Page 23 - Autobiography of a Law School
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Wanting a Seersucker Suit, 1933-1952

hot East Texas summer. There was nothing like it in Cushing, where
Sunday suits were dull grey, brown, or blue, and threadbare. Often,
the coat and trousers did not match. Lawyers with seersucker suits
had to be something special.

         I forgot about lawyers and seersucker suits until 1950, when
I landed a sixty-cent-an-hour job as a filing clerk and typist at Hoya
Abstract Company, located just off the brick-paved Nacogdoches
Post Office square.

         Several lawyers used the abstract records free of charge,
including S. M. “Moss” Adams, whose part-time secretary,
Josephine Pittman, was my second great love. She spurned me, just
like the first. Moss Adams also wore seersucker, but I judged Kelly
Bell’s law partner, Tom Reavley, as even more impressive in his
stylish and traditional professional dress. These three, along with
several other lawyers, were frequent visitors to the abstract office,
resplendent in their white shirts, ties, and matching coats and pants.

         Moss Adams, Kelly Bell, and Tom Reavley gave me a
glimpse of what lawyers wore and the magic they could do with
words on paper. Working in the abstract office taught me what title
companies do and gave me firsthand acquaintance with the county
courthouse. My duties included carrying documents from the
abstract office to the courthouse for recording. The trip could be
hazardous. One windy day, I rounded a corner just as an
experienced tobacco chewer let fly, splattering me and my
documents with fresh brown spittle.

         After a few months, I began to see law as a straight path to
prosperity. Hoya Abstract Company charged $10.00 for drafting a
deed. Local lawyers charged $25.00. The $15.00 price difference
told me being a lawyer was more profitable than title work. I could
type names and land descriptions on a printed deed form in ten or
fifteen minutes, and $25.00 was more than I made in two weeks at

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