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was proceeding, and a friendly country kind of man, who is an expert carpenter, was there rueing some bad work that had been done. Senator Johnson set about to persuade him to come early the to straighten it out. As we left the guest house, I walked up beside the car, leaving them in the headlights. The senator talked, the senator wheedled, and the senator listened; the senator put a hand in a pocket and a hand in the air; the senator tapped the carpenter on the chest and stared him in the eye; the senator swayed from the hip and leaned his face into the man’s. Imperceptibly, the carpenter fell back. Though he held fast to his dignity throughout, refusing to hurry his words, casual to the last, it was no contest, and he knew it, he really did. . . . Ronnie Dugger November 30, 1955 The Senator at His Precinct Johnson City It is a long, rough, devious road from Johnson City, Texas, to the White House in Washington, D.C. Almost without fanfare, but with considered determination, Lyndon B. Johnson started up that road Saturday. Only time and the decision of Democratic voters can say where he will stop. There was no outward excitement in this sleepy, unseasonably hot little over the prospect that its number one citizen might one day become the nation’s number one citizen. No brass band, no proud banners. One man on main street didn’t even know where the convention was to be held. But in Blanco County’s stone courthouse, where the senator participated in his first precinct convention since he’s .been in politics, the voters balloted to a man in favor of Johnson for President, as well as to head the delegation. Only 39 persons attended, including Johnson, his wife, and mother. Looking deadly serious, the Johnsons sat on the frontrow bench of the large, dimly-lit secondfloor courtroom. The first order of business was the unanimous election of the tall, lean rancher-politician as precinct chairman. He took the chair, and dropping any semblance of a politician seeking the highest office in the land, he simply stated, “I’d rather have the confidence and goodwill of my neighbors than any public office.” He spoke briefly; thanking voters for their past and present support and for attending the convention. . . . Bob Bray May 9, 1956 Henry Gonzalez Ordinarily when one screws up his guts to begin a filibuster, he goes to bed for a day, eats nothing, drinks only orange juice, and straps bizarre appurtenances to his legs for the necessity of the long stand. Not Henry Gonzalez. He spelled his colleague in Christian Obstruction, Chick Kazen, off and on for five hours; then he went to bed eight hours, rose and strolled unencumbered onto the Senate floor, yearning to say, and say, and say what had been bottled up in his churning mind. He started roaring, he roared on, and he closed roaring; never has his like been seen here before. For 22 hours he held the floor, an eloquent, an erudite, a genuine, and a passionate man; and any whose minds he didn’t enter had slammed the doors and buried the keys. He spoke for those who have no voice of their own. He spoke for the LatinAmericans who have been sweated, cheated, and rat-holed. “Who speaks for the Negroes? What about them?” he cried. Why do one-tenth of the people of Texas have no representatives in the legislature? Why do they get the lowly jobs always? Is Texas liberty only liberty for the Anglo-Saxons? .. . Ronnie Dugger May 7, 1957 Another Surrender to Special Interests Houston How should Governor Price Daniel be rated after his first year in office: as a good governor or a bad one, as a strong governor or a weak one? How does he now compare with Texas’ statesman governors, with her latter day less-than-statesman chief executives? The major difference between the great governors and the lesser ones is that the former successfully curbed the most powerful special interests of their day. They put a lock on the people’s chicken coop. Latter day governors have let the latches rot and the lock corrode, and some, like Governor Shivers, have let the possum guard the chicken coop. . . . If Governor Daniel continues in the manner he is going, his administration will be another surrender of the people’s sovereignty to the special interests: just as Governor Shivers put the Insurance Commission in the hands of certain insurance companies, the Securities Division in the hands of certain trust and investment interests, and permitted the Veterans Land Program to be controlled and bilked by land speculators. Then, indeed, the possum was guarding the chicken coop. . . . The same thing could happen now in the even more important tax field, and Governor Daniel, if he does not exercise vigorous leadership, will permit it and encourage it to happen. . . . Robert C. Eckhardt May 9, 1958 Symbol of Past on Texas Stump West Texas The tall, greying man with the oval red face walked over to a group of cowboys drinking coffee in a cafe in Fort Stockton. He chose one and offered a hand. “Hello there,” he said. “I’m W. Lee O’Daniel, and I’m runnin’ for governor.” “Pappy O’Daniel?” the cowboy said. “I thought he was dead.” “Not yet,” Pappy replied. “I’ve got plenty of service in me yet.” Doing West Texas, he is like a ghost riding the range. He looks old, he is old, he walks with an old man’s shuffle, but there can be no denying that he yet weaves a magic spell. Ringing down through the dead decades are the strains of his hillbilly music, and with him still THE TEXAS OBSERVER 41