The First Lady toured New England last week, and if one assumes that a chair lift ride to the top of Mt. Mansfield was instructional for Lady Bird Johnson and her trusty Secret Service man (below), one should hear what an education she received the next day simply by having her dinner in Maine. Mrs. Johnson went to a clambake. She was invited to examine the Atlantic Ocean and some lobstermen pulling lobster traps out of it. She learned how a trap is opened, how it is baited, how often it is pulled, what the buoys mean and what a good lobster catch is. The preparation of a clambake was explained to her in infinite detail. Printed instructions for the consumption of a lobster lay by her plate. Verbal instructions were offered by Clambake Master William Foster and, finally, physical assistance was provided by Actor Gary Merrill, who got behind her and worked with both arms around her neck. If the next New Englander who turns up for a barbecue at the Johnson ranch is driven 200 miles to the back pasture before dinner and told, "This is a cow," who could blame Lady Bird?
The Cleveland Browns are due to go into training shortly and there has been some concern about Quarterback Frank Ryan, who is recovering from surgery on his throwing arm. Well, the Browns' management can now worry about the passing attack at group rates. Gary Collins was cooking up a batch of french fries last week when the oil went up in flames: the Browns' top receiver is not going to be receiving even wobbly Ryan passes for a while.
"After I got the hang of it, it wasn't so bad," said Heisman Trophy winner Steve Spurrier last week. "Minnie made it real easy." "Minnie" is that diva of country music, Minnie Pearl, and what she helped Spurrier through was a country music show in Tampa before an audience of 2,500 people. After one false start Steve settled nicely into his solo rendition of Chug-a-Lug, Chug-a-Lug, Minnie joined him for Git Along, Cindy, and honored him with a solo of her own, Have I Told You Lately That I Love You? after which the two of them led a sing-along attack on You Are My Sunshine. "It was a characteristic performance by Spurrier," said Tom McEwen, sports editor of The Tampa Tribune. Minnie Pearl was less restrained. "The sweetest man I ever saw," she said. "From time to time I have dealt with athletes. Most of them are cute and nice. Steve Spurrier is cute and nice and has aplomb."
As Father's Day approaches, let us consider Mrs. D. Harold Byrd of Dallas, a woman who can deal firmly with the problem of the one exquisite gift for the man who has everything. Mr. Byrd, oil millionaire, self-appointed No. 1 booster of the Texas Longhorns and one of the former owners of the old Dallas Texans, shot a lion in Zambia not too long ago. It was a perfectly good lion in all but one respect—its hairline was receding—but, balding or not, it was Mr. Byrd's lion, and he had it mounted. Shortly after it was delivered, Mr. Byrd went out of town on business and Mrs. Byrd went to the telephone to call Neiman-Marcus. She asked for someone to come out to the house to measure a lion for a toupee. "A live lion?" Neiman-Marcus is reported to have inquired, presumably so as to know which department would handle the request, and, informed that the lion was deceased, sent along Wig Expert Suzanne Robertson. Miss Robertson and Mrs. Byrd drove to the Dallas zoo, where Miss Robertson sketched lion manes and selected Dynel for the toupee. Back home again, Mrs. Byrd decided upon fishing line and Scotch tape to attach it to the lion. The whole thing was a great success. "When I came home and saw that lion there," Mr. Byrd says, "it was so gorgeous I wanted to kiss it!" A happy story all round, except that it is sad to consider that had the lion had a charge account at Neiman-Marcus it might have cut a far more dashing figure during its last years roaming the plains of Zambia.
Mrs. Clifton Daniel Jr., better known as Margaret Truman, made the last of her three television appearances at New York's Aqueduct track last week. She had been invited to do brief interviews before three of the season's filly races, thus hopefully drawing the attention of American women to horse racing. Mrs. Daniel has admitted modestly that she is not knowledgeable about horse racing, and meant to explore the feminine aspects of the sport, and there were a girlish few moments indeed at the track last Saturday. The interview with the wife of Jockey Bill Boland (right) warmed up with a few preliminary giggles. There was a brief discussion of the Boland children, during which interviewer and interviewee appeared to be on solid ground. But then it was time to talk racing. Mrs. Daniel asked Mrs. Boland if she got out to the track to watch Bill a lot. No, Mrs. Boland said. Giggles. Did Mrs. Boland know how many wins Bill had had this season? No, Mrs. Boland said. Giggles. Helpless and finally infected by it all, Sports Announcer Win Elliot found himself volunteering that Bill Boland was one of the nicest guys he knew. "It's a pleasure being married to him," Mrs. Boland said. Giggles. At one point in these proceedings a small figure passed quickly across the screen in back of the ladies. It was Bill Boland, who was not invited to stop. What on earth would he have to say about horse racing?
The day after Race Driver A. J. Foyt took the Indianapolis 500 in a car he called the Coyote, he presented the Indianapolis Zoo with, what else, a live Texas coyote that has been called, what else, A.J. "I used his name, so I guess it's only fair he uses mine," A.J. said generously, adding, "He's meaner 'n me." Well, no wonder. Texans like to move, and A.J. the coyote has been stuck in a cage all week while A.J. the driver nipped over to France to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans.