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e laz f ec a anything good can come from our present troubles here in Texas. But I stayed up very late that night reading and contemplating what others think about our cities. For some reason, I believe that if we will let it, this crisis can make us understand each other a little better. It just may break down a few of the silly barriers and make us realize that we are all going through this together. Thanks for your best issue ever! John W. Rebstock Houston I Left My Heart .. . Urban Texas is a subject I enjoy seeing explored; thank-you for the issue. I grew up in the cities of Texas. My parents moved south with the Korean war. I am an artist. I left Austin in’ 1981. I miss y’all very much. I miss the singing nights. The smell of dancing bodies. Talking to each other with ideas. I came back last year. The hills had been sliced up in a grotesque pretention of imitation of what some people admire about California. I’m out here taking Walker Percy’s advice about getting the most ordinary job in the world and then being as extraordinary as one wants. In other words, there is choice involved in this business of being bourgeois or being something appropriate to the landscape. Julia Ray San Francisco No Going Back This is in response to a letter written by Martin Hauan, Oklahoma City \(TO, “tearful plea for teaching immigrants in language other than English. ” . . . I am one of thousands born in this country who started school in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas as a monolingual Spanish student in the ’50s. We were punished and humiliated by a school system which taught us English by “submersion” not “immersion.” We learned very quickly, as you did Mr. Hauan, to lose our accent and to discard our mother tongue. We learned to laugh at those who couldn’t speak perfect English and even coined a word to poke fun at each other when we messed up “chicanos.” Little did we know then that this word would some day be used with pride to regain our cultural identity and language which we had readily relinquished in our zeal to assimilate and prove ourselves Americans. We were children who did not know any better. We just wanted to make it. Some of us did not. Rather than face the ridicule from friends and the stern disapproval of their teachers, many dropped out along the way . We are adults now and many of us have vowed that our children shall never experience the humiliation and degradation which results from a systematic raping of a people and their language. We are pro-bilingual instruction because it is an effective way to teach children without damaging their selfconcept. The goal is always to learn English, it is the language of power in this country, but this can be achieved without throwing away a perfectly good language. Furthermore, a second language is not a “crutch” but a valuable commodity in today’s international marketplace. Most major corporations realize this and actively recruit bilingual people who can represent them with clients in countries all over this shrinking world of ours. You can find bilingual and multilingual people in the most respected and prestigious professions some even speak with accents. Mr. Hauan, I am truly sorry that you do not mourn the loss of your primary language. All I can say is “jque lastima!” Ofelia de los Santos Houston No Speak English English should be made the official language of Texas at once. I work at a hospital switchboard and daily I get “No Speak English. ” Mexicans, Cubans, Greeks, Thais, Arabians, Indians and others seem to think “No Speak English” are the magic words. While I struggle to cope, I am slow in answering my signals. Consequently, I get chastised by doctors and nurses for being slow in answering. If being loyal to one country only, and that country is the United States, is racism then I am a racist. As a poor WASP who dragged a cotton sack in the hot sun, never knew plumbing until a teenager, never knew central heat or air until my thirties, I can only say you only improve your living standard by your own hard work and exhaustion. Talk to me not about discrimination. As a WASP whose father gave money to his mistress and let his children go in need, as a mother of a crippled child who went hungry and without clothes to pay his medical bills, ask me not to be penalized for so-called normal people to have their favorite language printed in dual with English or used in the classrooms. Velma Shurtleff Austin The Flipside With the exception of the May 15 issue \(wherein you had an excellent insightful article on a secret government plan for apprehending and detaining I’ve noticed a general decline in articles having to do with Central American issues. The injustices and human rights abuses there are a prime concern of mine about which I’ve missed seeing commentaries in your magazine over the last several months. So I’ve decided to discontinue my subscription. Robert Harvey Austin See Texas First After eight or more requests I’ve decided to renew. But I’m still distressed by the amount of space devoted to second-rate cultural topics coverage. Especially when so much is happening politically. I enjoy the “whimsy” and nostalgic pieces in moderation. But you’re not primarily writing for Texas expatriates like the Washington and New York exiles. Anyway, I’ll try you again. Tom McGovern Lubbock 2600 E. 7th St. Austin, Texas 477-4701 dt=ar=q . ….. r=14=3,- rti N INN A Walk on the Beach, A Breath of Fresh Air, A Discovery of A Shell, And Yourself .. . P.O. Box 8 Port Aransas, TX 78373 vegetarian food ti 6 JULY 17, 1987