The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, September 18, 1985, Image 9

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Wednesday, September 18, 1985/The Battalion/Page 9 Texas poet has number of ‘irons’ in the creative fire By Jim Earle Slouch “This is the last one I ha ve and it’s an amazing opportunity for you! A f enuine bottle of seawater taken from the site of the Titanic, and at a argain!" Police Beat The following incidents were re ported by the University Police De partment from Sept. 9 through Monday: MISDEMEANOR THEFT: • Nine bicycles were stolen from various locations on campus. • Four wallets were stolen from various locations on campus. • A backpack was stolen from the Commons Dinning Hall. • A backpack was stolen from the Sterling C. Evans Library. • A telephone was stolen from 115-E Zachry Engineering Center. • A telephone was stolen from the Louis Pearce Pavilion. HARASSMENT BY PHONE: • There were eight reports of ha rassment by phone from various lo cations on campus. FELONY ! HEFT: • A 1982 Chevrolet pickup truck was stolen from where it was parked near Building W-3. DISORDERLY CONDUCT: • A nude man was jogging in Hensel Park. TERRORISTIC THREAT: • Someone called on the Gay Hotline and said a bomb would go off at the Gay Student Service orga nization held in 402 Rudder. ASSAULT: • A woman reported that a man entered the women’s restroom on the fifth floor of the Sterling C. Evans Library. The man began speaking to the woman, placed his hand on her back and would not al low her to exit the restroom. The man left when another woman en tered the restroom. Associated Press ARCHER CITY — Normally, the thought of a writer’s or poet’s studio brings to mind a large, airy garret with windows aplenty. That’s not so for one of Texas’ most respected poets. Her “studio” is part of a converted walk-in closet so narrow she can al most touch the walls by extending her arms. To get into it, she has to walk arouna a large pool table in the den. But Margaret Slack prefers it that way. “I can come in here, close the door and not be distracted by any thing,” she explained. It might be an unusual work f )lace, especially when she could tave any room in the large, comfort able home she shares with her hus band, Joe. But the confining situa tion obviously works for her. Earlier this year Slack won first place in lyric poetry in a contest sponsored by the National Feder ation of State Poetry Societies. Entries came from all over the United States and foreign countries. But Slack wasn’t the only member of the Wichita Falls Poetry Society whose work the judges liked. Six other members of the Wichita Falls group also finished in the contest’s top 10 in their various divisons. These included Ann Moorehead, Mrs. Clark Gresham, Jennie Spray, Ruth Ruther, Candace Dimitri and Lou Gatlin. Slack said the Wichita Falls poetry group is especially active and serious about its work. Despite her talent, Slack said she has never published a book of her work, though she said a friend once had some of her poems bound in a one-of-a-kind book for her. “I don’t like to make the effort to be published,” she said, explaining that publication requires constant revising, editing and perfect typing. And to be honest, the longtime Archer City resident said she doesn’t have the time all that would take. She said she has other irons in the fire. She is an accomnplished por trait and landscape painter. Her home houses a large collection of her hand-painted porcelain. Her talent in this particular field has prompted numerous requests from friends for specially painted porcelain sets. But she has steadfastly refused all requests, explaining she doesn’t like to “mass produce” her work. “I’d go crazy painting one color on a bunch of dishes and then doing the same thing all over again with another,” she said. She said she has been writing po etry since she was a child, but still be lieves “the bottom line is poetry like nursery rhymes.” . She has little patience for more modern free verse. She recalled that as a child, her younger sister found some of her poetry in the bottom of her drawer, including a piece that had moved her to tears while writing it. The sisters read it aloud and “laughed themselves silly.” “I didn’t forgive them for that for a long time,” she said with a laugh. Slack has lived in her present home since her late parents built it when she was 7 years old. Her husband, who retired in 1974 after more than 30 years of teaching shop and mechanical drawing for the Wichita Falls schools and at Sheppard Air Force Base, added onto the house as their family grew. The Slacks have two sons and two daughters, who are scattered from Wichita Falls to Montana to New York City. The Slacks have nine grandchil dren. Nursery caretaker still working at age of 94 Associated Press ROSHARON — It’s Monday afternoon, and Rubin Banks is resting in the shade of an old barn. The barn smells of wood smoke, and the walls look like they aren’t going to stay upright much longer. Banks doesn’t seem to mind the smoky smell, the bugs, or the run-down shape of the barn where he works. As far as he’s concerned, it’s “his" barn. Banks has been working at the same place in Rosharon for 26 years. Or maybe it’s 28. Even people in the accounting office of Teas Nursery in Bellaire aren’t sure. Teas hired Banks to take care of the trees and grounds at the Rosharon nursery, which is across the highway from the Darrington Unit of the Texas Department of Corrections. He used to walk the three miles every day, but many people have come to recognize the short, stooped figure shuffling along FM 521, and they stop to offer him a ride. He doesn’t have a driver’s license. Never did. No sir, never had a need for one. Not in his 90 years. Or maybe it’s 94. Again, nobody is exactly sure how long Banks has been around. Except •Banks. “That’s right. I turned 94 on July the 26,” he said with a smile that exposed the gaps where his front teeth used to be. Most of the relatives gave up trying to talk him out of walking to work 10 years ago, when he was a youngster of 80 or so. “When they tell him he shouldn’t keep going up there he says, ‘Oh no, I got to go to work,’ said his great-niece Josie Lee Banks. Banks has worked all his life. He said that’s why he has lived so long. It’s in his blood. He was born in Rosharon, the second of five children, and stayed until he was 14. He left at 14 to work the cotton fields in West Texas, mostly around Odessa. He went from farm to farm, always keeping busy, always work ing hard. Eventually he returned to Rosharon, some time around 1927. He brought his wife and four boys, and lived on land owned by Frank Turner, where he said he stayed for 18 years while he raised his boys and the three other children who were born after the family moved to Rosharon. Banks’ eyes seem to look back in time while he recounts stories from those years. His youngest daughter, Lucy, now in her late 50s, still lives in Rosharon. “He was a strict father, but he always stuck with us,” Lucy said. “We worked hard dry farm ing, cotton, raising chickens and pigs anything you can name, we raised it.” Lucy said all her brothers and sisters grew up with an appreciation for hard work, which Banks helped instill. Banks spends his time watering trees and mak ing repairs on the nursery grounds. “He was always working hard for us,” she said. “We didn’t go hungry much. We did real good.” Not surprisingly, Banks is well-known around Rosharon. As Banks sits by the barn talking about old times, a car pulls up by the muddy drive outside the nursery gate. A young man with bulging muscles and no shirt struts down the path. “Yo, Rubin!” he calls. Banks looks up and smiles in recognition. “Oh, hi,” says the man. “I saw some stranger’s car out front and I just wanted to check up on you, make sure everything’s okay.” He smiles, flexes and leaves. “That boy is a guard over at the prison,” Banks said. “Yeah, it’s nice to know people will watch out for you.” MSC- A<oG\e Guema* be A EOSlEe 'EsbUET lv\ tMtSC naaaux u*\ll l Vie'u_ ‘ FOSTERS, PLUS "SF&v/ GUSSIES. l o Locae the eeb GLAS c $>eb... I'LT- vniL Woo? ooooooooooooooooooooooooo ooooooooooo < DAVE’S KEGS KEGS KEGS B 4 U BUY Your Next Beer (stop] and V'bur Prices Daves also has weekend specials on liquor and Imported beer. 524 University Dr. K. 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