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locrz \(77 O. Christie gets a hand Big Bob Heard from Big Spring, one of the state’s best and best known newspapermen, has signed on with the Joe Christie Senate campaign as press secretary and administrative assistant. The 47-year-old Heard, who has been with the Associated Press’ capital bureau for 12 years, has the distinction of belonging to not one, but two, of the country’s least-respected professions in addition to being a journalist, Heard is a lawyer. Dial-a-farmer What’s the farm strike all about? Can someone please explain what “parity” means? How can food prices be so high and farmers go broke at the same time? If you have a question about the farm protest, which is plenty serious business in Texas, here’s your chance to get an answer right from the horse’s mouth, so to speak. The American Agriculture Movement, the ad hoc organization coordinating the strike, has established a five-state regional information center in Austin. It’s staffed by knowledgeable volunteers from 8 a.m. to midnight; they keep themselves informed about strike developments with daily reports received from Texas’ 88 strike offices, from strike centers in other states, and from AAM delegates who are in Washington lobbying Congress and the Carter administration. Debbie Wormser Distinguished what? The University of Texas School of Communication’s annual award to a “distinguished communicator” goes to none other than television’s Captain Kangaroo. That’s right, Captain Kangaroo. A committee of eight students, five faculty members and two journalists decided to give the DeWitt Carter Reddick Award to Robert Keeshan, TV’s favorite marsupial, after considering nominations made by students, faculty and alumni. Past Reddick award winners include Walter Cronkite, Bill Moyers and Nicholas Johnson. Asked how retired CBS commentator Eric Severaid fared in the nominations, Kenny Dennenberg, a member of the nominations committee, said, “I cannot release that information.” David Guarino Six more years? It’s now 16 years since Texas liber als said, “Let’s just throw in with the Republicans and elect this little right-wing fella from Wichita Falls to the Senate, cause he’ll be easy to beat later Jn when we’re ready.” John Tower is officially in the ’78 Senate race, having declared his candidacy for a fourth term on Jan. 11. Ken Towery, former Pulitzer Prize-winning newsman and long-time Tower aide, has been ensconced in Austin as the statewide campaign manager. The chairman of Tower’s re-election committee is Austin attorney-banker Ed Clark, who was ambassador to Australia under Lyndon Johnson and still claims to be a Democrat, despite his 1976 support of Republican Gerald Ford and his current embrace of Tower. In an initial fundraising appeal timed to coincide with the announcement of his re-election bid, Tower got out a mass mailing of more than 100,000 pieces composed to look like telegrams. Called “Texasgrams,” the letters were printed on yellow paper and posted in yellow window envelopes. They carried the sort of clear-cut, throw-down-the-gauntlet Soul on fire Waco’s Word, Inc., one of the na tion’s largest publishers of Christian music and literature, will publish Eldridge Cleaver’s new autobiography, Soul on Fire. Cleaver himself, greying but looking fit and prosperous, turned up at a Waco press conference recently to promote the book, an explanation of his metamorphosis from practicing revolutionary to proselytizing Christian. He denounced his former associates in the Black Panther Party, along with anyone else who may have been inspired by him in his pre-Born-Again days. Said Cleaver: message calculated to arouse the faithful and produce money: “I believe we must fight to rally our fellow Texans against the forces moving to destroy America’s economic, social and moral values,” it began. Tower went on to lambast “Eastern Labor Bosses,” demand that the U.S. reassert its world leadership, -ondemn “nonessential” federal spending and unionization of the military, promise that he would lead the charge against the Panama Canal treaty and forced busing, and fight for a constitutional amendment to allow prayer in public schools. All the right-wing chords were struck. Tower has a sophisticated campaign operation, and there is no question that he’ll have a big war chest to keep it running well. Of course, not all of his money will come from direct-mail givers. During the Christmas season, Tower met in Dallas with representatives of the city’s Business-Industry Political Action Committee. After giving the corporate Santas his Christmas list, Tower told them he would have no trouble winning in November, but that it was going to cost a bundle to make the racenearly $3 million is the high budget figure his aides are mentioning. “I’m really suspicious of a lot of people who want to look back in nostalgia and reproach me for changing. A lot of people who do a lot of fat-mouthing now weren’t around when the guns were barking.” He also called the Bible a powerful source of social change, praised Jimmy Carter \(the politician, he said, for whom he cast his first ballot of homosexuals to current trends in men’s fashions. Cleaver’s book will be out in February, just as he goes to trial in Oakland, Calif., for his part in a 1968 shootout with police. Erna Smith 13 THE TEXAS OBSERVER