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Milagros, Retablos and Arte Popular 0 TRADING COMPANY FOLK ART & OTHER TREASURES FROM AROUND THE WORLD 209 CONGRESS AVE AUSTIN 5121479-8377 OPEN DAILY 10-6, FREE PARKING BEHIND THE STORE Huck, continued from page 23 in the ways that Americans raise children”? Mintz suggests they were, noting that “contemporary society provides the young with few positive ways to express their growing maturity and gives them few opportunities to participate in socially valued activities.” An irony results: While a segment of the population dedicates its existence society as a whole pretty much ignores children \(with consequences that are Most readers of Mintz’s book, I imagine, will use it less to understand Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris than as a chance to reflect on their own roles as parents. That was certainly the case for me. Violin class starts in a week. Preschool starts in a month. My son still sucks on a pacifier. My daughter didn’t feel the need to walk until 17 months. My son hates the smoke alarm. My daughter is scared by whoopee cushions. They both love the water. All this small stuffit seems so mundane. But to any parent trying to figure out what he’s got, the mundane manifestations of an innocent childhood are the clues to life. Mintz’s book makes some sense out of this mystery. James E. McWilliams is the author of A Revolution in Eating: How the Quest for Food Shaped America. as well. Her own father had died when she was young, and she and her brothers and sisters had been raised by her mother and a series of boyfriends. She had grown up fast. She wanted Serena to have a real childhood. There was no doubt in her mind that Freddie was the dad her daughter needed. She told him yes, she would wait, no matter how long it took. And she would write him every day. Eventually they stopped talking, but neither of them fell asleep that night. They lay next to each other in silence, as Freddie’s fate slipped up on him with the morning sun. It did not take Hrin long to present his case the next morning. Freddie’s cousin, his potential alibi witness, was a no-show. Hrin had nobody else to call, except for Terry and Freddie himself. Terry testified that Freddie had left for Amarillo at 9:30 in the morning and was gone until 7:00 in the evening. Then Freddie took the stand. He was dreading facing McEachern. He had always been feared in black Tulia, but in the past six months his legend had grown enormously. McEachern didn’t spend much time examining Freddie, but he did score two points. One was a low blow and the other demonstrated once again his knowledge of Panhandle juries. “You ever been convicted of anything?” McEachern asked right out of the gate. Hrin immediately objected, but the damage was done. McEachern knew that Freddie had been given deferred adjudication on his only previous charge. By definition, deferred adjudication means that no final conviction was entered, so under the rules of evidence such a charge could not be used to impeach a witness. It was the same rule that had saved Coleman’s skin twice in the past week. Self sent the jury out, and a discussion was had. The charge had never been properly expunged from Freddie’s record, McEachern said, and he claimed to know of a case that would allow such a charge to be used. In the end, he could not produce it, and the jury was brought back in. Hrin forgot to ask the judge to instruct the jury to disregard McEachern’s question. McEachern then began to quiz Freddie about the “party house” he lived behind. Didn’t Creamy, Cash Love, Kizzie, and Donnie hang out at the front house? Hadn’t he seen a lot of police cars coming by? Freddie testified that he went to high school with those people but didn’t hang out with them anymore. McEachern pressed: Didn’t he see Creamy coming around a lot? Yes, Freddie said, because his girlfriend lived there. There followed this exchange: Q: And who’s his girlfriend? A: Her name is Chandra. I don’t know her last name. Q: Well would Van Cleave ring a bell? A: No, sir. I don’t know her last name. I never associatedI never really associated with them. You know, we speak. You know, they have their life and I have mine. Q: And he has a child by her, too, doesn’t he? A: No, sir. Q: Doesn’t? A: Not that I know of. Q: And she is white, Caucasian. Is that not true? A: Yes, sir. Q: And she is also charged in this? Hrin finally jumped in and objected to the obvious irrelevance of the questions. In just two minutes of crossexamination, McEachern had imputed to Freddie a criminal record he did not have, raised the specter of interracial sex, one of the most sensitive social issues in rural America, and tied Freddie to one known crack user and one alleged dealer who had just received 361 years in the pen. When McEachern was done with Freddie, Hrin took one last look in the hall for Freddie’s cousin. Unable to locate him, he rested. He had presented his entire case in one hour and fifteen minutes. It took the jury less than an hour to find Freddie guilty, and another hour to assess him the maximum term of 20 years. Nate Blakeslee is a former Observer editor. His work on Tulia was supported by a Soros Justice Media Fellowship from the Open Society Institute. SEPTEMBER 9, 2005 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 29 _4