The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 86, July 1982 - April, 1983

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

center, was the most influential institution around. However, signs of
decline in the organized community appeared with the arrival of the
depression and World War II. The population decreased as the chil-
dren grew up and left and the older generation began dying. Small
farm units were replaced by large agricultural operations as tech-
nology advanced. Inevitably, the country schoolhouse disappeared,
so what had once been a vibrant community became only a memory.
Relying primarily upon the remembrances of family members,
David L. Caffey has written a fine portrayal of life in rural West Texas.
This book is a worthy addition to the literature dealing with the social
and agricultural history of the Southwest.
West Texas State University GARRY L. NALL
The Miracle of the Killer Bees: z2 Senators Who Changed Texas Poli-
tics. By Robert Heard. (Austin: Honey Hill Publishing Co., 1981.
Pp. vii+ 124. Illustrations, index. $7.95 paper.)
Texas Statehouse Blues: The Editorial Cartoons of Ben Sargent. By
Ben Sargent. (Austin: Texas Monthly Press, i980. Pp. 132. $5.95,
paper.)
On May 18, 1979, as the Sixty-sixth Texas Legislature was trying to
wind up its 14o-day session, an interesting set of circumstances began
to unfold. Lieutenant Governor Bill Hobby, in his determination to
pass a separate-day presidential primary bill, which would designate
a time earlier than the May Democratic and Republican primaries,
had applied two parliamentary maneuvers of questionable ethics. In
actuality he "had fooled" (p. 3) a number of senators who were bit-
terly fighting the bill's passage. As a result, twelve lawmakers, whom
Hobby called "Killer Bees" because "you never know where they're
going to hit next" (p. 3), would break a Senate quorum by hiding
from state authorities for five days. And as former Associated Press
correspondent and knowledgeable political observer Robert Heard
concluded, "Texas politics would never be the same" (p. 118).
Although Heard has elevated the Killer Bees to hero status (which,
in fact, Texas liberals also did), few of the participants involved in
this controversy emerged unscathed and in a favorable light. Of those
opposing the twelve senators Hobby was obviously the chief villain,
who, "when required to give more than a yes or no answer . . . re-
plied in a halting voice, interrupted by several uhs and a nervous, dry
cough" (p. 25). Tom Creighton of Mineral Wells was known by the

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 86, July 1982 - April, 1983. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101209/. Accessed December 28, 2014.