Page 16


more of a friend-to-friend relationship than being on a professional level . . .” Lesser and Mrs. Pulsipher had conferences about her work, as is usual, and Lesser complained, “Mrs. Pulsipher has given Supervisor impression that she is bored with conference. This was evidenced by Mrs. Pulsipher’s yawning all through the conference.” The young lady says she prepared for the conferences as required and paid attention; she admits she may well have yawned. Mrs. Pulsipher told of the indignity to which a state social worker must subject a person on welfare. An unmarried Negro mother of three children had a boyfriend. Asked about him by Mrs. Pulsipher, the mother said, “I understand that I’m not supposed to live with men. They can come in the living room as long as the children are there with us, but not in the bedroom.” Mrs. Pulsipher told her, “You’ve got it just right.” The state can’t discourage boy friends, since they are necessary to marriages, but then they can’t trust people not 14 The Texas Observer to hop into bed, eitherthat seems to be the State Department of Public Welfare’s line of work, Mrs. Pulsipher had to see about the boy friend, too, to be sure he understood the state’s interest in his private life, so she talked to him on the telephone. She relates the conversation: “I’m sorry I have to ask you these questions, but I do. Are you married?” “No,” he said. “Excuse me, but I have to ask you this too. Do you realize that you are not allowHe did, he said. Third, she asked him, “Do you have any intention of marrying her?” He replied, “Well ma’am, I don’t know.” Humiliated herself by having to so humiliate fellow human beings, Mrs. Pulsipher admired the patience and politeness of the people she had to subject to these Big Brother inquisitions. But Lesser, she said, was angry that she had not insisted the man in the above case come in to talk to her. “He should have been dragged in so I could give him the business,” she said. Mrs. Pulsipher said she never troubled Lesser with anything she might have thought she knew about why some Negroes, r 1111WINIMINHIIMO11.41110414=111..00001,41111.11111111M3M11101 Texas Society to Abolish Capital Punishment P.O. Box 8134, Austin, Texas 78712 1 memberships, $2 up denied the basic necessities, behave in ways that puzzle middle-class people. She was trying to adapt to the agency’s policies, trying to become a guardian of the taxpayer’s welfare dollars and a supervisor of the private lives of Bryan’s Negroes on welfare. Not one to take her firing meekly, Mrs. Pulsipher wrote Austin protesting, and C. C. Peeks, Lesser’s supervisor, and the department’s personnel chief, Harold T. Dawson, conferred on the matter in Bryan. She says Dawson sided with Lesser, but preferred not to discuss Lesser’s criticisms, and told her that she was pretty and well educated and “could be earning twice as much money in a higher job.” She remembers an interesting exchange with Dawson. Dawson: “You’re a smart girl. I’d like to get your ideas about this. At the University of Texas there are some men who wear beards and girls who don’t wash much, SDS they call them . . . How would you find out how somebody is thinking?” She says she didn’t respond, wondering what he was about. He told her, she says, of one such girl who had come in asking for a job. “What made you think she was one of them?” she asked. “Well,” she says he said, “she had on a kind of dirty dress.” “This is what he said! It’s all out of a fairy tale,” Mrs Pulsipher exclaims. John Winters, head of the Department of Public Welfare, said in Austin, “She did offer her resignation. . . . She had done two cases in a month. That’s not very many. The average worker does 35-40 cases. She did two. At that rate we’d go out of business pretty quick. That’s all I know about it. Dawson told me.” “Fiddlesticks!” said Mrs. Pulsipher. She handled at least ten cases, she said; new workers are expected to work into full case loads gradually. “I had not even been as CLASSIFIED PROSPECTIVE INDEPENDENT CANDI-DATE? Planning to challenge in court Art. 13.47a calling for filing before Feb. 7th? So am I. For our mutual financial and legal benefit, write Robert Schneider, Box 5505, San Antonio. MEETINGS THE THURSDAY CLUB of Dallas meets each the Downtown YMCA, 605 No. Ervay St., Dallas. Good discussion. You’re welcome. Informal, no dues. The TRAVIS COUNTY LIBERAL DEMO-CRATS meet at Scholz’ Garten at 8 p.m. on the first Thursday. You’re invited. THE ARTHUR B. NIXONS will be in Dallas at the home of the E. B. McMenamys from the last week of June through the first week of August for the purpose of exhibiting Arthur time since birth, and for thrilling old friends with vivid accounts of their Nicaraguan experiences. ITEMS for this feature cost, for the first entry, 7c a word, and for each subsequent entry, 5c a word. We must receive them one week before the date of the issue in which they are to be published. MARTIN ELFANT Sun Life of Canada 1001 Century Building Houston, Texas CA 4-0686 I POLECAT MOUNTAIN IS FOREVER Give Five Friends An Observer for $1 I would like to tell five of my friends about the Observer. I enclose $1; use it to send an introductory copy of the paper from me to the following: Name Name Address Address City State Zip City State Zip Name Name Address Address City State Zip City State Zip ORDERED BY: Name Name Address Address City State Zip City State Zip Mail to Sarah Payne, Business Manager, Texas Observer, 504 W. 24 St., Austin, Texas, enclosing the dollar.