Friday, January 28, 2022 Jan 28, 2022
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I, Too, Am LBJ’s Son

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The truth can finally be told. I, too, am former president Lyndon Baines Johnson’s son. After the news broke this past summer that a Dallas man was suing Lady Bird for $10.5 million, claiming that he was LBJ’s illegitimate son and that she was trying to deny him part of the inheritance, I decided it was time to speak up. Not everyone is ungrateful that he is LBJ’s son.

I was born to a pretty, young woman who told me when I was very young, so young that I could not yet understand the English language, that she had been the mistress of old Lyndon. “I was ladling out the sauce at a political barbeque in South Texas in 1948,” she told me. “When your father stood in front of me, asking for a double scoop, I got so nervous that I spilled, the sauce all over the front of his shirt.” They became fast friends. You know how Lyndon loved a joke. Later that year, my mother voted for him ten times in Duval County when he ran for the U.S. Senate.

Mom told me that I could never tell anyone about my Dad. We lived in the country, where few people asked questions. Dad, I think, would have liked me, except that I valued that one characteristic he could never tolerate-privacy. At age ten, I got a bruise on my chest when I was tackled in Pee Wee football, but I never thought of holding up my shirt and showing it to the national press like Dad did with his scars. I also wouldn’t hold dogs up by their ears.

But he seemed like a good sort. I’d never sue him. I’ve read his autobiography, The Vantage Point, four times, even though he used the passive voice too often. I’d even let Lady Bird use my apartment as a Dallas extension to the LBJ Library if she needed more room. I could display things that Lyndon read over at my Mom’s house (“How the Tasteful Gentleman Should Dress” and Ladies’ Home Journal). I also figure I should follow the family legacy and run for office-but I doubt I’d ever win anything. Dear old Dad never had time to show me how to stuff a ballot box.

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