I’ll Have The L. B. Jello Please

From Our Presidents: Lunch Break: Menu from Lady Bird Johnson’s Whistle Stop Train Campaign

lady bird special menu
Do they still even make Postum? They better not because if they killed something glorious like Nabisco Golden Raisin Bars and let this live, then where is the justice?

My favorite part of this is how the menu misspells that east Texas river to align with the way Lyndon always mispronounced it.

Lady Bird’s 1964 whistle-stop tour:

“She often used southern cuisine to win people’s affection, serving state specialties and distributing recipes for particular southern dishes. Her appeal to the southern appetite worked to identify her with her southern roots. In Wilson, North Carolina, a local politician introduced Lady Bird by saying she was “as much a part of the South as tobacco, peanuts, and red-eye gravy.”

At each stop, 15 hostesses would escort local politicians and supporters of President Johnson on to the train for a brief meeting with the First Lady and to pose for photos.

How brave was that Lady Bird – such a great strength of will! And what a fine moral compass she had. She is completely underrated and undervalued in every area except wildflowers. That was no small thing but it’s the part of her legacy that is most well know by today’s generation of nudniks.

“The nation was still stunned from the assassination when the Johnson’s finally moved into the White House.  Lady Bird was aware that she could not compete with the glamour of Jacqueline Kennedy and did not attempt it.  Instead, she sought causes to which she could give her name and her energies.  She made headlines during the 1964 campaign when she became the first First Lady to go on a campaign trip for her husband by herself.  She styled the tour train “The Lady Bird Special,” and she made 47 stops and covered over 1600 miles.  Three days later, when the tour ended in New Orleans, Lyndon joyfully met her at the train station.  The “Secret Weapon” had all but defused much of the anger felt by Southerners toward Lyndon’s Great Society legislation.

And now it’s entirely appropriate that we gaze once again upon the Johnson White House China, which was deigned in part by Lady Bird herself.

Lady Bird Johnson: She gave the impression of being a total cream puff but was able to impose floral patterned china with a girly yellow background on old Lyndon. Even Nancy Reagan couldn’t do that and Ronnie was totally whipped.



Do you watch the utterly fascinating First Ladies series on C-Span? The most recent offering there is Lady Bird Johnson so you know that I DVR’d it and watched it more than once. Oh it was a fabulous thing – my only quibble is that they showcased Lynda Bird’s snoozefest of a wedding instead of Luci Baines’ extravaganza on the flimsy pretext that Lynda’s was a White House wedding and Luci only had her reception there.

C-Span has found a stayle that works and they do not ever veer away from it. And that style is Talking Heads. The first Ladies’ Series is remarkable in that it features accomplished women commentators who live as God intended – no botox, not face lifts, no hair extensions, in fact there is precious little hair fussing to be seen. The make up is minimal – pancake to keep down the facial shine, one shade of lipstick to suit all and a heavy hand with the eyeliner.

Host Susan Swain, author Betty Boyd Caroli and media figure Cokie Roberts. Click to see a gross misuse of Maybelline Brow & Eye Pencil.

I don’t mind the wrinkles so much. It’s quite refreshing, actually –  I am pretty sick of women of a certain age with faces  stretched shiny from regular injections and cartoonishly plumped lips. I get the whole thing about studio lighting but tut this eyeliner is killing me.

Hey Hey LBJ

Love your cute little baby ears, Lyndon.


photo found at Our Presidents

Happy Birthday, LBJ!

On August 27th, the LBJ Library and Museum will offer birthday cake and refreshments so that visitors can commemorate the birthday of Lyndon Baines Johnson. He would have been 105 years old.

Ah Lyndon. there was nobody else like him.

The way things were: a styrofoam baby boogie board, SPF-nothing and a wet dog.

Here’s two lovely little birthday videos from 1964. I can’t get the audio on either one of them. It is a pity.

In 1964, LBJ cuts his birthday cake in the shape of the United States.link

LBJ at his birthday party in Atlantic City, is greeted by crowd in various national dress. One group begins to sing “Happy Birthday.” Sign says Happy Birthday. link

Update: Here’s the NBC footage of that same birthday celebration at the 1964 Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City. this one has audio and a few bonus moments:

  • Danny Thomas glomming onto LBJ’s arm for the march to the cake then photobombing the cake cutting itself
  • An orchid corsage pinned to Lady Bird’s trim handbag
  • Lyndon laughing as he waves a big knife in the general direction of the Kennedys

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