Page 7


Campaign Cards F Placards az Bumperstrip Fs: Brochures L. Flyers L, Letterheads az En elopes K.: Vertical Posters F Buttons az Ribi ons az Badges F Process Color Work a., Ar Work az Forms L Newspapers L Political rinting F Books F Silk Screen Work F Mac. a?.Ines az Car Sions F Novelties L Picttic..s 1 t.1 r, I 7 1,; 1 s Silk Screen Work F Political Printing N,,velties L Mimeograph Supplies az Convent on Badges 8: Advertising Campaigns L. Stati orrery a.4 Cards az Announcements az Invitati In Texas … after a swim, beer is a natural On a hot summer day, a dip in a cool stream can be wonderfully refreshing. Equally refreshing when you’re relaxing afterwards with friends is a hearty glass of beer. There’s hardly another beverage around that suits what you do for fun as much as beer. Camping, hiking, or just lounging on a lawn chairbeer brings to each just the right touch of extra good living. Your familiar glass of beer is also a pleasurable reminder that we live in a land of personal freedomand that our right to enjoy beer and ale, if we so desire, is just one, but an important one, of those personal freedoms. In Texas … beer goes with fun, with relaxation UNITED STATES BREWERS ASSOCIATION, INC. 905 International Life Bldg., Austin 1, Texas I Observations Bearings in Brownsville The car went out seven miles north of Brownsville. The friend who was driving at the time said he could tell from the sound, like a boot on the left back tire, that that wheel’s bearings were out. He drove into a Texaco station in Brownsville and asked where the Ford parts house was, but the man said, No, let me fix it: just take me half an hour. Two hours later Texaco had replaced the universal joints for $33. We drove to Port Isabel for a swim in the surf, and as we left, we thought, for Austin, the left back wheel went to whomping every revolution, just as it had before. We returned to Brownsville and had it out with the man: finally he did allow as how he’d made a mistake about the universal joint, but to hell with us on the \\bill for it, we had needed a new one, and he wouldn’t fix the 14 The Texas Observer wheel that night. But I had to be back in Austin the next morning. We did the only thing you can do, if you’re lucky, when you’re stranded this way in this commercial culture: we cast about for friends to help us. By long distance from Harlingen, Ruthie Skaggs said Jack, her husband and the county Democratic chairman, was in Brownsville that night at a meeting of the county Democratic committee at the courthouse. My boy and I walked in just as they were breaking up. It was old home week for a while, I remember excited talk and laughing and introductions. Then Jack asked if there was a mechanic in the courtroom. A fellow I thought I remembered, Don Crow, came forward with a lunge and said Sure, he was a mechanic of sorts: What was the trouble? We explained. It was already 9:30 at night. Well, I have to note, for this story to make sense, that Don said he would do anything to help, and that there were a number of people down there who would do anything for the editor of the Observer. We went to his house. In his garage he has set up his own car repair shop, and here he does all his own work on his car: it’s a lot cheaper, he said. He went to a friend who has a parts shop and got him to open up and sell us the parts to fix the wheel. He couldn’t get a Ford mechanic he knew to come help that late, so he rousted out his father, who lives nearby. Together, with a curiously luminous happiness, they went to work with a hitch-on light in that shed. There’s an old Model A Ford shell setting back against the wall, full of debris and junk. Only a mechanic could tell you about all the ball-peen hammers and vise and jacks and pries they had, but Don’s father told me one thing that communicated what kind of mechanics they are to me, so maybe it will to you, too: he said they improvise everything; they had made some scrapers out of beer-can openers. It seemed to me at one point that they made some pieces fit back together by their own main, physical force. I thought, These are the kind of men who would help us put civilization back together again after a nuclear war. The mosquitoes were most unfriendly. They had plenty of water to spawn in there in the pond where the alligator stays, and the light attracted them even more, probably. Somebody sent the alligator to Don and his wife when it was just a little baby, eleven inches long or so. Now it’s eleven feet long, and it’ll grow to be fifteen. It eats two cans of Red Heart dogfood a day. They’ve tried to give it way, and the zoo in Houston said they’d love to have it, but when it came to coming and getting it, they didn’t want it that bad. My boy was fascinated, of course: Imagine, an alligator in your back yard. But no one rides him. He’s fierce, and snaps at birds when they settle on top of the cage around his , pond. He sleeps all winter, which is when they clean out the pond. School children come from all over the city to see him. I guess he’s lonely for company in there, but even if he had it I wouldn’t hold out much hope