion army in Guatemala. He said Mexico is rife with rumors about the extremely high pay offered anyone with military training who will join the invasion army in Guatemala. Mexican officials, he said, are so eager to prove to the United States that their country is on “our side,” that they frequently react in a hysterical way. “I plan to continue my journey,” he said, “leaving by banana boat as soon as possible for Guatemala and points south, in an effort to show people that we can communicate, that there is an alternative to hatredthe alternative of love and understanding and a mutual working cut of problems. “Still, I can’t help but contrast the love and sharing evidenced by the Mexican people with whom we came in contact, everywhere, with the fear and almost hysterical action of the immigration department of the government in deporting us without hearing what we had to say.” Gramlich, as a Marine, witnessed one of the atomic bomb tests in 1952 “and it scared the daylights out of me. That may be what got me interested in working for peace. At that time, I was a great fan of Joe McCarthy, if you can imagine.” AFTER LEAVING Guatemala, he plans to continue on to Santiago, Chile, then across to Rio, then to South Africa, then up the east coast of Africa to Mecca, then through the Near East and Far East. He said, “An elderly Russian woman came up to us at our seccnd sing in Mexico and said, ‘I didn’t know the Americans cared about anybody.’ I want to do what I can to disprove we don’t care.” Freiberg and Miss Roodin will eturn to San Francisco until they get a second wind. B.S. LAKE WHITNEY STATE PARK This is the best of the state parks I can remember. Thirteen hundred acres of Texas land lie fallow here, neither planted nor grazed, and the grass is growing higher. Another twenty years and we may be able to come here to see what Texas looked like when the settlers came. Lake Whitney is splendid today, a whitecapped royal blue blending to a gallant green, rollers foaming against the solid Texas land with the sounds of the sea, roiling up a dark mud amber. Words do not have much to do with this, now, sitting here at the stone table in the early evening sunlight, typing this quickly as a gull flows above the water of such wondrous colors, and the sounds of waves, and of the wind across my ears, gentle even the clicking machine. No concessionaire runs this place; the state’s man runs it. In accordance with the custom at many Texas parks, the state sold the contract to run Whitney under a fixed financial arrangement with a merchant. According to the off-guard remarks of the man who is now the manager, J. E. Sayles, \(“The Mexicans call it sai-less, but commercial proprietors cared about was the cafe business. “The grass in the park grooved up thisa-high,” to the knees, “all except around the tables where the people tromped it down.” THE STATE bought back the concession two years ago and brought in Mr. Sayles. “We try to cater to the campers and picnickers. We closed down the cafe altogether.” He does sell a few thingssoups, sardines, crackers people might need to cook out. This time of year, he said, all his campers are Friday and Saturday people; this being Sunday, I am to have the whole 1,315 acres to myself, except for the trailers parked in the oak groves on the highest part of the hill by the lake where the campgrounds are. The sites have been well placed: in the afternoon shade of mottes of young oaks, down by the sandy beach, or up high, overlooking the lake and the distant dam. For the night I am near the water. Each COMMERCE The Observer has utterly failed to cover one vital aspect of the Bomb Shelter question. In the good old days we mused on such questions as “Which ten books, apart from a guide to edible fungi, would you take with you if cast away on a desert island?” Now critics are expected to suggest reading matter for the fallout shelter. The Observer hasn’t said a word about that, but the librarian of Auburn University has. She cheered my recent vacation with a choice little article called “Books for Bomb Shelters.” Miss Mary Brokaw wrote that “the presence or absence of reading matter might mean the difference ultimately between sanity and its opposite.” She likes euphemisms. The Bible, of course, heads the list of books suggested, but Miss Brokaw goes a step further and suggests the inclusion of the Latin Version and the Greek New Testament for a lesson in classic languages and mental gymnastics. She suggests that not just wellloved books be on the list, for “space and not time is of the essense.” Her list suggests philosophy, some well-chosen poetry, and “al place has a cement table, a cement fireplace \(providential under the buffeting winds off the electric outlets, capped against the weather. Running water can be had a stone’s throw away. If all this seems a little much and it doesa man isn’t obliged to use anything he doesn’t want. For the dollar you pay to get in, there’s also enough wood around for -fires \(a provender absent at some of the parks, such as AbiIt is sunny here, a good thing in February, but this reminds me of my peeve with people who are always bitching about the weather, hot, cold, wet, or dry, except for short spells of spring and fall when they’re finessed into finding other excuses than nature for their dyspepsia or their timorousness about being alive. It’s as though we have become cowards to nature, afraid to be wet, to be cold, to sweat, to need to warm ourselves by fires. ACROSS A SPACE ofgrass and clover a family, finished picnicking, pitches horsehoes: they clink against the stakes in the cold air. The boy who tried to fly his kite a while ago has gone away from where I saw him; his mother is walking along the brow of the land. Now she stands, letting the wind blow her dress taut across her legs and flap her black sweater out underneath her elbows as she looks across the water toward her thoughts. R.D. INSTITUTE AWARDS The Texas Institute of Letters at its annual banquet in Dallas last week awarded its top fiction prize, the $1,000 Jesse H. Jones Award, to Larry McMurtry of Archer City for his novel of the Texas cattle country, Horseman, Pass By. The Carr P. Collins Award, also good for $1,000, went to Frances P. Mossiker of Dallas for her study of Marie Antoinette’s jewels, The Queen’s Necklace. The Friends of the Dallas Public Library $500 award for the Texas book making the most significant contribution to knowledge was given W. W. Newcomb of Austin for Indians of Texas. most a necessity under the circumstances,” something humorous. Obviously we should all die laughing, over Thurbet, or Cerf, or, maybe, Mad Magazine. It might be a good idea, she says, to start storing up “mental camera scenes of the glint of morning sunlight on dew-drenched grass, or the radiance of the moon by night, and of the glory of the evening sunset. And no less poignant, the memory of good deeds and kind words.” How about Voltaire’s Candide to remind us that “This is the best of all possible worlds”? Or Browning’s “Pippa Passes,” to reassure us that “God’s in his heaven, All’s right with the world”? Or this little memory gem: “Every day in every way the world gets better and better”? “And,” she concluded, “it might be a good time to write that book you’ve always been meaning to write.” But she doesn’t say who is going to publish itor in what language. After due consideration, I’m not going to suggest a list for your bomb shelter. That should be a personal matter to be settled by you and the librarian of your choice, as the AMA would say.
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