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was short on theory; about practical democracy he knew more than many an intellectual with a Ph.D. degree. No doubt that was why his admirers at St. Mary’s University bestowed a Doctor of Politics honorary degree upon him. GROWING UP, Lalo and his friends suffered discrimination. Born Hilario Garda Soli’s in San Antonio in 1902, he was the fourth of eight children born to immigrants from Mexico. Signs in cafe windows when he was young warned, “No Dogs or Mexicans Allowed.” He knew firsthand what it is to be an underdog. He first learned English in the public Schools of San Antonio, which he had to quit to go to work before he entered high school. He liked to speak Spanish. “We taught all the kids Spanish first; then they learned English in school. Then they can have both Spanish and English. At home, we always use Spanish. That’s good. Lots of people don’t want their children to speak Spanish.” It wasn’t that way in his family. As a young man he wandered as a laborer through the Middle West and then eastward as far as Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Because he was fluent in English, he became an interpreter when working with other Mexican Americans, which earned him a higher wage. Toward the end of World War I he served in the Army. When World War II broke out he was married, with a family, and too old to be drafted, but he volunteered and served anyway. Segregation was un-American to him. My mind goes back to those coffeedrinking sessions we used to have at Tony Kawazoe’s Cafe on the West Side. Lalo would call G. J. Sutton to join us. Tony would sit at our table and we would talk politics. An outsider might have said we symbolized some sort of cultural ecumenism. Each of us represented a distinct segment of our America: Lalo, a chicano; G. J., a black; Tony, of Japanese descent; I, a white Anglo of Scotch-Irish and other blends, a bona fide WASP. What a terrific fusion ticket we might have fielded in the right city! Nearing retirement, his seven children grown and he a silver-haired grandfather in his mid-sixties, Lalo and his wife Teresa bought a little downtown cafe of their own. To no one’s surprise, Lalo’s Cafe displayed political banners and placards along with culinary specials. The cooking, under the direction of Mrs. Soli’s, was definitely authentically Mexican, but, typically, his candidates faced no racial or cultural tests, whether they were chicano, Anglo, Black, or, as in one case, Chinese. Lalo leaves us a rich heritage that persists, that continues to be a part of us, that lives in us. It will not die until we let it die. These memorably positive qualities that we celebrate in his life we also can pass on to others, so that on a day like this, in a far year, when we reach a place like this, someone will remember that we, too, in our way helped make the world a little better and that we passed on some of these qualities. That is one of the reasons we are here today. POLITICAL INTELLIGENCE Demo Desertion It comes as no great surprise that fundraisers for the Democratic primary campaigns of Kent Hance and Bob Krueger have become finance chairmen of Republican Phil Gramm’s campaign for the U.S. Senate. During the Democratic primary, there was no end of recrimination-in-advance by Krueger and Hance supporters against Texas progressives \(see “Dialogue,” TO, progressives after a primary victory by Krueger or Hance. Instead, of course, the deserters are Walter Mischer, Jr., of Houston and Allied BancShares, who will transfer from his position as Hance finance chairman to that of Gramm finance chairman, and L. D. Brinkman of Kerrville and San Antonio, who led fundraising for Krueger in 1978 and 1984 and will be finance chairman of the Democrats and Independents for Phil Gramm Committee. No great surprise, as Mischer has long been a funder of Ronald Reagan and John Tower campaigns. But during the last year, who were they trying to fool? ri Mischer’s and Brinkman’s desertion probably was no shock to Lloyd Doggett. In his address to the state Democratic convention June 16, Doggett predicted the formation of a “Democrats for Gramm” group. “One thing they’ll have goin’ for them is experience,” he said. “The same experience of the Democrats for Clements committee the experience of losing.” Populist President? For years the former Olympian Bob Richards toured the country promoting Wheaties as the Breakfast of Champions. Now the pole vaulter from Waco is championing an unappetizing brand of politics that is enough to ruin anyone’s breakfast. With the backing of the far-right Liberty Lobby, Richards announced in late June that he is tired of Ronald Reagan’s economic policies and is running. for President as a third party candidate. It’s true he’s not likely to be much of a spoiler. But this leaves a sour taste: he is calling his party the Populist Party. V Former Austin lawyer Robert Rowland is Ronald Reagan’s choice to head the Occupational Health and Safety Administration. Rowland, who has long been active in Republican politics, was immediately welcomed by business groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. But Dr. Sidney Wolfe, director of the Naderesque Health Research Group in Washington, told the Wall Street Journal Rowland “doesn’t know very much from a scientific standpoint about occupational safety and health.” The nomination now goes to the Senate for confirmation. V Last month the National Campaign Against Toxic Hazards listed the San Jacinto Pits in Evergreen, Texas, as one of 43 toxic dumps across the country that the EPA has mysteriously left off its priority cleanup list. The dumps were judged “sufficiently dangerous” by the EPA’s own standards to be included, according to the environmental group. V H. L. Mitchell, co-founder of the Southern Tenant Farmers Union, has brought to the attention of the Observer an important U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding Hawaii’s right to break up land holdings of multinational corporations and to redistribute them among the tenants. Praising the decision for opening up the possibility of land reform in the United States, Mitchell says: “Perhaps the U.S. Supreme Court now points the way to restore the land held by multinational corporations to the people who are willing and able to work for it, for the benefit of all Americans, and not just the private profit of a few.” The Southern Tenant Farmers Union, which has supported and fought for the rights of landless farm people since its foundation, recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. 18 JULY 13, 1984