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restraining orders against false advertising. Legislation requiring all lenders of money to disclose to borrowers in advance the actual amount of their commitment and the annual rate of interest they will have to pay. In the field of agriculture the President has pointed out that three-quarters of those employed as farm laborers earn less than $2,000 a year in cash wages and that we should not only improve the lot of the agricultural worker but that we should use our food abundance to raise standards of living both at home and around the world. In the field of medicare the President told the Congress that our Sociil Security system should be enlarged to protect people 65 or over against the heaviest costs of a serious illnessthe costs of hospital and skilled nursing home care, home health services, and outpatient hospital diagnostic services. In the war on poverty, the President’s legislation provides important opportunitities through the Office of Economic Opportunity: It gives almost half a million underprivileged young Americansthe opportunity to develop skills, continue education, and find useful work. It gives every American community the opportunity to develop a comprehensive plan to fight its own poverty. It gives many workers and farmers the opportunity to break through particular barriers, racial and otherwise, which bar their escape to a better life. AO nowlet’s talk about the civil rights act. Who is the author of that piece of legislation? Well, there isn’t any single author. It was an angry man, John Brown, kicking over the traces at Harper’s Ferry. It was Hubert Humphrey smoothing them over on the floor of the Senate. It was Tom Paine, and it was a Republican Chief Justice, Earl Warren. It was John Kennedy dead in his grave. It was Medgar Evers, white moderates, and black extremists like Malcolm X. It was the impact of Communism on this world, prodding us to live up to our own Bill of Rights. It was Homer Rainey, Bull Connor’s police dogs, Frankie Randolph, and Jim Sewell, the blind District Judge, who can see with his heart. It was old Ralph Yarborough, God love him, up to his ears in Confederate ancestors, standing alone so terribly alone. For different motivations, it was all this and much more, but the culminating victory belonged to Lyndon Johnson. His style in triumph may not have set your heart on fire, and old memories may be a mesquite thorn under the saddle, but when the bill went to the White House, it was Lyndon’s day HERE IN TEXAS, let us rally to the good fight for the man from the Pedernales River. Let us force the great debate with the Dixiecrats in our midst who talk favorably about the tall Texan but who turn their backs on his program. Let’s keep our eyes on that package: L.B.J. and medicare, L.B.J. and civil rights, L.B.J. and world peace. And let’s get to work. El Perhaps the Old Fragrances Austin I suppose those days have been mercifully fuzzed-up by the myopic eye of time; those days tracing pristine roots to the scattered sands of fifteen years ago, when my dodge was recording the daily trivia of following history for the Midland ReporterTelegram and the Odessa American out in the flat and hostile badlands of West Texas. Surely those gone days could not have been the big blast now remembered; no doubt charity is at work in the belfry of the mind. For I was then bemoaning short shrift by fate, itching to hit the road, to seek in less parochial surroundings rendezvous with some illusive golden Dame of Destiny. The breath of the world was foul: blockade in Berlin, fighting in Korea, witchhunting in the U.S. had replaced mahjongg and Bank Nite. Reporters were paid a pittifully inadequate pittance for labors lost. Life was one series of Kraft cheese dinners and day-old pies, of sneaking late with lights muted into the exit alleys of drive-in theaters, of grunting up a lone dollar to make, prayerful wager on the football pool, of razor blades used until one shaved blood, and of covering civic luncheons where speakers told us how rich and blessed we had become under Free Enterprise. There was little to admire in our daily product. The usual publisher’s deference was paid to the narrow will of Doctor Advertiser, he of the long and potent dollar, in a land where money talked in honeyed accents and no propertied citizen need fear his name in print save for purposes of fulsome praise. 6 The Texas Observer Larry King To give due to proper devils, the American was much more the professional in its newsgathering, by the canons of the trade. But it made up for the oversight by flashing editorial policies backward enough to take stance on the immediate Right of anti-public schools, roads, parks, postoffices ; pro-McCarthy, MacArthur, strikebusting. In short, if it didn’t make money or patriotic sounds, stomp it to death before it grew. The Reporter-Telegram was too timid even to be monumentally wrong by reasons of ideology. It simply avoided all except the most puerile editorial subjects. But it did make deep bows toward the city’s Mister Bigs in reporting straight news. If an independent oil operator under inspiration of grog hopped a curb and smashed his high-finned Caddy into somebody’s stylishly-drapped mannequins, he got in the paper as “a Midland man” \(which nareven if charges were filed. It was great Saturday night sport around the newsroom, as we povertied reporters became slightly hysterical after our 16-hour stints what a mean son-of-a-bitch . that “Midland man” was and how he always seemed in large trouble. The anointed Executives \(executive is always spelled with a capital of the R-T chose to stiffen their spines and pour over page proofs during the spoofing, paying us no heed. Giving us bleak silence was better than giving us money. Yet, though recalling with clarity the cruel tortures of small-town newspapering \(petty jealousies between Courthouse and City Hall with inhabitants of each tattling to reporters on back stairs, numb backsides from sweating Council meetings longer than the Boer Wars, the juvenile inanities of JayCee luncheons where it was somehow thought to make one a Better Citizen to throw biscuits and wet napkins at brethrenof-the-lodge before watching f ilmed “Southwest Conference Football Highlights of 1947,” irate parents trembling because Junior’s name got spelled wrong in the box score ; local goofuses who trundled in awkward essays predicting fire and flood and pestilence directly traceable to women wearing lip rouge and all that juke-box dancin’ by them young’uns at the Youth Center, publishers simple enough to be named Simon and possessed of more sacred cows than an Indian rajah dairy-farming , those weird stings, one remembers the time with unaccountable pleasure. Man, pricked by thorns, reaches for roses still. . . . PERHAPS THE OLD FRA-GRANCES waft back over the years because there is the green vision of memorable characters who then had some strange left-handed faith in the wonderful nonsense of newspapering. It is barely possible that a few blithe spirits lurk today behind stolid neckties and gray flannels found in city rooms, but most reporters strike me as being impatient only to reach qualifying age for Rotary Club. I bet they are hooked on Norman Vincent Peale’s synthetic done and sing in choral clubs and get their kicks at health-food bars. This balding head casts a vote for The Old Gang: