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–“4 1, 1; ; 111:1’W 11 II 111111111 ” “rte ” II I 11 I I PI ;1 1’1 h TETXDB SERvER The Texas Observer Publishing Co., 1984 Ronnie Dugger, Publisher Vol. 76, No. 24 & 25 74MD.V. December 14, 1984 Incorporating the State Observer and the East Texas Democrat, which in turn incorporated the Austin Forum-Advocate. EDITOR Geoffrey Rips ASSOCIATE EDITOR Dave Denison EDITOR AT LARGE Ronnie Dugger CALENDAR EDITOR Chula Sims EDITORIAL INTERN: Terri Langford WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Al Watkins LAYOUT AND DESIGN: Alicia Daniel EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD: Frances Barton, Austin,; Elroy Bode, Kerrville; Chandler Davidson, Houston; Bob Eckhardt, Washington, D.C.; Sissy bridge, 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., Robert Sherrill, Tallahassee, Fla. 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, Matt Lyon, Rick Piltz, Susan Raleigh. John Schwartz, Michael Ventura, Lawrence Walsh. CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS: Alan Pogue, Russell Lee, Scott Van Osdol, Alicia Daniel. CONTRIBUTING ARTISTS: Tom Ballenger, Jeff Danziger, Beth Epstein, Dan Hubig, Pat Johnson. Kevin Kreneck, Carlos Lowry, Miles Mathis, Joe McDermott, Ben Sargent, Dan Thibodeau. 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. Managing Publisher Advertising & Development Director Subscription Manager Circulation Assistant Consultant Cliff Olofson Dana Loy Alicia Daniel Stefan Wanstrom Frances Barton Editorial and Business Office 600 West 7th Street, Austin, Texas 78701 The Texas Observer at Austin, Texas. Subscription rates, including 5 1/8% sales tax: one year $23, two years $42. three years $59. One year rate for full-time students, $15. Back issues $2 prepaid. Airmail, foreign, group, and bulk rates on request. Microfilm editions available from University Microfilms Intl.. 300 N. Zeeb Road, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48106. Copyright 1984 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. About this issue FOR THIS 30th anniversary issue of the Observer, we’re doing things a little bit differently. First, this is a double, issue meaning it is twice the size of our normal issue and incorporates both issues of the Observer due out in December. Subscribers, then, should expect their next issue of the Observer during the first week in January. Then there is the format we have chosen to celebrate our 30th anniversary. For the centerpiece we have put together excerpts from 30 years of the Observer, addressing particular subjects: Politics, Culture, etc., in an effort to see how much the state and the Observer have changed and how much they have remained the same. You will find pieces by many of the editors and writers who have appeared on these pages through the years. We also include retrospectives of photographers Russell Lee and Alan Pogue who have appeared often in the Observer. With this issue we are inaugurating our annual HERO OF THE PEOPLE award, given to an individual or organization that has labored for justice and enlightenment in this state. In addition, we are publishing in this issue Part One of an excerpt from a work-in-progress by Anthony Orum on the making of modern Austin. It provides a picture of the forces controlling this state just before the founding of the Observer. Ed. OBSERVATIONS New Beginnings New York City WHEN DELL SACKETT and I started the Observer thirty years ago, Texas was significantly separate, unique, a place with its own ways, its own politics, and its own problems. True, the federal government was up there somewhere, and the world was over there somewhere, too, as the Korean war had recently reminded us, but here we were in Texas, and this was our territory and our work. As Ralph Yarborough never let us forget, we ranked dead last among the major states, and next-to-dead last among the Southern states, in education, health, and programs for the poor. We were as racist and segregated as the Deep South from which most of our early Anglo pioneers had emerged. Mexican Americans were as hopeless an underclass in South Texas as blacks were in East Texas. Women could vote and do the dog-work in the political campaigns, but they were ladies who were to be protected from, above all, power. Texas gays were as unthinkable as Texas communists. Television, new, was a minor force. The daily newspapers were as reactionary and dishonest a gaggle as the. First Amendment ever took the rap for. The White House was as far away as Hiroshima. Strong labor unions were as far away as Moscow. Civil rights and civil liberties were as far away as Auschwitz. Gusty bands of liberals in the legislature fought the oil companies and the big bankers, always losing, and the state’s one political party, named Democratic, served very nicely for the men in the skyscrapers who made their deals with New Yorkers the rest of us never knew, and never would. We were a backwater, Texas, proud as hell, and poor to boot, except those who ran the show. 2 DECEMBER 14, 1984