The 1975 Bum Steer Awards

Here it is, Folks!

Fooled you, didn’t we?

Well, those women on the cover were rightfully horrified. Once you start tallying it up, it becomes clear right away that 1974 did not give us the best of times. There was the gasoline shortage, the power shortage, inflation, recession, and just about everything that could be visited upon us short of pestilence and famine.

John Connally’s star sank and Lloyd Bentsen’s star rose, and Dolph Briscoe’s star laid low. Presidents Stephen Spurr of The University of Texas at Austin and Paul Hardin of SMU were fired under highly questionable circumstances, proving once again that academic communities charged with instilling high ideals into youth are among the world’s most cutthroat places. The year started out with Coastal States Gas in the news for its role in the Central Texas energy crisis, and ended with Southwestern Bell under fire for allegedly conducting illegal wiretapping and rate fixing. Meanwhile oil companies racked up record profits.

Had enough? Well, all that stuff you knew about already. Turn the page and find out just what else went on in Texas last year. Maybe we should secede, after all, and turn all this local madness into our national character. There is one bright spot, however. The Texas legislative circus is back in session. Now that’s what we call exposing ourselves.

FIRST REMOVE THE MOTE FROM YOUR OWN IOTA
“The public has no right to know the details concerning the firing of Stephen Spur… His dismissal has not hurt the university one iota.” —A. G. McNeese, chairman of the University of Texas Board of Regents.

I THINK, THEREFORE, I IS
Dr. George Reid, assistant superintendent for secondary operations in the Dallas school system, ordered works by Hemingway, Salinger, Faulkner, Joyce, Golding, Kesey, and Arthur Miller taken off the shelves of school libraries.

CHEESE IT, THE COPS
Dallas Police Chief Don Byrd fired four vice-squad cops and suspended four others for forcing women being questioned for prostitution to pose bare breasted for snapshots.

BUT YOU CAN HAVE THE COFFEE TABLE AND THE SOFA
Texas prison officials refused to loan Huntsville’s electric chair to Louisiana for two executions.

YOU DON’T HAVE TO FEED IT AND IT DOESN’T TALK BACK
Thieves stole a 165-million-year-old, 15-pound fossil leaf from The University of Texas.

CRIMESTOPPERS TEXTBOOK #286: REPORT ALL TATTOOED KNEES TO PROPER AUTHORITIES
A young lady told Game Warden Glen Phelps she didn’t know the man he was trying to serve a warrant to for a fishing violation and was about to close the door when Warden Phelps spotted the man’s name tattooed on her knee.

IN HELOISE OR THE KITCHEN?
A fire and explosion destroyed the kitchen of syndicated columnist Heloise, who gives advice to housewives. San Antonio firemen attributed the cause to accumulated gas.

STAY AWAY FROM HIS SPEECH ON EARTHQUAKES
During a speech by El Paso Congressman Richard White on occupational safety and health legislation, a wall collapsed, injuring three men in the audience.

I BAPTIZE YOU IN THE NAME OF MATTHEW, MARK, LUKE & WARM
Dallas Jail Chaplain Jim Williams baptizes new converts in the jail’s bathtub.

THE 1975 JOHN J. AUDUBON AWARD
Commenting on the area’s endangered whooping cranes, Mrs. Louise Sharp, formerly justice of the peace in Port O’Connor, said, “I’d like to see them all dead.”

WHO WAS THAT HOODED COON?
The Texas Fiery Knights of the Ku Klux Klan endorsed a black man for justice of the peace in Houston.

VENI. VIDI. HEE-HEE
While robbing a Dallas grocery store, Gary Shaw began laughing so hard that he shot himself in the leg.

HEEERE’S SAMMY!
While awaiting sentencing in the Harris County Courthouse, Samuel Sanchez began removing tiles from the floor, only to plunge through the ceiling into the courtroom of Domestic Relations Judge Wells Stewart.

WHO CARES?
A southeast Houston supermarket was fined for selling chickens advertised as whole fryers that actually had only one wing.

MR. LAISSEZ-FAILURE OF 1974
One-time financial wizard James Ling lost control of his company, Omega-Alpha, after the corporation was placed in receivership. O-A lost $17 million for the year—considerably less, however, than the $59 million lost in 1973.

EDUCATOR OF THE YEAR (RET.)
Last year, B. H. Amstead, University of Texas-Permian Basin president, ordered all 1300 copies of the school paper, The Windmill , fed into the school’s paper shredder because they contained a letter critical of the UT system’s board of regents; fired the student editor, Joel Asbery; reassigned Brigadier General H. W. Hise, UTPB director of development, to study the feasibility of growing grapes in West Texas after Hise told state officials state money was used to build a miniature golf course and duck pond on the UTPB campus; finally fired Hise altogether. Amstead later resigned.

OLD ORANGE BOOTS IS BACK
Lieutenant Governor Bill Hobby arranged for Frank Sinatra to receive two pairs of orange cowboy boots, a hat, and a membership in the Texas Navy.

IN YOUR HEARTBURN YOU KNOW HE'S WRONG
"A Texan doesn’t know his chili from leavings in a corral,” according to Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater.

COVERUP OF THE YEAR
Several Texas papers, including the Dallas Morning News , the Houston Post , and the Austin American-Statesman , touched up their movie ads for The Night Porter by drawing a bra on Charlotte Ramping.
The Dallas Times Herald printed the real thing . . .
But the Houston Post came up with something black . . .
And the Dallas Morning News with a few frills.

STONED FOX GUARDS HENHOUSE
A display of narcotics and dangerous drugs was stolen out of the lobby of the Department of Public Safety headquarters in Austin.

YEAH, JERRY, BUT WHAT HAVE YOU DONE FOR US LATELY?
Sergeant Jerry Verdi, a decorated Viet Nam veteran from Lackland Air Force Base, received a bad conduct discharge and a $300 fine for disobeying an order to quit wearing a wig that covered a shrapnel scar.

THEY WERE ONLY GOING TO SHOW HIS FACE ANYWAY
An on-the-air vasectomy to be performed on San Antonio

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