Tuesday, February 2, 2010

President Lyndon Baines Johnson

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Yesterday’s blogflection about the words of wisdom of President Thomas Jefferson and today’s should not be construed as the start of a presidential theme at Pierini Fitness, but merely a random act of coincidence.

Just about every morning, I stop at Starbuck’s on the way to work for a cup of coffee to go. Part of my morning ritual of waiting in line for my turn to order is to glance at the question of the day that is written on a chalk board next to the cash register counter. Answer the question correctly and you get a shot of espresso added to your drink. The questions are challenging and I seldom know the answer, but every now and then I strike gold with a correct answer. Like yesterday morning.

Driving to work with my free shot of espresso swirling around in my cup of coffee, I thought back to a childhood memory associated with this question of the day. It was the afternoon of September 17, 1964 on the playground of St. Francis Elementary School – the school I attended - a mere three blocks from where I currently live and eight blocks from the Starbuck’s where I had purchased my cup of coffee minutes earlier. Then President Lyndon B. Johnson was in Sacramento that day to give a speech at the State Capitol.

Rumor had it that he would be traveling east bound on L Street after leaving the State Capitol and pass our school playground. So the nuns had us all line up on the perimeter of the playground next to chain link fence that separated us from the street. Perhaps, they thought, we would be able to get a glimpse of President Johnson or, better yet, a wave and a smile as he drove past our school.

It turned out that we got that and more.

Something that no president would be allowed to do these days, President Johnson’s limousine stopped at the curb next to our school. He got out and approached the chain link fence to greet us. Some students got to shake his fingers that protruded the chain links of the fence, and one of the nuns actually got his autograph. It seemed like a big blur to me at the time, and had been buried deep in my memory until being resurrected by the Starbuck’s question of the day.

So what was the question and what was the answer?

The question was “What does the “B” stand for in President Lyndon B. Johnson?” With a smile on my face, I told the Starbuck’s employee to leave room in my cup of coffee for my free shot of espresso because I knew the answer to the question of the day.

In answering the question, I cherished my childhood memory of the day I saw President Lyndon Baines Johnson.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum


fishhead said...

Isn't it cool when something jogs an old memory?
Nice to know your brain is still working.

Have a great day :)

Pierini Fitness said...

I have a standard memory question I like to toss at someone who suddenly forgot what they were going to tell me.

I ask them if they remember what they had for breakfast.

Now that I'm back on the intermittent fasting lifestyle cycle, I can answer that question without blinking an eye because the answer is "nothing".