Friday, March 27, 2009

L B J Historical Park.

What a wonderful day we had. About 10: we took off down the road to the Texas White House. You folks who are about our age remember when LBJ became president. This tour more or less takes you through his life. There are 2 parts to the park. When you first arrive at the visitors' center they give you a handful of information and a CD to play while you drive your car. We don't have a CD player in the car, so they gave us a booklet that we didn't use. If you read the signs and the map you know where you are going and what you are seeing.
The first part of the complex is a State Park. You begin with a 25 minute movie in which LBJ and Lady Bird narrate as they take you on a auto tour of the grounds. It was made about 1966 so it's old. Nonetheless, it was quite interesting. The next stop is a working farm. It has chickens, cows, sheep, goats, turkeys, and more. They have a rather large garden where they grow lots of vegetables. They use everything. They make cheese, bake bread, cook all the food they eat, and even make soap. You can go in and out of all the buildings and can see the canned goods such as corn, peaches, beans, cherries, etc. They do everything as they did it back in the 1800's
The state park also offers the things every other state park offers. Swimming, tennis, hiking trails, and picnic areas.
The next part of the day was spent at the LBJ National Historical Park. The Johnsons gave the ranch to be used as a park that is opened to the public. It came with 2 conditions. 1)There is to be no charge for people wanting to visit. 2)It will remain a working ranch. Both of the stipulations are in place. You have to drive carfully because of the cattle roaming free. I believe they said about 700 acres. As you drive you pass by the school house where President Johnson went to school as a child. Then comes the reconstucted house in which he was born. The next stop was the cemetery where many generations of Johnsons are buried, under the old live oak trees in such a beautiful setting. Then you drive past the house where his grandparents lived for the latter years of their lives. Then the map takes you along the border of the ranch up towards the start of the runway and back around till you reach the house itself. No one is allowed inside the house, but in May they will open the living room and the dining room. A Park Ranger takes you on a tour of the grounds and into the Texas Oval Office. While president Johnson spent 25% of his time at the Texas White House. He did most of his entertaining there. There is a little house where the secret service had headquarters while working there. It will also open soon to the public. The doors have been locked since the day Lady Bird died. It will be interesting to see what's inside.
We both enjoyed our day so much. It was much better than I expected. I would recommend a visit to anyone who is in the area. The flowers are now starting to bloom, since we had some rain, and things are greening up and the rivers have some water now. It is really an awsome part of the country. The Beautiful Hill Country. Tomorrow we will be leaving for Abilene. We hear it will be cold and windy there for a couple of days. YUCK. But it sure will be good to see Rick. If we don't like the weather we can go somewhere else. That's what's fun.

No comments: