Thursday, November 11, 2010


While moseying around Texas Hill Country, we bumped into President Lyndon Johnson's Texas home. It was just a sign on the road so we pulled in and visited. No pictures were allowed inside, but outside was a hoot. In fact it was raining the day we were there and rain was kind of a significant factor at the Johnson Ranch. He had built a concrete swale across a  creek to get from his ranch to the main road. During wet weather the swale could be a couple feet under water but did not impede the flow of the creek. During dry weather it was just a dip in the road.
We were there in late January, and water was flowing across the swale but we were not allowed to drive across it as the Johnson family did. When the government acquired the property for a Historical Park and Monument, they built another road to the house. In Johnson's garage with several of the family vehicles were pictures of Johnson driving across the swale
Here Ladybird holds tight to her hat.
 And here, Johnson scares the living daylights out of  newspaper reporters, supposedly one of his favorite sports, according to the docents.
 The park property also includes a neighboring homestead. No electricity there. It is run by the docents in the same way most Hill Country Texans lived, including the Johnson family at one time. A windmill pumped water. Wood stoves were used for cooking and the buildings were logs. Here are young piglets and chickens.
In hot Texas summers, Hill Country folks made use of outdoor kitchens for canning and washing clothes.

Docents make sausages, headcheese and bake bread on a wood stove.

 They preserve fruits and make jellies as in the old days. All without benefit of modern appliances. Its an interesting place to visit. But, I'm glad I have a grocery store down at the corner.
LBJ's country school house has been moved to the site. He and Ladybird are buried here, as well. Their house inside is quite unpretentious. True Texans, down home kind of people. They lived quite simply.

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