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MEMOIR Lt; Belo From Newspapers to New Media BY JUDITH GARRETT SEGURA -Ibis is the first serious study of kisn re aet ivi ties in Tav It is a creative and innovative attempt to turn those interested in. Ruts history awayfrom *simply viewing the past as a place ofwa r, and economics. … General readers of will also buy this hook and read it with enthusiasm: -WALTER L. BUENGER. PROFESSOR AND CHAIR OF HISTORY. I’EXAS A&M UNIVERSITY 21 11074, photos $50.00 cloth Iszt kVA’ t NIVERSITY OF XAS PRESS Or SO0.152.320 , XV\\\\\\VAlt.C.\\i_04preSS.COVII DEEP IN THE HEAR T Duchess of Palms By Nadine Eckhardt University of Texas Press 152 pages, $29.95 March 1, 2009 t had been two years since I’d been back to Texas, and I was desperate to see the Texas sky and feel the sun burn my skin and warm my bones. My parents had missed out on seeing our little girls for too long. Although I enjoyed working in the Senate and knew I could advance in Lyndon’s organization, children came first. Anticipating being a mother of three had me yearning for Austin, where life was easier, cheaper, and healthier. Maintaining homes in both D.C. and Austin seemed financially impossible, but I insisted on it. I wrote a carefully worded note to LBJ saying that only motherhood could take me away from him. The nurturing women on the staff arranged a party for my departure, which was held in Lyndon’s elegant majority leader’s suite. Lyndon put his arm around me and said, “If you’ll name that boy after me, I’ll give him a heifer calf and he’ll have a whole herd by the time he’s twenty-one.” As my little girls and I flew back to Texas \(this time on a returning to wide-open skies and life in Austin. \(I thought I was through with Washington, but what I couldn’t have known then was that Lyndon Johnson would be a constant in my lifesometimes peripherally, sometimes centrallyuntil LBJ. He taught us that both sides of an issue had to be weighed with the public interest in mind. He had little patience with extreme liberals or extreme conservatives, but he would work with both types, and he was usually successful in making them see his point of view. He spoke to us quietly, like a teacher, often dropping in one of his homilies: “Never trust a naryassed man,” “You ain’t learning anything when you’re talking,” and “Your judgment is only as good as your information” are just three of many. On May 24, 1957, our son, Willie, named after our favorite journalist, Willie Morris, was born. Soon afterward, Lyndon and Bill both happened to be in Austin, and The Senator asked Bill to fly with him and Mary Margaret Wiley, his number one secretary, to Washington over the weekend to tend to an errand. Bill was home so seldom that he didn’t want to go, but I needed a break from child-rearing, so I called Lyndon and suggested that I go in Bill’s stead. The next day the three of us boarded an oil company plane \(which, unfortunately, was not for D.C. We drank Scotch, of course, and Mary Margaret and I defended our liberal friends. Lyndon couldn’t let it rest. He didn’t like Ronnie Dugger, the editor of the Texas Observer, worth a damn. When his arguments failed to bring us around, he resorted to saying, “If you look back far enough in his [Ronnie’s] family, you’ll find a dwarf.” For his part, Ronnie didn’t like him either. JANUARY 9, 2009 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 35