Ben Barnes’ decision to reenter politics is not a question of whether to, but of which party. Fort Worth attorney and Barnes’ closest friend Dee J. Kelly, says of the top vote-getter in Texas: “it is not a question of running again, but of which party to run in. He’s not at all sure the Democratic Party still represents his philosophy.” Barnes has been denying the change from Democrat to Republican since 1972 when Frank Erwin, Larry Ternpie, John Connally, and other close political allies voted and worked for Richard Nixon.

… Fifteen other burghers were implicated in the recent Austin prostitution scandal which resulted in the indictment of the city’s athletic director and successful coach, Travis Raven and three other well-known citizens for “compelling the prostitution” of a 16-year-old Houston girl. Among those given serious warnings by District Attorney Bob Smith was a prominent owner of a construction company living south of the city. The prize quote to emerge from the sleazy affair came from a renown Austin toper who was overheard saying to his grateful pals at the Quorum Club, “Making drinking your habit isn’t all bad, boys.”

… At their recent convention in Austin, the ladies of the Texas Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) came out in favor of the death penalty, no government restrictions on oil companies, continued United States ownership of the Panama Canal, removal of all restrictions against Rhodesia, and against heavy immigration to the United States of “yellows, browns, blacks, and whites with their alien cultures.”

… Recently, members of the Dallas Ad Club asked their fellow citizens to name the ten best and worst television commercials. Ranking as the three worst were: Mrs. Olson for Folger’s Coffee, Mr. Whipple for Charmin bathroom tissue, and Continental Airlines’ sexist plea, “we move our tails for you.” Voted the three best were: Rodney Alien Rippy for Jack-in-the-Box, the chow-chow-chow number for Purina Cat Chow, and Morris the cat for Nine Lives Cat Food.

… One of the nation’s first “ecological parking lots” has been built at the Woodlands, a new city being built north of Houston. Pavement for the half-acre parking lot is a newly developed porous asphalt that is capable of taking 70 inches of rain per hour, allowing the water to seep through and eventually return to the natural water table.

… Another shortage reported. M. J. Horton, the Dallas Independent School District’s purchasing director, says that the school district’s supply of toilet tissue will hold out through the summer but that’s it. Not one of the twelve paper companies contacted responded to recent bids.

Joan Crystal, one of Houston’s leading dealers in Pre-Columbian art and owner of Louisiana Gallery, is still puzzled over a recent series of thefts. Two days after her home was robbed of three important Mayan pieces, her gallery was hit for all the rest of the Mayan sculpture. A day later, the gallery pieces were found, neatly packaged on her car’s back seat. Still missing are the three from the house.

… According to a recent issue of Esquire, Dallas’ best shoeshine was given by Richard Bell at 706 Commerce. This month, Bell’s building falls to progress as does Shoemaker’s Barbecue, one of the city’s historic barbecue places located right next door at 708 Commerce. Say it isn’t so.