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The Real Maverick


I was fascinated to read Margaret Edds' article about the long and unwavering effort of Oliver W. Hill and Spottswood W. Robinson III to prod, push and pull Virginia toward a more integrated society (“Out of the Shadows,” Cover Story, Oct. 15).

Thoughtfully, Edds gives the most detailed attention to the brilliant Robinson, “the core of a tiny cadre of men” who in ensuing years “transformed the face of America.” The story she tells reminded me of a Texas lawyer who fought long and hard on behalf of civil rights for African-Americans.

That lawyer, Maury Maverick Jr., was a descendent of the family whose name “maverick” came to be used as the moniker for their unbranded cattle. From early times, the Mavericks were progressive activists crusading against the conservative establishment.

As we all know, Sen. John McCain now calls himself a maverick to assert his allegedly independent style. But that has enraged 82-year-old Terrelita Maverick, sister of Maverick. According to Terrelita, McCain's no maverick; he can't hide his old Republican brand. She seems quite right to me considering how typically McCain has voted for this administration's policies and how often, in past years, McCain has extolled Bush's leadership.

Irwin Shishko

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