resignation, Lindsey asked the committee to postpone the effective date of his resignation until April 13, the twentieth anniversary of his tenure in state government and an important milestone when it comes to retirement benefits. The final vote was called for. Baker suggested that maybe Miskell should be asked if he had anything to say, but then he changed his mind and called for the question instead. The first voice vote appeared to include only two committee members in Miskell’s favor. Then someone called for a show of hands, and Baker, to everyone’s surprise, was one of the first to raise his hand in favor of retaining Miskell. His action apparently prompted others to follow his lead, and the vote for retaining the commissioner was unanimous. K.N. Elroy Bode’s Notebook El Paso PARADISE I was down at the bus station the other night, watching the people in the waiting room. They were hardly elegant. Travel-tired Negro women wrestled with their scab-nosed, crying babies; a young spastic threw himself forward on two wobbling canes. One toothless old woman with bursting-fat ankles inched along in faded house slippers while thin, unshaven men with bloodshot eyes stared past her out the glass doorway. A huge, dull-eyed Navajo in a straw hat wandered past looking forlorn; two West Coast teddy boys with beatle shoes and wrinkled tight-legged pants argued and smoked and banged viciously at the pin ball machines. And old broken men sat on the benches, slumped into their coats. Yet as I watched them in all their waiting room grotesqueness the halt and lame and put-upon and unredeemed I had a curious vision of what Heaven must be like. I found myself staring into space, into Heaven, and the people I saw there walking slowly side by side were these same graceless travelers of the bus station. It was like seeing into the hold of a cosmic slave ship where manacled, starving, reeking prisoners were chained together in a swarming mass. Paradise, the vision seemed to say, was wherever human beings were king in all their ruined and unlovely mortality. CLASSICS What a writer does is mark off a piece of land or a group of people and stay right there working until he makes the land or the people his: the country becomes Faulkner Country, the people Steinbeck People. A man and his materials become so much one that they cannot be separated. And it’s not just art; it’s chemistry: hydrogen finds oxygen marvelously, with beauty, for keeps. Of course someone else can always try to take over ownership of that very same land or people or way of life, but it will probably not do him much good. He can never get a clear title. Someone may make another canoe trip down the Brazos River in November, say, but what he writes about it is apt to be pale stuff, or derivative. For John Graves has already made that particular trip, and felt it, and did the writing about it, and there is little way that further writing and feeling can bite more deeply into that same material. This is what classic means: that the job was done, and need not be done again. Gqd save us from ambitious women who, in the long run, never do the truly creative work but merely want to. Men in their 30’s and 40’s, with their new hostilities. They are getting pudgy in the middle, they drink to excess, they have become a little too dissatisfied with their jobs and wives. So their bodies sagging, their lives increasingly humdrum they look around irritably for someone to blame. RANCH PEOPLE I cannot help loving the idea of them, their lives. Just the other day I cut out a photograph from the Sheep and Goat Raisers Magazine. A young rancher near San Saba had won a prize for taking care of his range properly something like that and the family was shown posing in their ranch front yard: the neat young wife, a couple of yellow-haired kids, the thick-bodied, slightly balding young rancher in his sport shirt and khakis. The yard gate was ajar between the two rock posts, a collie was lying on the grass, flowers bordered the front of the house, oak trees were in the background. There he was, in the country, in front of his home, with his family: a man who had become a prizewinner because he took care of his range. . . . NIGHT FISHING ON THE COAST It was only my uncle and I who wanted to continue fishing at night. He would light his after-supper cigar first puffing on it a little to be sure it was caught and then after gathering up the rods and stringers and metal fishing boxes we had laid down beside the tent, we would leave the others and walk the hundred yards or so up the beach to the pier. The wind would be blowing in strong from the Gulf and the waters would seem magically wide and black as we walked toward the end of the pier. We would find a place underneath one of the small high bulbs and put down our gear and begin to cast out into the darkness. And as 1 fished the wind in my face, the surf breaking easily along the shore it always seemed to me that there was a quiet fraternity among those who had scattered out along the railings. Everyone stood there patiently casting, waiting, looking at the bay and the stars and the night and no one seemed to care, really, if he caught anything or not. People seemed content just to stand there and let the waters.lap against the dark pilings underneath and the Gulf wind blow steadily across their bodies. As I look back it seems impossible that anyone on that peaceful stretch of boards should have ever found a reason to become angry: it was as though human emotions were completely diluted were in solution with the night and the Gulf and the sweeping salt air. . . . Perhaps a fishing pier is one of the few places on earth where a war could never start where no one would take aggression seriously. Sometimes thoughts dealing with the infinite grow inside me like over-yeasty bread in a hot oven. My head begins to swell and whirl and wants to explode. My mind grows dizzy straining into places and perceptions just beyond itself. This occurs when I am looking out a window, say, and suddenly I stop living in March 6, 1970 13 CLASSIFIED BOOKPLATES. Free catalog. Many beautiful designs. Special designing too. Address: BOOK PLATES, Yellow Springs 8, Ohio. ANNE’S TYPING SERVICE \(Marjorie Anne binding, Mailing, Public Notary. Twenty years experience. Call 442-7008 or 442-0170, Austin. OKLAHOMA LIMITED. A Journal of Political Opinion. Published Monthly $5 Per Year. Box 2777-TO, Norman, Okla. 73069. JIM GARRISON’S EVIDENCE CATALOG Photocopy of Suppressed Files Just Released. Send $2.00, Jim Brown, Box 651, Waltham, Massachusetts 02154. THE TRUMPETDigest of Independent Liberal Goleta, Calif. 93017. MARCH ON WASHINGTONphoto essay, over 100 pictures, speeches, etc. 10″x12″ Absolute. Send $2.50 Relevance Press, Box 366X Newcomb Hall Station, Charlottesville, Va. 22901.
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