dude from Lubbock is running as a senatorial knight through bold verbal thrusts at some vague menace named “juvenile deliquency,” though he has cleverly refrained from being pinned down to exactly how he would go about slaying this dragon. I hope to be of some assistance to Hon. Carr by informing him that an extremely small percentage of the average U.S. Senator’s time is spent breast-beating about the horrors of juvenile deliquency. The way to combat such an elusive foe, if it can be realistically or profitably fought at all, is through voting for programs to help ease the bone-grinding misery of poverty, illiteracy, slums, bigotry. In short, one must put his money where his mouth is. Hon. Carr would no more give his heart and his vote or the tax-money of Texas’ monied elite to such good works than I would spend, by free choice, thirty minutes in the presence of General Edwin Walker. As for Senator Tower . . . Well, when it comes to the game of Tower versus Carr, I am inclined to punt and settle for a scoreless tie. In such barren political sod Ole Jim Wright blooms like a rare desert flower, and each bud is Beauty. I know not what course other Liberals may take but as for me give me Jim Wright or give me death, Tower, and Carrin that exact order. The point of the foregoing verbal exercise is this: if I know such obvious facts and feel so strongly about them, how can anyone presume that Lyndon B. Johnson, with far more at stake, is any less aware or less aroused? So, under the rules of best evidence, we must give scribe Kantor very low marks in the translation department. The alternative is to consider L.B.J. a political dolt. He may be a number of things, as folks from Ronnie Dugger to J. Evetts Haley have sometimes said, but I know of no one who considers him that. RUMORS ARE AFLOAT that Congressman Wright is having trouble getting finances for his campaign. Carr, the story goes, has locked up the Big Money as only an old campaigner along Texas’ oily paths can. This chills me to a firm resolve: I am for Jim Wright for Senator without prefix, suffix, or apology. He may, it’s true, cause us to gnash our teeth over a few liberal or illogical things he may do; perhaps we will find him less inspiring at times than the smile of Mona Lisa. Nonetheless, Jim Wright can give usand, I’m confident, will give us, far better than we can otherwise get; on some days he will surprise us with acts of pure decency. I have seen him do it. So don’t be surprised if, in my traipsing across Texas, I ring your door bell and tremble in the manner of one afire with Holy Cause, whooping hosannahs in Jim Wright’s name. I am not prepared to say how many man-hours’ I will give to the task, because Florida beckons, but my heart is in the right place. If I can stay a half-step ahead of bill-collecting hounds, or otherwise make it through the winter by some not inconsiderable miracle, I may even be tempted to grunt up a few dollars for Wright’s campaign coffers. Greater love hath no man than to lay down his cash for a friend. Something We Could Do BY Jean Hall Austin The little town of Cranbury is a bit of rural New Jersey about 50 miles southwest of New York City, about eight miles from Princeton. It is a community of tall trees and broad lawns, two-story houses of white clapboard or yellow with white trim. Fields of corn or cabbages or pasture surround it, and some of its inhabitants are farmers, but the Pennsylvania Railroad runs nearby and others commute thereby to New York. Across the green fields, research centers and industries have blossomed in recent years in this region of country quiet, Princeton prestige, and easy access to New York, and some of the inhabitants are engineers, scientists, or otherwise employed by these firms. One very pleasant Sunday this summer, I spent the day at Cranbury as a laborer, nailing up wall board in what had been a burned-out shack, along with some of these citizens of Cranbury, delightful people who are members of an organization called “the Cranbury Housing Associates.” On any Saturday or Sunday, if you were to drive down the shaded main street of Cranbury, past the two spanking-white, shiplap churches, and out to the west side, you would see across a field a troup of cars and a Volkswagen truck parked around two low-lying buildings. Men, women, and teen-agers can be seen carrying lumber, wielding power saw, hammers, or paint brushes. These are the members of CHA and other volunteers working on their project of making pleasant, weather-tight, freshly painted houses available to people who have lived only in the most miserable shacks before. The activities are directed by one of the founders of the organization, a professional builder, and surely the world’s kindest, most patient foreman, The Texas Observer who takes his workers’ bent nails and inadaquate measurements with a smile. The volunteers on the day I was there included the builder’s wife; the wife and daughter of an engineer for RCA; a chemical engineer named Mel, fond of saying “Only in America!” when some effort turned out well; an instructor in civil engineeringa Negro, from Howard University ; a high school student from Princeton, and two of the men who live in the house we were working on. The organization of the Associates grew out of events which began with a fire in this building about two years before. A farmer had put up the structure many years ago to shelter migrant laborers. In New Jersey the migrants are usually Negroes. Though the place had no running water or electricity, several people had been living in it, including an elderly lady who had been there 15 years. The farmer’s name was Danser, and so the place was known as Danser’s Camp. The fire destroyed the center of what was at that time one long, barrack-like building, and during the months that followed the people moved out of the rest of the structure also, migrating to a house on the road close by. Then, a year or so later, that house burned, also. No one was hurt, but eleven people were homeless; and some of the people of Cranbury who had been thinking of this problem of housing for the poor were stirred to action. A small group, Negroes and whites, met and formed CHA. They soon found they needed organization and money; so they formed a corporation and sold shares at ten dollars a share and raised $3000. The victims of the fire, for lack of any other place to go, had drifted back to the charred misery of Danser’s Camp. Winter was coming, and the first concern of the As sociates was to make this shelter weatherproof. They found themselves involved in a struggle with the owner of the adjoining land, who feared loss of property-value. While they worked out and waited out the legal troubles over Danser’s Camp, they bought another house in Cranbury to rent at a reasonable price, and they built from scratch with volunteer labor a very pleasant, two-story house. Now they are finally working on Danser’s Camp. They were, on that summer day, putting on wall-board and bright coats of white or light blue paint. A Trenton newspaper interviewed the group a year ago as they were working on their new, two-story house. The paper described the workers on the job as “joyful in the best barn-raising tradition.” Now, a year later, with this house successfully finished and put to good use, the spirit still prevails. You can understand what maintains this joyful atmosphere when you take part in it, for it is wonderful to be actually, physically involved in solving the problem. Not the smallest benefit of the work of CHA has been the making of neighbors of people who were previously distrustful strangers. In the old, pre-fire days, Danser’s Camp had a reputation in town as a place of drunkenness and violence. There was usually a police car sent there on a Friday or Saturday night. Because of this, the first time the builder’s wife and the engineer’s wife drove there, they went with some trepidation \(although it was broad building toward them, they became frightened and drove away. That man is now a friend, and we were grateful for the cold water his wife brought us as we worked on that warm, summer day. It could happen in Texas, too.
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