Real Mavericks call McCain; his hand is not a Maverick's
Texas' Mavericks are calling a spade a spade, saying John McCain is not part of their club and they have no heart for his use of the phrase coined by their diamond in the rough ancestor. The Mavericks from whence the term comes, are not the progeny of Bart, Brett, Beau or "my old pappy".
The word maverick, you see, is a vestige of their ancestry, a lexicon remnant that connects them to the roots of their Texas Revolution heritage, specifically to Samuel Augustus Maverick, a 19th-century San Antonio mayor, signer of the 1836 Texas Declaration of Independence and aggressive land baron.
Maverick also owned a herd of cattle that he allowed to roam and chose not to brand. And so, the term maverick — in its purest form, it means an unbranded calf — was born.
Maverick’s descendants continued his legacy of public service and bucking conventional wisdom. His grandson, Maury Maverick, was a U.S. congressman who returned to San Antonio to serve one term as a mayor and took pride in getting the River Walk built and La Villita restored.
His political career ended when he allowed members of the Communist Party, including Emma Tenayuca, a labor leader who advocated for pecan shellers, to meet at Municipal Auditorium. A lynch mob gathered outside the meeting and hanged Maverick in effigy.
The family is not alone. One journalist who covered the colorful mayor says he knew Maverick and McCain is no Maverick.
Claude Stanush was a young reporter for the San Antonio Light covering City Hall and vividly recalls the scene.
“He gave them the permit to meet, and the public got aroused, but he thought they had the right to meet,” said Stanush, 90. “Some of them thought he was a communist — he was liberal and sponsored a lot of things for the public that could be labeled socialistic.”
Stanush, a San Antonio native who went on to a career with Life magazine, remembers Maury Maverick fondly.
“He was the best mayor we ever had,” Stanush said. “He was a devoted lover of San Antonio, and when he lost the election it broke his heart.”
Having covered a genuine Maverick, Stanush thinks McCain is “posing as a maverick.”
“I think people who seize on slogans do it for personal advantage,” he said. “I don’t think a person who’s a real maverick brags about it — they just go about being a maverick.”
The Maverick family, with the exception of few Republicans, say McCain's of the word sullies the family history and is not a fair description of someone who has sided so very often with President George W. Bush.
Julia Maverick, the widow of Maury Maverick Jr., an outspoken legislator and longtime San Antonio Express-News columnist, also questions McCain’s use of the word.
“Has anyone asked McCain why he thinks he’s a maverick?” she asked. “I have great respect for him being a POW. He’s never done anything to offend me more than any other Republican, but somebody has to pin him down about why he thinks he’s a maverick. Reaching across the aisle to the Democrats once in a while doesn’t make you a maverick.”
Fontaine Maverick, an Austin bookkeeper and great-great-granddaughter of Samuel Augustus Maverick, started a Web site — www.realoriginalmaverick.com — about a month ago as a way to respond to McCain’s use of the word.
“It just felt wrong,” she said, adding that not all relatives agree, as a handful are Republicans. “McCain is a true conservative and he’s only broken ranks with Bush a few times — he’s gone lock step with the Bush administration.”
Terrellita Maverick, sister of Maury Maverick Jr. and mother of Fontaine Maverick, said that in her mind, being a maverick means being unfettered and not having to answer to any group or party.
“We all cringed the first time he used it, and we have cringed every time since,” she said. “He’s not a maverick in uppercase or lowercase. He’s got a brand on him, and it’s a red ‘R’ for Republican. We are just furious that he took our family name and that he used it to connote he’s independent or a freethinker.
“My blood pressure has gotten so high, I’ve got to calm down — I’ve got to be around to vote, because I’m mad as hell.”
Oh, don't get them started on Sarah Palin.
See also - "What is a Maverick?"