Observations #1,####NMI4~444#####4144.####044#~04~0~444#4.044 Since 1866 The Place in Austin GOOD FOOD GOOD BEER 1607 San Jacinto GR 7-4171 Yah, Yah Now and then I acutely regret that I do not regularly read the editorials in the daily newspapers of Texas. Had I not glanced at the relevant page of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram for March 13, for instance, I might have missed that paper’s editorial advocating more “two-year community colleges” to provide the excellence in higher education of which all civicminded Texans dream. Anticipating, perhaps, the probability that some left-winger would express doubt about the excellence of most such colleges, the Star-Telegram added this clincher, separated from the edutorial by a little white space: “Money isn’t everything. Harvard, the nation’s richest college, plays mediocre football.” Texas Forever I was shocked this morning \(although my son showed me his prospective curriculum for the seventh grade. All seventh graders take six required courses, including Texas history. People move around this country ceaselessly; why waste a whole year’s learning period on one-fiftieth of the nation’s history? My wife studied Arizona history for a year in junior high; but even so, she is not planning to vote for Goldwater. I have an article before me in the Texas Outlook, “Let’s Teach Texas,” written by a school teacher in Portland, Mrs. Betty Hoeber. In her outline for “A Unit on Texas for the Second Grade,” Mrs. Hoeber included the item, “Learning the pledge to the Texas flag . . .” Not having known there was one, I wrote her, and she has helpfully advised me that she once learned from some material handed out at the State Capitol that the legislature in 1933 passed an act providing for the “salute” to the 14 The Texas ‘Observer SUBSCRIBE OR RENEW THE TEXAS OBSERVER 504 West 24th Street Austin 5, Texas Enclosed is $5.00 for a oneyear subscription to the Observer for: Name Address City, State This is a renewal. This is a new subscription. Texas flag, to wit: “Honor the Texas flag of 1836; I pledge allegiance to theeTexas, one and indivisible.” Mrs. Hoeber advises me that the words “of 1836” have been dropped. Now all that remains is for someone to turn up a pledge to the flag of Precinct 229, so that in the eighth grade, my son can have a year’s study of the immediate region where he is growing up. Three Good Men I see where B. H. Dewey is running for re-election. Like Archer Fullingim, I’m not going to start messin’ in local elections; I’ll leave that to ‘the big-city businessmen who pour money into the campaigns of conservative rural candidates through what they appropriately call PIPE \(the Political I will say this, that Brownie Dewey was one of the most conscientious watch-dogs of the state treasury and the general welfare who ever served in Austin. On this job I intend to do a lot of stories I never do get to. One of them I think of as “Thiee Good Men.” I have been covering state legislatures, on and off, since 1947, and when I look around the House of Representatives now, I miss these three good men. One of them is Zeke Zbranek of Liberty, the author of the lobbyist registration act that passed in 1957, a fighter for control of the loan sharks who would never have caved in under the pressure the. way most of the 1963 legislature did, and one of the shrewdest microphone stylists who ever tied his opponents in knots with their own arguments. Zeke voted wrong on race, those were the days when all the East Texans did, or nearly all of them, so I guess he won’t be making any statewide races now. He ran for the Senate, and PIPE did him in. The second one is Charles Hughes of Sherman, who has had more to do with the genesis of progressive legislation in the Texas legislature for a longer time than any recent member. Charley it was who first proposed an industrial safety law and kept fighting for it every session. Charley it was who helped Zeke lead the fight for lobby control. Charley it was who survived the casualties taken from among the old Gas House Gang who fought the sales tax. Charley never wavered ; he was the people’s man from Sherman. PIPE got him, too. And the third of these good men is B. H. Dewey. I hope Texas politics has not become so much a question of organizations and pressure politics that we ever forget the contributions to the goodness of being alive in Texas that these three men and some others like them made out of their own goodness and would make again, if they were given the chance. Al Price of Beaumont As long as I’m talking about local elections, I’d like to mention Al Price, a sociology graduate of Morehouse College and a former Air Force pilot and jet captain who has discontinued his further education at Lamar Tech long enough to run for the legislature from Beaumont. COPE endorsed the incumbent, Jimmy Weldon, because labor generally endorses incumbents who usually vote liberal and because Weldon is a union man from his district. But doing so, they made a friendly statement about this young fellow Al Price, who is a Negro, and who is totally immersed in the civil rights movement. Price is the sort of young man who will figure in Texas politics as long as he stays in Texas. There is no doubt he is a natural born politician because his hand starts shaking yours before he says hello. He is Weldon’s only opponent. Some years back when Sen. Henry Gonzalez asked his fellow senators, who speaks for the Mexican? who speaks for the Negro? he answered his own question by the act in which he was then engaging, his filibuster against the segregation bills of 1957. At the time the idea of a Negro being a member of the Texas legislature seemed outlandish, it was so improbable. Seven years later, Al Price of Beaumont believes he has a chance. Judge Owens and Oil The issue in the contest for railroad commissioner is the most clear-cut Texas voters have been offered on oil policy in many years. Judge Jesse Owens of Foard County is running on a straightforward platform of increasing Texas oil production allowables. He says he would “utilize statistics prepared by objective sources such as the U.S. Bureau of Mines in arriving at market demand figures, rather than accepting the projections of major purchasers , alone in setting monthly allowables.” He says the major oil companies seek to reduce oil production in Texas so they can increase it in other states where they own more of the oil and abroad so they can import it into the U.S. at higher profits. And that’s true; that’s what they are doing. Owens’ opponent is John Connally’s appointee, Jim Langdon. No doubt Langdon is a good guy; it’s just that he confuses what the majors say they want with what’s best for the people. He can’t seem to get the two separated in his computations. His campaign is based on his statement, “To
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Texas Professor Leonard N. Moore’s “Teaching Black History to White People” is a memoir, history lesson, and instructional manual.