Bushes and ambushes Dallas We sat for a while in the shade atop the Grassy Knoll and gave some thought to history. Then we just watched the cars coming down Elm Street to the Triple Underpass and the families of Bermuda-shorted turistas pointing and clicking their polaroids at the Carraway-Byrd Building, which once housed the Texas School Book Depository but hasn’t housed anything since. The newest billboards around town herald Big D as the “Time of Your Life City,” home of many interesting, exciting things to do, et cetera. But people still come to Dallas from everywhere because the city was, 12 years ago, the place of John F. Kennedy’s death. Those who haven’t traveled here for that reason alone leave their hotel or motel rooms eventually and ask the first Dallasite they find for directions to where it happened. Something happened while we sat looking down at the exact spot and at a family lined up in rows and smiling at a relative’s box camera. The bushes to our right suddenly rustled and parted. A man in a maroon shirt and crushed tennis hat pushed through, propped his elbows on the chest-high fence in the foliage, and assumed a firing position. Intent on his mission, he gave his observers only a cursory glance. Up the hill a hundred yards, meanwhile, at the corner of Houston and Elm, a traffic light turned green. A phalanx of automobiles rolled down the fateful pavement. The man, about 30, drew a sudden bead on a dirty blue Cadillac and bellowed from the bushes: “SHOOT, HONEY! SHOOT NOW!” He squeezed his own trigger, got off one quick burst at the car, then ducked behind the fence, scraping it with the lens of his home movie camera as he squatted. “OKAY?” his wife called from across the street. She stood alone in blue jeans and halter where dozens stood the day John Kennedy was killed. From sixty yards away, she had just shot her husband with a Kodak Instamatic. The man in the tennis hat popped up again, clutching this time a diagram marked with X’s, circles and dotted lines. He extended his right arm toward his wife, sighted down his index finger and squinted again at his map of the assassination. “NO!” he yelled across the last cars rushing into the underpass. “You’re two feet too far east! Do it again!” He eyed us now and, folding his chart, explained with testy confidence: “The Warren Commission was wrong, and I intend to prove it.” He raised his movie camera again and waited for the light to change. SI DUNN Dunn is a feature writer for The Dallas Morning News. . ,s gancfflogassavaummiimelftil got the usual ,enthusiastic reception at the convention until it was announced that she is actually to get paid for her work, at which point the convention broke into Houston were appointed at least in part because of lobbying efforts by the caucus. The convention also managed to pass a number of resolutions without bloodshed. It censured Robert Strauss for waffling on the ERA, and supported prison reform and repeal of laws that discriminate against homosexuals. There was overwhelming support for the “potty resolution” to outlaw pay johns, and even a vote of support for Sissy Farenthold in view of the story in the last issue of the Observer \(Aug. misadventure of a hapless spokesperson who misspoke herself and wound up being quoted all over the state to the effect that the settlement of the Farenthold/Briscoe lawsuit reflected no credit on Farenthold. Great and mighty was the disapproval of that statement by the convention. The convention also called on us to support Betty Ford, boycott Gallo wines and iceberg lettuce, work for a commission on the status of women, and plug for good child care legislation. The most pleasant surprise of the convention was Lt. Gov. Krupsak, who is something of a cross between Sissy Farenthold and Barbara Mikulski, which is to say, an energetic Farenthold. Krupsak got off a number of good lines \(including a repudiation of the idea that affirmative action is a code word for quota: “Why on earth should we ever settle for 50 percent?’ simply as an example. She has enjoyed a political career much like the perils of Pauline, except no hero ever arrived in the nick to snatch her off the railroad tracks or out from under the buzzsaw. She has always managed to untie the knots her own self and scamper off victorious. Lila Cockrell, the new mayor of San Antonio, looks like a small edition of Louise Day Hicks, but sounds a lot better. Although she worked for passage of a state ERA a few years ago, Cockrell is now judiciously silent on the subject, noting that she has supporters on both sides of the issue and a whole lot of local concerns to keep her busy. She gives a pretty good plug for handling women’s issues on the local level, having started with a city women’s commission and a city rape crisis center. The TWPC’s “Woman of the Year” award went to Hermine Tobolowsky, the indefatigable Dallas feminist. The first Rex Braun Award, named in honor of the late Houston legislator who fought for women’s causes for years, went to H. K. Allen, a banker from Temple and a feminist. But the last word went to the ever-remarkable Dallas Morning News. We here reprint in its entirety a News editorial of Aug. 25 entitled: “Insensitive to Women? Not our Strauss.” “Our own Bob Strauss, the lead lizard of the Democratic party who has a genius for herding the stubborn donkeys into the same barnlot, has a new crisis on his hands. He said there were two sides to the Equal Rights Amendment and an indignant outfit by the name of the Texas Women’s Political Caucus requested that he be removed from Democracy’s top post. Even worse, they charged he was insensitive to the needs of women. “Insensitive to women? Little Bob Strauss of Stamford who used to drive the admiring girls around town in an old car? Bob Strauss of the University of Texas who, with his friend John Connally, slicked down his hair and charmed the campus beauties with his West Texas wit and big brown eyes? Lawyer Bob Strauss of Dallas, a feature attraction of White House parties and formal socials at Washington’s finest galas? “Knowing Strauss, we’d say off-hand the good ladies of the Texas Women’s Political Caucus are not too smart. If they want the ERA ratified, they ought not to lampoon our Bob. They should put on some good perfune and ease up to him with their arguments, charm and a come-hither look. He’s more receptive to that strategy.” M.I.
You May Also Like
The documentary in Falfurrias is sinister and spiritual.