yet. Inquiry of UT officials elicited the explanation that the system has to do with power plant and chilling station operations, not electronic surveillance of the campus and its denizens. In My Opinion A Death in the Family Austin As often the holidays do, Christmas 1969 brought a death in the family. We lost Bill Thomas. I came to know Bill rather early on joining the Observer staff. He was a leader of Texas Liberal Democrats, a man who cared deeply about many of the same values I \(and so many of the Observer’s willing to give to these causes even when so giving seemed a dubious proposition. Bill and I were becoming quite close at one point in recent time, when he was taking an active interest in Dan Gladden’s campaign against Ben Barnes for lieutenant governor in 1968. Bill was giving much of his time to flying Don around the state in Bill’s plane, doing what he could to give a noble cause a shove in the right direction. I admired Bill for that, more than I ever got around to telling him. I know Don Gladden greatly appreciated it, too. Each of us who called Bill a friend doubtless has his own theory as to why Bill chose to leave us by his own hand. The reasons we conjure are spun, inevitably, of our own limited glimpses of Bill and his life. I expect that none of us can know the truth of such an event, of a friend, even a close friend, choosing, in an agonized, final moment, to resign. In the aftermath of such a deed, we, those of us left behind, can but reconstruct our understanding of the person who left us, and try as best we can to grope for fuller understanding. It does Bill no good only to re-do mentally our relationship with him. Perhaps none of us, even by greater acts of love towards him than we permitted ourselves, could have reversed his final act. But, in his memory, in honor of the good times we shared with him, in groups or 16 The Texas Observer singly, in acknowledgement of the best that was in him, we can determine whether we could have done better by him. For myself, I have concluded that I did not break through the isolation of my own life and reach out to Bill, even when I knew he was in personal pain. I did not tell Bill I loved him, did not make it unmistakeably plain to him that I loved him not for his money or his social position, but loved him for himself alone, for his deep caring for the things I consider essential, for his finally depleted love of good times, for his beleaguered hope for a better social order. Whether you knew Bill Thomas or not, consider: are there people around you whom you love, value, cherish, and rely upon? And do they realize the extent of your regard? Each of us needs love, needs to he appreciated, needs to know he is cherished. Reach out. Problems It appears the Observer is having a bit of trouble lately getting to some of its readers who find themselves behind bars. One of them who is serving a stretch at Huntsville failed to receive the Dec. 5 issues; we have twice sent him copies of that issue in envelopes and don’t yet know whether he has been permitted to have it. That’s the issue with John Rechy’s article, “A Death At Huntsville,” the account of the death of a Huntsville prisoner under rather cloudy circumstances. Then, one of the Chuck Wagon Gang \(aim 01 tnose arrested in connection with the disturbances at a cafeteria at the seeing the Observer when a friend took a stack of magazines to him at the Travis County Courthouse. It seems our journal is on a list of banned literature, to be kept from guests of the county with such other scurrilous stuff as Esquire, Ramparts, and the Rag. We are advised that Time and the Austin American-Statesman are deemed acceptable by our county jailers. Nervous Times Running down rumors is a continual process in Austin. You continually hear some of the most intriguing stuff. We have earlier reported that evidently UT-Austin does not, as has been heard, intend to build a Berlin-type fence aroung the campus. Having set that report to rest, at least for a time, we were a bit startled when someone called to our attention the other day that the university has advertised for bids in the Austin daily for a “Campus Monitoring System.” Designed by Brown and Root, One Week Late We didn’t plan it this way originally but we permitted a three-weeks interval between the last issue and this one. We were just coming out of the holidays when it was time for the regularly fortnightly publication schedule to be resumed. And Kaye Northcott and I just didn’t feel we had much on our minds that week. So this issue comes to you a week “late.” We’re back on the two-weeks interval now. Zapruder Update I hope by next issue to announce what I propose to do as regards the Zapruder film of President Kennedy’s assassination. G.O. Dialogue Against Whiskey I think your “Whiskey Drank” [at the Observer office on Dec. 281 is bad. I feel strongly enough about it that I will ask you to discontinue my subscription. This, in my opinion, is no way to celebrate Christmas. Drinking is one of our major problems, responsible for most of our automobile accidents and all of our alcoholics. G. R. Bode, 2312 Hartford Rd., Austin, Tex. 78703. Still Doesn’t Know It appears LBJ, after a long rest, still does not know Mr. Nixon won. Governor Romney was open and honest enough after only a few days to state he had been given a snow job by the military brass in Vietnam. It seems LBJ is unaware he was given a snow job while president. Many of us hesitated to vote for Humphrey because he had been in bad company so long . . . not because of what HHH said in Timbuctoo or somewhere. Sidney Craft, 4655 Travis, Dallas, Tex. Bright But Left I was charmed by the following sentence in the Wall Street Journal for Dec. 26 under its standing head, Minor Memos: “Assistant Attorney General Will Wilson tells a job applicant that the Justice Department now avoids hiring high-ranking law school graduates because ‘those bright guys are all left-wingers’ . . .” Calvin R. Starnes, Gladewater, Tex.
You May Also Like
The documentary in Falfurrias is sinister and spiritual.