Twentieth Century Club meets, hears presentation by 'Lady Bird'
Sep 30, 2013 | 1110 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Courtesy Photo<br>
MARY MURDOCH portrays LADY BIRD JOHNSON.
Courtesy Photo
MARY MURDOCH portrays LADY BIRD JOHNSON.
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Yearbook committee chairman Bridget Fowler and committee members Raye White, Abby Stewart and Bettye Lou Smith greeted Twentieth Century Club members and their guests to the annual Opening Meeting of the club on Sept. 19 at the Gilmer Church of Christ. After being served a refreshing cup of sparkling punch, attendees were seated at round tables colorfully decorated with purple and yellow linens. Mason jars containing a mixture of fall wildflowers and mums were featured in the center of each table.

Mrs. Fowler, mistress of ceremonies, welcomed everyone and called on Merle Cross to offer the invocation. Secretary Ms. Stewart called the roll and members responded by introducing their invited guests. Mrs. White introduced her very special guest, her granddaughter, 2013 Yamboree Queen Karlie White. Karlie expressed her appreciation to club members for allowing her represent the Twentieth Century Club and providing her support during the Queen’s race. A gift was presented to Karlie by the club in appreciation of her representation. President Jean Hamil was called upon to deliver her annual President’s Message. She praised the club for their success during the 2012-2013 and encouraged the same for the 2013-2014 Club year.

At the conclusion of Mrs. Hamil’s message, Mrs. Smith introduced the day’s program presented by Mary Murdoch from Longview. The talented Mrs. Murdoch assumed the persona of Lady Bird Johnson, wife of President Lyndon B. Johnson. In full character, including a hat and suit from the era, Mrs. Murdoch reflected on her life beginning in her early years growing up in Karnack, Texas. As a child she was extremely shy and lonely and explained her dependence on the beauty of nature in lieu of human companionship. She graduated from Marshall High School and continued her education at the University of Texas in Austin where she blossomed socially. Three months after graduation from UT her life took a huge leap when she was introduced to the future president. Lyndon Johnson literally swept her off her feet and they were married four months later.

They spent the next couple of decades bouncing between Washington D.C and Texas and raising two daughters, Lynda Bird and Lucy Baines. Mrs. Johnson wholeheartedly supported her husband by raising campaign funds as well as contributing her own financial assets to his cause. When he was suddenly thrown into the Presidency upon the unexpected death of President John Kennedy, Lady Bird jumped into action making the transition to a new home in the White House. As First Lady, she decided to take on the beautification of the country as her special project. She made it her mission to remove unsightly billboards along highways and clean-up parks and playgrounds. When her husband decided not to run for President for another term, they returned to Texas where she continued her efforts by having millions of wildflowers planted along the highways which continue today as her legacy to her beloved Texas.

Mrs. White thanked Mrs. Murdoch for her entertaining program and announced that the club would be making a donation to the Lady Bird Johnson National Wildlife Center in her honor. Members were served a delightful luncheon plate consisting of chicken salad, broccoli salad, fruit salad, and crackers followed by a dessert of pecan trifle.

Members attending the meeting in addition to those mentioned above were Cal Arnold, Annette Breazeale, Mikie Clark, Merle Cross, Sandy Dean, Betty Finney, Janice Gage, Annette Herrmann, Reta Lewis, Mary Ann Patterson, Rolinda Shipp, Becky Skinner, Jeannie Smith, Melinda Smith, Barbara Williams, and Irma Williams. Invited guests included Shirley Holloway, Kate Bailey, Lynda Phillips, Mari Jo Hollloway, Betty Witzig, Nell Yocum, Muriel Lenhart, Joyce Powell, Nita Coates, Janie Bruns, Stacy Felipe, Elaine Stewart, Margo Carter, Ann Irwin, Jennifer Anderson, Randlyn Holmes, Sue Snider, Lou Lovell, Deana White, Cynthia Duke, Earline Daniels, Cosette Stewart, Betty Parish, Billie Stephenson, Linda Clemons, Nikki Dean, Pam Greenberg, Bonnie Gorman, Patricia Stracener, Gloria Kramer, and Anita Cole.
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