What an exciting week. And I’m pooped – just can’t get going today at all. I skipped church, ate Chip hamburgers for dinner, and still didn’t get anywhere with the six sets of papers in my book satchel begging to be graded. Six weeks end tomorrow, and I am sadly behind. At times like this I wish I were unconscientious. But when I do get desperate and hand back papers with only a grade and no comments, my children look at me with such disappointment that I haven’t the heart to do it again. After all, they deserve to feel important.
We decided at the last minute to go to Raleigh North Carolina North Carolina Washington
We left after school and arrived in Raleigh around 6:30, but after we had parked in some secluded spot on that confusing campus, it took us some time to hike to the coliseum, and the doors were shut in our faces just as we got up to them. Jim burst into tears, but Mary and I were determined. We saw some uniformed men putting up a rope around a parking area, and we were the first ones to grab it, and we didn’t move for anyone. A crowd began to gather around us. We stood for three hours in the rain, and cold, and almost froze to the rope. I thought I was going to catch pneumonia. Finally, we heard the welcome sound of sirens, and the big limousines began to pull right in front of us. The last vehicle to arrive was a bus marked V.I.P; we spotted Terry Sanford’s mother, Mrs. Cecil Sanford, from Laurinburg as she stepped off the bus. I said to Jim, “Slide under the rope and follow that woman. I’ll find you eventually.” Luckily the rope slacked enough for me to step over it, and I ran and caught up with what turned out to be the gubernatorial party. When a secret service man stopped me at the second door, I announced confidently and blithely, “Part of the Sanford
Jim and I were inside the inner ribbons right at the foot of the platform, where we could watch every expression on the first family’s faces.
In fact, when President Johnson made the remark, beginning, “I’m freer than when I was the age of that little boy right there,” he pointed at Jim. You should have seen that child’s face; it was electrified.
Mary and Tes stood at the back of the platform where they could hear but couldn’t see too well. Mary told Tes to reach up to the platform and grab cousin Luther Hodges by his coattails and tell him who she was. She did, and he motioned to her to stand at the bottom of the steps where the party would descend the platform and she could shake hands with everybody. So she and Mary got to shake hands with LBJ, Linda Bird, and Lady Bird. Tes said everybody grabbed at the President’s hand and pushed hers out of the way, so she finally grabbed his watch and swung on.
Lady Bird is much more attractive than I had thought, except for that horrible nose she is almost pretty. I don’t know why Linda Bird isn’t pretty, for she has a gorgeous complexion and lovely eyes. She gave a good talk.
It was an experience those kids will never forget.