We officially launched our book last evening in Austin. Many friends joined us, and we enjoyed talking about the book and singing copies. Thanks to all who came and especially to our hosts, the LBJ Library and Museum and our publisher, the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History.
Saralee, Diana, and I have been friends for more than forty years, going back to the time when I was managing editor of the Houston Post and Saralee was covering NASA for the Houston Chronicle.
All of us have been writers and editors most of our adult lives. There is a natural tension between writers and editors. Molly Ivins used to say that the most primal human urge is not sex or fear of hunger or hate, but the urge to mess with someone else’s writing. But it worked out all right. We’re all pretty good editors and Saralee writes almost as well as I do!
Of course, there have been bumps in the road. Surprising as it may seem, sometimes Saralee’s memory has differed from mine. The worst part of it is that when we discuss one of these instances, I usually end up saying, “Hmm..you may have a point there.”
Saralee and I have been colleagues for about fifteen of those forty years. We have worked together at the Capitol, the LBJ School, and the University of Houston. In her spare time she has been deputy commissioner of the General Land Office and of the Department of Health and Human Services. She has also worked at the Austin Chamber of Commerce and the Texas Public Utilities Commission.
The good news is that she has finally landed a steady job as communications director of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at the University of Texas in Austin.
We have been writing this book for five or six years. In describing the experience, even we cannot improve on our fellow author Winston Churchill, who put it this way:
“Writing a book is an adventure. First it is a toy, then an amusement, then a mistress, then a master, then a monster. Then, just when you are about reconciled to your servitude, you kill the beast and fling it to the public.”
Now, ladies and gentlemen, it’s all yours!