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donm001000,e Observations He Snogs, She Snogs, We Snog. Austin “I am in the dark, and my ignorance is driving me crazy,” runs a letter from our contributing editor, Jim Presley. Living in East Texas is a strange thing, some days purgatory within sight of the shiny vaults of heaven, others hanging upside down between the sixth and seventh levels of hell, and it’s bound to drive you a little blinky. Once I tried to work at Franklin Jones’ place on Caddo Lake and wound up trying to paint watercolors on the reflections. Presley, his wife, and their child live and family-farm in the woods outside Texarkana, on the Texas side of the border, and I was assuming this was the trouble as I read on. It turned out that he has been reading The Biological Time Bomb, by an Englishman, Gordon Rattray Taylor, and wanted some assistance on the theory that, having spent some time in England, I understand English English. However, I, too, am wholly perplexed, and must throw us both on our readers’ mercies. “For several years, however,” [runs the passage from Rattray Taylor concerning which Presley requests guidance,] “no very serious attempt to explore the possibilities of storing human semen were made. As Professor Parkes has observed: ‘Work on the preservation of human spermatozoa has not been pursued with the vigour which the interests of the subject seem to justify . . . Mainly it seems to arise from the lack of enthusiasm for the idea of abolishing in human reproduction the need for contemporaneous and contiguous action on the part of the two sexes.’ In plainer words, people like snogging.” Presley’s inquiry is, “Would you please tell me, what the hell is snogging? Is it something like fogging?” You may write him directly at Route 6, Box 415, Texarkana, Texas 75501, or, should you prefer, write me, and together we may stumble upon the solution to this 16 March 7, 1969 puzzle. Meanwhile, I have written Presley, advising him to get into town more often for the movies, and to confine his reading to East Texas writers. The Crater Odessa Although I have been to Odessa many times, I have never visited the meteor crater just six and a half miles from the city. My curiosity about it was piqued by an article about it in the New York Times. When you arrive here, you find a declivity six feet deep at the most and 600 feet across. When the meteor struck it dug a hole 100 feet deep, as the scientists who excavated here at the end of the 1930’s ascertained, but time and the weather have filled it in. The crater has been designated as of a 1965 plaque as a national historic landmark, but there is no pretension in the way it is presented. A small block house, labeled a museum, is all locked up; judging I am in receipt of one of the first literary works of 1969, The Wit and Humor of Richard Nixon by Bill Adler. In case you think Adler is not deadly serious in advancing the president as one of the wits of our day, let me hasten to assure you he is. Adler, who also gave us The Kennedy Wit and The Johnson Humor, does concede, in a jacket note, that “[A] lmost nobody knows Dick Nixon of the keen witthe man who can be a humorist in the genuine American grain. This book . . . serves as an entertaining introduction to the Richard Nixon nobody knows.” For example of the mirth in store for those of you who purchase this book, I select the following, quite at random: “During the [1960] campaign, Mr. Nixon recalled Mr. Kennedy said he intended to do a great deal in the first 90 days of his administration. ‘As his opponent in the campaign, I don’t think it’s fair to hold him to the first 90 days. I’ll give him ten more days.” Recent Letters We have accumulated a number of letters to the editor in recent weeks for which we haven’t found space in the Observer. I try to be generous with the space given letters, believing that a particularly interesting part of any publication but, with the from the scars from blowtorches on the hinges and locks, of the doors, it has been broken into, and in the heat of the afternoon on a weekday, it stands locked and unattended. A dirt trail, bounded by rocks, leads through the crater past a shaft driven 165 feet down in search of the meteoric material in 1941 by WPA workers. You can bend over and finger the white dust created by the impact of tons of meteor God knows how long ago, and you can see where the limestone sledging that normally runs 22 feet below the level of the plain was exploded upward 50 feet and laterally back and folded over itself. There is a baby crater, discovered by magnetic instruments, 17 feet deep and 70 feet across, near the main crater, and from this smaller hole six tons of meteoric material was excavated. All around beyond the fence, the walking trees of the oil wells chug and pump. Man rapes the land the meteor from outer space raped it in an instant eons past. R.D. Legislature now in session, I believe you’d rather read of that than letters, if that be the choice, as it appears to be. So let me summarize very briefly what these readers have written in recently. Most of the letters are about the quality of the Observer, a discussion triggered by our non-endorsement of Hubert Humphrey last fall. Cancellations or nonrenewals of subscriptions have evidently stopped now the total standing at 41. Thirty of those occurred when a Beaumont local \(no. Workers Union cancelled late in January. Three other cancellations were by J. M. Cotton of Weatherford, Ouida O’Neal of Dallas, and Donald E. Barrett of St. Louis. Encouragement for the election editorial has come from a number of readers whose letters also have been crowded out. Other letters have praised Elroy Bode’s cized Lt. Gov. Ben Barnes for “covering up” the Gatesville situation, criticized the Observer for implying in recent articles that a pattern of brutality exists at Gatesville, expressed pleasure at the acquisition of Dave Hickey as a regular columnist, and complained that Hickey’s first column \(Jan. 24, about the Austin Writers Roundof the same inability to accept oneself and one’s world that makes impossible the development of literature in Texas.” G.O. In My Opinion Funny; Funny