Remembering Lady Bird

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Lady Bird Johnson is being remembered as a charitable and personable former First Lady. One Bonham man shared his encounters with Mrs. Johnson from the 1950's on through the years.

Whether it was beautifying the country or standing by her husband’s side during his presidency, those who knew Lady Bird Johnson say she did it with a smile and personality that might never be matched.

H.G. Dulaney says he loved to listen to Lady Bird Johnson speak.

Maybe it was her southern accent, or maybe it was her southern charm. Either way, he’s been able to personally listen to her for the last fifty plus years.

"I think Lady Bird Johnson was a very fine lady that had much compassion for people."

Dulaney is the director emeritus of the Sam Rayburn Museum and library in Bonham. He met Lady Bird when he went to work for the former Speaker Of The House in Washington back in 1951 and formed a friendship with the former First Lady and President Lyndon Johnson, a couple which he says were a perfect match.

"The wisest thing Lyndon Johnson ever did was marry Lady Bird, because she was just great help. She was really a great lady."

He says the Johnsons were also friends to Sam Rayburn, a man who both considered more than that.

"Everybody that knew her loved Lady Bird Johnson, and she loved Sam Rayburn, she thought Sam Rayburn was another father to her undoubtedly because she certainly acted like it."

Lady Bird Johnson is known for her efforts of beautifying the country, planting flowers, and taking care of America’s natural resources.

Her efforts led Denison resident Carol Southers to the First Lady’s home in Austin.

"She was a very, very nice lady…very personable. She walked around and discussed things with everybody just like she knew every one of them personally."

Southers’ husband was awarded a certificate honoring his efforts to improve the country side in Grayson County, and she is sad to lose such an influential woman.

"She’s done a lot promoting Grayson County, and when you lose a dignitary like that you have to be sad because it’s the end of an era."

Dulaney, who kept in touch with her ever since that day back in 1951, is saddened as well.

"Undoubtedly she'll be missed. Of course she'll be missed…I'll miss her myself."

Lady Bird Johnson last visited Bonham back in 1990 for the Sam Rayburn Statue dedication.

Funeral services will be held for the former First Lady on Saturday.

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