The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas on April 26, 1966 · Page 5
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The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas · Page 5

Blytheville, Arkansas
Issue Date:
Tuesday, April 26, 1966
Page 5
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Bfythavffl* (Ark.) Courier New - Tuesday, April », MM- Page Fin Introducing: Ed Allison Gadfly Getting Political Yearnings (EDITOR'S NOTE: At the pace of growth In the Ark- Mo Delta accelerates, io will the emergence of new (aces. In this new series, the Courier Newt will undertake to introduce to read- ert tome of the people who possibly will be making newt, shaping opinions and supplying leadership in the near future.) By Jack Baker Staff Writer It comes as a surprise. You are talking to a young man who sits at liis ease on a couch in his living room. On the wall behind him are three oil paintings, one of which seems to be an impressionistic rendering of the Rolling Stones in concert. The picture is a first-rate job. "My daughter did that one," he tells you. While you are still wondering what kind of Wunderkind this infant must be, in she walks. She is a pretty 12-year-old who Introduces herself as Lou. Lou's daddy is Ed Allison, and the remarkable thi;ig about it is that Allison looks younger than his 31 years, but here he is with a twelve-year-old daughter who looks like his little sister, and damned if you haven't been sitting there thinking of him as a young fellow just starting out. Here, after all, is a man who ewns a business (Allison and Associates, Inc.), has a family of five, and a reputation right now of being the hottest man around—in both meanings of the term. Ed Alilson started out * long time ago. Armed only with vague utopic (his eneiries would say "megalomanic") longings, he swore as an unexceptional high school senior to do battle with this world—and make it see reason. Within the past year he has feuding with members af the establishment fOr a long time, and the frequent epithets Of - maker!" are signs that he's gotten under a lot of hides. Part of the reason IS Allisbn's outspokenness, which mikes him good newspaper copy but fails to ingratiate him with some other people. Last fall alone: he. challenged Mayor Jimrnie Edwards on what was previously an uncontested bond issue to acquire off- street parking facilities. ("There was an obvious lack of planning," Allison says.); And he helped found a Mississippi County Young Republicans Club—a potential source of provocation to Democratic establishmentarians. Perhaps the root of all this compulsion to provoke lies in Allison's days at Little Rock Catholic High School. By his own statement he was just one face among several — a boy undistinguishable from his fellow pupils except by virtue of slightly higher grades. "I was just a vegetable," he says. "I didn't use to be able to say three words in a row." He said at least two words in a row — "I do" — when he married Betty Thaxton of Dardanelle after graduation. Thus was formed a partnership which Allison calls "my most vato able inspiration." The Allisons began wedded life in much the same way as millions of other young couples. They set up housekeeping on somewhat limited means and started out bravely to raise a family. At the time Allison was associated with his father in the moving business. It was then that he began to evidence the relentless mannerisms that mark him now He learned all he could and what he couldn't learn kept him awake at night. AH the while he was hustling, and there was waged this battle with the city | more in this expenditure of en- administration anr its chief executive; with the Democratic Party establishment and many of its functionaries; and with his own Blytheville Jaycee club, which rewarded him. by twice rejecting him for its presidency. * * * Allison and some 25 others recently seceded from the Blylhe- ville Jaycees to form a club of their own, tentatively known as toe Chickasaw Jaycees. Whether this club will survive is moot at the moment. The Intra-club feud which gave it birth is only obscurely under•stood by the public, and, indeed, seems to be a riddle even to many outspoken partisans. Tha Blytheville Jaycees have compounded the confusion by first promising to sponsor the new club for a charter and then vowing to prevent this by "all means necessary." (The Chamber of Comerce has since entered the lists and has championed the Blytheville Jaycees. As o! this writing, the fate of the Chickasaw Jaycees truly hangs in the balance.) The members of the Chickasaw Jaycees are a very earnest group of emigres, and they are doing their sincere best right now to make it seem that Allison is not the Joshua of their moye- ment. In such a case it is only polite to believe them. Neither their president, Marvin Lipford, o r anyone else denies the fact, however, that the election of Monday, April 4, was the immediate cause of their revolt. Allison was the favored candidate in the presidential race, and members of the Chickasawba Club have suggested darkly that he lost because of question' able electioneering by the other side. They claim that some pretty rough pressure was applied and they point to the fact that an extraordinary number of chronic absentees had their dues paid at the last minute. * * * Whether these allegations are true or not, their very pronouncement raises the question, "Why should people go to this much trouble to defeat a presidential candidate in a Jaycee election?" Allison himself gives the answer: "People I don't know call me a trouble-maker." In truth, the word "trouble-rm.ker" is astoundingly often applied to Allison by hit adversaries and, indeed, by people who admit they don't know him well. "Maybe I'm a natural gadfly." Allison says. Whatever ergy than the Wheaties he ate or breakfast. # "I'd been bit by the American joldbug," Allison recalls. "A hat time I was dreaming ol he proverbial million - dollar make." That was one part of the American dream — the vision of vast personal enrichment. Alison was soon to discover another. In 1959 he moved to Blytheville, having gone through what le describes as a "friendly cave-taking" from the family justness. He founded Ed Allison arc Associates, Inc., a company which deals in real estate, moving, and storage. (One of the •associates," Bob White, is an effective lieutenant both in busi ness and in all other crossings of the Rubicon that Allison does.) Also, and very important!! by Allison's account, he joined Ihe Jaycees. "I can't express how grateful I am to the Jaycee movement," he says. "The Jaycees taught me to find things in my self I didn't know about." Two of the things he didn' know about were a zest for poli tics and a talent for leadership Allison the entrepreneur be came Allison the citizen acti vist. "I had never before been in terested in government or poli tics," he says. "And I had no idea of how many ways a citi zen could be useful to his com munity." Allison came to swear b two mottos which he says th Jaycees taught him: "Youn; men can rule the world;" am "In every man there's a giant.' * * * Ed Allison is not yet a gian (and physically he's rather a little man), but he is certainly a young man much interest* in the logistics of ruling. His approach to many thing is that of a romantic, but hi analysis of the benefits of th Jaycee movement is pragmatic "Obviously we're not the Join Chiefs of Staff. By definition ou power to make earth - shakn changes t Imted. But througl his projects and activities, . Jayct* acquires the arts of ser vice, which make him a thor oughly valuable man to his em ployer and to society." Allison's value to society wa adjudged to be slgnifican enough last year to merit th Jack Gwin award — presentee annually to the outstanding Jay cee member in Arkansas. AUimii««*B "But I'm more prt thin is han I am anti," h« protests. It was an attempt by Allison > arrange for the city's uie Of le Blytheville Jaycee grounds s a site for a new civic caner that, as many feel, nip- ured the club between Allison- tes and city men. (Allison feels he was left on a mb on this Issue by key Jay- ees who, according to him, eneged on their support Of the roject when Mayor Jimmie Idwards and Other demurred.) The record certainly shows ome positive accomplishments. The Gwin award cita- on, for example, recounted many of' Allison's deeds during le award year — he had served s Jaycee membership chairman, parliamentarian, seer*- ary, state representative and aycee delegate to the Blytho- ille Development Council. But the real clincher was a hoice cultural plum that A1B- on plucked for the city. . In December of 19«4 he man- ged to secure a Blytheville date or the authorized American interpreters of the Oberammer- ;au Passion Play. This historic play has been resented once a decade for enturies in Oberammergau, Germany, and its presentation ere should have been a moment of glory for the city. But, is Allison says ruefully, "It was i big bomb." "I'm not much of a culture man myself, and I'd guess at east 50 per. cent of the people a Blytheville are totally indif- erent to what we call culture. t's like Olives. You don't like hem until you've eaten them or a while." That Blytheville did not eat the olives depresses Allison. He is embarrassed that Kennett, Missouri, a town of comparable resources, was able to attract a healthy crowd to lear the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra last Wednesday night, despite torrential rains and tornado warnings. "We are in obvious need of an arts council at least as good as Kennett's," Allison says, "In our times a cultural program and a city's economic progress ;o hand in hand." He adds, "Maybe this is some hing we Chickasaw Jaycees can get going." * The Chickasaws have at least one thing going for them, and hat is optimism — Allison's and. They are determined men — some of them to the point of riety. One of their secession ar- icles was a protest against >eer drinking during meetings of the Blytheville Jaycees. A good example of this almost Puritanical streak in the movement was a member's srayer to open last week's meet- ng that "we have a club that vill always please Thee, o Ord." By contrast, Allison is something of a swinger. He is a Catholic, but his goals arc as secular as his personality. He advocates, for example, the imed- late abolition of the Arkansas Anti - Evolution law, and sanctioning of open bars in the state. "I'm not a do-gooder," he says. "I have my vices. I drink, smoke, stay out late at night at meetings, but I don't run around with women." Allison jokes. He does smoke quite a lot (four packs of Salems a day), but his drinking is necessarily limited. He is a diabetic. In fact, Allison probably consumes more insulin than booze, and when he does sit down with a beer, he sips it with ritual indifference — giving one of his few obeisances to the American tradition of the Regular Fellow. His consumption of cigarettes is more passionate, and this passion contributed indirectly to a freak accident last fall which temporarily incapacitated him and permanently impaired his eyesight. As Allison recalls, "I had just driven into the company parking lot one day last October, when a wasp flew in the window and came to rest on my left cheekbone. I slapped at it with my right hand instinctively, and the lit end of my cigarette went straight into my eye. It hurt plenty.' More importantly, it burned the cornea of his left eye irreparably. Allison somehow managed to get to Chickasawba Hospital, where examinations indicated a need for surgery "I hsd a eon** trauplaot operation at Memphis Eye, Car, Nos* and Throat Hospital," Allison says, "and then I spent two of the ktngest months of my life in convalescence at St. Joseph's Hospital there." * * * Allison's stay in the hospital came at a time when he had been busy working up support For a Young Republicans group here. He continued these organizational activities f'om his sickroom. "I kept up a pretty active correspondence," he says, "and this period of enforced 'retirement' gave me a chance to catch up on Some insurance studies I had been pursuing." Ever the Jaycee, Allison composed copy for the club's weekly "Monday Morning Newsletter" and mailed it to Blytheville to be printed. "I never missed a week," he says proudly. Allison was discharged from the hospital on Christmas Eve, with the vision in his left «ye unrestored. "I figured that, since I was a Republican, if I had to have a bad eye, it might as well be my left one," he says gamely. He went back to work immed- diately recruiting Young Republicans. By mid-January, a YR group was in existence, and Allison, as chairman presided over the first meeting. * * * Perhaps 17 members were present, and Democratic leaders were not alarmed — at least publicly. "They ought to hold their meetings in a telephone booth," one of them cracked. Allison is nevertheless optimistic. For one thing, he contends that the Republian paty is the natural — and evitable — home of what he feels is a basically conservative - minded local population. "There are more Democrats in Arkansas who are really Republicans than Democrats who are Democrats," Allison claims. "I am confident that time will bear me out on this." His own Republican allegiance is apparently due not so much to the party's economic principles as to what he believes is a Republican emphasis on individualism. for his opposition to things, like the bond issue and —heresy ol heresies — to the National Cotton Picking Contest, which he believes (like many others privately) costs the city more than it is worth. Tyically he says, 'I'm an Ed Allison Reublican." Philosophically he could probably be placed in the liberal wing of his party. He did noi vote for Goldwater in 1984, anc espouses the presidential hopes of Michigan's moderate- minded George Romney. "I don't go in much for labels," Allison says, "but in the South questions of liberal or conservative boil down to money and race. I'm liberal on race and conservative on money," Allison intends for the Young Republicans to have more than partisan importance. He has jlans for monthly seminars on issues of importance to the public and has e n ga g e d Ansil Douthit, Little Rock's city manager, for the first of these in May. "We Young Republicans do not necessarily feel that the city manager system is the best form of city government, but we do feel the public should be allowed to debate its merits," Allison says. What Allison calls "a painful lack of citizen participation in affairs of government" greatly disturbs him. "When you have city council meetings at which there's no disagreement, no discussion, no dissension, you know something's bad wrong," Allison says 'I find these meetings very interesting, but I'd rather see the rehearsals." Allisons does not exactly accuse the city administration of machine politics. "These people prOTjably intend well," he says, "but they have, in effect, created a closed society here." * * * He contrasts this alleged state of affairs with the manner in which other cities conduct their governments. "In Memphis, for example, every time a proposal is up for action, you find city commissioner! calling public meetings, which are usually well-attended. Nothing happens that the pub- ment* as Mayor, but he adds, The Mayor could be even better — perhaps great — if he chose 16 counsel with the public more often." * * » Does Allison have a mission? "If I have one, it's to get the citizen interested in the affairs Shat most concern hin — those of government." Allison has been fairly vocal recently talking up the possibilities of local and state programs as opposed to those of Federal origin. "I'm for Headstart, Urban Renewal, and that kind of thing," he says, "but I'm scared to death of federal programs — like aid to education — which in part usurp local prerogatives. You've got to draw the line between the mind and the heart." Persistent rumors have cropped up in recent weeks that Allison plans to make a political race this year. This speculation cropped up during the Jaycee campaign in the form of a charge that Allison was attempting to advance himself personally at the expense of the club. Even Edwards T- who maintained an honorable, and neutral, position in the Jaycee factional dispute •*• credits some of these rumors. "Let's face it," he says. "Any man who is Jaycee president is in a fine position to run for office. I know. I'm One who came that route." Up to now, Allison has replied ambiguously to d i r e c t questions on the subject of political office. "I have no political ambitions," he would tell you, then adding, "at this moment." The last phrase was always spoken with a smile. The oddsboard underwent some pretty fancy shuffling over the weekend when a source very close to Allison indicated strongly that Allison would file this week for the state Legislature. Last week Allison made this statement: "The two - party system is Blytheville's greatest need, and this need is immediate." Breathing deep and studying his fingernails, he added, "there will probably be at least one good Republican candidate this fall." It is perhaps not illogical to believe that the name he saw on his fingernails was Ed Allison. * * * If Allison does make a race, it should be an entertaining summer and fall. Whatever his foes say about him, by generating controversy he may also generate some real discussion of political issues — something the county has greatly lacked in recent years. At the height of the Jaycee controversy, when Allison confessed he had suffered "severe emotional trauma," he expressed defiantly his resolve 1 never to submit to organized pressure. "I am only happy when I'm doing what I want to do with my life," he said. "I am dreadfully unhappy when I'm doing what others want me to do. This I will never do." Maybe this is hubris. On the other hand, it may be the statement of a man who is sure of his convictions and is convinced of their ultimate advantage to his fellow citizens. He is well aware of the dangers of speaking one's mind. But he scorns them. "No man is worth a damn who silences himself in the face of the consensus," he says. "Not even good government is worth this price." He has a ready answer for the frequent accusation that he is needlessly stirring local waters. 'people i don't know call me a trouble maker.' 'political peace prevails in russia. we don't need it.' OBITUARY S. E. Connelly Rites Tomorrow Services will be held tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. at Cobb Funeral tome chapel for Samuel Erskin Connelly, a metal worker, who died Saturday in Detroit. Officiating will be Rev. T. J. Richardson. Burial will be in Maple Grove Cemetery.' Mr. Connelly, 54, was born n Newbern, Tenn., and had been a resident of Blytheville or about 35 years before leav- ng here in 1953. He was a Bap- ist. He leaves two daughters, Mrs. Louise Hendrickson of Indianapolis and Mrs. Mary Alice Massey of Blytheville; A son, William E. Connelly of Fonesboro; A sister, Mrs. Mary McDonald of Oak Grove Village, 111.; A brother, Richard Hurdis Jonnelly of Detroit; And three grandchildren. Leochville Resident Dies Delia Xenia Metheny died yesterday at her home in Leachville. She was 61. Mrs. Metheny, the widow of the late Glenn Metheny, had lived in the Leachville area for 36 years. She leaves five sons, Perry, Ben and Jiiti Metheny Of Leach- phis, Larry Metheny of Memphis, and Dennis Metheny of Bloomfield, Mo.; Three daughters, Mrs. Blanche Conrad of Cardwell, Mo., Mrs. Joe Mason of Keh- nett, Mo., and Sonja Metheny of Leachville; Two sisters, Mrs. Lorraine Harrison of Garden City, Mich., and Mrs. Opal Wilborn of Cardwell, Mo.; A brother, Cecil Hyde of Pontiac, Mich.; Her mother, Mrs. Betty Hyde of Cardwell; Six grandchildren and two great grandchildren. Services will be held tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. at the Church of Christ in Leachville, with Marion A. Hendrickson i n charge. Burial will be in Memorial Gardens of Paragould. lie doesn't know about." Allison professes admiration tat jlnini* Wwirii' icWtv*- 'i'm not a do- gooder ... i have my vices.' "Peace and harmony in politics prevail in Russia and China," he says, "I don't think we need that kind of harmony here." Allison has seemingly dedicated himself to acting as gad- Ely to the regional consensus. "But whatever it sounds like, my ultimate concern is this community," he says. "Blytheville is my home. I love it. No matter what happens to me, my children will be raised here and I plan to die here." Right now, Allison is very much alive. His political life may soon be at stake, but it is doubtful that even a crushing defeat would deter him from stinging the hide of the establishment. If the issue were raised, he would probably offer his voice against the mass of good old boys who fear Beatle haircuts and deplore the moral consequences of the frug. He's that kind of fellow. "I'll keep talking as long as there are two sides to any is sue," he vows. And the gadfly-swatters be damned. IN THE CHANCERY COURT FOR THE CHICKASAWBA DISTRICT OF MISSISSIPPI COUNTY, ARKANSAS. DELOBES D. BARKER, PLAINTIFF VS. NO. 16744 ROBERT WARREN BARKER, DEFENDANT WARNING ORDER The defendant Robert Warren Barker is hereby warned to appear in this court within 30 days and answer the Complaint of the Plaintiff, Delores D. Barker, and upon his failure so to do uid Complaint will be taken as confessed. WITNESS my hand as Clerk of the Chancery Court for the Chickasawba District of M County, Ajkuut, and the seal of said Court on this the 16th day of April, 1966. GERALDINE LISTON, Clerk By Donna DiCicco, D. C. Graham Sudbury 115 N Second Street Blytheville, Arkansas Attorney for Plaintiff Marcus Evrard 126 W. Walnut Street Blytheville, Arkansas Attorney Ad Litem , 4-19, 26, 5-3, 10 Derek Seeks Divorce HOLLYWOOD (AP) - Actor John Derek says he has started Mexican divorce proceedings against his wife, actress Ursula Andress. He married the Scan dinavian actress in Las Vegas Nev., in 1957. ... Doily Record Markets Open Hl«h Low UK Chicago Wheat May \Wt 164'/i 162% 163ft July 16DV4 160V4 159V4 159%. Sept. 162ft l«2tt 181% 161H Chicago Soybeans May 300 306 300 305V4 July 304V4 309% 304^4 308% Aug. 303 307% 302V4 306 7 /. New York Stocks Texas G.S 111% Chrysler 48% RCA 59'/4 AT&T 57 Dow 76% Xerox 256 ,M 91% Pan Amer 7014 'ord 49% Westing'hse 63%. U.S.Steel 47%. Curtis Pub 12 Comsat 50 Amer Motors 10% Sears 59% Parke Davis 3TA Gen Elect 116 Beth Steel 34 7 /s Reynolds Tob 40" Standard NJ 78V*' Holiday Inn 42" Ark-La 45% Ark-Mo 17V4. Divco-Wayne 39Vi As of this date, Blytheville has not had a traffic fatality within its city limits for Ben Eoff Service Set Services will be held tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. at Dell Bap- ;ist Church for Ben Eoff, longtime Dell resident who died Sunday. Officiating will be Rev. J. C. Smith. Burial will be in Elmwood Cemetery. Cobb Funeral iome is in charge. A farmer, Mr. Eoff was also a veteran of World War II and a member of the American Legion. Pallbearers will be Jimmy (ill, Jim Gardner, B. T. Ladner, Donald Veach, Zolan Stutts, Ed Hardin, Garfield Lewis and A..B. Smith. Cobb Funeral Home is in charge. Imports of foreign cars into the U. S. last year amounted to 485,000 units. SERVICES BY COBB FUNERAL HOME COURTEOUS SERVICE BEN EOFF, 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, Dell Baptist Church * * * SAMUEL ERSKIN CONNELLY :30 p.m., Wednesday, Cobb Chapel. •••••••••••*•*•••••••• days. The Individual driver \t responsible for this record and when it is broken will bear that- responsibility, too. ; V; Testeraiy't high—74 Overnltht low—58 Precipitation prevlom 14 noun (to 7 a.m. today)—.83 ' Precipitation Jan t to data—14.J7 • Sunset today—6:41 Sunrise tomorrow—5:14 '." ' This Date A Tear Afo Yesterday's high—80 ' 6vernlfeht low—50 Precipitation Jan. I to dit«--i8.Sl IN THE PROBATE COURT OF CHICKASAWBA DISTRICT OF MISSISSIPPI COUNTY, ARKANSAS. IN THE MATTER OF THE ESTATE OF Jimmie W; Green, deceased. NO. 4365. LAST KNOWN ADDRESS OF DECEDENT: 836 Keith, Blytheville, Ark. . DATE OF DEATH: December 8, 1965. The undersigned was appointed administrator of the above- named decedent on the 15th day of April, 1966 All persons having claims against the estate must exhibit them, duly verified, to the undersigned within six months from the date of the first publication of this notice, or they shall be forever barred and precluded from any benefit in the estate. This notice first published 19th day of April, 1966. Joseph Hughes, Administrator Ed B. Cook Attorney for Petitioner 4-19,28' END FEAR *••»••••••••*••••••••* of doctor and hospital bills. Mutual of Omaha hospital, surgical, medical expense and Income protection plan pay bit benefit* fast and the cost is low. Giva yourself and family big protection, new peace of mind. Call or write — Frank King, Agent P.O. Box 866 — Blythevills Phone PO 2-2000 Representing Mutual of Omaha MUTUAL OF OMAHA INSURANCE COMPANY LIFE INSURANCE: UNITED OF OMAHA HOME OFFICE: OMAHA, NEBRASKA -jf -» . , .,. . r ; i^a? Make Memorial Day —;" fvyb'ur Day of Remembrance Prepare now to choose a beautiful Barre Guild Monument to memorialize your departed Joved one on Memorial Day. We have a wide choice of monuments guaranteed ." by the Barre Guild. /BARRED [GUILD/ Monuments Jno.C.McHaney& Sons, Inc. OPEN SUNDAY AFTERNOON So. 61 Highway — Blytheville, Ark. — Ph. PO 2-2601

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