Mr. May, I read your article in the March edition of “Your Family” magazine and found it interesting, some of which was similar to my experiences in politics. I spent the first 17 years of my life in Oklahoma and did not know but one person that publicly admitted to being a Republican.
After spending about five years in the U.S. Navy, in late 1952, I returned to Oklahoma to attend college to study pre-law for entrance to law school. I enrolled in Oklahoma A&M (now Oklahoma State), majoring in Political Science for law school preparation. Having always been interested in politics, while enrolled there I became very active in politics.
At that time, there were not any students active in Republican politics, so I became very active in the Young Democrats. I was president of the Young Democrats and the campus campaign manager for both Gov. Roy J. Turner and U.S. Senator Bob Kerr in their re-election campaigns. Even though I considered myself to be a conservative, I was a Democrat because, as you indicated in your article, there really wasn’t any choice.
One thing that I never forgot was a comment from one of my political science professors that really impacted me. “If you are not a liberal (Democrat) during your youth, your heart is not in the right place, but if you are not a conservative (Republican) after maturing, supporting a family and paying taxes, your head is not in the right place.”
Always remembering that professor’s comment, I also was very active in both on-campus and off-campus politics while enrolled in law school at UT-Austin.
After graduating from UT Law School and settling in Tarrant County to practice law, I became active in the Republican Party. Living on the east side of Fort Worth, I assisted in forming an east side Republican club and served as its first president. I then joined with some other Republicans in 1961 in organizing a candidate team of republicans to file for every county, state and federal elected office for the year 1962.