Lyndon B. Johnson 4 results

Jack and Vanessa get out of Dodge

Mob Rule: Part 40 When Jack realizes he's stuck between The Kennedys and his old mob buddies back in New York, he makes a bold squeeze play to abandon the Presidential campaign trail and return to the family fold By John Armstrong So now I was in the middle of a triple-cross, because surely the last thing Meyer and Frank expected was for me to come home having made a side deal with one of my co-conspirators.  But, like Sidney said, this was a game where the rules changed while you played. It wouldn’t matter anyway unless I figured out how to excuse Vanessa and myself from this party without getting shot. I had to keep myself ready for any opportunity to get a small head start on them, even a few hours. They’d relaxed on watching me so far as I’d noticed and as I thought about it I realized why. They’d hamstrung me in the most efficient way possible: I had no money. I’d gotten so used to Sydney or one of the others paying for everything or simply signing for it ...

Fear and Bloating

Mob Rule: Part 35 Breaking bread on the campaign trail leaves Jack with a stuffed gut and a deeper view of the divide between North and South By John Armstrong We left the ranch early the next morning for San Antonio by car with Lyndon, Vanessa, and myself together in one with Otis so he could coach me and fine-tune the speech for that night. We left so fast we took breakfast with us, coffee in jugs and tortillas and scrambled eggs and sausage in tinfoil packages. The cars had shown up that morning before sunrise and the line of black limousines made for a strange motorcade through the scrubby Texas badlands, like a funeral that had badly misread its directions to the churchyard. It was about a four-hour drive and we made San Antonio well before noon, in time to nap and shower. It was going to be a long, hot day – in fact, it already was. We had a DAR picnic with one group at 2 p.m., a church supper at five and two speeches in different locations that night. I read ...

Starting a church of one’s own down South

Mob Rule: Part 34 As the sweat pours down like a late summer thunderstorm, Jack realizes the South makes its own rules that may, or may not, be entirely legal By John Armstrong We got back to the ranchhouse in the early afternoon, already so hot you could feel drops of sweat pop up on your body, run down your skin and evaporate before they got to the bottom. Lyndon had lent us cowboy hats for the ride, and I felt a little silly wearing mine until I learned your brains would literally bake without one. I did try fanning myself with it but it was like trying to cool yourself off with the air from a blast furnace and no real relief at all. I fully understood the idea of the siesta now and all I wanted was to lie somewhere in front of a fan with as little clothing as possible. I didn’t even care if Vanessa joined me or not; the idea of anything more strenuous than a nap seemed preposterous. But it was not to be. Bobby, Sydney, and Otis wanted Lyndon and I for a general ...

Texas hold ’em, then crush ’em

Mob Rule: Part 33 Jack ponders his place in the deck after a long ride on Lyndon B. Johnson's ranch that ends in a rickety shithouse By John Armstrong That night we slept in cool, fresh-ironed sheets while coyotes sang a lullaby through the open windows. I woke up with a smile, ready to eat again and go ride a bull, or perhaps just a horse to start with. I got my wish. After breakfast Lyndon asked if we’d like to ride out with him and see the house he was born in. His wife, whose name really did seem to be ‘Bird” though the hands called her Miz Johnson unfailingly, packed lunches and filled thermoses with water and tea. Vanessa was experienced with horses but I had some difficulty actually getting up onto the mine, a big bay named Baldy. Not that he lacked for hair; Lyndon said horses with a white patch on their face were commonly called bald-faced. I’d never actually seen one in the flesh and it was something else entirely to stand beside one. Do you have any ...