:, ittr *Fe= “‘” lar4; “:pw Freedom is for Free In a continuing celebration of our 20th anniversary, we offer another sliver from the Observer’s past, this one an exercise in bemused . tolerance by a long-time contributing editor. Ed. By Georgia Earnest Klipple April 18, 1963 Corpus Christi They, six hundred and fifty of them, converged onto the Discoll Hotel Grand Ballroom like Birnam Wood come to Dunsinane towering Mount Everests of flowered hats, broad, luxury liners of flowered hats, thin George Washington obelisks of flowered hats. They and their hats were weaving at varying angles and speeds, depending on individual command of four-inch needle heels. They were Delta Kappa Gamma en masse, the Coastal Bend Toastmistress Club, the University of Corpus Christi Women’s Club, Desk and Derrick, Byliners, Women in Construction, Industrial Management Club Auxiliary, Theater Guild, Aransas Pass Women’s Club, Corpus Christi Bank and Trust Co., Doyle McCain Plumbing, and others. It was the ninth annual 4-C’s Luncheon sponsored by the Women’s Committee of the Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce and the Gulf Coast Chapter of Texas Manufacturers Association in observance of Texas Industrial Week. The ladies had spent the morning decorating the tables of their own clubs to win a prize. Now they were having their own creative competition. The tables didn’t have a chance under the hats. “Look, there are two just alike!” “Where? Where?” “At this first table and no, over there, don’t look now three tables over.” “How they must be suffering.” “I’ll bet they’ll never wear those hats again.” The loudspeaker groaned and sputtered. “Ladies, will you please find your seats,” bawled a male voice. “Ladies, will you please find your seats?” “I’ve found mine,” tittered a woman. “Ladies, will you please come in from the lobby and find your seats,” the man pleaded. He tried a new tack. “Come on, girls.” At last the girls were seated facing each other. \(Good heavens, Susie McCue looks ten years older than I do, Their faces, accented by Revlon brows and Maybelline lashes, were faded under the hats. “One thing for sure, they all DO, and their hairdressers and everybody else knows it.” “I wish I could get that shade on mine what was that mixture?” “Cherry and sable brown?” “Mr. David said there wasn’t enough gray in mine to get those rich, red highlights.” Salad forks clinked against bowls of avocado drowned in Thousand Island. Calories disappeared by the millions. Halfway through the salad, the mistress of ceremonies asked for silence. She wanted someone to return thanks. One woman started to put down her cracker, thought the better of it, and took another bite instead. Thanks were hastily returned. Negro waiters served coffee. “I don’t want coffee. Can I have Sanka?” asked a woman. “I 14 The Texas Observer never drink coffee any more since I went to the Country Club,” she explained to a neighbor. “I told the waiter out there that I couldn’t drink coffee. He said, ‘Do you want me to get you some Sanka?’ and ever since then I always ask for Sanka.” The man was at the microphone again. “Now you ladies are full enough, we can get along with the program. Don’t bother to applaud. You can’t clap your hands and eat pie at the same. time.” Clinking of metal on pottery became somewhat muted. . .. “Anything is liable to happen anytime. Here are two beautiful pair of silk stockings from Lichtenstein’s for Mrs. John Doe.” The names were pulled from a barrel. One hundred door prizes were given, ranging from a six-inch model of a bus to a lifesize fishing car: a road map, a bucket of housepaint, a satin evening stole, an electric mixer, artificial flowers, a silver tray, a gold tray, a gallon of oysters, a bottle of cologne, a gallon of shrimp, a jar of soap, a marble-topped table, a $26 pair of shoes, ten mirrors, a dozen road map atlases. They were d6nated by local businesses. A dairy company gave a gallon of milk, a gallon of buttermilk, a pound of butter, a carton of eggs, and a container of cottage cheese, all to the same woman. A little 75-year-old lady won a free night’s lodging for herself and a partner at the Sea Ranch. A school teacher drew a $25 savings bond. Two dozen women and one man \(a representative Beer Company. Everybody got a standard packet of loot: a bag of potato chips, a Coca Cola, cigaret lighter, a box of pancake mix, and two passes to a figure control salon. Screams of appreciation and applause punctuated the announcements of the witnesses. The guest speaker was Lum of Lum and Abner. \(Last year it was born, said the introducer, as Chester Lauck, in a small town in Arkansas. He had worked in the local bank. He had gone to Hollywood. After a 25-year run of the Lum and Abner comedy team, he had been hired by the Continental Oil Company of Houston to tour the country speaking to just such groups as this one. Now he is executive assistant of his company. Lum, slim, handsome in that distinguished older-man fashion,
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