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h om e South toward home 1 Heart Downtown Dallas 24-HOUR COFFEE SHOP No Charge for Children Under 18 Radio-Television Completely Air Conditioned FREE INSIDE PARKING HOTEl outlitanb Commerce-Murphy-Main Streets Telephone: 742-6431 Dallas, Texas um ale me im us um No an mi ow THE TEXAS OBSERVER 504 West 24th Street Austin, Texas 78705 Enter a 1-year subscription, at $7.30 street city state \( I Check enclosed I To be billed “One of the best publiCations in the country remains The’ Texas Observer.” THE NEW YORK POST, Dec. 18, 1969 64. . probably as close any publication in America to the high European standard of informed refortage and commentary.” THE SOUTH AND THE NATION by Pat Watters A journal of “considerable influence in Texas publiclife.” THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW, Oct. 22, 1967 With “influence felt far beyond the state borders.” TIME, Sept. 27, 1968 “The conscience of the political community in Texas …” THE NEW REPUBLIC, Nov. 20, 1965 “. . . the state’s bell-wether liberal publication.” AUSTIN AMERICANSTATESMAN, Sep. 20, 1969 “A respected journal of dissent.” THE NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE, March 2, 1969 “. . that outpost of reason in the Southwest …” NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS, April 11, 1968 it . . that state’s only notable liberal publication . . . ” THE WASHINGTON POST, Nov. 25, 1968 “. . . delights in exposing the peccadila loes of the Texas establishment …” a THE PROGRESSIVE, November 1968 I “No doubt the best political journal in the state.” THE REPORTER, Nov. 30, 1967 “Copies find their way to the desks of the mighty and even into the White House.” ST. LOUIS POSTDISPATCH , J ttly 25, 1965 “Time and again since its first appearance in 1954, the Observer has cracked stories ignored by the state’s big dailies and has had the satisfaction of watching the papers follow its muckraking lead.” NEWSWEEK, March 7, 1966 1111 MINI NI Me = =I ME Me -N I= IM IN I By Molly Ivins Austin Going back to Texas? Ivins, you’re out of your goddamn mind. And they told me again all the things that make Minnesota a better place to live. The schools are better, the health care is better, the mental institutions more humane, the prisons more enlightened, and the courts more just. And also, Minnesota has bars. And Minnesota’s newspapers are superior and its politicians are progressive and its climate no lousier and its laws more Molly Ivins, now co-editor of the Observer, returned to Texits Aug. 1 after three years with The Minneapolis Tribune. She worked there first as a feature writer and later as a beat reporter covering police and then the University of Minnesota. For the past 18 months she has specialized in the area of movements for social change. In 1969 she won the sweepstakes award in the Minnesota AP Newswriting Contest as well as first place in the division for “Best Series.” She has also won several awards for spot newswriting from the Twin Cities Newspaper Guild. 22 The Texas Observer sane. And its racism is thin-blooded and polite. I can’t .help it. I love the state of Texas. It’s a harmless perversion. ILOVE THE gritty, down-on-the-ground quality of Texans, their love of a good yarn and the piss and vinegar of their speech, not yet watered down to Standard Television American. I enjoy that abiding interest in kin, even unto the in-laws of second cousins. And I like the pleasant open vulgarity of Texans. Honest vulgarity is so much nicer than affected gentility. And Texas ain’t genteel. But there are rednecks down there, protested the Minnesotans, and the people are so crassly materialistic. So. As Sinclair Lewis pointed out, there are yahoos in Sauk Centre and Babbitts in Duluth and what the hell difference does it make that they don’t speak with a Texas twang. Saying all these comforting things to myself, I started my hegira home with all my worldly goods, two cats and rubber plant in a teenage Mercury that doesn’t go backwards. Sort of like the littlest piggy, I worried, worried, worried all the way home. “Roots!” Berryman the poet had said scornfully. “What are you, a plant?” Had I over-romanticized Texas? Again? Two years before I had come home for a visit in an orgy of sentimentality. I’d been gone long enough to forget about Texans and football not a game, but a matter of blood and death. I’d arrived in Austin the weekend of the Texas-Arkansas game to find 50,000 drunks running around town shrieking “S000000eeee, pig, pig, pig, pig.” My brother had taken me forthwith to the pre-game party at the fraternity house. We drank. We went to the game. We drank. We went to the post-game party. We drank. And Andy finally located his “big brother” in the fraternity, one Reggie from Big Spring. It seemed that 01′ Reg had never made it from the pre-game party to the game. He stayed at the house and drank right into the post-game party. By the time Andy got Reggie under one arm and me under the other to make the big introduction his big sister to his “big brother” 01′ Reg was thoroughly juiced. He swayed a little, peered at me through an alcoholic haze, noticed I was female, reached over and grabbed my right breast and squeezed, saying, “Hieh!” Right on, Southern gentlemen. I was going back to that? I whipped across the border doing 80 and feeling queasy. I have been gone long enough to be astonished at the familiar. The incredibly vast sky. The enveloping heat. Grown men who chew gum. Whitewall tires. Howdy. Grits. And folks who speak to you in