THE TEXAS OBSERVER Ronnie Dugger, Publisher A window to the South A journal of free voices Vol. LXIII , No. 23 Nov. 19, 1971 Incorporating the State Observer and the East Texas Democrat, which in turn incorporated the Austin ForumAdvocate. Editorial and Business Offices: The Texas Observer, 600 W. 7th St., Austin, Texas 78701. Telephone 477-0746. 704210”’11,11 are given drugs. and taught how to use them! You could be arrested on a trumped up charge when you fight the ungodly element! Some have been! Your business may be illegally picketed at least one has been! It’s happening to others! Why wait until it happens to you? What Can You Do? PRAY! Scotty also recommended voting for right-thinking people and supporting the local police. Now the masterstroke in this ad was linking pornography, obscenity, the molestation of young girls, drugs and the ungodly element to an illegal picket. And guess who was running a picket line last summer that the city, on second thought, decided was illegal? Tyrrell’s is a nationwide jewelry store chain. But unlike other national chains, it is not to be found in your major population centers such as New York and Chicago. Tyrrell’s branches are located in such elegant spas as Wrightstown, N.J., Fayetteville, N.C., Tacoma, Wash., and Oceanside, Calif. The chain advertises in back of Beetle Bailey comic books. It carries non-jewelry specialties such as the Shortimer’s Calendar, especially marked with the name, rank and date of release from the Army of the owner. The GIs known as the Fort organized this year’s Armed Forces Day march, consider any number of Killeen businesses “rip offs,” out to deliberately and outrageously exploit GIs. As one black Viet vet from Detroit put it, “Damn near everyone in this town’s got his hand in the soldier’s pocket.” However, Tyrrell’s became the target of the GI boycott largely because of its advertising policies. In the window of the Killeen Tyrrell’s store hung an “Honor Roll” bearing the names of “Our Satisfied Customers Who Have Given Their Lives in Vietnam.” The Tyrrell’s pitch was drenched with heavy emotional appeal “if you haven’t got a girlfriend and you haven’t got a wife, buy this lovely diamond pendant for your dear old mother and if you get killed in Nam before you’ve completed your payments on it, Tyrrell’s will let your dear old mother keep it and won’t even make her finish the payments.” It is against the law anyway to dun the relatives of dead soldiers, but Tyrrell’s advertised the point as though it were a virtue exclusive to the chain. Tyrrell’s also employed sidewalk hustlers in Killeen, whose sales instruction manual contained directions either unethical or tasteless, depending on your point of view, on how to play on a soldier’s loneliness and fears. TOWARD THE END of May, the FHUF checked with the Killeen city council and the city attorney and were told that a consumer boycott was legal as long as picketers, did not obstruct traffic. The FHUF planned to picket only on paydays, the traditional time at which soldiers are euchred into blowing their money. The first picket line went up after the first payday in June. According to the FHUF GIs it was almost 100% effective. According to a tightlipped Tyrrell’s manager, it was “pretty effective.” On the second day of the picket, Mayor Lindley, city police Chief Charlie Mitchell and minions appeared and arrested all eight members of the picket line. The picketeers were charged under a state law that prohibits secondary boycotts you can’t picket an employer unless you have a direct relationship with him, e.g., you are his employee. The FHUF next appealed to the national committee of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War and to the U.S. Serviceman’s Front for support and the boycott began to spread, eventually forcing Tyrrell’s to negotiate. On the next payday in Killeen, more than 200 men gathered at the Strut, prepared to go on the picket line and get arrested in groups of four or five. But before the first line went up, Tyrrell’s took down its sign and closed its doors. The GIs held a victory march. Tyrrell’s re-opened the next day minus the “Honor Roll” and the sidewalk hustlers. The personnel at Tyrrell’s are still a little nervous \(the manager took pictures of the Observer’s photographer as he took without interference and without the more offensive advertising and hustling gimmicks of yore. Having achieved a modus vivendi with Tyrrell’s, the FHUF went on to plan for the FTA show in mid-September. 12 The event was to he a fundraiser for the perenially broke Strut” with Jane Fonda, Country Joe MacDonald and troupe providing the entertainment. The FHUF tried to get the Killeen High School auditorium for the show; but the school board refused on the grounds that school facilities cannot be used for political purposes. That apolitical fellow Melvin Munn of that apolitical program “Lifeline” had addressed a crowd in the school football stadium on Veterans’ Day, 1970. After all other efforts to obtain an adequate auditorium were thwarted, the show was finally scheduled at the Strut, with its seating capacity of 200. Fonda and EDITOR Kaye Northcott CO-EDITOR Molly Ivins EDITOR AT LARGE Ronnie Dugger Contributing Editors: Winston Bode; Bill Brammer, Gary Cartwright, Lee Clark, Sue Horn Estes, Joe Frantz, Larry Goodwyn, Harris Green, Bill Hamilton, Bill Helmer, Dave Hickey, Franklin Jones, Lyman Jones, Larry L. King, Georgia Earnest Klipple, Larry Lee, Al Melinger, Robert L. Montgomery, Willie Morris, Bill Porterfield, James Presley, Charles Ramsdell, Buck Ramsey, John Rogers, Mary Beth Rogers, Roger Shattuck, Edwin Shrake, Dan Strawn, John P. Sullivan, Tom Sutherland, Charles Alan Wright. We will serve no group or party but will hew hard to the truth as we find it and the right as we see it. We are dedicated to the whole truth, to human values above all interests, to the rights of man as the foundation of democracy; we will take orders from none but our own conscience, and never will we overlook or misrepresent the truth to serve the interests of the powerful or cater to the ignoble in the human spirit. The editor has exclusive control over the editorial policies and contents of the Observer. None of the other people who are associated with the enterprise shares this responsibility with her. Writers are responsible for their own work, but not for anything they have not themselves written, and in publishing them the editor does not necessarily imply that she agrees with them, because this is a journal of free voices. GENERAL MANAGER C. R. Olofson OFFICE MANAGER Irene Gaasch The Observer is published by Texas Observer Publishing Co., biweekly from Austin, Texas. Entered as second-class matter April 26, 1937, at the Post Office at Austin, Texas, under the Act of March 3, 1879. Second class postage paid at Austin, Texas. Single copy, 25c. One year, $7.00; two years, $13.00; three years. $18.00; plus, for Texas addresses, 5% sales tax. Foreign, except APO/FPO, 500 additional per year. Airmail, bulk orders, and group rates on request. Microfilmed by Microfilming Corporation of America, 21 Harristown Road, Glen Rock, N.J. 07452. Change of Address: Please give old and new address, including zip codes, and allow two weeks. Postmaster: Send form 3579 to Texas Observer, 600 W. 7th St., Austin, Texas 78701.
You May Also Like
The documentary in Falfurrias is sinister and spiritual.