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THE GREAT Man. He came to Putnam on a Saturday afternoon when The Square was full of Model-T cars and horsedrawn wagons, and farm folk in their weekend finery peddling of eggs and butter, buying of luxuries such as Post Toasties and Sody Pops and Honest snuff, none of which the land could be coaxed to grow. He came without warning, at least to my non-voting bloc of tow-headed boys, and he came majestically into the grocery store owned by my Uncle Georgethe store always permeated by the pungent odors of Delicious apples and Baby Ruths and Longhorn Cheese. I chanced to be in the right place at the right time. Near the apple barrel. A slim, dark-haired man with an engaging smile pushed open the screen door, swooshing down upon my one-armed uncle, hand extended at the ready, booming: “Hello, I’m your Governor. Jimmy Allred.” The Governor of Texas! Well, Sir! You could have taken the Emperor of Japan, the Queen Mother, Slingin’ Sammy Baugh, beloved Franklin Delano Roosevelt, even the noble Tom Mix, and have tied them up in one package for my personal giftonly to have the offering rejected if the alternative should be the rare opportunity of gazing upon the person of the Governor ofTexas! It was like winning the spelling bee, getting smiled at by Annie Lou, copping gold stars at Sunbeams. There he was, within spitting distance. There he was, exuding charm and polish enough to make a boy grow dizzy, his shoes grossly shined, a white shirt on, a tie around his neck: looking every inch A Man even with all those sissy trappings. Jimmy Allred! I do not honestly know if I remember what he said to my preening 12 The Texas Observer Classified COLLEGE STUDENTS in the South have recently formed the Southern Student Organizdedicated to working for a New South through the areas of civil rights, civil liberties, academic freedom, poverty, and other relevant political and social issues. Newspapers and additional information may be obtained by writing Box 6403, Nashville, Tenn. MEETINGS THE THURSDAY CLUB of Dallas meets each the Downtown YMCA, 605 No. Ervay St., Dallas. The TRAVIS COUNTY LIBERAL DEMO-CRATS meet at Saengerrunde Hall, Scholz’ Garten, at 8 p.m. on the first and third Thursdays. You’re invited. Fort Worth CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 8 p.m. in the 99 Room of the First National Bank. Dr. Irving Rapfogel, President. Visitors welcome. WORK PARTIES every Sunday afternoon in Austin, 2:00 p.m., Texas Society to Abolish Capital Punishment, 3014 Washington Square. Free refreshments. Items for this regular feature must be received seven days before the date of issue in which they are to be published. 7c per word, one publication; 5c per word, each additional publication. Uncle and all the gawking hangers-on. Perhaps I have since been on campaign trails with so many politicians that I instinctively know what he should have said, and so the memory plays tricks. But I have ghostly remembrances that the Governor spoke of the price of cotton, paved roads, low taxes, business conditions, select passages of Scripture. I do most assuredly remember what he said to me. Perhaps he first saw me as he finished the strawberry soda pop for which my Uncle declined pay after a threeminute battle of profuse courtesies; maybe he saw my round eyes locked on the coterie of aids, who made up his official party, as they smoked ready-roll cigarettes, adroitly flourished crinkling dollar bills in exchange for candy, soft drinks, a pocket comb \(Uncle George took their money, `Son,” Jimmy Allred said, smiling his way toward me, “do you want an apple?” “Nossir!”, I said. Not knowing if I lied. Do you take the Governor’s offer of apple, grab his hand, kiss his feet, when you are young enough to cry with joy at being in his Presence, and the world is. green? Gov. Allred moved to solve my dilemma. In his hand magically appeared a five-cent piece. He handed me the nickel. He said, “Well, if you want an apple later this might come in handy. Or a candy bar.” My heart cried many things: I love you, Mister Allred . . . God bless you and keep you Governor . . . My daddy will vote for you. But what I said was: “Shucks, I don’t need no nickel. My Uncle owns the store.” The Governor of Texas accepted the return of his coin with dignity and grace; I had refused the offering of Gods. I like to think it somehow pleased him. N THE INTERVENING years it has been my lot to walk among the great, the near great, the notorious. The first time I saw Harry Truman, in 1955, I took a pre-dawn walk with him through Washington streets, and the following day emotionally introduced him to a Democratic club on Capitol Hill. I have been on the hustings with Lyndon Johnson, heard Sam Rayburn in mellow private utterances \(“I once told a newspaper man Nixon had the most hateful face of any man I’d known in Congress, and he violated the confidence. Oat z’ Since 1866 The Place in Austin GOOD FOOD GOOD BEER 1607 San Jacinto GR, 7-4171 But it was true. . . . I used to sit on the fence-rail on Sunday when I was a boy and wish to God somebody would come by on muleback, just so I could hear the sound had the good fortune of a brief, first-name relationship with the late John F. Kennedy in 1959-60 before fame swallowed him up. I glimpsed Joe McCarthy in his last dismal days as he swilled liquor at the Carroll Arms Hotel within, the shadow of the Senate he had once held in a grip of unreasoning terror, felt strange pity for a man I detested as he hailed uncaring newsmen in desperate effort to reap once more his old harvest of sensational headlines. I have supped with Billie Sol Estes, interviewed Dwight D. Eisenhower, searched the heroic eyes of John Glenn, had coffee with Bobby Baker, posed for pictures with Dean Acheson, Hubert Humphrey, Adlai Stevenson, Tom Connally. I have enjoyed the full confidence of Senator Ralph Yarborough, author Bill Brammer, and an exotic dancer named Tinker Bell. Yes, have been on stilted speaking terms with the last three governors of Texas; have met the likes of Carl Sandburg, Jonathan Winters, Darrell Royal, Dan Blocker, Brock Peters, Jerry Sadler, Johnny Carson, Lester Pearson, and Peggy Milner. I have sat ‘at libations with countless congressmen, senators, Texas Legislators, Jean and Fletcher Boone, Bobby Lane, a girl who claimed to have once been the heart-throb of Rip Torn. I have goggled at private movies starring Candy Barr in exhibition of fantastic talents, read articles by Bud Shrake, talked art with professors at Princeton, and sold prose for money in the asphalt jungles of New York. I have fallen in love with a Greek lady, given to Bonds for Israel, entertained Negroes in my home. Yet, when the final story is writ of the time of these bones, they should put special stamp on my meeting with Jimmy Allred. Nothing has happened to flaw the dream. AFTER pocketing his nickel Gov. Allred gathered unto himself his band of angels and departed; vaporized, rather, in a sudden puff of gone glory. I am glad I did not see him leave by so common a means as conventional automobile: this way, I can hope that he climbed aboard some magic carpet, hoisted high an Aladdin’s lamp, flew off above the mesquites and scrub oaks, his pure heart filled with sweet memories of the miracle that was Putnam, his brain agog over the remarkable young man who had returned his proffered wealth, and who for a joyous moment had pressed in equality the firm hand of Destiny. EUROPE An unregimented trip stressing individual freedom. Low cost yet covers all the usual plus places other tours miss. Unless the standard tour is a “must” for you, discover this unique tour before you go to Europe. EUROPE SUMMER TOURS 255 Sequoia, Dept. JPasadena, California