Tag Archives: Lady Bird Johnson

A True Texas Day


The Texas Hill Country beckons, because “all the world is welcome here.” Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park invites visitors to explore at their own curious pace, navigating a self-guided tour across LBJ Ranch from Junction School to the Texas White House and everything in between, including the impressive “Air Force One-Half.” And what a coincidence that I’ve published this post on August 27, the 36th president’s birthday.

My afternoon of exploration was anything but boring. History, facts, and a vast collection of interesting moments leaped out at me for the embrace. Among all else, and perhaps most insignificantly, I discovered that Lady Bird as a widow drove a 1978 Mercury Grand Marquis around the ranch, if not elsewhere. Speaking of cars, the 1965 Corvette that daughter Luci was gifted for her 18th birthday sits clearly on display. Meanwhile, the living descendants of Lyndon’s Herefords appear to roam freely– and sometimes block the road. The ranch’s communications system that was swiftly created upon LBJ’s unexpected assumption of the office remains at least partially visible. The family cemetery showcases the president’s and first lady’s resting places from a cordoned distance, still close enough to make out their names. And all this barely begins to describe all that awaits to be seen and learned.

I’m thrilled to have finally made the trip to this Texas site I’ve for so long wanted to see. Combined with time in nearby Johnson City, historic Fredericksburg, and even the famous venue of Luckenbach, my experience was a great one, a true Texas day. Yours will be too!

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Posted by on August 27, 2021 in Daily Activities


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A Long Life, Though Not The Record.

Very recently in fact, the subject of longest-living first ladies came up in conversation.  Mindful of another birthday this summer, I realized it was time right about now to check the number of calendar days and see if the title of “second longest-living first lady” had changed hands.

Then came the news, before I completed that check, that Nancy Reagan passed away.  Already well aware she was 94, or rather 94 1/2, the question for me remained as to the lifetime ranking with which she departed.  After all, Lady Bird Johnson died in 2007 at age 94, or rather 94 1/2, while Mrs. Reagan was to turn 95 in July.  Which one of these two long-living presidential wives lived the greater number of days, remained for me to investigate.

The answer of course came quickly and easily.  Nancy Reagan was, and is, the second longest-living first lady in U.S. history, though not by much. Only in late January of this year, merely six weeks ago, did the length of her life surpass that of Lady Bird’s.  As such, the perhaps obscure title did in fact change hands, as I had before today suspected.

Naturally I speak only of “second longest-living,” as the number one spot in this regard was not about to be overtaken any time soon.  The longest living first lady has remained the same for more than 40 years now, as Mrs. Reagan was just beginning to close in on what still would have been a significant span of time.  Now with her passing, it will be at least another seven years before another first lady breaks the record of life longevity.

In any event, my penchant for numerical presidential trivia aside, Nancy Reagan lived one long and complete life.  In the Hollywood sense, she joins Abe Vigoda and George Kennedy in what’s shaping up early on to be a year of “senior loss.”  I’ve always fondly recalled introducing myself to the first lady at a Christmas party in 2003, myself red-blazer clad of course.  This personal memory stands out clearly in my mind today, polite as she proved herself.  RIP Mrs. Reagan.


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