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Three Women in a Country Washateria Texarkana, TeX. Hope, a plump, middle-aged black woman, was filling up a row of washing machines with her eight children’s clothes. I was washing my usual load of diapers. The third woman in the washeteria, a strong looking, handsome white woman in her sixties, was mopping the .floor. She was hired to keep the washateria clean. “How did Johnny like his first year of school?” I asked Hope. \(Hope’s children had been transferred from an allblack school to the white school in the rural community where we were wash”Oh, okay, I guess,” Hope said. “The teacher favored the white kids, though.” I nodded, and she went on, “The little kids would git along fine if the grown This article is the re-creation of a brief episode that occurred near Texarkana. Mrs. Presley lives on a farm near there. Previous articles by her have appeared in the Observer. 18 The Texas Observer ups would just leave them alone. But they won’t,” We finished putting our clothes in the washers and sat down. Hope twisted in her chair. She said, “All my kids were making good grades at the colored Fran Presley school, but now their grades are bad.” Her voice got louder. “Just listen to what happened to my daughter Mary. She was in the tenth grade, and a white girl started picking on herbecause she was colored, I guess. She would push Mary in the line, and she even slapped her one day. Mary finally went to the teacher and told her what was happening. The teacher said, ‘There’s nothing I can do about it.’ So Mary just went and beat up the white girl. They suspended Mary from school but didn’t do nothing to the white girl. Now that wasn’t fair! I didn’t mind them punishing Mary, but why didn’t they punish the white girl, too? She started it. It wasn’t fair. Mary never went back to school.” The white cleaning woman was mopping closer and closer to us and listening. By the time Hope finished talking, the woman was right under our feet, mopping with quick, jerking motions. Then she stopped mopping abrutply and said, “You’re right! That sure wasn’t fair. They ought to treat them all the same. “Let me tell you what they done to my son, Billy. He was a senior, about ready to graduate, and one morning the principal met him at the school door and said, ‘Billy, you have to go home and shave that mustache before you can come in.’ It was just a little fuzz, not even a real mustache. Well, Billy come home. He didn’t go back. The superintendent, he came to the house and said, ‘We need Billy in science. He was making good grades and was a help to me. Make him come back to school.’ I said, ‘That’s up to Billy. I’m not goingto DID YOU KNOW THAT AMERICAN INCOME WRITES *Disability Income Protection * Whole Life Insurance *Hospitalization * Endowments * * Annuities AND HIGH CASH VALUE LIFE PLANS? You don’t like being loaded with life insurance? For your family’s sake, we hope you do, but if you don’t try life insurance in a smaller amount combined with high cash values . . . … high cash values that can quickly be converted to emergency use or paidup insurance or retirement income or cash itself. Our plans are flexible! Use them the way you desire to use them. Our life plans are of all types maximum protection, high savings, limited pay, term your choice. /AMERICAN INCOME LIFE t inJteumee Executive Offices, P. 0. Box 208, Waco, BERNARD RAPOPORT President FROMA UNIONIZED COMPANY! Texas