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Interview with: Bud Hadfield
Interviewed by: Unknown Interviewer
Date: June 28, 1976
Archive Number: OH 070
I: (00:01) I’d like to begin by asking you how you first got into politics. In all my research, I really couldn’t find an answer to that question.
BH: It was back in 1961. Some of the local folk were looking for a campaign manager for Louie Welch, who was making his third attempt for the mayor’s race in Houston. And they were looking for someone who knew very little, if anything, about politics, because they wanted a person who had been in business—clean background, no scars—so, they talked me into by saying, “Well, you’d have the opportunity to make many speeches.” And I love to talk. So in getting involved, I thought they were very sincere in wanting me to run the campaign, so I immediately put in effect to scale our organizational chart and made the various assignments, and I became very actively involved. Louis was very patient with me, and I made some horrendous mistakes. Things that I look back on, I’m terribly chagrined. We, of course, lost the election in the runoff, and then we came back in 1963, and I was Louis campaign manager again. And this time just by exposure I picked up a degree of expertise, and I seemed to have somewhat of a flair for handling campaigns. As my friends have told me, I’m a lousy candidate but a good campaign manager. All the cantankerousness in my nature comes out. I like organization. I like to see things move very fast. And we did—we came from behind, and we won the election. So that’s how it originally started.
I: How did you first get to meet Louis Welch?
BH: Well, it was in a meeting at one of his supporters in his office. A mutual friend brought us together. I remember driving downtown. We were talking about it. He said, “Well, what do you know about city government?” And I said, “Really nothing.” And I said, “I have no idea how many cops we have in the city, because I’d been so busy in the printing business. I really—I was oblivious to all this going on. We met in the office that night, and Louis and I hit if off well, and we have over the years. We disagreed on some things, but anyone I’ve been close to I’ve disagreed with, from time to time.
I: (02:52)You said you committed some serious blunders in the first effort. Can you pinpoint some of those mistakes?
BH: Well, yes. Well, one in particular. I remember that we got the Harris County Council of Organizations’ endorsement. And back in those days, the principals of the Harris County Council of Organizations were E. M. Knight, Theodore Haugabrooks and Forest Henry. And E.M. told me about—he said, “You’re going to have the endorsement, but let’s not say anything. Just take it and run with it. I said, “No, no. I’m very proud of the fact that we have it.” And I made big waves about it. Of course, it helped polarize the voters in southwest Houston and around town, and it did cost us a considerable number of votes. We actually gained no votes in the black community because they were there anyway, and we lost some in the white community. That was just one of them. Any number of errors in judgment—judgmental matters as they related to people having no idea on who had a background. I could easily be persuaded to give a person more responsibility than that person could handle. So consequently, throughout the campaign I found out the ones who were the talkers and the ones who were the doers, and I just simply have no time for people who don’t perform in the campaign. I ostracize them out the campaign pretty quickly, and that’s one of the reasons why I’m not always universally loved in running a campaign, because I’ll tell a guy don’t let the door hit them on the way out.
I: Who were some of the outstanding people who assisted you during the campaign?
BH: Well, there was a woman named Shelly Vaughan, who was the secretary of one of our heavy supporters, and this woman had carried heavy executive secretarial responsibilities for many years. And she was just like a brick wall. Golly, she was strong—really was—and carried an enormous load of work. John Wildenthal, a local attorney—John completely dedicated himself to the campaign. John loves politics more than he does breathing. I swear to you. A young man named David Lewis was sort of an assistant, and David was tireless in his efforts. He just hit it as hard as he knew how. In the black community the three fellows that I named and some others—Forest Henry is dead now, but he had an enormous amount of influence—a tremendous amount of influence in the black community, and he’s very pragmatic. There was nothing ethereal in his thinking. He’s right down to business. If he said he could produce something, he did it. If Forest said he was coming through, you’d better be ready because he’s coming through. Good man—real good man. But that’s just a few of them in the initial campaign. Of course, in the years—the ensuing years—your contacts broaden—one’s base broadens and you find yourself aligning with other people in various efforts.
I: (0l:28) How’d you go about trying to raise campaign funds? I noted in my research that you have an outstanding reputation for ability to raise money. How is that?
BH: Well, something’s wrong with your records, because that’s not my record—(laugh)
I: Newspaper office.
BH: Well, for the other fellow, I did quite well. For myself, I didn’t do very well. I’m not the least bit shy, and I think it takes someone in this position who will push, so I pushed it to them. You have to know the people who are just naturally interested in politics, whatever the reasons might be—know how to contact them—understand them. I remember one race reelection that a contributor of another candidate in the previous race had given a sizeable sum of money, and when I was in his office, he said—he welcomed me through the usual chit chat. He said, “Well, I’m sending downstairs or upstairs—or wherever we sent for it to get a campaign contribution for you.” And he told me the amount. It was exactly half of what he had contributed in the previous campaign. And I said, “Gee that’s very nice of you, and we appreciate it. When should I talk to you about the other half, so it’s equal of what happened last time?” And I didn’t make a friend, but I got the other half. It takes a lot of push. There are times then where we’ve actually turned down campaign contributions. I was with the mayor—I was with Louie one time and—I forgotten whether it was 1961 or 1963, when a guy wrote out a sizeable check, and just as he started to sign the name he told them what he wanted. Welch just smiled and he said, “No, I’m sorry. I just can’t do that.” And the guy said, “Well, I can’t fill out the check.” And we said, “That’s alright.” And we needed the money. Oh God, we needed the money. But we walked out of the place.
I: What did he want?
BH: He wanted preferential treatment on some contractual matters with the city, that frankly, would have been illegal, and Welch would have no part of it. So we just parted company. That’s the last time I ever saw him. But you’d be amazed. There are many very decent, good people who have an unselfish interest in the city, and they’ll come forth and some of them are wealthy—some of them, of course, aren’t. But I remember one case in particular—and I don’t know why it sticks in my mind—but a man came into our office in a runoff campaign and he was wearing dungarees, and obviously he had worked all day. He smelled to the high heavens. He was just dirty. Oh God, he was dirty. And he dug down in his pocket and he said here’s $20 for Mr. Welch. And I said, “Why are you doing this?” He said, “Because I think he’d make a good mayor.” That was the only reason. And he left. Of course, we took his name and address and what not. The reporting laws back in those days weren’t as stringent, but nevertheless we keep good records just for the matter of good management. No other reason. And I met some perfectly wonderful people. I know in my campaign I did a miserable job on raising money, because I was trying to be all things to all people. And it doesn’t work that way. I’ve long concluded that, again, if I have any expertise, it’s in handling a campaign.
I: (10:15) Let’s go back to the winning campaign.
I: A more pleasant subject.
BH: Yeah, okay. (laugh)
I: What was the strategy?
BH: Well actually, as in most campaigns, I think one has to determine what are the ground rules? We have to determine, what do the people really want? And sometimes they don’t really express themselves in specific terms what they want, and it takes a survey company or a research company to really dig into the human mind and rather oblique questioning over a fairly broad base to give you an idea of what the people are looking for. In 1963, they were particularly soft about the high water rates—secondly, the condition of the streets. Although the temptation at times dictates to you, “Geesh, get off that. Talk about something else.” That’s very poor policy. We got on water rates and we stayed on water rates, and we hollered about them all through the campaign. So one has to determine what it is the people really want as best you can determine this, and then of course, spot check it throughout the campaign, because things will change as the campaign really heats up.
I: Did you have any authority or influence in the selection of officials offered the department heads after he won?
BH: Not really. We talked about them. But you see, Welch had the advantage of having been in City Hall for a long time as a councilman many terms, and he knew the people; I didn’t. The night he filed for election was the second time I’d ever been in City Hall in my life. The third time was the time we went down there on election night. But I just had no idea of this, and he gave very careful consideration to them, and for the most part, I think his choices were very well made—yes.
I: (12:42) Probably no department head created such controversy as Herman Short, his police chief. Do you know what the basis was for the selection?
BH: Oh yes. I don’t say I know it all. I have some ideas. I was closely involved in that because, as you know, when Welch went into the mayor’s office, Buddy McGill was the chief, and Buddy and Louie simply had a personality clash. They didn’t like one another and yet they both tried. It was quite a thing to live through. And each week I’d take Buddy out to lunch, and we’d talk about various things. I tried to smooth it over and it’s like Welch said one time. He said, “You know it’s terribly difficult to run a war when you’re not sure of your generals.” It was Buddy in particular. It was an unfortunate thing because Buddy, in many regards, was a good chief. Nevertheless, the personalities finally erupted and we had to do something, and he looked at that time to call the inspectors. Short, as I recall at that time, was in records, and Short had a good reputation. He’s a very—I think he’s a very forthright man. He’s a good leader. He’s strong—strong personally. And he had the respect of the officers. We talked about Short at great length. And one of the problems that we had with Short, as I recall, his human relations weren’t always the very best. And back in those days, I was teaching a Carnegie course and through friends of friends of friends—somebody, I finally whispered in Short’s ear, “Why don’t you take Dale Carnegie? You know—try not to be so miserable.” And him—bless his heart, he took the course. In fact, I was the instructor and on the sixth night—the sixth session rather—that night—that day he had been approved by City Council. We had one hold out, Bill Elliott and Louie was in Boston, and we called a frantic call into Louie. And Bill was sort of filibustering on the council floor. Not necessarily against Short, but he didn’t like the high-handed manner, etc., in which the police chief was to be selected. And Louie got back in the nick of time, and we finally got it worked out. It sure turned out to be an excellent choice. He’s a good chief. In fact, he held that office longer than any other chief in the history of the city.
I: Were there any conditions placed on his acceptance of the job?
BH: As far as influence from the third floor at City Hall, no. Louie told Short what he expected.
I: What did he expect?
BH: (15.54) He wanted a strong chief. A chief that—who would bring leadership to the department and as far as any strings attached; there were none. There were none. Louie and Short always got on well. Short acted in his own behalf many times, and very seldom did we ever get into any kind of a situation that we’d be concerned with. He handled himself quite well. He did a good job.
I: Were there any shortcomings with Gill’s handling of the police department combined with his personality clashes?
BH: Well, Buddy was a different type person altogether than Herman Short. Buddy was—reminded me of an old motorcycle officer, and a lot of the old timers liked him. He’d been in some flurries around at the police department in years past, but Buddy was very—I’m trying to find the right words. He was so rigid in some regards, yet in others he was sort of acquiesced to people not really being as—performing as well as they could have. Herman, very particularly, in the early years took an absolute interest in every facet of what was going on in the department, and he moved very deliberately—very deliberately. He gave a great deal of thought to anything that he went into, and he did win the admiration and the respect of the police officers, which is not an easy thing to do. They’re very critical. They’re professionals, and they know it. I think the difference, you might say, is Short made as them feel more as professional law enforcement officers, and Buddy made them feel more like police officers. There’s a difference.
I: Now Short played an important role in Welch and the black community throughout his tenure.
I: How did they fit into the integration situation at that time?
BH: Well the blacks never liked Short. I remember the first day. Short had been sworn in the night previously, and the next day he and I went out to the YMCA on Wheeler to meet with some of the black leaders of the community. I personally thought Short was just a little too abrupt in the answering of the questions. They were trying—I had the feeling they were trying to say, “Hey, let’s get along.” And Short came on pretty strong, and I could see there was a resentment building up. So I tried to shortened the meeting as quickly as I could, and we got out of there. I said, “Herman, you didn’t make any friends.” He said, “I didn’t go there to make any friends. I’m running the police department.” And this is the way he felt. He is very strong in his thoughts about things like this. Yet there were—in the department there were some black officers that thought an awful lot of Short, and there were some black people that did. But generally, any kind of permissiveness to him in the society was just a terrible thing to even contemplate. He was very rigid. He still is a very rigid man. He’s being criticized a good bit for this thing out of TSU, and then the other _____??(19:56) that we had down there on Dowling Street. And I don’t want to talk like a politician on both sides of the fence. But quite frankly, because he was so rigid and he was so strong, he may have saved more lives than we’ll every appreciate, because the situation had become an emotional thing. There was nothing logical about it. And Short moved in deliberately. He was very removed as to his personal feelings to how other people felt. He counseled with himself. He made the decisions on the spot and he moved very rapidly. One can’t say today whether he was right or wrong. I wouldn’t judge him on it. I would admire him for courage. I may not agree with everything he did, but I did admire his courage.
I: (20:53) Did he consult with Welch before he moved there to Dowling Street?
BH: There wasn’t time. There really wasn’t. And Louie was more of the opinion—and thank goodness he was, that you know—riots in the street should be run by riots in the street. If you don’t like what the man does, remove him. He wasn’t always that way with all of his department heads, but he was in this regard. And I believe that the least the mayor has to do with the police department, the better off we all are. If you’re not satisfied with the chief, get another chief, but don’t prank with him while he’s running the department. Give him the chance—give him the leeway. If he can’t make it, get rid of him.
I: Did Short play a significant role in the election between Welch and Hofheinz—the one which Hofheinz--?
BH: Well, all the news media said he did. I was on the treasury of this, somewhat. I helped him in the runoff, but not in the primary. Not by choice—he was sort of dragged into it.
BH: Personally, he really doesn’t care too much for politics. He’s not gregarious by nature. He’s--Herman and I have had some terrible battles, and we’ve been into shouting—shouting at one another many times. And I referred to him rather uncomplimentary in many ways about how he reacts with people. But this is Herman. It’s the way he’s built. You know, Herman’s not the kind of guy that I’d enjoy having dinner with. I’ll be will frank with you. Although I know Herman well, I haven’t talked to him in years, but I have a lot of respect for him, but we’re just different kinds of people. Does that make sense to you?
I: (22:54) Yeah, I know exactly what you mean. What were some of the areas of conflict you had with him as an administrative executive?
BH: Well, yeah. I remember, I think the most serious disagreement we ever had was right after Heard had won the primary. He had beat out Buster Kern in the sherriff’s race. And I went into Herman’s office, because I was Heard’s campaign manager. And I knew that Herman and Kern had a fairly good rapport. And I said, “Herman, gee, it sure would be great if you could arrange a meeting, possibly in your office, where Heard and Kern could sit down and talk to make an orderly transition of the areas of responsibility in the sherriff’s office. And Herman said, “No, I won’t do it because I know blankety-blank about you—blankety-blank politicians”—and all this stuff. And I said, “Well, you obviously know what’s going on in the county jails, out at the rehab—yeah?” And I did explode, somewhat, because I felt it was very critical at that point, strictly from a Christian standpoint, that the two of them get together. And so that was really the last real good argument that we had. It was a beaut. But I didn’t agree with him all. I still don’t agree with him to this day, because it would have not have changed the outcome of the election at all. As far as that was concerned, it was over. And there were terrible, bitter feelings between Heard and Buster Kern, understandably so.
I: Let’s touch on some of the activities—of your activities while you were serving in Welch’s administration. What essentially were you doing as his administrative assistant?
BH: Well, initially I started out as the industry relations officer to the city. Louie had asked me would I come on board as the administrative assistant, and I told him, “No, I’d rather go back to my print shop.” I didn’t get involved with campaigns down at City Hall anyway. I didn’t care about it. And I think the job at that time paid $10,000 or $12,000 a year and I said, “Good God almighty! I do better than that in printing.” So then he came up with the idea that Houston needed an industry relations Officer, who ostensively would go around the country speaking for Houston and how great Houston is. Because we were certainly going to get—looked like we were going to—the Trinity Project and a few others we had added before that. And he upped the salary some—that helped. So I went down—I attended one meeting at the chamber in respect to the water program for the city. And that was the only thing—the really only official thing I ever did. I started in the office—doing office detail—answering letters. The office at that time was terribly chaotic. Geesh, it was—everybody was sort of running in different directions out of necessity. Because again, my orderly nature just sort of takes over and we started to get some—you know, somewhat—some order. So finally one day, I’d had a severe disagreement with a—we had some other administrative assistants there, and we had come to words. So I told Louie—I said, “Louie, it really doesn’t make any sense to me.” I see no sense in my getting an ulcer over it.” He said, “Well, you be the executive assistant, and you handle all the office. Everybody in the office will report through you to me, and we won’t have any end runs, and then coordinate practically all the department heads with the mayor’s office. It was a big responsibility, and I loved it. So at which point—I think at that time there were four administrative assistants, and we met every morning at 7:00a. They loved me for it. Oh yeah. Oh, they called me terrible names. And then we had to force attrition rates. Some of the people in the mayor’s office really weren’t carrying the load and we got it—well, we initiated the mayor’s service center. They used to be the complaint department. We changed it to the mayor’s service center. We worked out a rather complicated—the guts of it was a seven-part form—regardless whether it was a hole in the street, a broken sewer main, whatever. Everything went through channels to the various departments, and they were followed up with a tickler system. And we had a terrible time with public works because they had seen similar systems in the past, but nobody every really enforced them, and that’s when Bill Cape and I crossed swords. We had one hell of an argument. But after that, we got to understand each other, and his department cooperated with us beautifully. And I think that the—let’s see, we had four automatic typewriters and several people working in the department just on citizen complaints, and I think that’s one of the reasons in Louie’s first reelection—the first time in the history of the city, a candidate took every precinct in the city. I believe it was 78 percentage points of the total vote, because we did a good job. We’re very proud of the job that we did. We gave some meaning to the promises that we had made.
I: (29:10) I also understand that you reorganized four of the city departments.
BH: Oh yeah. That was wild. Yeah.
I: Which departments were they that you reorganized?
BH: Well, one was data processing, and that had been under the city treasurer, Henry Kriegel. Henry’s a fine man—a good friend. I like Henry. Henry is—I consider one of the finest civil servants we’ve ever had in our city. No question about it. But we were having terrible problems. We had an IBM 360 at the courts on Rice—the police department—and we had Honeywell in City Hall, and the data processing folks were practically going to fist city with the people in the water department and tax. It was a terrible breakdown in communications, and the director threw up his hands and hooked it. I had absolutely no idea what it was all about. They sent me up to Newton Nash for a couple weeks of a cram course on investing. I came back. Well, that was just so when they said software, I had a pretty good idea of what they were talking about. Beyond that, I was still up a tree. And we did coordinate the people. Well really just ______?? (30:43) out the course and then sitting down together and talking out their problems; and we did in time. There was a guy named Doug Williams. He was a sergeant at the police department—self-learned in data processing. He had a real good brain—a good mind, and he later became the director. He did a good job for the city.
(31:10) And then we had a terrible time at the courts. One Sunday morning the mayor called me. He said, “Have you seen the front page of the Post?” There was a Post reporter showing up the number of complaints that he bought off. And that day we met in the mayor’s office, and we had a good housecleaning. We lost some employees, and charges were filed on some. Then we had to go back into the courts, and there were actually mountains of past due complaints that people—they sort of stacked them in the corner. No real records system. So we hired Kelly girls for months going over them—bringing everything up to date—getting it into the computer. Every week we met with the courts, the police department, data processing division, records, and we did get the good working order into it. That was perhaps one of the most challenging jobs I had. And in fact, strictly as a maintenance program, as long as I stayed in the mayor’s office, we met once a week. Because I wanted an update to see where things stood, and maybe the meeting would only last 30 minutes. But we brought in Kraus Earhart as director. They used to call him. They used to call him clerk of court but it’s really director. A fine man—a man of absolute integrity, and he gave a lot of leadership to the courts over there. He really did.
I: That’s very interesting.
I: Were there any other major re-organizations that you were involved in?
BH: Oh, going back some. Yeah. There was a problem with civil defense. It was just a matter of going over and canning a few people. And I put them on a reporting system, and the mayor sent me out to talk Mike Halbodie into taking the job as a _____(??) (33.19)—Director of Civil Defense—and Mike and I hit it off immediately. He hollered louder than I did. We did a lot of screaming at one another. We became pretty good friends, and Mike Halbodie gave of himself a tremendous amount to the city. He furnished leadership nobody else could furnish. He did—I believe he did an outstanding job. I have great regard. I don’t know whether you know whether you know Mike or not.
I: (33:46) No.
BH: A lot of people don’t like him. I do. I like Mike real well. And anything he didn’t need was that job. He really didn’t, but he threw it—which is characteristic of Mike—he threw everything he had into it—his heart, his soul, everything—and just did an outstanding job. He really did.
We worked the occupancy section of public works, because we were having some real problems there and several others much like that. We had a problem with the water works at one time. And I’d go in blind—practically blind—but the fact that I was the mayor’s exec helped a whole lot, because they would work with me. And people were looking for reasons to do things rather than not to do them. And I made it a habit of going by the coffee shop in the morning early. I was there usually. I used to be in my office many mornings by 4:00a—the janitor and I—the two of us. But I would go downstairs when they opened up the coffee shop and have coffee and talk to the people. And you find out in City Hall, there are some people just wonderfully dedicated—absolutely dedicated to what they’re doing. It has to be God inspired for what they got out of it. It really wasn’t worth what they put into it. They loved it. And you find people like this. And we furnished—I mean, rather—we established a good rapport. And knowing the right people in the right department helps so much. You find out the ones who will help you and the ones who just set the traps. And I went into City Hall initially with a low regard for city employees, and I came away from there with a 180 degree difference. In my opinion, there’s some that are just leeches and there always will be, but they haven’t been at a Humble or Exxon or any other major corporation. Every now and then I find one out here that looks like a leech, and I can them. I run a lean operation. I have to.
I: From what you said, you did quite a bit of firing.
I: How did you manage this with the civil service?
BH: (36:01) Well, the civil service rights were extended to different people in different levels. And you find some people, even though they got lateral transfers, they didn’t like it—various other reasons they’d leave. And the proclamation up on the wall—it’s not anything really to be proud of—but I know one time in the campaign they gave me that thing on my birthday, and it said affectionately, “No One in City Hall is the Ax.” But somebody had to be. It wasn’t anything that got me enjoyment out of it. It didn’t. But I believe that if you are going to do job, you do the job right. And if the mayor told me—he said, “I want a certain thing done.” If he told me that he wanted it done—by God, I did it. And it was my job—my responsibility and we—I know when I left City Hall, I left behind me many, many, very wonderful friends. A lot of the firing, of course, was department head level too. Of course, there’s no civil service protection in there in that regard at all. A lot of firing was, quite frankly, people who had been there under six months, and there’s no civil service consequence in that. There’s some people—one guy he came in—he was—I’ve forgotten which department he was in, but he immediately had himself a new car and he was just—he was really going around with a cigar, and he looked like what he was—a tin horn politician. And I guess he was the only one that I really enjoyed firing. But I called him in my office, and he had no question about why he was leaving and he left. But nobody likes to get into a situation like that, but you have to ask yourself—do you remember what Churchill said? He said, “Our best isn’t good enough. Sometimes we have to do what’s required.” And my job was to do what was required. My job is to just ensure a good bottom line, and I better do it. My stockholders drip green acid from their fangs if I don’t.
I: (laugh) At one point, you had a—I guess a dispute with a Mr. Gatlin?
BH: No, never.
I: Never? Well, the newspapers sort of indicated that, and that you were going to leave because of him.
BH: No. No, I read that, and it distressed me terribly. Gene Gatlin—I was very instrumental in Gene coming with the city. Gene Gatlin is not a politician—anything but. He’s a pro. I see Gene from time to time, and I hold him in high regard. I read that and it burned me up something fierce, because nothing could be further than the truth. I’ve had a lot of fights with a lot of people down there. I have never had one word of disagreement with Gene Gatlin. Had I been elected mayor, he would have been my exec. And I was delighted that Fred kept him. It showed—it gave me a new appreciation of Fred, and I think Fred has since then given Gene more responsibility. He’s found what a good man he really is. Now that one, that was not so.
I: (39:42) What was your reason for deciding to leave at that point?
BH: Well, I’d been there what—27 months? Initially, I hadn’t planned even to stay that long, but I had a fellow that was running my print shop. I had sold all the printing business. And I remember one day, one of the girls that worked in the bindery—just as pregnant as she could be—and she said, “You know, I’m not going back to work when I have the baby. But you’re a friend of mine, and you better get over there and look at your shop.” And unfortunately some things happened that weren’t right. And I had in months previously—I had given Louie three or four letters of resignation. And he would read it and smile and tear it up throw it away and say, “Go back to work.” We always got on. And when I gave him that one, I said, “Louie, there’s no choice this time.” And I told him what it was. And he said, “Well, I wouldn’t take any other excuse, but I understand now.” So I had to get back to business. In fact, I just barely made it in time to save it, because it was going down the tubes. Yeah, I still miss City Hall. I don’t know if I’d ever want to go back there now, seriously. But I still miss it. It’s a different world altogether. One has to live through it to really understand it. There’s so much that needs to be done, irrespective of who’s in there, because there’s so much to be done.
I: Having worked so long with Welch—perhaps this is a naïve question—but how do you rate him as a mayor?
BH: As a mayor? I think he was an excellent mayor. Louie—getting back on—I studied Churchill, and I think this applies to Louie—it really applies to him. One day, Winston Churchill said to James Roosevelt—he said, “Your father’s a great man.” And Roosevelt said, “No, my father’s becoming a great man.” And this is what it was to Louie. He grew in stature as he was in the office, and I think he was an excellent mayor.
I: Well, it appears from all the research I’ve done on the subject, people either loved him or hated him.
BH: I’ve done both.
I: (laugh) And those that hated him—some of those that hated him accused him of profiting from land deals and things of that sort.
BH: (42:12) He did obliquely and sometimes very directly, and it was right in the front pages of the paper. But he wasn’t in the land business when he went into the office, but as far as doing something that was harmful to the city; I don’t believe he would. I really don’t. No, anything that was illegal, he wouldn’t do it.
I: Apparently toward the end of his last administration, he was losing support.
BH: He lost a lot.
I: What do you believe is the reason for it?
BH: Well, Oscar Holcombe said it once very well. He said, “There’s a natural attrition up there to support every time you’re elected.” I find that in defeat, people have a great tendency to stick together and hang together. You know, we’ll get them next time and all this business. And victory—when there’s something to divide the human element—human greed comes out. You know, one guy got a little more than I did. Why? Even if it’s a matter of just talking five minutes longer with one guy. You talk five minutes with one guy, and you talk four minutes with the other one—jealousy sets in. And this will happen to anybody in public office, particularly, in the mayor’s job. It’s pretty much of a public figure and many of the decisions he makes, just with employees for that matter, are far reaching to his career. You take a congressman—he has a relatively small staff, and he works as a legislator. It’s a different thing than the mayor’s office.
I: Well, his apparent loss—the loss was most apparent—appeared to be within the black community.
BH: Yes, he lost a great deal of support in the black community. You see, Louie had been lying to himself with some of the older members of the black community who lost their influence—their position of influence—and a new bird, a new breed came along. He didn’t keep up with it. He just flat—he got busy in other things, and he didn’t really give it the attention that he should have. It went past him. He woke up one day and sure enough, Fred had them. The black community is a very difficult thing to work with this with the poll. It really is. It’s something that takes a great deal of attention, and then again, it takes a certain amount of balance. I think like in Fred’s case—Fred is—it’s obvious his total support—not total, but his stronger support was the black community. Welch’s was going in, and it stabilized very well, I thought, the first two years on his reelection bid. No problem at all. But after that, it was a declining thing, and finally people move away, new leaders come in, too many funerals, and you look around and you say, “Where are they?” I put together a meeting for Welch in the runoff with Hofheinz back in 1971, and they tried awfully hard. It was a black meeting. They tried awfully hard to help Louie, but they couldn’t. The community wouldn’t hear of it. They were going with Hofheinz. That’s all there was to it. And they did.
I: (45:50) You seemed to have had a very bitter clash with Curtis Graves.
BH: Yeah. Curtis really is no longer of any influence. Curtis was not particularly liked by the black community. And within the community—which is only natural—although they didn’t like Curtis, they didn’t like to see the mayor picking on him either. It’s one of those things.
I: He did pick on him?
BH: Well, it looked like he did publicly. He’d been better off just to ignore him. Curtis was not really liked by the black leadership which proved itself when he ran on his own. It turned pretty badly. Yeah.
I: Looking back over this period, you were involved in these elections and including your own period. You ran for mayor, I know. Did you note a shift in political power base? Has there been significant change in what it took to be elected in 1963, and what it takes now?
BH: Oh hell yes. Oh yes, a considerable difference. Houston is no longer a big Tomball. It’s becoming more sophisticated. There’s an emerging group of young people vitally interested in the city. And they should be. It’s their city. Good gracious. We were crude in our approach many times. We lacked any real professionalism. We made it up for it with hard work and guess work, where today it’s become a real science. And as Houston gets larger, I think that we’re going to find that this trend will increase. It’s going to be very definitely a matter of a real professional job to handle a campaign in the City of Houston. It takes an enormous amount of money today. You could run a mayor’s campaign back in the 1960’s for a couple hundred thousand dollars. Today you’re looking at a half to three-quarters of a million, depending on whether or not you’re in a runoff. We had inflation but not like that and everything. Costs have sky-rocketed. The electronic media today plays, I think, the most significant role in whether a guy gets elected or not. Back then, it really wasn’t the case. People really don’t have the tendency today to give credence to the newspapers that they did at one time. They find themselves looking at the boob tube. We find that Hofheinz has done an amazing thing getting the percentage of black votes that he did get. The votes aren’t—no longer can you find that—outside of the phenomenon that’s happened with Fred—people tend to really polarize together, and you can say this group will vote this way. This group will vote that way. Not one guy can really speak for them like they could, which is good. That’s the way it should be. Yeah. It’s a big difference today.
I: (49:44) What made you run for mayor into the campaign?
BH: Temporary insanity.
BH: Fred had asked me earlier that year to be his campaign manager, and Fred and I get on well. I like Fred. I don’t agree with his politics altogether. I like Fred personally. And we had a difference of opinion on something, and so I told him no way. Gottlieb came by to my office, and he asked me would I handle his campaign. I remember when he left the office, he said, “I’m going to meet with some of Louie’s friends. May I tell them that you’re considering being my campaign manager?” I said, “You may not.” I said, “I’m not.” Gottlieb and I haven’t always been pals. Bob Herbie asked me to handle his campaign and Bob—bless his heart—he ran after I did. I mean, any guy that got less votes than I did, I have to have some kind of feelings for him.
BH: I liked Bob real well. Bob and I hit it off well. So I figured if three of them asked me and I’d been the mayor’s exec, and I had all this grand expertise in the field of politics and so many friends in Houston, it would be no problem—which just shows I calculated it entirely wrong—completely wrong. But it was a good experience. I enjoyed it. Darn near killed me, but I enjoyed it.
I: You said you had some areas of political disagreement with Hofheinz—philosophy—I take it? What are those areas?
BH: Well, we were pretty vocal about it during the campaign. Fred believes in federal funded programs for the City of Houston and I don’t—particularly, LEAA funds. I was undeniably opposed to them—still am—and there was no way that we could have any agreement in this regard. I would have resisted them. And that’s one thing that Short and I had in common. We didn’t have much in common, but we did have that. I taught at the police academy for nine years. It was a hobby and I enjoyed it.
I: (52:09) What did you teach?
BH: Supervision. And I would have resisted that. I really would. And I don’t think Houston, for the amount of money involved and for the consequences that followed, I just couldn’t see that it was good for the city. I just couldn’t. And Fred feels just as strongly today that it was right. So, I mean—you know—who’s right, who’s wrong? I don’t know. But Hofheinz and I on some occasions, we’d get up and on the podium, we’d say all kinds of bad things about one another. Then we’d let our driver’s ride together, and we’d ride to the next place and talk about things. Fred Hofheinz, I think, has perhaps more political potential than any young man I’ve met. I think he can go a great ways. I really do. He’s not easy to understand. He’s easy to like. He’s almost impossible to understand. I don’t say that I fully understand him, but I pretty well read Fred. He reads me pretty well. We’ve established a good rap. And I never talk to him—rarely do I ever talk to him, because I don’t want anything at City Hall. If I did, I wouldn’t ask him anyway. You know, it’s a matter of professionalism. I think overall if you scored him, I’d say he’s a darn good mayor, and he’s tried awfully hard.
I: On a lot of issues you seem to have more in common with Gottlieb, and yet you wouldn’t support him. You wouldn’t even throw your support to him.
BH: Not at all.
BH: Well quite frankly, I said it on TV—that Gottlieb’s stupid, and I rather have a man up there I didn’t agree with that was intelligent. I mean, that’s a terrible thing to say about anybody, but I had no respect for Gottlieb. We’d go to a function and Gottlieb would immediately go to the emcee, ask to speak first and leave. He would never get into a debate. He’d never face us—ever—and this irritated me no end, because Hofheinz was great on debate. Oh we’d tangle something fierce. The other candidates didn’t know what the devil was going on. They were playing with trains or something.
BH: But Hofheinz and I, we really had some good ones. And Gottlieb would never stand his ground and because just of the way—and had run his campaign, I’d have done the same thing. But it irritated me, because I was a candidate. Personally, I don’t dislike Dick, but have no respect for him. And then again, I had to be critical of Gottlieb because if I was going to get any votes, I wouldn’t get them from Hofheinz’s camp. They’d cost me too much. If I was going get them, I’d get them from the Gottlieb camp. That was obvious. So I had to go where the votes were.
I: (55:14) But there were no differences over real—over policy?
BH: No, he didn’t even know what LEAA funds were all about. He had no idea—no idea. On one of the various TV shows, he’d have a set of 3 by 5 cards, and as they asked a question, he’d get to the right card and then read the answer.
I: (laugh) Well, why did you—what—were there any mistakes you made in that campaign that you felt cost you votes?
BH: Well, yeah. I probably shouldn’t have picked a fight with Louie, and I shouldn’t have said I was going to fire Bill Cape. If I had it to all over again, I’d probably lose the campaign again, because I’d probably do the same thing. I disagreed with Louie on the HARTA situation completely—HARTA—Houston Area Rapid Transit Association. That was a farce—a pure farce. It was purely political. And they kicked me out of the American General Building one time, because I went down there, and it seemed like the guy that was the chairman of it was an official or an officer in American General, and they heard I was there, and they told me to get out of the building. So, that was great because the needy were there, and they loved that. We had a press conference out in the esplanade. That was great. Geesh, I’d just wish they kicked me out every day. And I disagreed with Bill Cape. Bill Cape became sort of dictatorial, but no man can walk on water. I think Bill still tried out mud puddles every now and then. Personally, I liked the cantankerous old coot, but as far as working together. No, I couldn’t work with him.
I: You said rapid transit was political. Could you expand on that a bit?
BH: Perhaps some of the details on it are vague now, because it goes back a few years. But generally, it was—we were going to buy out the bus company and buy out a bunch of the holdings, and they were going pass this Houston Area Rapid Transit Association bid as a separate legal entity. And they had tried similar things in other cities. They tried in Atlanta. And interestingly enough in this business in Atlanta—let’s see—Atlanta—what was that one called? I’ve forgotten offhand. But anyway, Fred made a trip over to Atlanta, and he took his TV cameras with him, and he got on the bus and rode with them and all this garbage. And he came home and put on a half hour special on it. And it was obvious what they were doing over there, because I had some stores in Atlanta, and my people down there—I couldn’t afford cameras—but I had my people running all over trying to find out what the devil was going on. And it was a terrible fiasco, and I knew Fred had made a mistake. And I felt like I could get more public support on the HARTA thing by really coming on strong. And I found out what I should have known all along, that people didn’t really give a damn.
I: (58:34) (laugh)
BH: They didn’t. All I did was make some people very angry with me. And I think the biggest mistake I made in running—I was—I had a guy who was my campaign manager who was absolutely fantastic, but he wasn’t my campaign manager—I was. And they say a lawyer that defends himself has a fool for a client. The same thing holds true in a campaign, if you try to run your own campaign. I won’t take a campaign for anyone, regardless of who it is, unless we have a candid and a very clear understanding of each other, that I run the campaign. That the candidate, or his mother-in-law, or his wife, or his daughter, or his next door neighbor, or his doctor, or his veterinarian—anybody that he wants to get in it—I tell them to hook ‘em, because I’m running the campaign. The first day they step out of line, I’ll tell them where to head and hand it back to them. One person runs a campaign. It takes strictly a dictatorial attitude to run it. You have to run it with a firm hand. You have to be harsh. You have to be kind. You have to wear a—you have to be a man on the flying trapeze where you cower backwards and learn how to, you know, stand against your quarters all at one time. It’s very challenging, and you can’t do it when you have problems with the candidates or the candidate’s family moving in. God, how I hate candidates families when they get involved in a campaign. It’s awful. You know, it’s kind of hard to tell a candidate’s wife to get her tail out of campaign headquarters—she’s disrupting things. Of course, she gets home—pillow talk—tells the candidate all kinds of dirty things. So you end up the next day—what happens, if you really run a campaign right, when it’s all over the candidate—should you win—the candidate and his family all hold you in some matter of disdain—that you have been really bad to them. You’ve made him work till 3:00 and 4:00 in the morning. You’ve hollered at his family. If you lose, everybody blames you anyway, so what’s the difference? It’s one of the things you recognize going into a campaign. So first of all, I think one of the criterion by which I’d ever get involved in a campaign—I want to be damned enough sure that it’s somebody that I didn’t particularly want for a friend later, because I sure as heck wouldn’t have them if they get elected.
I: Is being a campaign manager lucrative?
BH: (100.58) No. I did it for the pure hell of it. That’s one of the reasons I can be so dictatorial. I’m good at it. But that’s—there’s very few things I’m good at, but that’s one of them. I’m a lousy candidate. God, I wouldn’t handle me. There’s no way I’d handle me—no way. But there’s a great deal of satisfaction. You take something that’s absolutely nothing, outside of the man that says he wants to run for office, and he has a few friends. And you bring into fruition a complete organization, and it has to be tight, and it has to function. It has to move fast. In then in a matter of a few months, you wrap it all up in one day, and the next day you move out of the campaign headquarters, and it’s all over. That’s not an easy thing to do. You’re plagued with problems of hundreds of volunteer workers, and most of them are just perfectly wonderful people. But there are a few real stinkers that get in there too—and a brand new set of problems every day—every hour. But one has to enjoy that type of thing. You can’t be compensated in money for a thing like that.
I: But there is a regular salary that goes with it?
BH: Not with me. No, I do well. I’m not going broke. I do very well. As far as a salary’s concerned, I don’t want to pay any expenses. I don’t want any money coming out of my pocket. I know with Heard, I paid for a couple of real good dinners he never paid me back for.
I: (laugh) That’s a matter of public record now.
BH: Yeah. But I wouldn’t take a campaign for a salary, because gee, I’ve got a company now, we’re doing what?--$14 million a year in sales. We’re not _____(??) (102:49)
That’s the view from my office—the new office building we agreed to construct.
I: Wow, very impressive.
BH: Yeah, it’s going to be proud. That pool—that reflection pool—I’m going to have it filled with piranhas—every now and then nudge somebody.
BH: So if you have ever gotten tied up in a campaign with me, you wouldn’t like me when it was over, Louis, if you did going in. I’m serious.
I: (103:14) Oh if I want, I probably wouldn’t mind.
BH: No, you really wouldn’t, because then all of your family would end up telling you everything bad.
I: You keep bringing up the family. Let me ask you something on the lighter side here. Did you ever have any tangles with the wives of candidates?
BH: Oh, sure. I got on real well with Iola Faye Welch. She and I—well, we’ve had some real screaming arguments—real screaming arguments. But we’ve always had a nice rapport—real fine. Other candidates that I’ve handled in times past, I’ve had some problems—not only the wives, but the brothers, the brother-in-laws and the son. I took the son of one candidate in a back room up against the wall, and I threatened to whip him. I said if you ever open your mouth one more time in this campaign, I’m going to tell your old man—with appropriate words—what he could do with it. And he went and told his father and his father said, “Well, stay away from him, because he’ll do it.” That guy still doesn’t talk to me today, and I have missed him.
I: Is he a young kid or teenager?
BH: A young man—twenties. But it’s just a matter also of practicality. You know how to run a campaign? You run it.
I: How did you take on the McCaskill and Heard campaign?
BH: Oh Larry and I had been friends for many years, and I like Larry. Larry and I get on well. I doubt if we’ve ever really had an argument. Oh, we did. Yeah, we did. When he was administrative assistant of City Hall, we had a couple of beauts. But over the years—our friendship goes back 14, 15 years your going to find. Heard’s campaign—initially Gus George was going to run, and I like Gus. Gus George is one of the real fine people in this community. And he and Hal Husbands got together and they—we’ve all been friends for many years—and they said, “Will you handle Gus’s campaign if he runs?” And Hal and I are very close. And I said, “Sure—sure, I like Gus. He’d make a good sheriff.” And I gave him my usual sermon, and Gus did alright. And several weeks later, we met down in Angleton, and Gus had decided not to run. He really didn’t want to be sheriff. He wanted to be chief deputy, but not sheriff. Would I handle Heard? And I said, “Not really. I ain’t too wild about it.” So we talked about it considerably, and they said, “Well we think he’s electible, but Buster has what?—been in 11 or 12 terms?”—something like that. And it was a good challenge. I think I have more interest in the challenge than the candidate, frankly.
I: (106:09) What reservations did you have about Heard?
BH: Oh, I thought Heard made a lot of unnecessary noises. He didn’t strike me as being a real leadership in law enforcement. But I will say this for him. When we met one night, and I strapped it on him—what it would take for me to handle the campaign. And I said the first time you ever step out of line, I’ll tell you right on the TV where to go, buddy.” And he did live to his word on that, and I ran that campaign. Nobody argued with me. A couple of times behind doors we’d have discussions, but they went along with it. And we did run a super campaign. That was a son of gun. They really were close, and we surprised a lot of people, but we won it. And I’m very proud of the organizational effort of that campaign. I really was.
I: Well, I know in that campaign you made use of his kids.
BH: Some. Not too much. We used Louie’s kids a good bit. Well, I guess I did in all campaigns. If they have a kid and, you know, as long as the kid can walk and chew gum at the same time and not ball up on TV, you use them, you know.
I remember one time we had his little girl. That kid was fantastic. That kid was absolutely fantastic. Mary—her name’s Mary. A nice kid, and she just came through like gangbusters for us. You know, it sort of slipped my mind, Louis, but you’re right. You’re exactly right. Yeah. But that kid was worth a ton of votes. Yeah, she was a nice, little, old kid. Yeah. Yeah by golly, you brought one up that I had forgotten about.
I: (laugh) How much is a campaign really based on issues, and how much is based on emotional incident? What I’m trying to say is, do you go after the emotionalism more than the issues? Is it more effective to go after the emotions?
BH: Some people are just simply kidding themselves when they think that voters are always as objective as they should be in selecting a candidate. I think emotion—and it’s unfortunate—but emotion plays far more—has far more influence than logic in a campaign. I drive down. I look at billboards every now and then. I look at that big, strong, honest face on the billboard—I know who the guy is.
BH: (109:02) And I’ve seen perfectly wonderful people. We had a council candidate that lost two years ago, because he had his picture on the billboard—just looked awful. God, he looked awful—and one of the finest men I’ve ever met. I mean really a tremendous, real dedicated, honest, great guy.
I: I’m sure you wouldn’t mind if you mentioned who he is.
BH: Yeah, Louis Macy. God, he looked awful. And Louis and I had lunch at the campaign. We talked about it. I said, “Just don’t show your picture again, Louis—it’s terrible.” And Louis—Louis—I hope the people in Houston have the good sense to keep him. He’s a fine man, and he’s smart as a whip. God, he’s smart and he’s dedicated. I don’t know if you’ve interviewed him or not. You ought to. You really should.
BH: Louis, he’s worth it. He’s just a great guy. The issues—only as it applies to the people themselves. You could talk about dope, but a guy that doesn’t have any kids really doesn’t care. He’d give you lip service. But you talk about a high water bill—if he’s paying a high water bill, he’s very interested in this. So you have to get a pretty broad based opinion poll of how people feel. And you have to have something to talk about. But you talk about the issues and relate them to the individual on an emotional basis. You don’t just simply come out logically. It tickles the daylights out of me. Look at the Zindler phenomenon—Marvin Zindler. He gets up and he talks about some poor widow woman losing $8.40 in a show game of sorts. And God, he spends $8000 talking about it on TV time. But the average person has had $8.40 in their pocket at one time. They can see it. But talk about $8 million. They don’t know what you’re talking about. A bond issue—when I have $8 million, $18 million, $80 million, $180—what’s the difference? Throw in another 100 million. The average public doesn’t know. They really don’t. So you have to relate it to them as a person—as an individual. Make me see it. Make me feel it. Make me understand it. Make me afraid of it. Make me want it. It’s simple. How do you do that? It’s one of the joys of running the campaign. Then you get a candidate up there sometimes who can’t walk and chew gum at the same time, and you got to get the clown to come across so they relate to people. And then they get off on these wild, ethereal things. Bull, get back down to earth. Make sense to you?
I: (111:29) Yeah, I understand what you’re talking about. Has running a campaign made you cynical about the voters?
BH: Yeah, it sure has. I love people. There are sometimes I don’t like voters. It all depends on whether I win or lose.
I: (laugh) Yeah.
BH: It gets back to emotionalism doesn’t it?
I: It’s made you rather cynical then about the whole election process?
I: I realize that there’s no alternative.
BH: Yeah, when you come right down to it, what alternative do you have? The election process—there are times that I must admit, I do become cynical. Yeah. Yet, if you think of the alternative, that’s pretty grim. The dictatorship is by far the most the efficient form of government. _____?? (112:22). The guy said, you know, “a camel was put together by a committee.” And in every campaign they always have a bunch of committee meetings. That’s a bunch of idiots talking to other idiots and doing nothing but chewing up valuable time. And I’d sit and listen to them and then go and do as I damned well pleased anyway. But you get—in some campaigns, you get people in there that are really bright, and you learn a lot from them. I’ve learned from some of the people I’ve become involved with in politics. But generally, most campaign meetings are just a bunch of hogwash. But they’re very necessary.
You promised me an hour and you gave me more than that, so I—
BH: Well, I’ve enjoyed reminiscing about it, Louis. I really have.
I: Are there any areas that I haven’t covered that you’d like to keep going?
BH: No, I think that you’ve done your homework well. I really do.
I: Thank you.
BH: (113:30) I envy you. I wish I were going around making the interviews, but most of the people wouldn’t talk to me anyway. I wouldn’t blame them.
BH: If I were them, I wouldn’t talk to me either. I hope I haven’t left you with the opinion that I’m a cold, analytical person who really doesn’t care. I do. If I’m charged with the responsibility of running a campaign or a company, I feel that my job is to make it happen. And if in the process of making it happen, I have to be as mean as a roomful of mother-in-laws, I will be, because one gives forward not the best effort, but you do what’s required and I do. Had I been elected mayor, in all probability, I would have been a one-term mayor because there was much needed to be done and I would have done it, and it wouldn’t have been popular.
I: Such as—that’s an interesting point you just brought up. What did you see that really had to be done that would have been unpopular?
BH: Well, I think in one area, we needed a forced attrition in the ranks of city employees. I believe in the Townsend theory. You have less people but you pay them more. There are some—as I said earlier—some wonderfully dedicated people in City Hall. Fred had gone overboard, as you know, just hiring. God, he’s just a—you know—he’s hired to the world of _____?? (115:08), and one day we pay for it—the government-funded programs like you’re on. I don’t know about you but I mean but _____?? (115:18) They have six months, and none of them are covered by civil service. They pull the program out, the stops out, and the city has to carry them. They don’t find many guys with your quality and brains. Unfortunately, they get a lot of people who are bodies who use up the air conditioning, use up the heat, and use up the space. I’d rather see—and I would have done it in the city—there would have been _____?? (115:44), retirements—people leave the city—desks, what not—there could have been an attrition, and I would have fought that furiously. That’s the most unpopular thing you can do, but it would have proved something. A city government doesn’t have to be a wheelbarrow charging down the hill without anybody holding on to it, just bouncing all over the place. It can be a very smooth and efficient machine, and that’s what the voters are entitled to. Not if they don’t care enough to get involved in it, they don’t. So I think that I would’ve been very covetous of the police department. Certainly, they’re not teen angels. I know the guys over there real well. But when you consider, strictly from a standpoint of human ratios, how many people we have in the department by comparison of how many they have an equal number for every thousand people in New York City—it’s like 4.2 to 1. They’re doing a good job. Sure, they’ve got to be kept in line. Like now we have the beginning of a citizen’s review committee over there in the police department. It starts out with deputy chiefs. Next thing you know you get some clown in there who’s never been on the police department. He’s going to make judgmental decisions. The police department is a different world. Have you ever been shot at? See, I haven’t either. But they have. It’s like E. M. Knight told me—my friend—my black friend—I felt that I had to give him a lesson and tell him how the black community felt about things. He’s a very wise man. He’s a very fine man. But he just grinned and said, “I’ve been black longer than you have.”
I: (117:44) (laugh)
BH: He taught me a good lesson. When we as private citizens try to tell professionals how to run their business, we’re making the same mistake, and I don’t agree with that. A lot of things I don’t agree with. I don’t agree with—and this is guaranteed not to get you reelected—I didn’t even say it in the campaign, because it’s guaranteed not to get you elected—but I don’t agree with Houston going hell bent for election to be the largest city in America. I figure if you want that, move to New York. It’s easy. Get on a plane. You’ll be there in four hours. I think the quality of lifestyle is more important. The hell with the land developers and the developers who are making one fortune after another on it. That’s their tough luck. I’d rather protect the people that are here. The kids that are in Houston have a decent place to grow up in. I wouldn’t want my kid growing up in New York City, or Los Angeles, or Chicago, or Philadelphia—no way, no way. I totally disagree with this. Houston—we’re so blessed here. God, what a great city we have. You don’t know how good Houston is until you go to other cities and open other businesses as we have. We have them from Phoenix to Chicago to the Carolinas, down to Florida, and business just isn’t the same, Louis. The people aren’t the same. I had a love affair with Houston for many years. I think it’s the greatest city in the world. There’s no question about that. But Fred ____?? (119:13) it up in some regards. Yeah, he’s doing a lot of good things too. If I went in, he’d gripe about what I was doing, and I wouldn’t blame him.
I’ve enjoyed talking with you, Louis.
I: Oh thank you. I have too. I’ve enjoyed it.
BH: You’re a bright young man. You really are very bright. You ask your questions well.
I: I thank you. On that happy note, I’d better quit while I’m ahead.
BH: (laugh) Thank you, Louis.
[end of 070] 1:19:42