Behind the Scenes
In the summer of 1941, Congressman Lyndon Baines Johnson ran for the U.S. Senate in a special election. He lost. It was the only political race LBJ ever lost, and he always claimed that W. Lee O'Daniel had stolen the office from him.
In the summer of 1948, Johnson ran again for the Senate. This time his chief opponent in the Democratic primaries was former Governor Coke Stevenson. After much counting and recounting of ballots, John son was declared the winner of the runoff, or second primary, by just eighty seven votes out of a million cast, votes that Stevenson claimed Johnson bought in deep South Texas, the stomping ground of George Parr, "The Duke of Duval County."
Joe Phipps signed on as a volunteer player in this summer stock production, taking a role as general aide and "go-fer for the Congressman. Then a young World War II veteran with experience in radio broadcasting, Phipps did not imagine that he would assume a major part in an election that would change not only the face of Texas politics but the way campaigners were promoted then and the way campaigns would be prosecuted in the future. Not only were the short radio broadcast Phipps produced innovative, but Johnson's method of campaigning was new to voters. Rather, than concentrate on urban areas, Johnson acquired a helicopter, an exotic new flying machine at the time, and took his message to people all across Texas. It may well have been the votes garnered by LBJ in the rural counties that kept him in the race and eventually sent him to the U.S. Senate.
Much of the drama of the summer of '48 is well known and has been told many times by political historians and Johnson biographers. Unlike previous writers, however, Joe Phipps was there for most of the hectic campaign, worked closely with Lyndon Johnson, the consummate politician, complex and contradictory, yet a simple man, on a daily basis as aide and confidant.
Joe Phipps' narrative graphically exposes the human side of the pivotal events of the summer of '48.
From the Texas Bookshelves
Following a tragic accident, Fletcher Carson joins a flagging war effort in Vietnam. Lost and lonely, he plans to die in the war. But after stumbling upon a critically injured yellow Lab, Fletcher unexpectedly finds a reason to live. He finds Jack.
Fletcher and Jack are a team, and like hundreds of other U.S. Military dogs and their handlers in Vietnam, they serve their country, saving countless lives. To the men, the dogs are heroes. But at the end of the war, the U.S. Government announces that all dogs serving in the war have been declared "surplus military equipment" and will not be transported home. Ordered to leave Jack behind, Fletcher refuses, and so begins the journey of two friends who will go to the end of the earth to save each other.
Based on the actual existence and abandonment of canine units in Vietnam, Finding Jack is more than a story of man saves dog. It is a story of friendship and love and a moving tribute to the forgotten heroes of a desperate war. And proof that sometimes it is a dog that truly saves a man.
And, one other book I would like to mention -
Surviving on the Texas Frontier
Thanks to Sarah Harkey Hall, and other San Saba area pioneers, we enjoy our wonderful life here in our area. If the reader has not yet read Surviving on the Texas Frontier, please do so. It is well worth the time spent, and the reader will never forget these folks and their experiences.
From the Texas Bookshelves.
See you at Rylander.
, Personal Recollections of Life in Nineteenth Century Texas, Sarah Harkey Hall, Introduction by Paula Mitchell Marks, a novel, Gareth Crockerwith LBJ in 1948, Joe Phipps