Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Encounter: Ladybird Johnson

In June 1976, my eldest son (Jeremy) graduated from high school, and the two of us celebrated by taking a car trip, which brought us to Yellowstone. We were looking down at a wonderful view from a high point on the trail, when we noticed Ladybird at the same place. She was accompanied by just one male aide, probably a secret service person. This was just four years after the death of LBJ. We had a brief but very pleasant conversation, probably about the beauty of our surroundings, and I remember how friendly and gracious she was.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Encounter 3: David Whitfield

David was born in February 1926, just over a year before I arrived on the scene. I knew him when he was a member of my division when we were both serving in the Royal Navy. The Wikipedia articles says that he entertained his fellow members of the Royal Navy during World War II". He certainly entertained his shipmates when I first met him, but he may not have actually joined the Royal Navy until after the war. We certainly recognized his talent, but it was only recently that I had learned of some of his achievements. He was the first UK male vocalist to earn a Gold Disk for the number of his records that were sold. He was very famous when I saw him next. This was probably in the late fifties, when at my request he very willingly preformed for what was some good cause, which I no longer remember. David died in Sydney, Australia when on tour, in 1980, when he was just fifty-four.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015


For the next few weeks, I plan to write short notes about some of the interesting people I have known and spoken to. There will be some famous people, some who influenced me, and a few with "titles". I should not try to put these into datal order, but just as I think of them. 1.When my first wife and I lived in San Francisco, we became members of a babysitting co-op, most of whose members had some connection to the U.C. hospital system. Dianne Fienstein's former husband had been a top doctor at UCSF, and they had a beautiful home on Forest Hill, in San Francisco. I was always happy to leave our own home and spend an evening at "DiFi's" home. She always welcomed me warmly; the daughter never woke up; the furniture was very comfortable; and I could enjoy music from a wide selection of cd's on the sound system there. Meeting the future senator took place sometime before she became Mayor of San Francisco. 2.When my first wife and I moved to Berkeley, we again joined a babysitting co-op. The house where Mario Savio (a principal figure in the free speech movement) lived was quite near our own home. I don't think I have ever seen a home in such a mess. I particularly remember that the refrigerator was sorely in need of defrosting. I was glad that I only had to spend one uncomfortable evening in that house, but it was interesting to meet Mario Savio in person.