Page 20 - Autobiography of a Law School
P. 20


The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

                   Franklin Delano Roosevelt, inaugural address, 1933

Hitler Forms His First Government.

                   Headline, Manchester Guardian, January 31, 1933.

         The Law and I had our first encounter in 1941. It was late
afternoon and I was leaving the little Northeast Texas town of
Cushing for my two-mile walk home on Highway 204. From a
distance, I saw a group of teenagers shooting craps in front of a
deserted storefront. I crossed the street to watch. Actual gambling
was out of the question because I had no money and didn’t know the
rules. They wouldn’t let an eight-year-old kid in the game anyway.
After a few minutes, I moved on, knowing darkness was about to
make my lonely trip even longer. The Law—in the form of a
Nacogdoches County Deputy Sheriff—and I took no account of
each other as I walked south toward the farm and he drove north to
arrest the gamblers.

         Next day, my fourth grade classmates told me The Law had
hauled players and bystanders alike to the county jail. They declared
observers caught “sweating” the game had to pay the same fine as
players. Otherwise, all players not caught on their knees would
claim they were just watching. I had no money to pay a fine or bail,
so I guessed I would have spent the night in jail if I hadn’t walked

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