Claudia Alta Taylor Johnson, aka Lady Bird, died last week. Many writers and leaders have spent the last week lavishing praise on her life and legacy. Playing the role of Mark Antony, Jack Shafer questions the legacy of Lady Bird and her famously-corrupt husband, Lyndon Baines, the 20th Century’s Andrew Jackson.
Several years ago, I met a fellow in Colorado who told me that his father had served as a pilot for LBJ and Lady Bird when they were residents of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. The father, a decorated Vietnam combat pilot Vietnam, did not last long in his new gig as pilot of Air Force One, however. Evidently, the Johnsons were pretty hard to get along with in-fight. On his last flight with the Johnsons, Lady Bird repeatedly approached him complaining that there wasn’t any toilet paper on the plane. The pilot explained to her several times that he wasn’t responsible for stocking the toilet paper, he didn’t know where any was and could she please let him focus on flying the aircraft. After she had complained one time too many, the exasperated pilot instructed her to wipe with her effing hand, which got him reassigned pretty quickly. I can’t vouch for the veracity of that story, but somehow, I don’t doubt it.