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Byron’s Big Day Vol. 55, No. 12 Tyler Byron Tunnell was coming home. Not only that, he was coming home this afternoon. Not only that, he was coming home on the first passenger train Tyler had seen, the old timers said, in thirty eight years. And not only that, he was bringing the state government with him. This was the day. Already, in Austin just the week or so before, his colleagues, co-workers, and associates in the House had showed how much they thought of him. Country folks sitting in the galleries got a tale they could tell their grandchildren, the time they saw those gifts cascaded down on the speaker and his family that noon hour, one after the other, like an early Christmas for the Tunnells .. . a silver tea service, golf clubs, a silver cake service, a sterling carving set, a coffee table, a silver gravy boat, a silver steak platter with a tree well, a silver spoon, a silver vegetable bowl, a color TV set, a Longine watch. Just about everybody was giving the Tunnells presents, the porters, the pages, the people of Kilgore, the people of Longview, and the speaker even thanked outsiders. Now the people of Tyler’s turn had come. Saturday morning the local paper had a big as life picture of the speaker on the front page and one of those color lines across the top, “Capital Moves to Tyler for Byron Tunnell Day,” with Texas flags in color flanking the headline. Tunnell Day chairman Harry Loftis, the county judge, pointed out that Tunnell Day is an entirely new event, the first of its kind in Texas. Judge Loftis said 6,000 people were expected for the program that night at rose stadium \(Tyler is the rose capital of Texas, and has a yearly rose festival, when many kinds of roses and debutantes A long time ago the trains stopped carrying passengers to Tyler, so there isn’t any passenger depot, but the welcoming throng of 200 people, including a lot of children, made the best of the freight loading ramps or just stood alongside the tracks in the desolate canyon between the whitewashed and faded red brick warehouse walls. Saturday afternoon, right .on time, the 12-car train pulled in, and the -school band in yellow uniforms and huge brass tubas struck up “Giant,” somebody daringly leaned way out from a coupling platform and waved grandly, with both his arms, in slow motion, as from a very great distance; and then the train creaked to a halt and disgorged the state government. It must have cost a lot of money to charter that train and run it all the way from Austin. One of the legislators was wondering about it, in fact. “Who’s payin’ for all this?” he asked. “Buses, trains, food around everywhere, beer. It wasn’t dry on the train! Lotsa beer.” According to Editor and General Manager, Ronnie Dugger. Partner, Mrs. R. D. Randolph. Business Manager, Sarah Payne. Contributing Editors, Bill Brammer, Chandler Davidson, J. Frank Dobie, Larry Goodwyn, Franklin Jones, Lyman Jones, Jay Milner, Willie Morris, Charles Ramsdell, Roger Shattuck, Dan Strawn, Toni Sutherland, Charles Alan Wright. Staff Artist, Charles Erickson. Contributing Photographer, Russell Lee. Subscription Representatives: Amarillo, Mrs. Imogene Williams, Rte. 3, Panhandle \(Williams HO 5-1805; Dallas, Mrs. Cordye Hall, 5835 Ellsworth, TA 1-1205; Fort Worth, Mrs. Jesse Baker, 3212 Greene St., WA 7-2959; llouston, Mrs. Shirley Jay, 10306 Cliffwood Dr., PA 3-8682; Lubbock, Doris Blaisdell, 2515 24th St.; Midland, Eva Dennis, 4306 Douglas, OX 4-2825; Rio Grande Valley, Mrs. Jack Butler, 601 Houston, McAllen, MU 6-5675; San Antonio, Mrs. Mae B. Tuggle, 531 Elmhurst, TA 2-7154. The editor has exclusive control over the editorial policies and contents. of the Observer. None of the other people who are associated with the enterprise shares this responsibility with him. others on the train, railroad lobbyists genially picked up the tab. There are a lot of these lobbyists in Austin, and they’re all nice fellows. Who, pray, was all aboard? Innumerable representatives, some senators; the governor, the lieutenant governor, the attorney general, the speaker; assorted judges of assorted high courts, including the chief justice of the Texas supreme court; the three Texas employment commissioners, the state auditor, the director of the department of public safety, the chief highway engineer, a quorum of the state insurance commission, the chairman of the industrial accidents board, the state liquor board administrator, the director of the Texas department of public welfare; officials of the board of pardons, the Texas water commission, the game and fish commission, the Texas education agency, the legislative budget board, the state hospitals; and members of the governor’s staff. All come to praise Byron Tunnell. May 16, 1963 Writers are responsible for their own work, but not for anything they have not themselves written, and in publishing them the editor does not necessarily imply that he agrees with them, because this is a journal of free voices. The Observer solicits articles, essays, and creative work of the shorter forms having to do In various ways with this area. The pay depends; at present it is token. Please enclose return postage. Unsigned articles are the editor’s. The Observer is published by Texas Observer Co., Ltd., biweekly from Austin, Texas. Entered as second-class matter April 26, 1937, at the Post Office at Austin, Texas, under the Act of March 3, 1879. Second class postage paid at Austin, Texas. Delivered postage prepaid $5.10 a year for suband $5.00 a year for subscribers living elsewhere in the U.S. Foreign rates on request. Single copies 25c; prices for ten or more for students, or bulk orders, on request. Editorial and Business Offices: The Texas Observer, 504 West 24th St., Austin 5, Texas. Telephone GR 7-0746. Change of Address: Please give old and new addresses and allow three weeks. THE TEXAS OBSERVER An Independent Fortnightly