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do his duty that year and make sure farmworkers didn’t get too close to their goal of organizing under Caesar Chavez to get a few pennies more than 35 cents an hour for their labors. Mauzy, Kennard and I went to the Valley after we heard a few heads got busted for the growers and learned that the Rangers had met with the growers but not with the union. Lo and behold, we learned that the Rangers had been instructed to enforce, and were enforcing, the statutory ban on secondary boycotts, among other things. In our continuing investigation we found the law they were enforcing had been held unconstitutional by the State Supreme Court eighteen years previous to 1967! That’s really protecting business. In that 1967 report signed by Kennard, Mauzy and me, we said, “If the charges are true, [speaking of civil rights infringements] such conduct is indefensible and must not be tolerated.” \(The use of Texas Rangers The report concluded, “Government is formed to protect the rights of citizens, not to take them away.” S O, WHERE IN the hell did the Blue Law idea come from? It takes lots of rights away from the public and from business folks with independent initiative. Well, guess who authored it in the Senate. Who else but good ‘ole Dorsey Hardeman with lots of help from Bill Moore. Special interest personified. ‘Ole Bill did say once on the Senate floor that he was a millionaire and made it all right there on the Green Carpet of the Senate. I never believed he made it all there. The lobbyist \(there’s always one or more on a big buck bill like Blue Law other than Jack Welch, who sat across the aisle from me in the House in the late ’50s for four years. A good guy from Marble Falls whose wife’s name is Dimple. Soft-spoken, hardworking, dedicated to his association of retail store clients. \(One of whom was my Up to the year 1961, Jack just did the good stuff for the guy on Main Street who sold you your drygoods, linens and clothes. No enemies, just friends. Just there to be nice to the members. One year at Christmas, Dimple chose a small oak tree in a plastic bucket from Neiman Marcus to send out as their gift to every member of the House and Senate. Very nice. In my 25 years in office it was the only oak tree I ever received. We did all get pine seedlings from Temple Lumber Company every year or so and I regularly gave them to nurseries in my district to give to schools and churches and the like. I always planted one or two in my yard but Galveston soil ain’t kind to pine trees. Well, the oak tree did grow in our salty Galveston backyard soil along with one miraculous pine tree survivor. It was about 14’ tall when the SundayGodDamnClosin ‘Law hit the Money is the only green thing I know that burns well enough to create energy. Senate floor. I hated Hardeman, Moore, and the proposed law, equally in full measure, and promptly launched a fullblown, hot air minibuster. That’s a small filibuster. I had so much fun and it made so many people mad I kept it up for eleven hours. By that time I had received petitions with 11,000 signatures of Seventh Day Adventists signed in blood. I gleefully and loudly read the name of every one of those residing in Hardeman’s district to him as I stood on the Senate floor. Naturally, I called upon each of them to vote against him as he was the Devil Incarnate, and the perpetrator and purveyor of this evil stupid law. I was building his political coffin. I expressed the hope that he felt each nail I hammered in as I called those constituents’ names whose religious beliefs he was insulting and ignoring. It surely did some good because he only won his next race by 51 votes after being matched in redistricting with Senator Pete Snelson from Midland. He was a goner and he knew it and better yet, he knew who “done him in.” Senator Charlie Wilson loved the Blue Law challenge as much as I did. He got tuned up and we did the “Babe and Charlie Show” as it was described by the Texas Observer. Charlie was 6’4″ in his loafers, and I’m 5’7″, which prompted one jokester to quip after one of our extended discussions that, “Now you’ve heard the long and the short of it.” “Diapers never, booze forever” was Charlie’s battle cry. Forty-two items listed that you wouldn’t be able to buy in Texas on two consecutive days, Saturday and Sunday. A store could close Saturday and be permitted to sell on Sunday. What nonsense. Everybody who paid dues to Jack’s organization got to list anything they didn’t want sold! The big city car dealers wanted a Blue Law worse than the Main Street merchants but they framed the issue better. Don’t miss your chance to buy a poster of the Texas Observer’s 30th Anniversary cover. Artist Tom Ballenger’s Texas landscape highlights the outrageous aspects of Texas culture. From crippled nuclear plants to clear-cutting to pesticides pouring into the Gulf, it is the concerned citizens’ guide to forces that are shaping this state. Show your out-of-state friends what Texas politicking is all about. Or add a touch of satire to your den. The 17 by 22 inch poster for postage and handling. Also on sale are copies of the 30th Anniversary issue for $2 each. \(If you plan to order more than 10 copies, contact the Observer for discount rates Send me Anniversary Anniversary name address city state zip The Texas Observer 600 West 7th Street Austin, 78701 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 5