Vol.V No.VI Pg.8
August 1968

Stuff About Things

Robert F. Turner

Burnet is "home" for a graphite mining operation; where this black, silky substance is brought from the earth, separated from the rock, and sacked for shipment. The men who work with this "pencil-lead" material look like Black Power, Inc. at the end of the day. They wash away much of the grime at Company showers; but usually crevices around their eyes, and the eyelids, must be cleansed at home.

So, this old Burnet man is quick to notice the "sweet young things" on the campuses and streets of many cities, who "work at the Graphite Mine." Amazing, how many girls they work in the mines these days -- and who have to go shopping, and even to worship, before they have opportunity to properly cleanse their faces. Maybe the brutal work today's women must endure accounts for the premature greyness so prevalent. Our heart aches for those teenagers whose "old grey head" bespeak toil and sorrow long before their time. We have yet to figure out why or how some heads have turned green — or purple. Maybe they are "things" from outer space; like INVADERS, and stuff.

But the saddest of all our observations has to do with the tremendous increase in "mother dominated" boys. There have always been a few cases, here and there, of mothers who wanted a girl, and got a boy — and were determined to have a girl anyway. The Pitifully dominated boy was dressed like little Lord Faultenroy, with big lace collars, necklace and medallion, and his hair was allowed to grow long. Sometimes "dad" could sneak the boy out for a haircut and some "pitch and catch" but Mother's little darling was often doomed to much suffering.

I always figured the God-made boy would finally triumph, if there was really enough boy there — even though it meant running away from home. But what I see these days makes me realize girl-thwarted mothers are becoming far more powerful and numerous. Grown men, I suppose, wear long curly locks. Their bangs hang down over their eyes — maybe because they are so ashamed, or maybe so they can't see the agonized look on the faces of the girls who work at the mines.

One encouraging note! The "Poverty Program" must be working well among the Arizona Indians. Their women seem to be fully clothed. But in Phoenix, I judge there is a shortage of cloth.