Box 16, Folder 9, Document 53

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Box 16, Folder 9, Document 53

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U.S. News t World Report
Following or!!_ excerpts from a letter to " The Beaumont
<Tex.) Enterprise" from Mrs . Irene Palmer of De Quincy,
la ., and pvbfished in The Enterprise" on Aug. 3, J 966 :
These marches, demonsttations, riotings, footings, police
slaying.s and the s.1:1ch makes me literally sick, especially the
'.:r ~~s oqr ·,Covernrnenf officials are trying to ·erorn down
~ ~hroats. 115
of these law-breaku1g episodes .
~i!'~ ! ~..JO. ?.'~a!!! h;...1! _wc.:k, ho:-·Gfihip. piiiii nnd :,tif{Jrin~
is. ·1 had polio at ,1g.e :f moa.ths which left m y left leg one
., and,-one!.half 'inc~es shorter. than my right and about one
third the m.e.

My father diea at 6 p . m. Sunday in 1935, was buried

Monday on !JI)' .1oe,·enteenth birthday. My brother died at
5 a. m~ Tuesday and was buried Wednesday. leaving me
with two-·small S-:.sters and my mother to support.
· At 17 I was not a drop-out in school. With no education
-;not enough, anywa}- no experience and with only one
good. leg, 1 quit school and wen~ to work to support a famiTy: l didn't have a teen-a·ge life because my working hours
were always from 10 to 20 hours a day. 1n 1948, I got my
right hand-my working band ; I'm right-handed-in an electric tee shaver and mangled it. It was doubtful whether I'd
ever oo 11-ble to use it again , but after much pain and suffer~ing I learned to use what I had left of a hand. This left me
with one good leg and one good hand, but I didn't give up .
"Follow Me Just One Day-"

,J would like for Earl' Warren, President Johnson, H. H.

l{umphre}i, Ma,tin l.,itther King, and all the hell-raising
juveniles to come to my home and follo w me just one day.
. t caJ1 guarantee that they wouldn't have enough pep left to
go on a demonstration, marching or rock-throwing party.
My day begins at 4 a. m. and ends about 8 or 9 p . m .,
when my he.11th permits. I do my own housework, cooking,
washing, ironing_ se"'ing, raising flowers and a garden. In
fact, for the past thre.e. weeks I have been standing in a hot
kitchen, over a hot, canning my vcgetahles . Have an
air condiboner? Are you kidding? Neither do I ru n up town
when I get hot and "turn on the water hydrants, nor start
rioting and looting stores. Do you see any chil-rights workers doing this bnd of work, trying to add to · thei r income?
If you do, !.how 1ne.
WORlD iE?OR T Avg . 22 . 1966
1 k1,·e two wnn d erf ul l' hilJren who were reared 11w., t nf
their liv~ in hot. crowded apartments. They know "'·hat it
is to do \•.ithout a lot of the better things of life . rf we
could have alforJed just one vacation for them, it would
have been a h1x urv. yet neither are rioters, rock-throwers.
nor lawbreakers.
J would lil,;e· ttl show some of the officials in Washington,
the marchers. rioters, and all those who have their h and
stret.(·;11,;d uut fur i:i :1..t.111.!uul , suint: of the:= iu.1ulliL"a:avpeU ~---o·
pie who are maki-,1g it on their own and not asking ~·Ir. Nobocfy for an~thin~ . .. .
"Excuses for Riots Are Tommyrot"
Sir. t-an our Pre,5ident, Vice President. any civil-rights
worker, agitator, ur wbomever they ma y be, stand · up and
look us handicaps, whose very life itself has been a stiuggle
for most of us, in the eye and try to cram down our throats
an idea as idiotic as hot weather, crowded livi ng qua rters,
low income, hard working conditions and all the other excuses they try to pass on to the people a~ being reasons for
these riots we are having? I for 011e cannot nor will I sw al low such tommyrot.
You mar see us ha ndicaps becom e fuiious when we see a
gang of a ble-bodied . men and women , whether they are
hlack. whi te. puq)le or spotted, running 11p and down our
nation saying I want, gimme that. without lifting ,,
linger to earn it, but you will never see us in a marching
demonstratio n line wanting something for nothing. We're too
proud for that.
I believe a grea t lesson could be learned from the handi caps. First, faith; then courage, patience, love, kindness,
long suffering, pride, competence and alJ the things that
make life worthwhile .
Sir, I didn't intend to wiite a newspaper when I started,
but T ha \·e watched so much of thesf' disgraceful crime
waves. ,, ·bich are so useless, on television, and read so much
about it in the papers, until I just had to say my piece.
So I will close and leave an open invitation for the President, H . H. H ., Martin Luther King and his followers, the
agitators or whoever it ma y be who thinks it takes a crime
wave to make a living in this old world, to come and fo llow
in mv footsteps iust one day and I'll show them what can be
done if anynne ha~ t he get-np about them to try .

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