Page 7


Miss Ima Hogg McKinnon’s senate seat. Rep. Joe Salem has already entered the race against McKinnon, and it shapes up as one hell of a three-way race. McKinnon’s troops are trying to pin a pro-busing label on both Salem and Truan as a result of the House’s periodic silly, unconstitutional, and ineffective anti-busing resolutions. Truan is the dean of the House’s chicano caucus, the father of the bilingual education bill, and one of the House’s hardest-working members. Joe Salem once tried to bring peace in Vietnam and once fell off the speaker’s dais, while Mike McKinnon has never done anything we can recall. Also on the list of potential candidates for next year is Madelin Olds of Corpus, who is mulling a race for the Texas House in a new district that has no incumbent. Olds will be remembered by Austinites as the very quiet, very efficient woman who ran Sissy Farenthold’s office when Farenthold was in the Legislature. She has since returned to work in both of Farenthold’s gubernatorial efforts, and has also involved herself in a myriad of good government causes in Corpus. She teaches government, matter of fact, at Del Mar College. 10 The Texas Observer CLASSIFIED Classified advertising is 20d per word. Discounts for multiple insertions within a 12-month period; 26 times, 50%; 12 times, 25%; 6 times, 10%. BOOKPLATES. Free catalog. Many beautiful design. Special designing too. Address: BOOKPLATES, P.O. Box 28-1, Yellow Springs, Ohio 45387. PLAYING THE RECORDER IS EASY. Free catalog, best recorders, recorder music. Beginner’s Pearwood Soprano Book, $11.95. Amster Music, 1624 Lavaca, Austin. GUITAR PICKERS. Buy your guitar strings from us and save 20%. Mail orders accepted. Amster Music, 1624 Lavaca, Austin. JOIN THE ACLU. Membership $15. Texas Civil Liberties Union, 600 West 7th, Austin, Texas 78701. BOOK-HUNTING? No obligation search for rare or out-of-print books. Ruth and John McCully. Austin, Texas 78703. NEW ORLEANS ON $8 A YEAR. The Weekly Courier, 1232 Decatur, 70116. GENERAL HOME AND AUTO REPAIRS. Jim THE NEW YORK TIMES Sunday edition delivered to your home in the Dallas area. Call 239-5235 for rates and information. WAN’I’ED. Political campaign buttons and memorabilia. National or state. George Meyer, 2204 Matthews Dr., Austin 78703, or phone 478-2848. By Lonn Taylor Round Top Katherine Ann Porter wrote about Miss lma Hogg in the Atlantic Monthly last February in the past tense, as if she were already dead. But Miss Ima was very much alive until last night, and if she saw Miss Porter’s article she was undoubtably provoked by it, for it managed to give the impression that she was a rather mindless old lady who enjoyed planting wildflowers. She was far from mindless and, at ninety-three, a long ways from being old. Of course she loved wildflowers. She also loved Bach, and all good music, and played it well. When she was in her middle eighties, she climbed into the loft of the tiny Lutheran Church in Round Top and played a competent concert on the cedar-pipe organ there. She loved fine craftsmanship and spent fifty-five years collecting examples of it in furniture, glass, ceramics and the decorative arts, nearly all of which she gave away to public institutions before she died. She prized individualism in thought and action and this led her to value folk art on an equal level with Picasso and Rivera, her two favorite twentieth-century artists. She had strong dislikes, nearly all of them flowing from a basic antipathy to fuzziness and unclear thinking: she once remarked of Tschaikowsky, rather loudly, during a performance of his Fifth Symphony at Jones Hall, when she herself was quite deaf and nearly blind, “Self-pity, self pity! He just wallows in it!” She did not like jokes about her name, which was the Scottish nickname for Imogene and came to her from the name of the heroine of a long epic poem admired by her father. There never was a Ura, although in 1966 a lady in Tampa, Fla., wrote Miss Hogg to say that she was named for “an Ima Hogg,” and added, “I have a twin sister named Ura.” IKNEW HER only in the last years of her life, as a collaborator in several of her projects, but I came to love her and I will never forget her. She had the most active, inquiring mind I have ever seen; she would make long telephone calls, usually around ten o’clock at night, to solicit her friends’ opinions on everything from the Sharpstown scandal to the origin of comets. She loved politics and public affairs, would not imagine anyone not being interested in them, and could never really adjust to the fact that Texans of above-average intelligence could be Republicans. During the 1972 presidential campaign, when politics were much on her Taylor is the director of the University of Texas Winedale Museum. mind, she began a speech at a totally non-political museum dinner honoring her by saying, “I am so glad to see so many of my friends here, and to know that you are all Texans and all Democrats.” Her telephone must have rung all the next morning, for about noon she called one of the hosts and said, “Listen, you’re a Democrat, aren’t you?” Of course, her memory covered more than half the state’s political history. She was our last link with the generation of statesmen who took Texas into the Confederacy and then back into the Union; one of her moral guidepoints was John Reagan, the former Confederate postmaster-general who resigned a lifetime seat in the U.S. Senate to serve as Texas’ first railroad commissioner. She measured men like Richard Nixon and Gus Mutscher against John Reagan and found them wanting and told people about it. Some of her opinions were quaint; along with my grandmother and scores of other long-dead Southern ladies, she believed that Abraham Lincoln was the illegitimate brother of Jefferson Davis. However, she had heard from Francis Lubbock, who served as Davis’ aide-de-camp, that Davis himself believed it. Some of her beliefs were progressive to the point of being revolutionary: she once stopped a River Oaks sherry party dead in its tracks by announcing, in response to a rather silly question, that she thought the greatest man of the twentieth century was Vladimir Lenin. Amid squeals of “Oh, Miss Ima, you’re not a Communist!” she went on to describe a trip she and her brothers had made to the Soviet Union in the ’20’s, saying, “I’ve been in jails in the United States and I’ve been in jails in Russia, and the ones in Russia were better.” She distrusted Sen. Joe Bailey, whom she remembered as a man who always wanted to whisper something to her father, rather than speak to him openly; thought Jim Ferguson a demagogue; and admired Colonel E. M. House. She gave me an answer one night, in a noisy catfish cafe in Rutersville, to a question that has always puzzled historians she said that Woodrow Wilson broke with House because the second Mrs. Wilson brooded because the representatives of the Great Powers of Versailles preferred House’s company to Wilson’s. She added that House waited for months for Franklin Roosevelt to ask him to join his staff of advisors and, when Roosevelt failed to do so, died of a broken heart. Gossip, perhaps, but gossip of some value. The one tragedy of Miss Hogg’s life is that she never wrote her memoirs. One of the official tributes published