Tnem.oriat Hundreds of thousands of Texans have already paid John Kennedy’s memory homage on Elm Street, near the Triple Underpass, where he was slain. Millions of Americans and citizens of the other nations will go there in pilgrimage as long as there is civilization. In the name of those we have been among, who have driven the fatal curve, and walked the witness grass, and studied over the flowers, in the name of the grieving faces and the energyless hearts, the Observer calls upon the city fathers of Dallas to construct a Kennedy Memorial there where the President was shot. Mayor Earle Cabell of Dallas favors Dallas citizens giving money to a fund to erect a monument in Washington. He opposes building a memorial near the Triple Underpass. Perhaps the Dallas power structure does not want a memorial there, and wants the place unmarked, and the fact that the deed was done there, if not forgotten, at least not unduly remembered. In all understanding but in all earnestness, gentlemen, we say that the people want this monument there. No matter how politicly yousinint the siibject off your agendas, and no matter how many study committees you have come up with reasons not, the people want their monument to the President right there where he was slain. Two schoolboys put up a flag there and stood guard on it themselves, in their R.O.T.C. uniforms. Flowers from stores and yards and fields appeared on the grass unbidden in wild colors like shattered rainbows. Every day people have come to stand on the scene there. Thanksgiving and weekends since the death, they have driven by in their cars three abreast in steady streams, past and over the place where he was killed. As we left Dallas we saw that a picket fence had appeared from somewhere, to put the flowers on. Under fire the President hallowed that place forever. Let the fact be known for all to know and not forget. Of all that has been said about him nothing sounded out so true as this, that he was our first president who became a martyr for peace and freedom without having to fight a war to do it. He was the second great emancipator. He is with Lincoln now. Think of all the monuments there are in Texas: monuments to many men of innumerable names meaning much to few. We know that grief is no argument in how to proceed, but we would be shocked if the leaders of Dallas permitted there to be any basis for the belief that they are more concerned about the Dallas image than they are filled with respect for the fallen President. Let us have our monument to him, there where he fell. 2 The Texas Observer 5he Sutiect It is too early to assess the subject of Dallas. This will take more inquiry and reflection. One cannot yet be sure, either, whether Dallas is doing something about itself, and if it is not, whether it will. We do know that some of its leading citizens are very determined that something shall be done. But there is a distance to go. Dallas too long has been daily fed a diet of suspicion and reactionary demagoguery by the Dallas News to become in a month of words a shining city where people say forth without fear. A school teacher paying homage to the President there where he fell gave a reporter a statementand then tearfully withdrew it when her mother said she’d be fired by the school authorities if she stood by it. She went away crying and insisting, “But mother, I didn’t say anything.” We have in hand a letter from another Dallas teacher : “This letter is not for publication. I’m a teacherand teachers of liberal bent are circumspect in this school administration. . . The teachers in this system just don’t speak out.” Last weekend Mrs. Elizabeth Cowan, 25, married, and a fourth grade teacher in Dallas public schools for five years, was suspended by Supt. W. T. White for a letter from her published in Time Magazine. She has not been told that she violated any rule. School authorities told her, she said, “just that they think I signed it as a teacher, and since I was a teacher, I implied I was speaking for all the teachers of Dallas.” She signed the letter, she said, with “just my name.” However, she said, “I started a sentence with, ‘as a teacher,’ and that was i t. f I In the sentence in question, Mrs. Cowan Incorporating the State Observer and the East Texas Democrat, which in turn incorporated the State Week and Austin ForumAdvocate. 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 Strewn. Tom Sutherland, Charles Alan Wright. Staff Artist. Charles Erickson. Contributing Photographer. Russell Lee. Subscription Representatives: Austin, Mrs. Helen C. Spear, 2615 Pecos, HO 5-1805; Dallas, Mrs. Cordye Hall, 5835 Ellsworth. TA 1-1205; Fort Worth, Mrs. Jesse Baker, 3212 Greene St.. WA 7-2959; Houston. D.Irs. Shirley Jay, 10306 Cliffweod 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; Tyler, Mrs. Erik Thomsen. 1209 So. Broadway. LY 4-4862. The editor has exclusive control over the edi of wrote : “As a teacher in Dallas I have tried to instill in my students a respect for the leaders of our country.” The theme of her letter was this: “The city of Dallas paved the way for the tragic event here.” So the mother of the teacher at the assassination scene was right. The teacher who wrote to us was right. Mrs. Cowan learns to her sorrow. It is not enough that, under pressure of publicity, Supt. White and the school board reinstated Mrs. Cowan Monday. It may be a good sign, but real damage has been done. Consider the implicit warning to every teacher in Dallas: Say something civic, or keep your mouth shut. If this is the way the Dallas power structure means to shine up its image again we do not say that it is; we only fear that it isthen we must conclude that the leaders of Dallas do not know that there is a relationship between the image and the reality. They are not two different kinds of things, existing apart from each other. A true image cannot be conjured by public relations men, no matter how slick they are. The only image of value is the image that reflects the reality. The only honest way to fix an image is to fix a reality. Don’t the gentlemen know this? NO VOTE The Observer suggests that citizens of this area abstain from voting in the con gressional runoff of Dec. 17. Neither Jake Pickle nor Jim Dobbs should be the congressman from this Democratic district ; why vote for either? torial policies and contents of the Observer. None of the other people who are associated with the enterprise shares this responsibility with him. 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 $5.00 a year. 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 tnd allow three weeks. THE TEXAS OBSERVER A Journal of Free Voices A Window to the South 57th ‘YEAR ESTABLISHED 1906 Vol. 55. No. 27 7480 December 13, 1963
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