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WOO. nom= I I ‘ 11 111111111,11H !ii “14/ II 1..1 ij u lit’ TEDBSERvER The Texas Observer Publishing Co., 1983 Ronnie Dugger, Publisher Vol. 75, No. 19 7-4;1-‘s?. “47: September 30, 1983 Incorporating the State Observer and the East Texas Democrat, which in turn incorporated the Austin Forum-Advocate. EDITOR Joe Holley ASSOCIATE EDITOR Geoffrey Rips EDITOR AT LARGE Ronnie Dugger CALENDAR: Chula Sims WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENTS: Amy Cunningham. Al Watkins SOUTHERN CORRESPONDENT: Bob Sherrill LAYOUT AND DESIGN: Alicia Daniel EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD: Frances Barton, Austin; Elroy Bode, Kerrville; Chandler Davidson, Houston; Bob Eckhardt, Washington, D.C.; Sissy Farenthold, Houston; Ruperto Garcia, Austin; John Kenneth Galbraith, Cambridge, Mass.; Lawrence Goodwyn, Durham, N.C.; George Hendrick, Urbana, Ill.; Molly Ivins, Dallas; Larry L. King, Washington, D.C.: Maury Maverick, Jr., San Antonio; Willie Morris, Oxford. Miss.; Kaye Northcott, Austin; James Fred Schmidt, Tehachapi, Cal. CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Warren Burnett, Nina Butts, Jo Clifton, Craig Clifford, John Henry Faulk, Ed Garcia, Bill Helmer, Jack Hopper, Amy Johnson, Laurence Jolidon, Mary Lenz, Man Lyon, Greg Moses, Rick Piltz, Susan Raleigh, Paul Sweeney, Lawrence Walsh. CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS: Alan Pogue, Russell Lee, Scott Van Osdol. CONTRIBUTING ARTISTS: Jeff Danziger, Dan Hubig, Kevin Krenek, Ben Sargent, Gail Woods. A journal of free voices We -will serve no group or party but will hew hard to the truth as we find it and the right as we see it. We are dedicated to the whole truth, to human values above all interests, to the rights of humankind as the foundation of democracy; we will take orders from none but our own conscience. and never will we overlook or misrepresent the truth to serve the interests of the powerful or cater to the ignoble in the human spirit. Writers are responsible for their own work, but not for anything they have not themselves written, and in publishing them we do not necessarily imply that we agree with them because this is a journal of free voices. Business Manager Frances Barton Assistant Alicia Daniel Advertising, Special Projects Cliff Olofson Editorial, and Business Office 600 West 7th Street, Austin, Texas 78701 The Texas Observer $56. One year rate for full-time students, $13. Airmail, foreign, group, and bulk rates on request. Microfilm editions available from University Microfilms Intl., 300 N. Zeeb Road, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48106. Copyright 1983 by Texas Observer Publishing Company. All rights reserved. Material may not be reproduced without permission. POSTMASTER: Send form 3579 to: 600 West 7th Street, Austin, Texas 78701. ‘400111141W SEPTEMBER 30, 1983 PAGE TWO Mrs. Randolph Remembered By Ronnie Dugger Houston A95-acre park near Friendswood, south of Houston, was dedicated in August to the memory of Frankie Carter Randolph, the founding publisher of the Texas Observer and Democratic National Committeewoman from Texas between 1956 and 1960. Located on Clear Creek, the park contains nature trails, playing fields, tennis courts, play equipment, and picnic areas. Mrs. Randolph died in 1972. The dedication of the park to her was shepherded through governmental channels by Harris County Commissioner Tom Bass. About 500 people turned out for speeches and ceremonies organized by Mrs. Randolph’s granddaughter, Mrs. Molly Carter Luhrs, and emceed by John Henry Faulk. “Mrs. Randolph was one of my heroes,” Bass said. “If you look at her background, there was no reason in the world for her to get involved. Her family background, her cultural background, everything else meant that she could live the easy life. But she got into the rough and tumble of politics . . . so much so that precinct organization as it is practiced today in this community is still basically the product of Frankie Randolph’s activities. She also funded, founded, the Texas Observer, and the Texas Observer is still serving its function. . . . Some of you may not be aware of this, but Mrs. Randolph was the first white person in this community to join the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. That took courage. . . . 6 6ow I hope that by our naming this park after N Frankie Carter Randolph, people will not only be aware of the greatness of this lady, but will also be encouraged by her example to do the right thing instead of the easy thing, instead of the popular thing,” Bass said. As Mrs. Randolph’s partner in the Observer and her successor as its publisher I spoke also, saying in part: “Oliver Wendell Holmes once wrote: ‘Through our great good fortune, in our youth our hearts were touched with fire.’ Well, through our great good fortune, in 1952, when she was 58 years old, Mrs. Randolph’s heart was touched with fire. That was when she walked into the Adlai Stevenson campaign in Houston, plunked down a thousand dollar check and said put me to work. They probably thought she was just a rich eccentric and they didn’t know what to do with her, so they put her in work that really didn’t matter, they put her in charge of precinct organization. They lost in 1952, we all lost in 1952, but by 1954, we were winning in Harris County and those victories continued for the rest of the decade. In 1957, they gave us Senator Ralph Yarborough, who earned his high place in the shining and embattled history of American progressivism.