hower, 1952, secretary, Dallas County and Mrs. Ripley. Make it easy for us to check on our tavorite endorsers, as well as our friends, neighbors, doctor, and precinct chairman. 2. Use at least 8-point type for the names. Never, never, go to 6-point, or 8point photographically reduced. There are people in Dallas who still have a headache from the Bible-on-the-head-ofa-pin-sized names in the “Welcome Senator Lyndon Johnson” page run by Citizens for Kennedy and Johnson Thursday afternoon before the election in 1960. The names were alphabetized, which enabled such quick studies as Dr. Luther Holcomb \(Connally for Governor, 1962, and vice-chairman, Equal Employment ford 0. Rouse, Jr. \(Nixon, 1960, president, Douglas Bergman \(Democratic candidate protest inclusion of their names to reporters that afternoon. Days later, however, bleary-eyed users of magnifying glasses were still discovering their names in the ad. By election day morning 625 endorsers had publicly repudiated endorsements. Some of us readers barely finished the list before vice-presidentelect Johnson made his victory speech. 3. Identification makes the ads more interesting. “Builders,” “Scientists,” “Students” such headlines add dimension to endorser personalities. \(They sometimes provide new personalities to one acquaintances. In 1960 half a dozen officers of my PTA were “Mothers for Aldefine endorsers. How about “Birchers,” “Lobbyists,” even “Uncle Toms”? \(That familiar, but anonymous, group, “Red sympathizers” seems to have disappeared THE MATTER of color. so important in today’s “balanced” campaigns, is impossible to show in endorser ads now. National origin, even religion, can sometimes be detected by study of names, but not color. Balance, and reader interest, could be served by adding WASP, or Catholic, or Polish, or Black after appropriate names. I served on a campaign committee once where a committee member suggested we use college degrees after each name. Possibly politicians might fear a dropout backlash from such listings, but I think readers would enjoy them. 4. Sneak a few new names in among the familiar ones. Before the recent referendum, a local ad listed endorsers of liquor-by-the-drink. Each name was new to me, and it was kind of unsettling. So far as I could tell there were no Republicans, Dmeocrats, or precinct chairmen on the list. Yet, while it is reassuring to find Mrs. Ripley in her usual place and tantalizing to search out Earl Luna, new names do spice up the lists and help the jaded reader make it all the way through the Zs. Most non-government employed local leaders are routinely listed, so campaign managers may have to search a bit for new influentials. They could start, however, with uncommitted ministers and millionaires and such recent retirees as former school superintendent W. T. White, WASP, BAMA, and honorary PhD. 0 Mencken and Minnesota Fats Larry L. King, . . . And Other Dirty Stories, New York: New American Library, 1968, 236 pp., $5.50. Austin Thirteen years ago I abandoned my role in a provocative but clearly doomed experiment in independent regional journalism called The Texas Observer to hitch my star to a wagon by the name of Lyndon Johnson. The change, while unsettling, offered a number of advantages; not the least of them was being mercifully spared the carnage seasonally heaped on Texas liberals by my new employer. The best of it, though, was simply moving to Washington. I had a huge new office with crystal chandelier, marble fireplace, leather sofa, an outsized desk that straddled me like some enormous draft animal, and a matchless view of such Capitol Hill wonders as Senator Byrd walking his aged spaniel, Mr. Justice Frankfurter walking himself, a remarkable number of public servants walking hell-bent for the drinking/wenching relief of the Carroll Arms Hotel. Bobby Baker whizzed past now and again, bearing intelligence from the spooky Eminence in the Cdpitol to whom he referred simply as “The Leader” \(other staffers knew him as “Big Pumpand went, improbably youthful, suntanned, toothily gorgeous. Mr. Nixon was quartered directly abovestairs; e v e r y Mr. Brammer, an Observer contributing editor, is author of The Gay Place. S The Texas Observer hour or so I thrilled to the groan of the vice-presidential plumbing. One other figure stands out in my memory of that period. Curiously, he was no celebritynot yetbut rather a b i g, cheerful, irreverent, ear-banging yarnspinner in the employ of a West Texas congressman. He looked in on me one day to inquire after the use of some of Mr. Johnson’s Robotyper machines, unspeakable inventions for the mass production of “personalized” messages to constituents. “I understand,” my visitor said, “that the Pumpkin’s ma Bill Brammer chine’s are tied up just now. I hear rumors the Pumpkin is sending out 50,000 letters of congratulation to, every high school graduating senior in Texas. Sumbitch! Fifty thousand must be some kind of record. Is this true?” I hastened to assure him that it certainly wasn’t true. The actual figure, I explained, was closer to 100,000. He seemed vastly pleased with this confirmation of u n flagging venality among his favorite politicians. He told me his name was Larry L. King and suggested we go drank ourselves a bunch of d ranks. KING WAS a splendid companion in those early years. He seemed borne along by astonishing energy and a multitude of capabilities. He was particularly well attuned to the boondock pathology from which we had just escaped, and one could visualize him as a delightful disturber of the peace in a variety of roles: lawyer, oilman, hard-scrabble farmer, crusading country editor, whooping evangelist, country-western singer, even a successful standup comic. It’s all the more appalling now to realize how seldom one regarded Larry King as perhaps best equipped and marvelously gifted as a full-time writer. In the years since he liberated himself from the status of “second banana politician” in Washington, King has become a very top banana figure in the murderously competitive field of magazine journalism. This collection of articles \(from the Observer, Harper’s, New Republic, confirms the notion that he getting better all the time. He is some exotic blend, at once very much his own man and yet possessed of such disparate elements as one might enjoy in glancing encounters with the likes of Mencken, Mark Twain, Oral Roberts and Minnesota Fats. As Larry notes in the introduction, nonfiction collections sell only slightly better than slender volumes of poetry. “Success and I are strangers,” he observes. “Failure and I are such old friends he drops by the house for coffee. I have wearied of his company and bid the stranger come in.” A more recent and cheerful note from the author reveals the awesome fact that Dirty Stories is well into its fourth printing. Deservedly, I should add, deceptive title notwithstanding. Long-time admirers of King’s work will be pleased to refresh the memory of his deft skewerings of Mr. Johnson \(“My
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