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BUMPERSTRIPS: McCARTHY PRESIDENT PEACE Fluorescent, genuine peel-off bumperstrip stock. 1 for 25c 5 for $1 1,000 for $65 DISSENTING DEMOCRATS OF TEXAS 1505 Cloverleaf Austin, Texas 78723 dom of the mayor’s proposed militia. The mayor kept wanting to hear from the “other side,” but his few supporters there were evidently too embarrassed to say anything. Animosity against the reserve force gained such momentum at the meeting that the mayor and Gibson felt compelled to vote against their original intentions at every turn. After the meeting was over and the auxiliary police idea killed, Stroud assumed a facade of victory by saying things had turned out the way he had wanted them to all along. A few days later, it was discovered that police officials had a bit hastily the week before ordered the armbands for the squad. These eloquent souvenirs of the Stroud administration are still stashed away in the city hall basement. AT VARIOUS other times during these past seven months, the mayor has made foiled attempts to pack municipal boards and commissions and has also threatened to condemn the property and take over the operation of the gas company here. He once recommended that the city hire an efficiency expert firm for $200 to appraise the city management and make recommendations, but that proposition failed when several Amarillo businessmen testified before the commission that they had had unhappy experiences with the firm. At one time early in his administration, the mayor alluded to information gained from his “spies” and accused city employees of inefficiency on the job. Right after thatand apparently because of it there were public statements to the effect that the morale of the city work force had reached a very low point. The mayor used this situation as an opportunity for one of his oblique attacks on the city manager by saying that “word had reached” him of the low morale of city employees and implied that the city management must be at fault. He became embroiled in another controversy when it was discovered that he was owner of a teen-age nightclub called the Sugar Shack, which his son ran. The controversy would not have amounted to much if the club hadn’t been located in a spot not zoned for that type of enterprise and if the residents who lived near it hadn’t gathered evidence of unwholesome youthful activity at the premises in 12 The Texas Observer *Ortiz’ Since 1866 The Place in Austin GOOD FOOD GOOD BEER 1607 San Jacinto GR 7-4171 the forms of liquor bottles, among other items. The commission voted against zoning the lot for the club, and the night= spot has been closed down. During all this time, his “Weekly Report to the People,” a weekend TV spot a local station had granted Stroud to bring his causes to the people, was growing in ratings in reverse ratio to Sroud’s ratings as a mayor. Some moderates and liberals here like to view the city government’s predicament as one in which the extreme right has been given a long-coveted moment on I Observations Austin Christmas is coming. What routes are there through and around commercialism, the dollar-signed formalities? One might be to give something you made. Once I gave a doddering friend a cane I had whittled from a yaupon branch. My little girl Celia, who is nine now, asked me what I want this year, and I asked her to paint me a picture. She says she has finished it. However, she still wants to know what I want for Christmas. “I don’t want something that’s made,” she said, and her brother said he didn’t either; we were laughing. Ceniza and Wildflowers I have been reading again in Bedichek, Webb, and Dobie, as I had to say a few words about them at a meeting. J. Frank Dobie’s Some Part of Myself, edited by Mrs. Dobie, \(Little, Brown, half I’ve read so far. And parts are beautiful. There is that sentence, “The wild flowers of a rainy spring and the grasses of a showery summer are good and beautiful and sufficient even though they vanish.” And, For a while we got our mail at Dinero. I rode horseback once or twice a week to get it. I knew certain places where I had seen deer cross the road. I always remembered them, and when very seldomI travel that road now in a car I remember them. I knew two glades where bobwhite quail were especially plentiful. I knew an opening in the brush where I nooned once in a wagon and let the horses graze. I knew where I was almost sure to see a roadrunner running down the road. If it had rained I looked the stage, has tried to effect its litany of conservative principles before an eagerly receptive audience but stammers now, weak-kneed and red-faced, as the audience snickers during the most serious efforts. Not long ago Stanley Blackburn, an excity commissioner who ran for reelection this year but was defeated, placed a twocolumn, eight-inch ad in Amarillo’s morning and evening papers which read: “I want to thank the voters of this city for NOT electing me to the Amarillo City Commission.” forward to seeing a certain caliche hill with more lavender and purple ceniza bloom than any other hill I have ever seen. I knew where sandy loam gave way to gravelly soil and guajillo thrived ; I always enjoyed seeing cattle eat guajillo leaves. I knew where the redbirds, down from the north, were thickets in wintertime. That was when a mile as a mile. . . . Professor Wilson Hudson of the University of Texas has called attention to Walter Prescott Webb’s 1944 essay on the cultural resources of Texas; I’ve only recently read it. “There is not the slightest doubt,” Webb wrote in 1944, that Texas has in abunance the stuff of which literature may be made. Its resources are enormous, varied, and rich. It can draw from the forests, the plains, the desert, and the sea. Into its tapestry it can weave the plantation, the ranch, the farm, the lumber camp. Its songs are of the land and of the men who move or have moved over it: Comanche songs, Spanish, Mexican, Negro, cowboy ballads, and salt water shanties .. . . the tumultuous past of Texas affords an inexhaustible supply of authentic material for the historian, the dramatist, the poet, and the novelist. The pedestrian historian, the archivist, and the librarian have already done more than their share to make the facts available, and it now remains for the more artistic brethren to make use of their contributions. When Roy Bedichek decided in 1953 to give his correspondence to U.T., he named William A. Owens, the writer \(This Stuband educator at Columbia, to edit it for publication, which Owens is now doing. Bedichek’s mail is probably going to be one of the best books ever put together. Southwest Review in this autumn’s issue contains Owens’ presentation of Bedichek’s taped memories of his father and his mother. No characterization suffices to describe this, any more than one could adequately characterize Dobie’s chapters on his mother and father in Some Part of Myself. But permit me to quote from Southwest Review what Bedichek said to Owens about the funeral of Bedichek’s father, who had taught school: Personal Service Quality Insurance Alice Anderson”Bow” Williams INSURANCE & REAL ESTATE 808A E. 46th, Austin, Texas 465-6577 Sort of a Good Idea