Texas is another country...

Texas is another country...I have driven into Texas from all four directions and can affirm that after crossing that imaginary state line you just know you are in Texas . The world becomes wide open space, the sky feels higher, you can stretch out and rest a spell.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

LBJ LIVE AND IN PERSON

Post by Alana Cash

When my dad retired from the military in 1969 and moved away from San Antonio with my mother and siblings, I had to take a full-time job to support myself.  I went to work as secretary for the senior vice president of Frost Bank in San Antonio.  This was before branch banking and the bank was housed in the original Frost Bank Building next door to the San Fernando Cathedral right there at Main Plaza.

I worked at the bank less than a year before moving with my older brother to California, but sometime during that nine months, Lyndon Baines Johnson came to the bank for a visit – rumor was it was some kind of investment deal.  I feel pretty sure that everyone in the bank was aware of the visit and told to be on their best behavior and not to talk to the former President

I knew he would enter the bank from the parking structure into a large bank reception room – kind of like a low-ceilinged ballroom.  The bank’s controller and other executives had private offices off the reception area and their secretaries had their desks out in the open.  I stationed myself near the desk of the secretary to the controller. 

I wasn’t there long before LBJ arrived with a small secret service detail.  Apparently Tom Frost Jr. had met him at the parking garage entrance to the bank because they were striding down the room together and I was just frozen, staring.  It would be the only time I ever saw a President in person and I can tell you there is something to it.

LBJ was 6’4” which is already intimidating, but there was also a command, maybe even a demand about his presence.  He was smiling and friendly and very impressive.  He wore a suit and took big strides so that his detail seemed rushed to keep up with him and in ten seconds, maybe less, they had passed through the room.  It was a private situation.  He wasn’t trying to please a crowd or press for votes.  He was retired from politics and just going about his business.

I don’t know what he was like to work with as a politician – there are stories about stolen elections and political bullying – and I don’t know what he was like as a person or as a friend.  I just know that one day when I was just a kid, I stood less than five feet from a former President of my country and he gave off a sense of power I haven’t forgotten. 

No comments: