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J Waddy Bullion


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With the release of books and other material regarding E. Howard Hunt and his confessions as well as St John Hunt's even more controversial account of the assassination intrigues, interest in Lyndon Johnson has been rekindled, which may be an understatement, as some have never lost interest in what possible involvement the Vice President under John F Kennedy actually had. In one of the more unusual books written about a person close to a historical figure who figures prominently in the era of Camelot, the book In the Boat with LBJ is neither an opus to the legacy of Lyndon Johnson, nor a sour grapes diatribe written with partiality against the person being written about, both types of books are typical in my experience of persons associated one way or another with the era of John F. Kennedy.

The book entitled In The Boat with LBJ is written by the son of J Waddy Bullion, John L. Bullion. To say that no topic is left off the table would be an accurate analysis of the style of the book, topics discussed in considerable detail include the first conversation between one of LBJ's attorney's, Bullion after the assassination, and the unsuccessful attempt to reach J Waddy Bullion the day of the assassination by LBJ.

There are in depth accounts of the family's relationship with the Johnson's as well as a in depth analysis of the hunting trips that both John and Robert Kennedy made to the LBJ ranch, as well as a very detailed analysis of the Johnson Trust which was formed to divest the family of assets which would be a conflict of interest while holding the office of President.

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In the Boat with LBJ

Book Review By Steve Labinski

In the Boat with LBJ

LBJ insisted his circle of friends to be dedicated, loyal and hard-working to the point of extremes. LBJ's biographer's cannot help discuss this when reviewing his life and political practices. This is also the main theme of John L. Bullion's new 363-page memoir on our nation's 36th President. Note that In the Boat with LBJ is not a biography - it is a memoir. If you are looking for a more historical, broader treatment, try the biographical series from Robert Caro. But reading this memoir is interesting, because you see some inside verification and fleshing out of stories which are omitted from the larger biographies.

The author's father, J. Waddy Bullion, worked in LBJ's inner circle as one of his tax attorney's for many years. Bullion was also one of the trustees of Johnson's blind trust. Apparently, folks who worked for Johnson didn't just work for the man. Johnson utilized his own power and personal magnetism to stretch the limits of this relationship to get a product that goes beyond a common working relationship. Bullion uses the experiences of his father, plus other associates to build on this theme throughout the book.

A lot of the stories in the book are related by the author through stories told to him over the years by his own parents. For someone looking for a more scholarly treatment of subjects, this is definitely a recurring problem with the book. Many of the stories are hear-say, related through a second or third generation speaker. Many of Bullion's stories are related by word from family and friends with the attitude that naturally they must be true.

However, this all turns to the book's advantage. It fills the 363-page book with a wide assortment of topics and stories, many of which readers of the President have never before heard. Buillion recounts how he first met LBJ very briefly when the senator was making a whistle-stop tour through West Texas. The youngster, who was taken to the event by his uncle, who personally knew LBJ, was in awe. Buillion then proceeds to relate colorful stories of Lyndon Johnson's friends in the area, and how growing up in West Texas during the Great Depression shaped their characters.

Once again, I think these conclusions are subjective leaps, however, Bullion's close stories with his personal knowledge of LBJ and the figures of the time do make for an interesting case.

What was Johnson's attitude towards his ethnic hired help? Was he a moral man? What was LBJ's business interests all about anyway? Bullion covers these and many other topics. We see a lot of personal stories involving familiar associates of Johnson, including John Connally, A. W. Moursand and Walter Jenkins. However, the meat of the book involves LBJ and his relationship, both positive and negative with the Bullion family.

The theme of the book is that everyone in LBJ's circle of employees were in the boat with the man. This boat was captained by LBJ, and everyone in it was expected to follow the captain's instructions to the letter. Bullion relates many stories of LBJ's famous demanding expectations of his employees.

The product is a memoir full of many personal stories, and an insight that one cannot get from a straight-forward biography. Bullion focuses largely on the Texas aspect of the man, as opposed to the White House side of his life. For example, we glimpse Johnson's business relations in Austin. We meet some of LBJ's family. The book includes many photographs, some from the LBJ Library, but many from his own family's personal collection.

The major focus of the Johnson family's investments was the Texas Broadcasting Corporation, the corporation they established that owned and operated their radio and television stations in Austin and controlled the shares they held in other stations elsewhere in Texas. Dad did not advise them on these purchases. During the 1950s, he had little expertise in communications and almost no contacts within that burgeoning Texas industry. Besides, the Johnsons had already found an advisor with both advantages -- Don Thomas, a senior partner in the Austin law firm of Clark, Thomas.

LBJ began consulting with Thomas at the beginning of the fifties, which meant he was a comparative Johnny-come lately on the boat. No matter, his amazing string of unbroken successes in predicting which way the communications market would go recommended him to the Johnsons. He advised them on their heavy investments in the industry and swiftly established himself as the person who knew the most about the family's private business interests. My father enjoyed working with Don immensely. He was highly intelligent, exceptionally well informed, quick to grasp the essentials of a problem, and imaginative in finding solutions to it. At times, such people can be difficult colleagues to work with. Don Thomas was the rare soul who complimented first-rate professional abilities with a pleasant, quiet, self-effacing personality. If he had a passion, it was his determination to remain behind the scenes and out of the public's eye. Others could take the bows; Thomas's satisfaction came from knowing that those who he respected admired his brilliance.

To Dad, he was the ideal teammate. For Lyndon Johnson, he became the rarest of birds, a personal friend. "No one," Dad told me recently, "was closer personally than Don to LBJ, except, of course, Lady Bird." Then he looked directly at me, and repeated with an intense emphasis: "No one."

http://texana.texascooking.com/books/lbjboat.htm

http://books.google.com/books?id=IcMFAAAACAAJ&dq=

As a researcher of many years, I am very concerned that LBJ will become the politically correct figure of "Who Killed JFK" lore, but at the same time facts are facts and I am certainly not a defender of anyone in terms of the myriad of associations and suspects in the ersatz Crime of the 20th Century. I would say that in its own way this book is an essential account of LBJ, especially in light of problems relating to the LBJ tapes such as the 14 1/2 minutes missing LBJ archive tape which is probably only known to a segment of researchers, hopefully on the latter, I am mistaken...Robert

Edited by Robert Howard
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With the release of books and other material regarding E. Howard Hunt and his confessions as well as St John Hunt's even more controversial account of the assassination intrigues, interest in Lyndon Johnson has been rekindled, which may be an understatement, as some have never lost interest in what possible involvement the Vice President under John F Kennedy actually had. In one of the more unusual books written about a person close to a historical figure who figures prominently in the era of Camelot, the book In the Boat with LBJ is neither an opus to the legacy of Lyndon Johnson, nor a sour grapes diatribe written with partiality against the person being written about, both types of books are typical in my experience of persons associated one way or another with the era of John F. Kennedy.

The book entitled In The Boat with LBJ is written by the son of J Waddy Bullion, John L. Bullion. To say that no topic is left off the table would be an accurate analysis of the style of the book, topics discussed in considerable detail include the first conversation between one of LBJ's attorney's, Bullion after the assassination, and the unsuccessful attempt to reach J Waddy Bullion the day of the assassination by LBJ.

There are in depth accounts of the family's relationship with the Johnson's as well as a in depth analysis of the hunting trips that both John and Robert Kennedy made to the LBJ ranch, as well as a very detailed analysis of the Johnson Trust which was formed to divest the family of assets which would be a conflict of interest while holding the office of President.

more......

In the Boat with LBJ

Book Review By Steve Labinski

In the Boat with LBJ

LBJ insisted his circle of friends to be dedicated, loyal and hard-working to the point of extremes. LBJ's biographer's cannot help discuss this when reviewing his life and political practices. This is also the main theme of John L. Bullion's new 363-page memoir on our nation's 36th President. Note that In the Boat with LBJ is not a biography - it is a memoir. If you are looking for a more historical, broader treatment, try the biographical series from Robert Caro. But reading this memoir is interesting, because you see some inside verification and fleshing out of stories which are omitted from the larger biographies.

The author's father, J. Waddy Bullion, worked in LBJ's inner circle as one of his tax attorney's for many years. Bullion was also one of the trustees of Johnson's blind trust. Apparently, folks who worked for Johnson didn't just work for the man. Johnson utilized his own power and personal magnetism to stretch the limits of this relationship to get a product that goes beyond a common working relationship. Bullion uses the experiences of his father, plus other associates to build on this theme throughout the book.

A lot of the stories in the book are related by the author through stories told to him over the years by his own parents. For someone looking for a more scholarly treatment of subjects, this is definitely a recurring problem with the book. Many of the stories are hear-say, related through a second or third generation speaker. Many of Bullion's stories are related by word from family and friends with the attitude that naturally they must be true.

However, this all turns to the book's advantage. It fills the 363-page book with a wide assortment of topics and stories, many of which readers of the President have never before heard. Buillion recounts how he first met LBJ very briefly when the senator was making a whistle-stop tour through West Texas. The youngster, who was taken to the event by his uncle, who personally knew LBJ, was in awe. Buillion then proceeds to relate colorful stories of Lyndon Johnson's friends in the area, and how growing up in West Texas during the Great Depression shaped their characters.

Once again, I think these conclusions are subjective leaps, however, Bullion's close stories with his personal knowledge of LBJ and the figures of the time do make for an interesting case.

What was Johnson's attitude towards his ethnic hired help? Was he a moral man? What was LBJ's business interests all about anyway? Bullion covers these and many other topics. We see a lot of personal stories involving familiar associates of Johnson, including John Connally, A. W. Moursand and Walter Jenkins. However, the meat of the book involves LBJ and his relationship, both positive and negative with the Bullion family.

The theme of the book is that everyone in LBJ's circle of employees were in the boat with the man. This boat was captained by LBJ, and everyone in it was expected to follow the captain's instructions to the letter. Bullion relates many stories of LBJ's famous demanding expectations of his employees.

The product is a memoir full of many personal stories, and an insight that one cannot get from a straight-forward biography. Bullion focuses largely on the Texas aspect of the man, as opposed to the White House side of his life. For example, we glimpse Johnson's business relations in Austin. We meet some of LBJ's family. The book includes many photographs, some from the LBJ Library, but many from his own family's personal collection.

The major focus of the Johnson family's investments was the Texas Broadcasting Corporation, the corporation they established that owned and operated their radio and television stations in Austin and controlled the shares they held in other stations elsewhere in Texas. Dad did not advise them on these purchases. During the 1950s, he had little expertise in communications and almost no contacts within that burgeoning Texas industry. Besides, the Johnsons had already found an advisor with both advantages -- Don Thomas, a senior partner in the Austin law firm of Clark, Thomas.

LBJ began consulting with Thomas at the beginning of the fifties, which meant he was a comparative Johnny-come lately on the boat. No matter, his amazing string of unbroken successes in predicting which way the communications market would go recommended him to the Johnsons. He advised them on their heavy investments in the industry and swiftly established himself as the person who knew the most about the family's private business interests. My father enjoyed working with Don immensely. He was highly intelligent, exceptionally well informed, quick to grasp the essentials of a problem, and imaginative in finding solutions to it. At times, such people can be difficult colleagues to work with. Don Thomas was the rare soul who complimented first-rate professional abilities with a pleasant, quiet, self-effacing personality. If he had a passion, it was his determination to remain behind the scenes and out of the public's eye. Others could take the bows; Thomas's satisfaction came from knowing that those who he respected admired his brilliance.

To Dad, he was the ideal teammate. For Lyndon Johnson, he became the rarest of birds, a personal friend. "No one," Dad told me recently, "was closer personally than Don to LBJ, except, of course, Lady Bird." Then he looked directly at me, and repeated with an intense emphasis: "No one."

http://texana.texascooking.com/books/lbjboat.htm

http://books.google.com/books?id=IcMFAAAACAAJ&dq=

As a researcher of many years, I am very concerned that LBJ will become the politically correct figure of "Who Killed JFK" lore, but at the same time facts are facts and I am certainly not a defender of anyone in terms of the myriad of associations and suspects in the ersatz Crime of the 20th Century. I would say that in its own way this book is an essential account of LBJ, especially in light of problems relating to the LBJ tapes such as the 14 1/2 minutes missing LBJ archive tape which is probably only known to a segment of researchers, hopefully on the latter, I am mistaken...Robert

Sounds to me as if this is a work which could possibly make some much needed corrections in history in regards to what LBJ actually was, as a person.

Perhaps someone should make a TV movie and force all who profess to be an "American" watch it.

(in lieu of football games/etc:)

Is there any mention of the SS Agents detailed to LBJ's protection after he retired to Texas?

The one to whom I spoke years ago indicated that virtually all who had to deal with LBJ, absolutlely despised him.

He stated that were LBJ to have ever been assassinated during this period, the first suspects should be the SS assigned to his protection.

Nevertheless, I have no impressions that LBJ had anything whatsoever to do with the actual assassination.

His dubious role in history does however include the establishment of the WC in order to foster the lie which they perpetrated on the world in regards to "THE SHOT THAT MISSED".

The entire population of the civilized world should make a pilgrimage to the grave of LBJ, and thereafter relieve themselves (in both means) upon it.

And even with this, there would exist a larger pile os S**T underground than exists on top of the ground.

LBJ's photo would serve as an excellent "Poster Boy" as to why a capitalistic society appears as a failure.

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Yea, Thom, Lbj had nothing whatsoever to do with the assassination other than the fact that when he took the VP job he knew the odds were in his favor (5-1) that JFK would die in office, and that he could improve those odds, and took over the reigns of power the moment JFK's head exploded.

And Robert, does the book say anything about the phone call LBJ made to JWB from AF1?

Thanks,

BK

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Yea, Thom, Lbj had nothing whatsoever to do with the assassination other than the fact that when he took the VP job he knew the odds were in his favor (5-1) that JFK would die in office, and that he could improve those odds, and took over the reigns of power the moment JFK's head exploded.

And Robert, does the book say anything about the phone call LBJ made to JWB from AF1?

Thanks,

BK

I am including the LBJ Phone call transcripts log of November 22, 1963 here to try to factually corroborate the information about the phone call of November 22, 1963.

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/...amp;relPageId=4

As far as I can tell the period between 12:30 PM and 4:OO PM is not included.

No doubt the phone call in question is the phone call placed from AF1 before LBJ flew back to Washington.

John Bullion, J Waddy "Tom" Bullion's son, was a student at Stanford University on the day of the assassination, [he was about 19 in 1963.*] J. Waddy Tom Bullion was estranged from his wife on 11/22/63 and had been for four years, but by a quirk of fate the two had lunch together that day. According to his son, his father never spoke to J Waddy Bullion that day. According to the account by his son, LBJ phoned J Waddy Bullion's law office and was unable to reach him, and consequently Bullion's secretary phoned his ex-wife out of sheer desperation. According to John Bullion, the reason LBJ wanted to speak with one of his attorneys was to get his opinion as to whether he should be sworn in immediately or wait until returning to Washington. The conversation a few days later was concerning divestiture of assets that would be a conflict of interest with being President of the United States.

There are some very surprising facts about the relationship, that may be difficult to accept for people with preconceived

beliefs about the assassination. J Waddy Bullion, according to his son, did not accept money for his services to LBJ as an attorney, although difficult to accept, it becomes less difficult to believe if you accept his son's premise that his father was a very independent person, and did not relish the idea of, in effect, being owned by LBJ.

To illustrate the point, which I tend to accept, the author describes a scene where Jake Jacobsen, who was Jewish, was more or less compelled by LBJ to kiss Pope Paul IV's ring, during LBJ's presidency. There is even a photo of this incident in the book. I do not see how anyone can accept this incident as anything other than mean-spirited at best. Another shocker in my estimation, was that LBJ did not, according to John Bullion, have any investments in the oil and gas industry. [unless, apparently his family was unaware of this.] Their investments were in land and media, and did not do too shabby at that.

The Bullion family apparently had no illusions about LBJ, Tom Bullion's wife plainly did not like LBJ at all, as did John Bullion the son, there were at least two other attorneys that worked for LBJ in this era, Carolyn Agger and Sheldon Cohen. Carolyn Agger was married to Abe Fortas, and the two of them were based in Washington, D.C.

Incidentally, Harry Ransom's name pops up a couple of times, as well as Colonel Jim Cross, the latter appears as a post-Presidency figure.

* about the Author, unmarked page In The Boat With LBJ

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