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#1 Jun 04, 2018 11:21 am

New Historian
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Chilling with LBJ

In 1966 our father won a Fulbright scholarship to teach at an American high school for a year, in the small town of LaGrange, Illinois – epicenter of the American heartland. All four of us boarded the Cunard ocean liner, the RMS “Sylvania”, for a week-long passage from Southampton to New York City. On a perfect summer’s day we sailed into New York Harbor, under the Verranzano Narrows Bridge, past the Statue of Liberty, and docked at the Hudson River Terminal in Manhattan’s Lower West Side, the Empire State Building looming overhead: unforgettable!

All the exchange teachers stayed in a group, chaperoned by the Fulbright people. In three days we did all the sights of New York City then went by Greyhound bus to Washington DC. We stayed at the Hotel Washington, overlooking the Rose Garden. The hotel is still there, unchanged. Three days later we were actually in the Rose Garden, where President Lyndon Baines Johnson gave a speech to all the English exchange teachers. As he moved down the line he squeezed my hand in his giant maw and said:

“Welcome to America, suhhn.”

I always did like LBJ; he passed an incredible amount of forward-looking domestic legislation, including Civil Rights and Medicare/Medicaid. What broke him - and his reputation - was Vietnam.

I caused a huge kerfuffle on my first day in Cossitt Avenue Elementary School. We all had to stand up and tell the class what we had done over the summer. I said that I had come by ship from England to New York; then went to Washington where I shook hands with President Johnson in the back yard of the White House, then took a bus here to La Grange, then …

She stopped me right there. For the new kid in the class, this was quite some opening gambit: you shook hands with … the POTUS??

It was only after she quizzed me on every aspect of my story that she finally believed me; then proceeded to go completely doolally. She made me come to the front of the class and hold up my right hand.

“Class, this hand, this very hand, right here – hold it up higher – has actually shaken the hand of the President … of the United States … of America!!!” Like my hand glowed or something.



LBJ.jpg

Last edited by New Historian (Jun 04, 2018 11:46 am)

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#2 Jun 04, 2018 12:07 pm

New Historian
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Re: Chilling with LBJ

I'm sure this one's another repeat, but what the hey!

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#3 Jun 04, 2018 3:52 pm

Expat
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Re: Chilling with LBJ

New Historian wrote:

I'm sure this one's another repeat, but what the hey!


Doh remember dat one, an you nevah tell me I shook de han dat shook de han of de POTUS.... If you ha tell me dat I wouldn't a juss buy you a beer I would a drunk it for you too.

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#4 Jun 05, 2018 10:09 am

New Historian
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Re: Chilling with LBJ

POTUS episode 2: Bumping into Bill....

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#5 Jun 05, 2018 10:59 am

Dancer
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Re: Chilling with LBJ

LORD !!!  Have Mercy , the tall stories gone presidential .  I must admit  I did not read /hear that one before.

>>>>> "hold up your golden hand " ... incredible ! <<<<<  LBJ called me son.

Next episode , " hanging  out will Bill "

I wonder if New Historian  is catholic , I hear they have something called confession time . " His priest must be tired looking through the lattice barrier  and seeing his face.

What's the story about Bill again New Historian ?

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#6 Jun 05, 2018 11:53 am

New Historian
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Re: Chilling with LBJ

"What's the story about Bill again New Historian ?"

Then wait nuh? It takes time to make all these stories up you know!!

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#7 Jun 05, 2018 2:05 pm

Slice
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Re: Chilling with LBJ

OHHO, Now why would anyone want to meet Bill or Hillary Clinton?  Seriously I would rather meet Trump.  Lord ah hate these folks.  They gave us Trump.

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