slowly fold the flag. Connally and his Nellie are daubing at their eyes. The flag is given to Ms. Johnson. And now they all will go. Shaking hands, leaving, some of the family putting red flowers on the casket as they pass, the Fifth Army Band playing “God of Our Fathers,” the Rev. Dr. Graham’s flowing colored robe among them and the gothic old trees and the low fence, it seems for a moment that we are not here watching and this is a scene in an English churchyard some hundreds of years ago. THE THIRD theater. 5:45. Cotton Richey’s beer joint on the highway between the graveyard and Johnson City. The television is going in the corner above the bar, Cotton and his wife are behind the bar, two men are at a table before the bar, there is no one else here as I come in. They are watching the part of Walter Cronkite on the funeral. It is just ending. Cotton is a lonely or a talkative man or both; his wife, some younger than his 70 years, keeps quiet, and seems a little wary what he says. She is his second wife, he says in passing. He booms out, Lyndon has never been in this place, but when he, Cotton, first got to this country from South Texas many years ago, Lyndon was the only man he knew, he’d been friends with George Parr, who owns Duval County, and Parr knew Lyndon real well . . . Yes, he’d first met George Parr, Cotton had, shortly after Parr’d got out of the federal pen, you 1937. The spotlight has shifted from the TV to the man behind the bar. Cotton had come down the elevator in the Austin Hotel, and Parr’d come up from another group and introduced himself and said something, and finding out they were from the same parts, took him over to introduce him to the group he had been with. . . . On the walls of this little place there were two masses of photographs of John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, and others in their dimension, many of the pictures evidently signed, and Cotton pointed with special pride to one he said he bet we had not seen, a photograph of Johnson in a cowboy hat, which Cotton that very morning had cut out of an advertisement in the Austin paper taken by Scarbrough’s Department Store in honor of Johnson. One of the men at the table left then, so drunk they feared for him on his way home. The other, a rancher from 400 yards up the road, joined us at the bar and spoke of things I did not know about, ranching, and electric plugs for outside the house, with hatches on them to keep out the rain. The 6 o’clock local news came on then about the funeral, and we stopped to watch again. The announcer spoke of the solitary oak tree at the graveyard, and we hooted at that. “Why, there’s more than one,” the rancher said, “I first went swimming along there 22 years ago.” 6:5 5. That’s kind of what it comes down to, powerless people, taking their comfort in their beer, their sex and their business. “The casket of the former President was lowered slowly into the ground as the light gray sky revealed patches of red and gray to the west. . . . “The last sod was laid over the former President’s vault shortly before 7 p.m.” “Six members of an Army military police battalion were injured about 7 p.m. Thursday when the truck carrying them from the LBJ Ranch ran off a road and overturned in the Pedernales River. The courthouse crowd in Dallas has known about Commissioner Roy Orr’s father for a long time. Word is that Willis Orr hasn’t had a steady job since 1946, that he used to panhandle in front of the old Federal Building. It’s been no secret that the elder Orr has been a guest of the Dallas jail from time to time, but when Orr’s last retreat to the tank lasted 116 days, the Dallas Iconoclast decided it was time to ask the county commissioners some questions. A letter recently published in The Community Voice, over Willis Orr’s signature, alleged that Orr was residing in a 15-bunk tank with 50 men. It said that although he had been in jail more than two months, he had received medication for heart trouble and chronic bronchitis only within the past two weeks. “I personally feel I am only being held for some political reason known only to my son and Judge After reading the letter, Iconoclast publisher Doug Baker, Jr., and Ed Polk, left wing attorney who has a hostile relationship with County Judge Sterrett, called the jail and discovered that the elder Orr had been in jail 116 days on a “five-day sober-up.” They obtained Orr’s release the same day. Baker told the Observer that Orr said he had to sleep under the game table during his first 60 days of incarceration. People sitting at the table put their feet on him and checkers kept falling all night long, he complained. He finally got a cot. Baker said Orr talked with Polk about the possibility of suing the commissioners court for damages, but the attorney never heard from Orr again. Doug Zabel, a reporter for the Iconoclast, appeared before the county commissioners to ask how someone could be held for 116 days without being charged. Judge Sterrett explained that Orr has an alcohol problem and that he asked to be put in jail to “dry out.’ Then the judge added, “It’s unbelievable that “An Army spokesman said none of the men suffered major injuries. “The soldiers, all enlisted men stationed at Fort Hood, had just completed duties at the burial of former President Lyndon Johnson, and were being driven from the ranch in a two-and-one-half ton Army truck when the truck went off a low-water crossing at the western boundary of the ranch. . . . “The incident was the only traffic mishap reported near the LBJ Ranch Thursday as . . . ” “LBJ Buried on Ranch “As Thousands Mourn.” R.D. Political Intelligence someone would come in here and make this kind of cheap personal attack, exploiting the personal problems of a sick old man. I’ve known Roy On since he was a boy and his family are some of the finest people in Dallas.” Sterrett called Zabel “the scum of the earth.” Commissioner On produced a letter, signed by his father, stating his desire to terminate his client-attorney relationship with Polk and demanding that Polk make no public disclosure concerning the case. Polk has followed Orr’s instructions, but the Iconoclast did a front-page story on the situation ‘eb. 9. Baker and Zabel went to visit Willis Orr at the Waco veterans hospital after the article appeared. The old man was having a picnic on the grounds with Roy Orr, former State Rep. Fred Orr and their families. Baker said Willis seemed very happy to be reunited with his sons. Jury found guilty After a Laredo jury acquitted a defendant charged with possession of 134 pounds of marijuana, U.S. District Judge Ben Connally told them they would never serve in his court again. The jury deliberated for three hours on the first evening without reaching a verdict; when they returned the next morning, they returned with the “not guilty” after only 30 minutes, whereupon Judge Connally informed them that in 20 years he has not seen “a more stupid, illogical and February 16, 1973 9 A happy ending?
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