We Interrupt This Lack Of Blogging …

These are the drafts that I have recently started in my blogging folder:

  • Red Crossed – a rant against the money-grubbing Red Cross and how they decide to use your donations. You’re not giving money for what you think you are. Try to guess how I feel about the Red Cross.
  • Dear Barack – about the note that the Boston Bomber wrote to serve as his last will and testament as he was being surrounded in that boat. Key words: martyr, retribution for U.S. military action, “collateral damage”
  • The Other Half – husbands who have predicable and annoying standard responses when you ask them any question. What do you mean ask them any question? What do you mean just what I said? What do you mean you can’t stand it anymore?
  • The Brother-In-Laws of Joan Baez – this one I am really going to finish one day. It involves a seaside hippie nature wedding of one of her sisters where the wedding dress was a designer original.
  • Uh Oh- Breaking news about a shortage of dialysis tubes after an Italian earthquake. Because who doesn’t want to keep informed about global dialysis news?

There are about 20 more but I am ignoring them all to devote my time to something much more important.

Opening today at the LBJ Library 

“The First Ladies Collection” of Madame Alexander Dolls.

pretty as a little lady bird

link via OurPesidents*

*I’m not linking them because today is the founding of the Red Cross in 1881 and they chose to go with a picture of a dead Kennedy instead of The Angel Of The Battlefield. Here – let me fix that:

2 clara barton dolls

Famous Ladies From The Past – Part 1

Caroline Kennedy Listen, I’m no fan of Caroline Kennedy. Life’s cruel fates have distilled all that Kennedy drive, all that Bouvier style, all that citizenry love and expectation down into this bag of human disappointment:

ck

How does one say “ya know” in Japanese?

I finished the J.B West memoir and the underlying  message is that the work of the White House staff goes on no matter who lives there and once families change, the transition is total and complete. Plans are made between the incoming First Lady and the chief usher before moving day so that when the new family enters the building for the first time after swearing in, their possession are in place and the private living quarters are all set up and ready for them with no trace of the previous family whatsoever. After the Kennedy assassination, Jackie asked Lady Bird for a favor – to let the nursery school on the third floor continue until after the  Christmas holidays. That way the transition for Caroline and the 19 other children would seem more natural than just stopping things the day the Kennedys moved out. Lady Bird agreed and that brings us to this sad passage:

cks

Except for a few sentimental servants, she was generally ignored. Lynda and Luci were the new Princesses.

That must have been tough for a little kid – her position slightly off-center in the spotlight came to a sudden end along with everything else and the one home she knew was now a lonely place where she was ignored. She was unfriended in RL at age 6.

This is the saddest passage in the entire book.

Famous Ladies From The Past, Part 2 – Barbara Piasecka Johnson
Famous Ladies From The Past, Part 3 – Annette Funicello

Teddy Doesn’t Want One

I lost the copy of the LBJ book that my BFF gave me for my birthday. I’m sure ti will turn up somewhere – in a suitcase or tote bag or maybe it fell behind the dryer. In the meantime, I’m rereading Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream. This is a totally different kind of book than the Caro tomes – Kearns paints a portrait of a human being rather than a historical figure, but it’s a giant-sized human being who is more like a force of nature than a mere man.

There’s so much that I’m drawn to about his personality and right in the first pages of the prologue is one more reason: he was a Fresca fan.

“Informed of his preference for low-calorie drinks, the staff installed a special tap for Fresca in the cubbyhole immediately outside the Oval Office”.

Here’s a charming little anecdote about LBJ’s Fresca Summit in the White House. It’s billed as “a great Kennedy (no not that one) anecdote” but it’s really a story about LBJ’s skill at dominating the room.

Burke and Ted prepared their presentation for Johnson and then sat with him in the Oval Office. As Ted began his remarks about the failure of the United States to win over hearts and minds of the Vietnamese, Johnson cut him off.

“Now wait a minute, Teddy,” the president drawled. “There’s no need to rush on this. There was something I wanted to ask you first, and then we can get down to what you wanted to say.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Teddy,” Johnson said, pausing for effect. “Do you want a Fresca?”

“Um, no thank you, Mr. President,” Ted stammered.

As Ted tried once more to deliver his report, Johnson again interrupted and turned to Burke. “Dave, would you like a Fresca?”

“No thank you, Mr. President.”

“Well, I’m going to have a Fresca,” the leader of the free world announced. Then he turned to look at his butler, who was holding a silver beverage tray. “I’ll ask you again, Dave, are you going to have a Fresca with your president? We’d enjoy it.”

Burke caved. “Yes, Mr. President, I’ll have a Fresca.”

Johnson smiled. “Good, good. Now that’s good.” He turned to his butler. “David and I will have a Fresca.” He waited several beats before adding, “Teddy doesn’t want one.”

FYI – he also loved tapioca pudding. As do I.