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\(1.7 THE TEXAS Name Address City State Zip $27 enclosed for a one-year subscription. Bill me for $27. Subscription Dept., 307 W. 7th, Austin, TX 78701 of descent from The South. Even around here. Which is the point: that this town just across a concreted river from the official land of Spanish language, history, and culture makes use of the current minority-language terminology to describe the indigenous majority population. With the exception of one high school on the more affluent Westside of town, Anglos are the minority; at the high school behind my backyard the ratio must be 10 to one. Though Mexico has been the mother of this region, and remains so, it’s the language and understanding of The North that offers explanations. And thus the account of the incident at the school “Hispanic students” v. black dependents of GIs. If green grass is the aspiration, the realization of an American fantasy, then the trash is from the past, the husks of a frontier mentality that it took to be here, and stay, in the first place. Trash blowing by, snared by limbs and curbs and fences, is a display of what was the attitude of The West. The endlessness of its range. The principle of every man, woman, animal, and thing for itself. The meanness required to survive. The wild joy that abandons rules. The immediacy of life. Or the stupidity of the non-Indian hunter eating one meal, then leaving behind a carcass. Except, of course, that vultures and coyotes and finally, ants, used to clean that mess up. The remains of the modernized hunt do not balance well with nature or its hybrid shrubs, do not biodegrade. And there are a lot more hunters than before. Trash contradicts the well-tended lawn. And in my neighborhood, not all is St. Augustine or bermuda. Hearty weeds sprout and grow tall, gray-green prickly pear and century plants look good alongside many homes. El Paso is still crossing cultures and times, the wind blows often, particularly this time of year, the sun will be getting bigger, but the pretty nights cool things off here on the desert. But let me admit this: I’d like it if grass grew well in my backyard. What I’ve got there now is patchy, at best. The brown dirt is a stronger color than the green. So the other day I soaked that hard soil, dug it up, threw seed grown and packaged in Missouri, covered it with peat humus from Menard, Texas, and I’m waiting. “The Texas Observer will lower your cholesterol, make your breath sweeter, and will sharpen your mind to the keenness of a fine razor. But that just makes it harder to listen to Bill Clements.” Molly Ivins “The Observer’s commitment to truth and justice is as rare as hormone-free steak tartare. Plus, it’s more palatable and a lot less expensive.” Jim Hightower “The Texas Observer, the bible of Lone Star populism.. ..” The Washington Post, May, 1989 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 23 401410+ftrif.saiAkeeloyPetowPavites”,..p4*.s.**…m,10 ,00=epeajoeeop40, ..400.691,…,4431,4-i ,r, ..,-* ^Ag,