you and invites you in with a flourish. A battered car of 1940 vintage sports a “Viva Kennedy” sticker left over from the American presidential visit. I see the face of sadness under .a grey-white turkish towel rebozo, madonna and nun in a woman who walks her harsh life in imperturbable dignity. A woman seated on a onelegged stool selling cheap rings looks through me with black Indian eyes. A sick woman with the yellow skin and bloodshot eyes of liver illness leans her head cm her hand as she sells me a basket made by hours of intricate weaving. The tubercular coughs of passersby. A professional beggar sitting on the sidewalk just wide enough for two to pass, whining his request for alms in high unceasing monotone. Is that a leper?that one-legged old man with threefourths of his face splotched with the white? A girlsells me a Mexican-marble ashtray. “Where do you .get your merchandise?” I ask. I look on the bottom of the tray and say, trying to be funny, “I don’t want to get something made in Japan.” “The people make them,” she answers sullenly, looking at me in hate. “They are not made in Japan.” She charges me according to the bills she glimpses in my purse. When I try to snap a picture of the driver of the mule cart, he tosses his head, raises his whip, and lashes his mules on, so that I am unable to capture the local color of him on film. I am jostled unceremoniously, at times forced off the narrow sidewalk into the narrow street, where prickly pear apples, smoking tamales, fluid candy, all kinds of eatables are being consumed with gusto by the crowds without concern about bacteria. A tourist asks her husband, “Can I get my shoes shined, honey? It only casts a nickel.” Shoes cost 168 pesos a pair. At less than a peso a shine, it would take a long time for the shoeshine boy to save enough to buy himself a pair. SHACKS LE AN against one another. A lovely Moorish castle, painted blue and white, with white iron lace and outside staircases winding up from the particolored tile patio, rises from the squalor like an Arabian Nights palace. Home of the richest man in town or house of sin, no matter. A bright yellow schoolhouse sits rather valiantly on spindly supports by the side of the road toward the interior. A truckload of prickly pears, a marketable food popular with natives when fried or boiled, rumbles by. A Mexican sorts out a herd of goats and cows, driving the goats down one lane and the cows another. The mud huts follow one after another, their yards swept clean, rusty buckets of mossrose hanging on rusty wires by the apertures that are doors. There is a curious absence of dogs and cats, especially cats. Might they be on the menus listed as conejo del cielo, or “roof rabbit”? The one irrigation canal you see is a deep-carved stream so sluggish it is almost stagnant, clogged with filth and debris, permeating the countryside with odor. Nothing grows along its banks or from the water Jim Presley, a reporter now living and working in East Texas, sent the Observer a copy of a letter he wrote to Price Daniel from Crockett, Tex., on Dec. 27, 1962. He said in part: “Dear Governor Daniel: “I heard over the radio yesterday that the State of Texas has four men on Death Row in Huntsville awaiting execution. I would like to note that only you of all persons in the world stand between them and the electric chair, with the next execution scheduled shortly after the beginning of the new year. “Along with possibly a majority of Texans, I consider capital punishment an outmoded means of fighting crime, but most of all it is a system whereby society takes a life which it does not and cannot give. I should like to implore you, as a leading Christian layman, to consider these men’s lives and to ponder on the power you hold over them. . . . “This is the Christmas season. In the celebration of Jesus’ birth we can do no greater good than to turn to our fellow men, in the manner exemplified by Christ, with forgiveness and humility. No one is more lowly than a man on Death Row, counting the feeble minutes. No one is more able to lift these lowly men it carries. Is the land of milk and honey really just across the river? THE AMERICAN TOURISTS go brashly about, storing up conversation pieces, seeing nothingthe non-seeing eye. The Mexican n a t i o n a l s walk through the filth and contamination of the streets in -quiet pride that apparently nothing can take from them, the sadness of the day and of all centuries written on their faces. With the all-seeing eye their ancestors carved on their pottery and altars, they watch the vulgarity of their visitors with indifference. And you have that curious, careless rape, each nationality of the other, simultaneously, at Reynosa, on the border. than the governor, by giving them back their natural lives. “If I may, I would like to presume upon my status as a citizen and taxpayer to remind you of applicable scriptures. Colossians 3:13 tells us: ‘even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.’ On the cross Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them; for they }wow not what they do.’ In St. Luke we find the admonitions: ‘Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: Give, and it shall be given unto you. . “What more generous and appropriate gift could the Christian governor of this state make than to commute these men’s death sentences to life imprisonment? I feel certain there could be no possible political considerations in the situation, no chance of your being harmed by such a noble act. Furthermore I do not feel your successor could be as generous and compasionate in such circumstances. “I truly believe such a humane act would provide a fitting climax to your illustrious career as governor of this great state, an act which would be long remembered in history and possibly serve as an example for January 24, 1963 9 PROGRESS REPORT 447,
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