Page 9


Food to eat here or take home Gourmet foods from around the world Gourmet coffees, teas, spices, wines, cheeses 304 W. 13th 472-1900 The Country Editor retires Isn’t it time we started to stress the spiritual aspects of funerals rather than the material? At Reveley Memorial Services we believe the truly dignified funeral is the simplest possible funeral. Money lavished on the vanity and theatre of conventionally expensive funerals, money literally put into the ground, could be much better utilized, in a living memorial, by your church, your charity, your family. TO assure that your wishes are carried out and to spare your family the possibility of being sold a high priced funeral you personally would not want, contact us to learn more about our pre-need program. REVELRY MEMORIAL SERVICES Simple Funerals San Antonio 533-8141 . Austin Information Center 472-0111 ATTORNEYS Overcome the high cost of down-time on your legal secretary. Let us type your motions, appeals, contracts, and other legal documents. We can type from your rough drafts or tapes. Our work is flawless, professional, fast, and economical. Foreign language typing available. 477-6671 504 W. 24th St. Copy-Rite, 16 MARCH 30, 1979 By Carroll Wilson Tulia H. M. Baggarly, the fabled newspaperman whose “Country Editor” homilies in the Tulia Herald have been read by presidents as well as Panhandle farmers, isn’t writing his column anymore. He retired last December and sold his little Panhandle weekly after nearly 30 years of political commentary, in which he spelled out the doctrinal basis for a unique, Baggarly brand of populism. His sharp-witted and sharptongued editorials helped the paper win subscriptions and respect far from its Swisher County home, and the voice of the Baggarly Herald will be missed. To hear him tell it, Baggarly is an unlikely sort of fellow to have made a career out of political argumentation. “People who know me,” he says, “are mystified [that] I became a controversial person.” But whether it was taking on a bogus national promoter of Eisenhower in the 1952 electionthe Tulia-area cause celebre that sparked his original foray into Democratic politicsor standing his ground against party renegades he called Shivercrats later in the decade, Baggarly has never avoided a fight. “I’d buck anybody,” he says, and through the years, those who have taken the most from Baggarly’s pen have been the no-good Republicans, the do-good busybodies, and the knee-jerk reactionaries of whatever party persuasion \(sometimes dismissed in his column as people who move their lips when they tionally and at the state level, but had plenty to handle in a Texas Panhandle where arch-conservatism is practiced with religious zeal. It was this political climate that prodded Baggarly into his role as an advocate. “I have had the philosophy that every newspaper had its individual role to play depending on its location,” he says. “Here we are between Amarillo and Lubbock, whose papers are both ultra-conservative politically. Both had regular circulation in Tulia and I saw that Wes Izzard [a columnist for the Amarillo paper] and Charlie Guy [editor of the Lubbock paper] were being quoted over and over again. I thought my role was to be a voice of the unrepresentedthe Democrats.” H. M. Baggarly wrote of Democrats and democrats, and even his comments on local issues demonstrated a worldly intellect. It’s a rare town of 5,000or of five million for that matterthat can claim a commentator of his caliber. He challenged people’s mindsin Tulia and everywhere else he was read. All hyperbole aside, the truth is that in his days at the Herald he was nothing more or less than an independent newspaperman in the finest sense of that profession. His “Country Editor” column continues, but without the special strength he brought to it. The new man, Wendell Tooley, is filling it with the kind of comment that makes most Texas weeklies indistinguishable. Tooley’s inaugural column marked the difference: “I’m slipping into the saddle formerly occupied by one of the greatest political writers in the United States. . . . The saddle is cinched on a good reliable horse, and although the price was pretty high, I consider purchase of the Tulia Herald a wise one,” Tooley announced. Then came the disheartening clincher: “I probably won’t burden you with a lot of the world’s problems. . . .” Burdening people with the world’s problems was, of course, Baggarly’s forte, and the world took note. Counted among his subscribers were scores of officials in Austin and Washington who took the paper to find out what Baggarly thought they were doing right and wrong. And his influence has been strong locally even though he started out against the grain of many of his readers. The last time Swisher County voters went Republican was in 1952, before Baggarly had had a fair chance to set them straight. Now that he’s no longer writing, Bag