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ADIOS TO W.M. AUSTIN W.M. will no longer be a sought-for by-line in the Texas Observer*, although his ghost will, I suspect, haunt the barnlike offices at 504 West 24th in Austin. Willie Morris has lit a shuck for California. To judge by Willie’s relatively few years, he has a busy life ahead. Born 27 years ago in Mississippi, he soaked up the regional courtesies and sentiment and somewhere acquired a humor for the pixie prank. In his tender youth, he was cornetist in a jazz band and announcer in a Yazoo City radio station, where he fooled the credulous, without discrimination, Orson Welles style. For instance, radio listeners were allowed to believe that the baseball games they followed with much interest and wagers were occurring as the games were described by radio, although in fact they were already played and Willie was making like an excited eye-witness reporter, while reading from a script. To add spice to this job, young Willie conceived the idea of calling the police station, where a crowd of betters and sweaters was wont to listen to the games. Speaking by telephone in a hollow voice, he introduced himself as a phantom whose mission was to give out tips as to the results of future games. He then “predicted” the exact score of the game about to be played. An hour or two later Willie went on *Yes it will.Ed. the air reading the script before him: “It’s a hit! It’s a hit! It’s in the air! It’s on the ground. He’s touching second, he’s at third! HOME!” The open-mouthed police station crowd was fairly spooked and Willie’s amusement was unconfined until the chief began answering the phantom and slamming down the phone. At the University of Texas, Willie took a degree and a Texas girl as wife and met his first editing and writing tasks. He distinguished himself as editor of the Daily Texan, a college paper that produces such good editors that they usually emigrate for work. As a graduate, Willie went to study in England, where residence and reading enlarged his vocabulary and his view of history; and the medical men delivered his son for 84 cents. Willie returned two years ago in time to relieve Ronnie Dugger, the diligent and doughty editor of the Observer, who, like Horatius at the bridge, eventually got tired of holding off the barbarian hordes. As editor, Willie Morris gave the Observer an individualistic, judicious direction, outstanding, without a doubt, in intelligence and perspective and brilliant in exposition of his point of view. His copy occupies a high place in the order of good writing found in the small, go-to-hell, gadfly journals that have blossomed in the desertBrann’s Iconoclast, 0. Henry’s Rolling Stone, Mewhinney and Young’s Spectator, and Hol comb’s State Observer, all before the Dugger and the Morris Texas Observer. Those who stir themselves over the times and customs should take a long look at Willie Morris as he rides off into the setting sun. His is one more in the continued exodus of persons who might give the state distinction of mind and soul. We hear frequent mention of the loss to Texas of the untaxed heritage that we sell for pottage to the empire states. Oil and gas and sulphur and insurance premiums and interest on loans and dividends on stocks are, it is true, what makes the mare to go; and it is natural to wonder why, with thickets and dry country to cross, we feed mares in another man’s remuda. But this material loss is nothing as compared to the waste of human wealth the thinking, creative people that we have not yet learned to put to use. Such is my view of the departure of Willie Morris from the state where he has studied, loved, and worked with constancy and a peculiar genius. I also ssee him sometimes in vignettes of my memory . . . as when in an ancient cantina re surprised the international company assembled there, by borrowing, with courtesy, the professional trumpeter’s horn and blowing a long blast of pure Dixieland bugle notes until the night was full and the mesquite shook on both sides of the border. TOM SUTHERLAND Connally, Then Shivers Curious Coincidences The Texas Observer An Independent-Liberal Weekly Newspaper A Window to the South Volume 54 TEXAS, NOVEMBER 16, 1962 15c Per Copy Number 32 Compulsory Patriotism AUSTIN In 1961, the 17,000 members of the Ex-Students’ Association of the University of Texas learned that, somehow or other, John Connally, who . had just been appointed Secretary of the Navy, had been named the sole outstanding alumnus of the University to be honored that year. Among the four such honorees thrown forward by the arcane processes of the organization this year, the political noteworthy was former Governor Allan Shivers. Associates and supporters of Ralph Yarborough, the senior United States senator from Texas and also a University of Texas ex= student, could be detected wondering, thereupon, what gives? First, Connally, whose possible roles in Yarborough’s re-election contest in 1964 are a topic of considerable, agitated speculation; then, Shivers, whom Dick West, the Dallas News’ leading polemical editorialist, says is known to be considering opposing Yarborough in 1964. Could the selections of the non-olitical ex-students’ asociation be subject to justified criticism that they had been politically motivated? “Yeah,” says Jack Maguire, ex ecutive secretary of the association. “I think there would always be a criticism. It’s awfully hard in an alumni body of this size to make these awards without being criticized.” Maguire thinks that politics should not be a consideration in the matter. He volunteers, without elaboration as to his meaning, “I thought their \(the selecting comhave been improved upon.” Asked directly if politics has been a motivation in the selections in question, he says, “I don’t think it has been, deliberately. I think it has been, accidentally. At least it hasn’t been on the part of anyone that I know of.” How It Happened Recipients of the award must be U.T. graduates, and they must have made outstanding contributions to higher education, the U.T. Ex-Students’ Assn., and their own profession or business. Each y zar all deans at the University are asked to name candidates from among their respective graduates. Connally and Shivers are graduates of the law school, but, says Maguire, law dean Page Keeton did not make any nominations in 1961 and 1962. Any ex-student may nominate candidates, and both Connally and Shivers were nominated in this way. Maguire says that this year, for the first time, ordinary members will be invited to make nominations through the association’s magazine. Yarborough has not been nomi-‘ nated. “I would say to any indiguire says, ” ‘You could nominate one, two, ten, any numbereach nominee is considered.’ ” The nub of the matter is who makes the selections: a sevenperson committee, appointed by the association’s president. In 1961, the year Connally was honored, this committee was chosen by John Holmes, president of the Holmes Drilling Co., an oil drilling firm in Houston, and the president of the alumni association that year. He was chairman of the selecting committee; other members were Texas Supreme Court Associate Justices Ruel Walker and Joe Greenhill \(the latter a close political associate Jones, a district judge in Austin; then U.T. Chancellor Logan Wilson, then U.T. President Harry Ransom, and Maguire. \(DUMAS The American Heritage Program is establishing a beachhead in the classrooms of the Texas Panhandle, whose wealthy school districts have been ready for it. First to emphasize patriotic and spiritual indoctrination of its students is the Dumas Independent School District, supported by tax dollars from the owners of one of the richest Connally: ‘Controls’ AUSTIN Gov.-elect John Connally had slightly surprising things to say about governmental c o n t r o 1 s, spending, and peace the first week after his election. To a meeting of the Texas Farm Bureau in San Antonio, he said the exodus from the farms must be stopped “at all costs.” In the course of congratulating farmers for adapting to change, he remarked: “And we must learn, like it or not, to live with governmental controls. In a complex society such as ours there are going to be governmental controls. But they should not be carried to the place where we expect automatic answers to all our problems.” Touring t h e anti-screwworm sterile fly factory at Mission with 100 legislators, Connally endorsed state spending for the project in language that could have wider implications. “I am strong for this program,” he said, “and as governor, although I am wanting the state government to operate as efficiently and economically as possible, I feel that whatever is necessary to complete this job should be made available.” Addressing 1,000 persons, mostly students, at a Veterans’ Day speech in Hillsboro, Connally said the U.S. is the strongest nation in the world and added, “All of us are deeply involved in the search for peace.” Plans for his inauguration were announced. They include a political function the night before the day of his swearing in on Jan. 15. It will be a $25 a plate affair, with 5,060 expected. The parade will follow the swearing in this year, instead of preceding it as heretofore was customary. A reception will replace the usual ball. Land Cmsr. Jerry Sadler, noting that he carried Nueces and Harris counties, said he has a mandate to “keep thinking like I’ve been thinking,” that is, he seemed to mean, to continue opposing the Padre Island legislation; but he said he would listen to any responsible citizen and to legislators. Cameron Cty. Judge Oscar Da ncy, who has held that post 40 years, predicted the legislature will pass a law with provisions identical to the national Padre legislation. natural gas fields in America. For the last two months classroom teachers and school counselors at Dumas have been trying to define “Americanism” and concoct a program to drum it into the minds of 3,100 students. They have until Jan. 23 to come up with their version of the basic principles of this country’s heritage. The Dumas project, described as the first “total” American Heritage Program in Texas, is patterned after the one used in Lampasas schools, according to Dumas School Superintendent Joe Scrivner. It will be “fused” into all 12 grades with the entire faculty of 175 teachers participating, Scrivner said: apparently it is a more ambitious attempt than the one at Lampasas. “Most school systems in Texas have confined programs to a few weeks out of each year, or to the higher grades in the school systems,” Scrivner explains. Dumas students will be taught spiritual values and patriotism in addition to reading, writing, and arithmetic, but American Heritage enthusiasts stress that in selecting Dumas as their first Panhandle project, they don’t mean to imply Dumas students are undernourished patriotically and religiously. They do contend that Dumas graduates may be potentially stouter patriots than other area students if other schools in the Panhandle do not adopt such programs. Kerr in Amarillo The head school administrator at Amarillo, 60 miles south of Dumas, was less than enthusiastic about Christian evangelist Walter Kerr’s “Y outh Force for God and Freedom.” Kerr, who established contact with 150 school districts in the state in an effort to enlist help in organizing his “Youth Force for God and Freedom,” had Amarillo’s 29,000 public school children within his range of influence, provided he could convince the faculty. The former Methodist minister told more than 1,000 Amarillo public school teachers and administrators that schools, now in a stage of cultural transition, must understand that the “task and cause of education has changed and moved into a new stage.. .. It is time the young people of America know the sacrifices, moral and spiritual foundations that make us great.” Schools must now accept teaching which leads youngsters “to construct a bridge to freedom” as a, new cause and objective, Kerr told the faculty. Kerr said he had hoped to talk to about 300,000 youths and youth workers this fall in Texas. Prior to Kerr’s speech, Amarillo school superintendent Bob Ash