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11111111111111111=111111111111111111111111=111 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 504 West 24th Street Austin, Texas 78705 Enter a 1-year subscription, at $7.30 I \(including 4 1street city state [ Check enclosed [ ] To be billed “A respected journal of dissent.” THE NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE, March 2, 1969 4\( . that outpost of reason in the Southwest …” NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS, April 11, 1968 `. . . that state’s only notable liberal publication . . . ” THE WASHINGTON POST, Nov. 25, 1968 . . delights in exposing the peccadilloes of the Texas establishment …” THE PROGRESSIVE, November 1968 “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, July 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 “One of the best publications in the country remains The Texas Observer.” THE NEW YORK POST, Dec. 18, 1969 Poncho Flores . people in Pharr, and they supervised the funeral procession; eight hundred people walking four abreast behind the slow moving black hearse in total silence except for the tramping of feet. The column moved from De Leon’s Funeral Home to St. Margaret’s Church for the mass, and from there to the cemetery. There was a collection for the widow, and you could tell the congregation was a poor one:. the baskets jangled rather than rustled. IT WAS NOT a very elegant funeral by urban standards. Some of the pallbearers wore jackets which did not quite match their pants, and they scorned the fancy collapsible wheeled cart, preferring to carry the casket. The ladies, some of whom I had seen Saturday in the picket line, were more elegantly dressed, but they walked with the same tireless patience I had noted then. They have walked in too many parades and processions to expect much change from that one. Lupe Salinas was there, wearing a black turtleneck and sunglasses. I had not seen him since he came to complain about Sergeant Sandoval; the bruises and black eye were gone. He, like most of the young people, was subdued, solemn and tired-looking. The only bright clothing around was worn by a TV cameraman from Weslaco, who chose a yellow shirt and white bell-bottoms for the funeral. Most of the women wore mantillas. That night the staff of j Ya Mero! worked late to get the paper out. It was on sale in Mexican grocery stores all over the valley on Friday, stores kept calling for more papers. “La Raza pierde otro hermano. Alfonso L. Flores muere de bala en la cabeza,” was the banner. \(“La Raza loses another brother. Alfonso L. Flores Then on Thursday some elderly people, former melon strikers from 1967, drove the 40 miles from Rio Grande City to find out what had happened. They said Sheriff Rene Solis, convicted of election fraud and sentenced to 30 days and a $2,000 fine, was still the sheriff. Why wasn’t he in jail? What do you tell people? We explained that his lawyer, Jim Bates, had appealed, and that it might take years before Solis went to jail, if he went at all. Friday, nearly 200 people crowded into the weekly Colonias del Valle meeting to talk about what will happen now. Will the FBI arrest the cop who killed Poncho, they want to know? People glance at the Flores family as a speaker explains what a grand jury is. Maybe he will be arrested after the 18th. Maybe not? LQuien sabe? Someone says he read in the Reynosa 16 The Texas Observer paper President Nixon had taken a personal interest in the case, which would be solved soon. He is told the story is a fantasy; the Justice Department lawyer came on Monday and was gone by Tuesday. You drive down Highway 83, past the Cactus Drive-in, familiar as the place where the crassest of skin-flicks are regularly projected across a giant outdoor screen, as drivers just miss crashing into each other while they rubberneck to catch a glimpse of technicolor flesh. You see they’re still playing Saturday’s feature: “A Bullet for Sandoval.” Somebody tells you Sandoval and Ramirez have moved their families out of Pharr in fear of some kind of retaliation, though there are no rumors that anybody is planning anything. You know some of the community organizers are staying in San Juan to avoid the Pharr police. Efrain Fernandez says he hopes if they come to arrest him they don’t do it in front of his little girl. YOU DRIVE past the high school and remember reading of time when there was enough freedom for Fred Hofheinz to hold a great outdoor debate with the late R. C. Hoiles, owner of the Freedom chain of newspapers, which oppose public education as socialist. Twenty years later, the first chicano student body president, and an active MAYO, Armando Castro, is removed from office for circulating a petition asking for the freedom to circulate petitions. You remember the new president is named Joey Stockton. You can be sure he’s no MAYO. Two of the Flores brothers tell you they flew down thorn Chicago as soon as they heard the news, but Poncho never regained consciousness. Now they have to get back or lose their jobs. Do they have to stay for the trial? The lawyer tells them there will be no trial for months, probably. They look surprised; say nothing. You remember talking to Sheriff Claudio Castarieda’s badge-wearing secretary the Friday before the riot as you wait to interview the sheriff. She is a chicana named Mrs. Larson. She gives you a lecture about how the union is bad, because all the other Mexicans except her and her labor-contractor father are lazy. Her sister married a chicano, and boy, was she sorry. All he does is drink beer and lie around. If you raise wages, the people just drink more and that makes more work for the sheriff. You wonder how many of the deputies carrying guns on Saturday night felt the same way. You remember your mother teaching you the policeman is your friend. She wasn’t running a game on you either. She meant it. And you wait. And the people wait, to see if anything will happen. Probably not, and you start crossing the street every time you see a cop. What else is there to do? “.. . probably as close as any publication in America to the high European standard of informed reportage and commentary.” THE SOUTH AND THE NATION by Pat Watters A journal of “considerable influence in Texas public life.” 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