Page 14


was told of the old Negro who was a standing joke because his pronunciation of the usual “yassuh” came out “yoassuh” instead. But who was really the butt of that joke? This is oil country, too, or at least just west of here. It was poor but beautiful farming country and woodland once. Then suddenly in the thirties it was flowing with wealth, but the wealth kept flowing all the way out of the state, most of it, and we were left with the ugliness and filth, the slush pits and polluted streams. That is mostly west of here though and I can put it out of my mind, most of the time. Kilgore is the real monument to the oil boom. Its clustered downtown derricks are a pride to the chamber of commerce, really a symbol of wasteful exploitation. Their implicit comment on the situation was best brought out in a painting done by a friend of mine, which showed the derricks of Kilgore festooned as they are every Christmas with thousands of colored lights, forming stars and spelling MERRY XMAS. He called the picture “Star of Bethlehem Steel.” This was farming country once, and forest before. Before they terraced the slopes, the topsoil flowed down the streams, bleeding the land. Now they’ve turned to pasture, and gullies are fewer, but the land remembers it was forest, and keeps on trying to be forest, in spite of poison, grazing, mowing, all of that. Give it a few years to itself and it’s on the way to timber, sassafras, and persimmon first, then pine and oak and sweetgum. Kenneth Lloyd, Rt. 1, Box 254, Henderson, Texas. Dialogue Disheartening The article on Crystal City by Mr. Goodwyn was splendid, but your editorial comment was somewhat disheartening. Recently, Eric Sevareid wrote an article concerned with the fight for freedom, which is now so prominent in the news, by the American Negro, in which he said in one succulent passage: “Liberalism of the academic and cafe society brandthe motivations of those who rhapsodize over 0 . .`”,,ace Corpsmen .server in Ethiopia or journey 6,000 miles to sit at the feet of Dr. Schweitzer, but who would never dream of visiting the night police court in their own city and observing the tragedy of the American Negrosuch impulses are going to lose their present status in the hierarchy of the virtues.” Mr. Editor, when the day of Latin liberation came in Texas this year, you were I felt “extolling the Peace Corps and sitting at the feet of Dr. Schweitzer””ME’NE, ME’NE, TE’KEL, U-PHAR’SIN.” George W. Henderson, 2410 Wendy Lane, Waco, Tex. How Can You Be So Stupid? Since you state in your paper that unsigned articles are the editor’s, I address this letter to you personally, having just finished your tripe, “Oil, peanuts, and sulAs a subscriber to the Observer for the past year or so, I have had more than ample opportunity to observe and resent your persistent, narrow minded diatribes against the oil industry. Now don’t jump to your usual shallow conclusions, classifying me as a Bircher. I too decry the purposes and tactics of the Haleys and Barnetts, as well as some of yours. You not only graphically exhibit the common frailty of ignorance, but compound it with a tenacious stupidity quite unique. Would you please relate to me what in your educational background or experience qualifies you as an expert critic of the oil industry? Specifically, I believe you have adequately demonstrated your alarming lack of knowledge of the oil industry as a whole, and more particularly of the problems of conservation in the production of petroleum. You stupidly lash out at that which you do not understand. May I point out to you that the fundamental purpose of cooperative exploitation of oil and gas pools is to carry out or make possible the carrying out of recovery procedures designed to increase the ultimate recovery of oil and gas from an entire reservoir, which procedures either could not be carried out individually, or, if carried out individually, would disturb the ownership rights in the common pool…. On the other hand, when the state, for the purpose of preventing waste, compels restriction of production rate, regulates the spacing of wells, prohibits or restricts the production of gas, or encourages the return of produced gas or water to a reservoir for the maintenance of pressure, the various owners may resort to cooperation, with an agreement as to distribution of the production, as a means of protecting their property rights and effecting certain economies that will make it practical and feasible for them to operate under the imposed restrictions. You, Mr. Dugger, might well consider if this does not bespeak of “the greatest good for the greatest number.” There is a wealth of material available dealing with this problem of conservation in the production of petroleum in the many libraries of the University of Texas. .. . No one has bestowed upon you the title, “Starry-eyed Liberal.” You have dramatically embraced it with articles such as “Oil, peanuts, and sulphur.” Don E. Weber, oil independent, P. 0. Box 561, Albuquerque, N.M. Invitation from the Admiral On May 1, 1963, while governor and lieutenant governor of Texas both were out of Texas, Martin Dies, Jr., took over the office of governor. One of his official acts, and I am sure it was one of the most important things he did, was to appoint me an admiral in the Texas Navy. I am sure that this was because it was Law Day U.S.A.not because it was the anniversary of the Haymarket Riots. Well, I’m sure it was a great honor which I rightfully deserve. That day I put on my admiral’s uniform and made ready to take over my command. But, lo and behold, I found that there is nothing but admirals in the Texas Navy, and since I had the lowest seniority, I was really worse off than I was before. I have given much thought to the matter and I have decided to do something about it. Under the authority vested in me as a line officer in the Texas Navy, I have decided to issue some battle-earned commissions, all of course, below the rank of admiral. I have already struck off a commissiony to Captain Randolph for heroic duty in the defense of the cow barn in the Battle of Fort Worth. There is a new Captain Stonewall Sewell for action in the Battle of San Antonio. Lieutenant Shapiro receives a commission for his work as a double agent in the underwater service. There will be others, for there have been great acts of heroism that need to be rewarded. Now to the point of my letter. I am open to nominations for these commissions. I will carefully consider all candidates. I only ask that the heroic deed be related to me and vouched for by at least two unquestioned Texas Democrats. So send in the names and do it soon, because I am sure when the present commander in chief hears of this, he will set my trial by court martial. Houston Thompson, Box 38, Silsbee, Tex. STAFF NOTES Former Observer editor Willie Morris has become an editor of Harper’s Magazine, in which his article, “Renaissance at Texas University,” currently appears. He and his family have moved from California to New York City. Observer staff artist Charles Erickson has lit out for parts unknown, specifically San Francisco parts. He plans to draw for the Observer from the road. Chandler Davidson, one of our contributing editors, has won a Woodrow Wilson fellowship. He will study at Princeton next September. Most of the articles are in for a special issue on the late Walter Prescott Webb, which will be out in a while. 16