Michener's book well describes what a courthouse should be


   To the editor:

       I have enjoyed the continuing and updating saga of the Wharton County Courthouse.  It has been most interesting.  It seems that the stone and mortar features have been very well covered.

       I was reminded of the James A. Michener book "Texas" in which on pages 878 and 879 of Volume 2, he described the human elements of building a courthouse in Texas in the 1880's, to wit:

      "It is essential, gentlemen, that we maintained a clear image of what a great courthouse ought to be, and I desire to build none that are not great.  It must have four characteristics, and these must be visible to all.  To the criminal who is brought here for trial, it must represent the majesty of the law, awesome and unassailable.  To the responsible citizen who comes here seeking justice, it must represent stability and fairness and the continuity of life.  To the elected officials working here, especially the judges, it must remind them of the heavy responsibility they share to keeping the system honorable and forward moving.  I want every officer who enters his office in the morning to think 'I am part of Hammurabii and Leviticus.'  And to the town and county and the state, the courthouse must be a thing of beauty.  It must rise high and stand for something. And it must grow better as years and decades and centuries pass."

      Enough said.

                                                          Franklin Schodek

                                                              Richmond, Texas


Sounding Board

Wharton Journal-Spectator

Wednesday, February 9, 2000