I just found this book, Lone Star Rising: Lyndon Johnson and His Times 1908-1960
, (Oxford University Press)which mentions my grandmother, Margaret Epley Lee, in passing (pg 91) as one of his students.
Actually, as gratifying as it is to see her mentioned in print, it is actually inadequate to describe their relationship, which was one of lovers, however briefly. They "dated" in the thirties, and my mom has some of the love letters.
As many pages as have been written and as much research as has been done about LBJ, including the voluminous snoring tomes of Robert Kato, this relationship seems to have gone completely unnoticed. Ike and FDR had, like, one girlfriend the whole time. Much of what was written seems to be the chagrin and anger of Mamie and the sadness of Eleanor about what was entirely known, but not shared by the mainstream press. Likewise, JFK and Clenis are said to be great ladies men, and except for Marilyn and Monica, we know very little about any others for sure. Yes, I know about Ms. Eckland and Genifer Flowers, Paula Jones, etc. but these are unproven allegations. Sure, Poppy poked Bo, and Junior raped a 15 year-old into a forced abortion. But this is about love, and not the creepy fingered prerogatives of super powerful men.
LBJ had Lady Bird under glass at the time, and did chase skirts around. He bragged he was hung like a horse, and if the recently uncovered phone logs between himself and the newly bereaved Jackie-O are any indication, Johnson does seem to have a certain personal charm about him. And like all presidents, he had a domineering mother/black widow who eventually ate their husbands, LBJ had Big Momma, who had driven his father to destruction through hard-ball Texas politics he did not want to do, and eventually hand-picked Lady Bird as his life mate.
I recall the story that he took her out for putt-putt golf. Lyndon sunk the final hole and won a loaf of bread, which he kept.
One interesting aspect about this part of his life is that he was very much involved in helping Mexican Americans. He was good friends with Ema Tenayuca and her husband, both communists, and the Pecan Workers Union. He spoke out in support of the Pecan Worker's Strike of 1937, and I am certain attended rallies and functions in previous years. He was pals, no doubt with the Maverick family. I am pretty sure he spoke Spanish, as did my Grandmother.
And yet he was in no way later blacklisted or made part of any investigations by the House Unamerican Activities Commission?
Oh, and another thing, my grandmother's father was African American.