84 TRUE STORIES OF OLD
was being held in the opera house; that was located in the city
hall. I met Joe Tyran, who invited me to go up in the hall. He
told me he was going to be nominated for one of the big county
offices on the first ballot; that he had prepared a fine speech
and wanted me to hear him. Of course, I went. On the way he
told me that taking the ballot was a mere formality, as he had
a sure thing, and would get the vote of nearly every delegate
in the convention. When we got to the hall Joe and I went into
one of the front boxes, so he could step right out on the stage
when the time came for him to return thanks to the delegates.
-We had not been there long before the time came for balloting
for Joe's office. One or two nominating speeches were made
and then the voting began. The result knocked me and Joe
out of the box, for out of the 86' votes in the convention Joe got
only three. He looked at me and I looked at him and then he
crawled out of the box onto the stage and raised his hand. There
was a dead calm. Joe advanced to the front of the stage and
said: "Mr. Chairman: I want to say that there are 83 of the
biggest liars in this hall that God ever let live."
In a moment bedlam broke loose. Delegates were on their feet
s n all parts of the hall gesticulating and shouting, while everybody
was yelling and hooting. One little fellow clear back in
the rear of the hall, who had a voice like a fog-horn, managed to
make himself heard and finally the others stopped their racket
long enough for him to speak.
"Mr. Chairman," he said. "I object to any such language
being-" but he got no further than that. Joe did not know who
he was, but he shot in the dark. "Sit down, you infernal scoundrel.
You offered to sell out to me this morning for twenty
Now everybody in the house knew this charge was absurd and
groundless, and that Joe was saying what he did simply because
he was mad, but the crowd enjoyed the situation and raised a
yell that could have been heard for blocks away. The little fellow
could do nothing and realizing his helplessness, he collapsed.
It took a long time to restore order and get the convention down
to business again. When things got quiet I left, feeling that I
had been more than repaid for my trouble in going up to hear
Joe's speech, even if the one he delivered had been a substitute.
Joe Tyran was a politician from away back-sometimes. He
was a politician all the time, but a mighty poor one occasionally.
He had an impolitic way of letting his personal friendships influence
him and you know no successful politician can do that.
From that failing Joe made a poor politician. He was a splendid
fellow and everybody loved him. He would get to be so popular
that it would actually hurt, and then, acting on impulse, he
would do something that would throw all the fat in the fire.
That was only when he was a candidate himself. When he was
working for a friend he could do much that was valuable and he
always could be counted on to do it. Joe sure was impulsive,
and I can prove that by Col. Hamp Cook. There is a good story
Young, Samuel Oliver. True stories of old Houston and Houstonians: historical and personal sketches / by S. O. Young.. Galveston, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth24646/. Accessed July 1, 2015.