Page 21 - Autobiography of a Law School
P. 21

Wanting a Seersucker Suit, 1933-1952

away. It was unsettling. I wondered whether I was guilty of a crime
for stopping long enough to see one throw. What if I saw two? Was
I a criminal without knowing it? Or did it matter since I didn’t get
caught? At this early age, it looked as if crime and punishment
were more a matter of luck than law.

         I learned more about The Law in 1945 when a local feud led
to two killings. It started with competition between the town’s two
jitney drivers. World War II shortages of gas, rubber, and
automobiles had left many local families dependent on hired
transportation. Cushing’s 500 or so inhabitants could support one
taxi, but not two, and Green Holsomback and Shack Lucas

                                               competed for the local trade.
                                               Green parked his four-door
                                               Chevrolet on Main Street
                                               next to Bill Long’s drug
                                               store, and Shack parked his
                                               two-door Ford across the
                                               street facing Jack Beck’s ice
                                               cream shop.3 One day
                                               around noon, Green
 As Cushing’s Main Street looked in 1945 Holsomback walked up
                                               behind Shack Lucas while
Shack was rummaging in his car trunk. Shack turned around and
broke Holsomback’s skull with a tire tool. 4 There were enough
people on the street to verify the essential facts, but they were not
sure why Shack killed his competitor. Some said Green hit Shack
first from behind. The Law took Shack to Nacogdoches, and, for a
while, all local conversations began or ended with “What do you

3 Photo of Cushing’s Main Street: Barclay Gibson.

4 Troy Gresham, a fellow Cushing school student, acknowledges the event at
(October 25, 2011).

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