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STATEMENT OF OWNERSHIP, MANAGEMENT AND CIRCULATION. Austin, TX 78701, is published biweekly, except during January and August when there is a 4 week break between issues \(24 issues annualCharlotte McCann; Executive Editor, Jake Bernstein; Editor, Barbara Belejack. Owner: The Texas Democracy Foundation, 307 W. 7th St., Austin, TX 78701. 15. Extent and Nature of Circulation: Average Data and for Issue Date Paid or Requested Mail Subscriptions In-CounClasses Mailed Through USPS: avg. 0, actual 0. Mailed Through the USPS: avg. 90, actual 200. avg. 96%, actual 93%. Signed Lara George, Circulation Manager, 10/17/05. NOVEMBER 4, 2005 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 31 election years Roosevelt led the country through that stormy Depression and then the stormier times of World War II. \(In the desk was a yellowing 1944 Providence Journal newspaper with the headline “Roosevelt Elected Again, Again, and Again!” as well as a formal invitation from the Roosevelt White House, the blue and gold great seal of the spread eagle and escutcheon on top. If I remember correctly, it requested my father to attend a reception there honoring presidential electorswhich apparently he never did; maybe he couldn’t get away from his own busy courtroom schedule at that Sure, my father could sometimes joke about Texas. When I was about to head to the state in 1976 for a one-year visiting professor job at a brand-raw campus out toward the New Mexico border, the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, he wasn’t entirely immune to the clichs about Texas, because, let’s face it, no non-Texan really ever is. He asked me, “What the hell is the Permian Basin? Where John Wayne washes up?” And when some years later I got ready to return to Texas in 1980 to take a permanent job at the University of Texas at Austin, he laughed and said, “Be careful, you know what happened to the last LaSalle who tried to make a go of it there.” He was referring, of course, to the dauntless French explorer ReneRobert Cavelier, Sieur de LaSalle \(a shared name, but certainly no rela1687 by his own men inland from the doomed Fort Saint Louis settlement he established by Lavaca Bay. But all of that was simply my father’s joking. The “good Democrats” pronouncement was entirely serious and important. Because on that trip, besides the Sally Rand show and the gamblingwheel loss of the 20 bucksa lot of money in 1936my father apparently did meet and befriend enough Texans at that convention in Fort Worth to assure him that Texas was overwhelmingly a place of very kindred spiritsa land of good Democrats indeed, as it definitely was at that time. And toss in any of the old diluting modifiers that you like, “Yellow Dog” or others, in the end it all came down to about the same thingthere were some good Democrats in Texas. It seems significant to note that an iconic progressive personage like LBJ, who himself was politically molded as a young man by New Deal principles, was just about the same age as my father, who passed away in 1994. Ithink the cards still are in that very same desk in the big old wood-shingled house where I grew up on an out-of-the-way two-lane state road in Rhode Island and where, as a kid, I did wonder about Texas now and thenmaybe in bed before dozing off and as the snow plows clanked by below my upstairs bedroom window, their red roof beacons revolving in the dark and the blades sparking blue along the pavement. One of my sisters still lives there with her family. And now I live in Texas, far away from all of that. But I can honestly say this: More than once when I have gone over to my polling place at the little buff-stone Lutheran church on West Forty-fifth Street in Austin, I have told myself that, if nothing else, my father would be proud of me, his son, trying his best to be that very entity that in the state’s current political climate can sometimes seem a pretty tough go: “a good Democrat in Texas.” Maybe as I step up to one the new electronic voting machines, with the dials and touch screens that did take me some time to figure out, I vote with a little more conviction. I whisper to myself as sort of my own personal Texas political battle pledge and a constant reminder not to be deterred: “Can we please use the Alamo cards!” Believe me, even today, it feels so damn good just to say it. Peter LaSalle, who spends at least some time every summer in the town of Narragansett in his native Rhode Island, recently received the 2005 Award for Distinguished Prose from the Antioch Review, in recognition of his fiction writing. WRITE DIALOGUE 307. W 7th Street Austin TX 78701 [email protected]