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4, Foo0.0 44,fierce and brassy for the occasion. For the mood was pretty solemn. The happiness that afternoon was not that any victory had been won, but that a battle was over. The sky was overcast and getting dark, and the portable TV lights at the foot of the passenger ramp gave Johnson’s face the radiant glow of a cheap religious painting. For the first time in years he looked genuinely happy. He spoke briefly from a small black platform that this time had no presidential seal, showed off his family and his ornery grandchild, Patrick Lyn Nugent, who had spent the previous days testing the patience of Secret Service men and everyone else in the White House. As his grandfather spoke, he labored to disconnect the microphone. But nothing very important was being said anyway. A photographer beside me in the camera platform chuckled when Johnson said, of Richard Nixon, “I hope you will be as good to him as you have been to me.” He must have been thinking, as I was, that Nixon could hope for more. Afterwards the former president, smiling grandly, stepped over to the Cyclone fence and began shaking hand after hand after hand. Then he took the little Jet Star on to Johnson City. Ten or twenty years from now, I’m convinced, the history books will treat Lyndon Johnson with great sympathy, judging his failures in the context of their time and circumstances. Scholars will rush to vindicate his efforts and intentions, if not always his judgment. In recent conversations with some of his harshest critics I myself detect a mellowing that I consider extremely hypocritical. But I suppose it’s Liberal not to kick the body of the vanquished foe, and even more Liberal to treat his wounds. So now, with sorrow and regret, I must turn anti-Johnson just to rile my friends. We now look ahead to at least four years and his glittering galaxy of Agnews and Hickels and the like \(I expect the 1970 going to get drunk frequently and argue belligerently that the new administration is merely another plot engineered by Lyndon Johnson to make himself look good in retrospect. 0 More on Gatesville Alums Recount Brutality Austin, Houston T h e House investigation into alleged brutality against boys in the ref o r m school at Gatesville has ended, and there is good reason to believe that official Austin has decided to avoid reopening anything like it. The asserted premise of this decision is that while there has been some brutality there, it is not a pattern, and the thing to do is make improvements in the system in due time, meanwhile cutting off the chilling tales of beatings and bizarre punishments. The Observer here presents the stories of some boys, tracked out by various means, who are willing to be quoted and to testify or to take lie detector’ tests. They tell stories of beatings by guards and supervisors with fists and small weapons during the boys’ stays at Gatesville at different periods in the 1960’s. However, no newspaper “lead” could well represent their stories in a few words. Each boy speaks for himself. The reader can of course make what he will of the stories, taking into account the boy’s willingness to be quoted, but also the existence of many aspects of each complicated case. The director of the Texas Youth Council, James Turman, who, in general, denies brutality at Gatesville, draws much of his support in the legislature from Rep. W. S. Heatly of Paducah, chairman of the all-powerful House appropriations committee. House Speaker Gus Mutscher, a conservative, is close to Heatly. Gov . Preston Smith is reported to think very highly of Turman. Such factors as these are the political tapestry against which Lt. Gov. Ben Barnes, the most conspicuous state official active in the affair, has shaped events away from continued exposure of boys’ allegations to the assembled press. Barnes, the Observer understands, does not expect that the Gatesville matter will find a place in the work of the House committees this session. As presiding officer of the Senate, Barnes is planning to appoint a committee of senators and lay people to devise reforms in the youth correctional system. While it is likely this Senate-based committee will have the right to conduct public hearings, it is not considered likely that these will take on the wide-open character of those conducted by Rep. Vernon Stewart’s House juvenile delinquency committee, which went out of existence with the onset of the new legislature. Mutscher is represented as indisposed to give either Rep. Stewart of Wichita Falls or his fellow committee member, Rep. Curtis Graves of Houston, another chance to investigate this subject. Graves, however, may not take this quietly. He says that if the matter is not resumed rapidly, he may conduct his own public hearings, rather like the wildcat hearings that became part of the national scene last year. John Moreno IN 1963, AN Austin MexicanAmerican boy in his mid-teens was transferred from Mountain View to Austin State Hospital. “I lost my mind in Moun tain View, being locked up so long . . . and having been so badly mistreated,” he says. He is now a skilled tradesman in Austin. He is willing to testify and take a lie detector test. His name is John Moreno, and this is what he says: Fourteen when he arrived for his first of three trips to Gatesville on a truancy -count, Moreno was put in the reception center about a week. “If anybody whispered they would whip on us.” To learn who was guilty of an infraction of the rules, the guards had 20 or so boys kneel down, hands behind their backs, and hit them on the head, one by one, “real hard,” with a little handmade hardwood bat. To get them to stop, Moreno told them he was the culprit and was “slapped around a few times.” At night, in the shower, “they’d come up with a whip, some kind of a leather, like a strap, and sticks, and whip ’em . kick ’em down and stomp ’em when they were down. They’d pick on those colored guys and Mexican guys. They’d say ‘nigger, nigger,’ and ‘Meskin, Meskin.’ ” At Valley School then, “I saw guards beat on guys where I thought it was .. . unrealistic. They get ’em down on the ground and just kick ’em in the mouth. They just go wild, mad, after a while.” At a recreation period, the boys went down on their knees and pulled grass up with their hands. “A guard would get behind us. He’d say faster,” and with a hand-made wood stick, “he’d come and hit us on the backhe’d leave lines on our backs. A guy beside me was crying and pulling grass and he was still whip January 24, 1969 7