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John Hill (Texas politician) – Wikipedia

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  • Summary: Articles about John Hill (Texas politician) – Wikipedia John Luke Hill Jr. (October 9, 1923 – July 9, 2007) was an American lawyer, … Hill died in 2007 after undergoing heart surgery in St. Luke’s Episcopal …

  • Match the search results: Hill died in 2007 after undergoing heart surgery in St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital in Houston. He was survived by his wife of sixty-one years, Bitsy Hill. Their son, John Graham Hill, and son-in-law, Michael Warren Perrin (born ca. 1948 and the husband of daughter Melinda), are trial attorneys in Hou…

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John Hill Obituary (2007) – Austin American-Statesman

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  • Summary: Articles about John Hill Obituary (2007) – Austin American-Statesman John Hill, a former Texas attorney general, state Supreme Court chief … in May 1968 near Dawson, between Houston and Dallas, left 85 dead.

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Former Texas Chief Justice John Hill dies – Chron

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  • Summary: Articles about Former Texas Chief Justice John Hill dies – Chron AUSTIN — Former Texas Supreme Court chief justice and one-time Democratic nominee for governor John Luke Hill Jr., 83, died at 9:45 a.m. …

  • Match the search results: Hill replaced Crawford Martin in the job. Several years earlier, Hill had represented Martin in a lawsuit and won him a $250,000 award.

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Dallas woman celebrates 105 years of wisdom – WFAA

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  • Summary: Articles about Dallas woman celebrates 105 years of wisdom – WFAA Mary John Hill says the secret in her longevity is getting eight hours of sleep and eating three meals a day.

  • Match the search results: Two months ago Hill received the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. Svehlak has planned a day of activities to celebrate her mother. The two will have lunch with friends at Al Biernats and cake will follow at Hill’s condo.

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The Governor’s New Clothes – Texas Monthly

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  • Summary: Articles about The Governor’s New Clothes – Texas Monthly That, of course, is an unlikely quality for a politician. … John Hill, Clements’s opponent, was quiet and sophisticated. … He was almost gracious.

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The Tragedy of Bob Bullock – Texas Monthly

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  • Summary: Articles about The Tragedy of Bob Bullock – Texas Monthly He had been a political hanger-on for almost two decades—as a legislator, … attorney general John Hill, and land commissioner Bob Armstrong were all new …

  • Match the search results: The real reason for helping Briscoe was to dispose of John Hill, who was already in the 1978 governor’s race. Bullock had acquired a personal distaste for Hill, whose lack of support had probably squelched Bullock’s hope of challenging Briscoe for control of the state Democratic party in…

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The Texas Tribune

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  • Summary: Articles about The Texas Tribune The Texas Tribune covers politics and a range of policy issues that affect all Texans. Those topics include public and higher education, health and human …

  • Match the search results: The Texas Tribune is using data from the Texas Department of State Health Services to track coronavirus hospitalizations, vaccinations, cases and deaths. Full Story 

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QAnon supporters gather in downtown Dallas expecting JFK …

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Hunt vs. Hunt: The Fight Inside Dallas’ Wealthiest Family – D …

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  • Summary: Articles about Hunt vs. Hunt: The Fight Inside Dallas’ Wealthiest Family – D … The Hunt family is one of the richest and most private families in Dallas. … St. Mark’s School of Texas, the John G. Tower Center for Political Studies at …

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Texas Post World War II

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  • Summary: Articles about Texas Post World War II Two-party politics emerged as the state’s electorate turned from a near … than 20 percent of the population of such cities as Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, …

  • Match the search results: Brian D. Behnken, Fighting Their Own Battles: Mexican Americans, African Americans, and the Struggle for Civil Rights in Texas (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2011). Walter L. Buenger and Robert A. Calvert, eds., Texas Through Time: Evolving Interpretations (College Stati…

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Blood and Money: Thompson, Thomas – Amazon.com

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  • Summary: Articles about Blood and Money: Thompson, Thomas – Amazon.com For in 1972, having been charged by his father-in-law with Joan’s death and having survived a mistrial, John Hill himself was killed, supposedly by a robber …

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University of North Carolina – John H. Wheeler (John Hill …

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  • Summary: Articles about University of North Carolina – John H. Wheeler (John Hill … John Kerr, his sufferings at the hands of political opponents, and his release … in Grimes county, Texas, where they died and were buried on the same day.

  • Match the search results:         His son was born in Murfreesboro, in September 24, 1812; here his early education was conducted at the Hertford Academy. After graduating at Yale College in 1834, he studied law at the Yale Law School, and returned to his home to practice. He soon rose…

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Kennedy family’s long list of tragedies continues with … – CNN

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  • Summary: Articles about Kennedy family’s long list of tragedies continues with … – CNN The death of Robert F. Kennedy’s granddaughter adds to a series of tragedies that have befallen America’s prominent political dynasty for …

  • Match the search results: (CNN)The death of Robert F. Kennedy’s granddaughter adds to a series of tragedies that have befallen America’s prominent political dynasty for generations.

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Multi-read content john hill politician dallas texas almost died

This story is fromTexas Monthlyrepository of . We have left it as originally published with no update to maintain a clear historical record.

I’m a crazy guy,” said Bill Clements. “I am a flame of a man of friction. I don’t want to give up. I am why and so I am a man. “

The governor patted my knee hard, then settled back in his airplane seat and fixed me with a mischievous, smug look.

“You know,” he continued, “when you grow up during the depression, your impressions of that time can’t be erased. I don’t know anyone who went through the so-called Great Recession without getting a tattoo. But regardless of the circumstances, you have to keep a sense of humor and perspective.”

Clements leaned forward again. “Nothing,” he said, “was so bad that it couldn’t get any worse. Or better. Think about it.”

He stared at me again, as if to make sure I was really thinking about the maxim he had just thought of. I look back because the Texas governor was a man whose presence had to be painful lest it come across as a lover.

His eyes are a flat and institutional gray, and they don’t reveal “where or how” he was tattooed. The rest of his look, as the clothing label says, “does not contain any trims”. He wore a colorless sports jacket not much enlivened by a Texas flag pin, and his face had the rigid features of a bird of prey.

I’ve been thinking about Bill Clements lately. During moments of brain activity during downtime, when my mind drifts to sleep, I see images of the Texas governor. This suggests to me that the man is using somewhat primitive circuitry. It wasn’t just his stunning beauty that kept him in my mind, but also the nagging impression that he was real, that he belonged to that small group of people who never dressed up.

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That is of course not the quality of a politician. From my first meeting with him, I knew Clements was alert and ambitious, but what I found fascinating about him was the way he didn’t bother to build a facade to hide his features. I wanted to watch him work, to see if he could get through the boring, insensitive moments of the governor’s daily rounds without losing his rudimentary edge. I realized that the only way to understand Bill Clements was to see him in action.

What strikes you about Bill Clements and what he wants you to know is that he is an entrepreneur. For him, the world revolved smoothly around the principles of free enterprise, and he stood firmly on the pivot. From there, everything can be recorded, understood and operated.

The main thing that made Clements successful is Sedco, one of the largest drill rig companies in the world, which he founded in 1947 and handed management over to his son Gil. Von Sedco Clements was lavishly wealthy, and there was no doubt that wealth suited him. You can’t see his wild confidence without realizing that he’s a self-made man who has wholeheartedly approved of his creation.

We sat in a row of swivel seats in the back of a Grumman jet that the Texans had provided for the governor. Clements and his wife Rita fly to Corpus Christi to host a gala dinner at the Town Club, one of a series of such events to raise money for the restoration of the governor’s mansion. After the election, they found the mansion uninhabitable, riddled with cracks and peeling wallpaper, furnished with random antiques, and outfitted with no fewer than nine useless fireplaces.

It was Rita Clements who spearheaded the mansion’s restoration efforts. The governor took note of this fact and later offered to sell the project for the long term, stating that “this old mansion on the hill is a wonderful reservoir for all that is Texas.” As he spoke, his wife looked out the window at the night sky. She wears a mink coat and a large, unwieldy necklace. The governor’s lavish demeanor threw her wildlife sanctuary into a conspicuous reserve and left her looking serene.

“If we move in,” Clements said, “God willing, the Governor’s Mansion will be undergoing a $3 million renovation by June or July this summer. It will have 1850’s furniture, pine floors, a working fireplace and a place all Texans can be proud of.”

“Darling,” said his wife, “don’t you need a change?”

The governor excused himself and went to the back of the plane, only to reappear moments later in a suit. He doesn’t look transformed.

“You have to help me, honey,” he said, handing his wife a bow with a large rubber band. “The only thing I can’t do,” he explained as he was forced to turn in that direction and toward his wife, “is tying my tie.”

When Clements sat down again, I asked him about his library, which I had heard was one of the richest private collections in Texas history.

“I think I was first interested in the history of my mother’s breast,” he says. “Some of the first money I made working on the South Texas oil rigs went into these books. Those were some of Dobie’s first books. I think he writes thisYellow Yaquireset later. I have a very comprehensive set of books on Sam Houston. There may have been seventy-five or eighty books written about Houston. ”

Clements’s speech was short and forceful, and not particularly fluid. He has a front-line feedback system that’s readily available, but other than that it seems like individual words are pulled like a heavy machine from an archive, a wonderful storehouse deep in his brain. When waiting for his next words, he sometimes holds his hands in front of his chest in a boxer-like gesture.

“Houston is my favorite character,” continued Clements, “in terms of Texas. He is a very meticulous, complex person. It’s no coincidence that Kennedy brought Sam Houston with himProfile in Brave.Houston set a precedent for us. He ran for governor and was elected for one reason: to preserve the Union. He never believed in secession. The rights of nations, yes. separation, no. ”

“What did he tear up and throw in the chimney?” asked his wife.

“Oh, I forgot, Rita. But this is a documentary. He tore up some documents and threw them in the fireplace.”

BILLIONThe governor’s plane landed at Corpus Christi Airport half an hour later than scheduled. The night was terribly cold, but with two DPS cars parked ten yards down the ramp, our experience of it was brief.

“The Town Club,” Clements mused as his car sped away. “Isn’t that the successor to the old dragon grill?”

“Yes sir,” said the Texas Ranger behind the wheel. “Definitive.”

“So what. The old Dragon Grill, Rita, is CHEAP

Clements is very emotional about this country; it was the scene of his youth. He told me that he had moved to south Texas from his home in Dallas in 1934, shortly after graduating from high school. He is seventeen years old. He was offered several football scholarships, but at the time his family was in dire need of an income. During Clements’ childhood, the financial turmoil of his father, who was involved in farming and ranching, became chronic, and now, in the midst of the Depression, the crisis is severe. Clements worked the oil field for fifteen months, spending half his salary on living expenses and sending the rest home. When his father found a job managing a ranch outside of Dallas, Clements returned home and spent two and a half years studying engineering at SMU before he “itched” and returned to the oilfields full-time without issue.

“Back then,” he explains, “you could earn more money with an oil rig than as a lawyer or qualified engineer. Rita, do you know what an engineer got back then? ”

“I don’t know. Two hundred a month?”

“Nonsense! It’s a hundred and ten. But you can go to the oil fields and work the rig and make three hundred a month.

“To the oil fields.”

“I was in the oil fields. I live in Sinton, Robstown, Bishop, Inez. I’ve lived all over this country. Just a young man fresh out of high school. I went where the rig went. I live in the bakery on a dollar a day, lodging. I ate them outside and at home. They prepare you a lunch of two sandwiches, an onion and an apple, then come in the evening and enjoy the fried chicken steak. “

The governor paused for a moment, then continued in a low, distracted voice. “And I’ve never felt alone,” he said, “and I’ve never worried.”

At Town Club the atmosphere is very warm and fun. There were a few reporters down the hall, interviewing Clements about a key Senate campaign and the impact on the poor of the President’s proposed budget cuts. The governor said he believed his candidate would win and that Reagan had firm sympathies for the less fortunate.

“Well, y’all aren’t allowed to question the governor,” one woman scolded. “He must be in a receiving line.”

Repeatedly, the governor chased away reporters and took an elevator up to a room where a syndicate was playing “Golden Bird” and waiters in red coats stood casually holding trays of cheese. The reception was more or less a formality, since the governor knew many of these people well. They were his kind of people, and they weren’t without money.

“Hi Richard,” he said then, “Nice to meet you. Hello Alice, nice to meet youFriend.”

The governor was wary, even suspicious, of strangers. He had a way of turning ordinary imagery into subtle eye contact. He shakes hands a beat or two longer than necessary while giving his opponent a sly, appraising look. But there’s also the tiniest joke on Clements’ face, a hint that you’re drawn to his confidence while also having the size of the item. It’s an old management technique, a kind of brief hypnosis. The governor’s first impressions were so intense and vague that confused ordinary citizens could not help but feel somewhat under his authority.

It’s fascinating to watch this continued dominance. It is not a mastery based on grace or natural presence. It’s a battle to be won, a position to be defended at any moment. “I’m not the governor of the Republican Party,” he said, repeatedly patting a man on the chest, “I’m governor becauseall of texas! “He was always attacking, moving forward, keeping his head high to make up for the lack of height and keeping his feet stable.

But most of these people were not strangers, and the governor was very comfortable with them. I think it’s no coincidence that his personal history is connected to the people of this room and that his politics speaks to their needs. Clements is an extremely pragmatic person and money is the most pragmatic and visible metric. He knows how to read people with money. The rich are observable, but the poor are incomprehensible and ambiguous.

Clements, standing in the front row with his wife, displayed none of the detachment of an ordinary politician. He’s not an unlikely governor, not only because he’s the first Republican to hold the office since Reconstruction, but because it’s all too easy that he’s an ordinary man, just business, a man you wouldn’t believe that he may obey the diluted power. and the permanent supervision of public office.

Clements has long been a major financial contributor to Republican national politics. In 1968 and again in 1970 he was offered to run as a Republican for governor of Texas, but the idea did not occur to him until much later, after he was elected. It was essentially a bureau chief position that involved day-to-day operations of the Pentagon, but it gave Clements a thorough, top-secret background in the nation’s defense that left him vulnerable, appalled by Jimmy Carter’s politics. Clements was convinced that a Republican search for governor “is not an impossible task. It’s a missionpossible. ‘ he asked John Connally, George Bush, Anne Armstrong. Nobody wants to take the quest. Then one evening in the fall of 1977, after an intense discussion with his wife, he decided to do it himself.

Clements spent nearly an hour mingling with the town club patrons, then seats were chosen and God called. “May,” was the request, “that we may be grateful stewards of Your wondrous gifts.”

After dinner, the governor and his wife were introduced and each spent a few minutes discussing the importance of the restoration project. A villa pavilion was on display in one corner of the room, and at each location was an elegant booklet containing a stamped envelope for guests to place their mortgage bonds.

“After we spent seven million dollars to elect him,” Rita Clements said, “and we walked into the mansion and the walls were cracked and the paint was peeling, I was like, ‘God, I’m leaving the house in Dallas. Therefore? ‘”

There’s no way of predicting what the final commit cards will read, but the evening was clearly a success. “Well,” said Bill Clements in the car on the way back to the airport, “there are a lot of good people out there tonight. It’s fun that these origins go back as far as you can remember. If you really want to know something about me, you should talk to such people. You should go back to them and ask, “What the hell is this guy?”

“There is no such thing as a melting pot,” the governor mused, “that cooks well over time. Those people are still there and that relationship is still there. This is important. Do not you agree? ‘ he asked his wife, rubbing her knee with his hand. She looked at him sleepily without answering.

“I know you do,” he said.

BILLIONMr. Clements’ entourage flew to Houston that night and checked into the Guest Quarters, an exclusive hotel where all the rooms are suites and all the phones have long rows of flashing lights. On his way to downtown Houston on the Gulf Freeway, Clements recalled a time during his campaign when he was stuck in traffic on that stretch and just got out of his car and paced up and down the freeway, knocked on the window and said : “Hi, I’m Bill Clements. I’m running for governor. “

He transitioned easily from that kind of holiness to discussing Houston’s traffic problems. His voice is always formal in pitch, but the interesting thing is that he often gets caught up in the rhythm of his public speaking.

“It’s not just one person, Rita,” he now says of dealing with traffic congestion. “What you have to do is gather the talent, vision and dreams of so many people.”

The serious, serious tone of his conversation kept me from asking questions. I can’t understand his mood. His mind seemed to go its own way, as steady as a grader on the road. He is neither a person under public law nor a private person. He’s a businessman.

The hotel where the governor and Mrs. Clements stayed is across from the Galleria. The governor liked the idea of ​​going there in the morning and buying a pair of shoes, but he wasn’t keen on the prospect. “Buying a pair of shoes and getting a haircut are the two damn things you have to do,” he said. “They are very difficult.”

Luckily, the demands of the office gave Clements a convenient excuse to postpone his shopping spree. He decided to stay in his hotel room that morning and review his speech about the antipsychotic package that he was going to give over lunch at the Exchange Club that afternoon. Rita Clements was out shopping, however, and I joined the small security entourage that escorted her to the Galleria. She was carefully hidden by a Texas Ranger and a DPS security officer; They walked with her, eyeing the mall floors and watching her watches to make sure she was on schedule.

The First Lady is a very good looking woman with sophisticated looks. She moved through the Galleria with great assurance and deftness, slowing her pace as she approached each door and trusting that someone would open it. Her entourage of two security guards and a reporter didn’t seem to bother her in the slightest, and she cheerfully recounted the time she and her husband had spent at the Galleria during the campaign and the exercise bike prescribed by the doctor. governor after injuring his hip playing handball. With all this, she presents herself as a very delicate woman who plays the political game much deeper than her husband.

“Surname?” Ask the receptionist at the optometrist where she goes to fix her sunglasses.

“Clement.”

“Kleemon’s?”

“No. C-l-e-m-e-n-t-s.”

She walks down to an art gallery dominated by a stuffed polar bear and filled with cowboy paintings, sea chests, derrick models, wooden Indians, and large cat pelts. “They definitely have a hot place here,” she tells the owner.

“I was looking for an anniversary present for Bill,” she told me. “Something would look good in his office.

“Hmmm.” She stopped to look at the ghostly statue of a football player with a buzzard on his shoulder. “That was the first time I saw a bronze football player. And here’s another one. Oh my god, what does he have to wear?

“That’s great,” she said, pointing to a clear glass dome under which two stuffed quails were on display. “Bill really likes to hunt. Both quail and ducks. He kept telling me he would teach me, but it was a little late in life for that. “

Mrs. Clements asked for her card case and left the shop, still considering buying the stuffed quail. She met the governor in the hotel lobby, and they were brought into town to be guests of honor at the sixteenth annual Crime Stoppers Luncheon.

SERVICESOrd,” said a Harris County Sheriff’s Department chaplain, “thank Ya for the Greater Houston Exchange Clubs. ”

Mayor Jim McConn welcomed “Governor Clements and your lovely wife Rita, the Secretary of State and your lovely wife Annette” along with several other lovely dignitaries and wives. He declared it to be Houston’s Crime Prevention Week. Colt pistols in walnut boxes were awarded to two men who were named Police Officer of the Year.

Weldon Smith, an old friend and business partner of Clements, introduced the governor. “I’m one of the few people,” Smith said, “who felt he could win when Bill Clements announced he was running for governor.”

That’s not too much of an exaggeration. Clements’ candidacy was given no more weight than any other Republican candidate, meaning she was all but ignored. The defeat of the dominant Republican nominee in Texas is seen only as a formality, part of the ritual by which the anointed Democrats come to power. Clements broke that ritual by first spending a staggering amount of money and then managing to project his grumpy, irritable personality onto an electorate that hadn’t yet begun to understand the extent of his impatience with wavering, apologetic politicians like Jimmy Carter. On TV, Clements is seen as straightforward and gruff, but Democrats, who interpret those traits as dumb, don’t quite fit. John Hill, Clements’ rival, is quiet and cultured. He lied politely. Deep down in some primitive lobes of the voter’s brain, there is no competition. No one really wants a gentleman to become governor of Texas when push comes to shove. The election day the Texas world had known for a hundred years ended. The surprise here is Bill Clements, a Republican who literally has power up his shirt sleeve.

As Clements took the podium, he thanked Smith for his kind introduction, made a few casual remarks, and then focused on his prepared remarks, which detailed ten key points in his crime package. Some of these proposals – particularly the one calling for wiretapping – were provocative and controversial, but the speech was classically dull in form. Even an audience full of police officers struggled to stand up and clap.

“Boy, I’m telling you,” I then heard someone say in the boys’ room, “if he had eleven points for this, I would never do it.”

“But he’s a great governor,” said the man next to him.

“Sure, right?”

“He doesn’t walk around. He means what he says. ”

Clements was late. He was trying to get out of the media crowd and was obviously busy when another reporter, a young woman, approached him in the hallway. “I understand,” she said, “that you want to do something about prison overcrowding.”

“I don’t want to,” he snapped. “I intend to.” The governor’s behavior puzzled the young reporter. She mumbled something about asking questions this way to save time.

“Well, if you’re in a hurry,” Clements said, suddenly angry, “you should go.”

The woman is shocked. Somehow she found herself, asked another question and received a calm, civilized answer. But it was an uncomfortable, lingering moment. There seems to be nothing personal in this exchange. The reporter just followed Clements’ momentum; She interfered in the government process.

As governor, Clements was unusually accessible to members of the press, but he was also unusually annoyed by them. He seemed to understand the function of journalism but not its motive. Everything was clear to him, could be explained. Reporters operate in a world of ignorance and presumption. The people he uses the most are people who aren’t justwantThings to know, but who knows.

OLDLement’s next business assignment in Houston was a tour of M.D. Anderson Hospital and the Institute of Oncology, the cornerstone facility of the massive University of Texas Cancer Center. The tour is not purely ceremonial. Although the governor of Texas lives in a constitutionally weak office, he has some negative power as he can veto budget items of the legislature. Therefore, it is in the best interests of the various state bodies to justify their existence to him.

When Clements arrived at M.D. Anderson’s, the hospital staff gathered in the lobby, clapping and cheering. In that crowd were three or four men in lab coats who began walking the governor and his wife at a brisk pace through the hospital corridors, talking about bone marrow transplants.

“What do you take from them?” asked Clements while the doctors dealt with the hands behind the back. “Mara?”

“Marrow,” they said, taking him to the elevator. “Bone marrow.”

Another team of doctors opened the elevator door. “Dr. Udagama here,” said one of these doctors, “is our resident artist and we thought we’d show you his work.”

All eyes were on Doctor Udagama, who in turn pointed to an old man being patronized by his wife in the corner of the reception room. Clements pointed out that the man had an artificial nose.

“It’s no wonder,” said the governor. “You know, I just came back from a few weeks in the mountains and I had a nosebleed. is your nose bleeding ”

“Well sir,” said the man, smiling and rocking, “I hope not.”

“Well,” Clements said again. “It’s no wonder.”

“Yes sir,” the man replied, “sure.”

The tour continues through corridors and areas filled with patients who gaze down the governor’s aisle and silently acknowledge the distraction he presents. In one of the corridors he entered a group of reporters. “I don’t want to answer the question,” he said. “It’s absolutely not my purpose to come here.”

Reporters blithely joined the procession as it swept chaotically through the hospital. Clements is shown through the picture windows through which he can observe the patients being treated; He was escorted to the sleeping children’s room.

“It’s amazing,” he said, while remaining tight-lipped about the treatment of these cases. He was sensitive enough to know that even a governor’s powers of intervention were limited.

The tour ended with a cookie reception and the governor was then ushered into a lecture hall where Dr.

“Wait a minute,” Clements said at the end of this talk, referring to a chart showing the rise in cancer rates in Texas. “These are absolute numbers on the chart and this is where you speakRelationship.There’s a difference. All demographic data indicates that our population in Texas will increase by 50% between 1980 and 2000. So on a population basis per hundred thousand you are actually declining. “

I lost track of the governor’s award, but his argument seemed to cheer him up. He was clearly uncomfortable during his hospital tour, a pragmatic man, not only because of the suffering he saw around him, but also because of the random, amorphous nature of the pain. Now, away from this mess, he’s comfortable on the charts.

“Well, Mickey,” he told LeMaistre after those demographics were discussed, “it was a very, very good presentation.”

LeMaistre gave the governor and first lady two T-shirts to wear during their “relax time.” T-shirts that read: “Fight cancer – Now it’s work.”

BILLIONHe regularly followed the process that brought Clements back to the Capitol. He held one of his press conferences in the governor’s reception room, which featured a model of the Liberty Bell, a saddle, silver platters, and other prohibited items.

“That’s how it seems to work in Washington today,” he said, “to publish ground rules for press conferences. We will continue to follow the same rules as before and whoever shouts the loudest gets the question. “

They asked him about the $35 million emergency funding bill to alleviate overcrowding in Texas prisons, wiretapping and bilingual education. He answered some questions openly, but in general he was impatient and skeptical.

“If you are a Vietnamese fisherman in Seabrook…”

“Fortunately not. I happened to be governor. It’s a better job. “

“Do you have any objections to Mr. Estelle’s comments about the release?”

“I won’t discuss it anymore until I see what his plans are. I have no comment to make. Why do I have to comment? ”

“Wouldn’t it have been better to build this facility two years ago?”

“You know, your hindsight is remarkable.”

And so it continues. It is clear that Clements has not held weekly press conferences to generate interest in relaying information to voters. It was a lion taming session, an opportunity to come face to face with the animal, smell its breath and escape peacefully and exhilarated.

The next day he took another tour, inspecting the fusion reactor at the University of Texas and then driving around campus to watch a tutorial on the scientific artifacts at the Center for Scientific Research. One of the original Gutenberg Bibles is on display in the HRC.

“This is one of the most remarkable monuments of western civilization,” said a slight, muscular man with odd hair. It reveals the birth of the greatest art form of our time. We live by it, our souls are structured by it. The man is on the brink of a critical crisis. Clements brought him back to earth by asking how much it cost.

“Two million dollars,” he said proudly.

“Cheap, huh?”

The governor was then shown a bill of lading from 1753, a group of monstrously dressed mannequins from the Ballet Russe and Vivien Leigh’s sewing patternsBlown by the wind.He responded most to two sketches by President Eisenhower that hung in John Foster Dulles’ research copy.

“You know, the talent that Eisenhower has is remarkable,” he said.

Clements seems to appreciate the Center for Research in the Humanities a bit, but I doubt all of those academic quirks will affect him where he lives. “Hmm,” he continued. “This is a great enrichment for the university.veryattractive.”

INever think about the so-called public ego,” the governor said the next day in his office, while lounging on the sofa and sipping hot tea. He spent most of the morning posing with representatives from all the Boy Scout councils in Texas and had just come out of the closet, where he was giving a speech and signing autographs to the Boy Scouts, proclaiming it Boy Scout Week. He received a standing ovation as he left, and a wave of applause propelled him to the door of the Chamber of Deputies, then immediately withdrew. It’s amazing how quickly and radically such rumors can disappear.

“For example,” he continued, “I wouldn’t change my clothes to create an image. I will not cut my hair short or long. If you think about how that looks in public, you lose your identity, whatever the character is. In my opinion, that is absolute dishonesty.

“You don’t have to tell me that a lot of politicians do that. When I started campaigning, these professionals came. They told me there was a school you could go to in New York City called the School of Seduction, where they taught you how to dress, how to move your hands, how to speak. Nonsense. I have a very strong feeling that under no circumstances do I want to be anything other than myself.”

I remember a man walking up to him at a public event and holding out his hand. The governor shook it, asked where the person was from, and said, “Good. Nice to meet you. “But the man just stood there and wanted something, wantedNothing.Here he is standing next to the Texas governor not wanting a moment to go by. I don’t think Clements understood the helpless euphoria of the citizens. If this man wants to get his death row brother pardoned, protest budget cuts, or invite the governor to a bakery, he’ll be right, he’ll fit into the equation. But Clements couldn’t picture this man—that man again—nothing he could picture as a Vietnamese fisherman instead of a governor. His intelligence is a powerful tool, as rigid as a headlamp.

I thought of this man when I asked the governor if he had ever resented spending all day dealing with the rich and powerful instead of the common man.

“I’m not sure there’s such a thing as a normal citizen,” he said. “As I walk around you will be surprised at how much work is being done. Whether it’s something like lunch at the Exchange Club, I’ve seen people I have to say things to about government affairs. I went for a private dinner last night and we end up talking about 90% of the time it’s about affairs of state. Bum Bright [Dallas trucking magnate, one of the richest men in Texas] was there and he wanted A

BILLIONThe next time I see Bill Clements, he’s at the National Governors Conference in Washington, D.C. and strides purposefully past the Hyatt Regency with a stack of abstracts under his arm.

I watched him for several days and watched him happily vote against a modest statement intended to express governors’ concerns about acid rain. He also proposed amending another statement to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from “contaminating” our groundwater. He is said to have given Ronald Reagan a cowboy hat made from the skin of an albino beaver.

Clements was prominent at this conference, particularly at meetings on international trade and foreign relations. He met in these gatherings as intelligent, just and respectful. Here, among his peers and representatives of favored countries, he showed none of his famous looks. He was almost in grace.

On a memorable occasion, Bill Clements and Jerry Brown met as members of the Southwest Border Area Committee.

“And visiting again, Jerry,” Clements said of an esoteric point regarding committee funding, “would be like a state game versus a state game. Percent is not specified. I think our recommendation will have a strong impact on what will ultimately happen. ”

Brown didn’t answer. He just sat there raising his forehead with his left hand while using his right hand to pick up the white, sticky object on the plate – maybe fish – with his right hand.

“How does all this sound to you?” Clements tracked.

“I want to think about it.”

“Can you think and eat at the same time?”

“I always do.”

Clements sat hunched over in his seat, his soup spoon in the air. He stared at the governor of California as if he were a creature on display. The two governors were suspicious and confused, and in a strange way they seemed to unite against the other participants in the convention. No political allies, of course, since Clements is a Liberal Republican who sells soup, and Brown appears to be on some sort of spiritual errand. But one person noticed her; Both have a certain irresistible charm.

The Hyatt Regency boardrooms this week were packed with young, bubbly, articulate governors, the kind of man who could sit next to you in a shuttle and convince you in 30 minutes of the utter rationality of democratic entrepreneurship. Gathered in one place, these governors cancel each other out. They looked tired, pacing the foyer, adjusting their horns and wearing name tags with little yellow ribbons that said “Governor.”

CLEARThe ailing Clements stood on the back roof of his home in Highland Park, looking out over the manicured grounds that sloped down Turtle Creek.

“Here’s the one right in front of us,” he said, pointing to a wild duck.”Quonck! Quonnck! ”

The duck called back.

“Did you hear that?” said Clement. “Do you hear me answer? I never use duck calls. I always do it with my mouth.Quonnck! Quonnck!We have mice here too. And we had the ducks and the geese and the swans. And we had some quail at this place. Some owls and squirrels of course. So it’s an interesting place. That gives me energy.”

Clements grew up within a mile of this house. He was born in 1917 in a house built by his parents in Maplewood. When his father’s financial problems began, the family moved to a two-bedroom cottage on Normandy Street, where Clements earned the distinction of growing up poor in Highland Park. He used to go fishing for bait in a stream on the SMU campus and hang out at the World War I barracks at Love Field, where the scouts met. He loves Sunday school. His father was on the church hardball team, and some of Clements’ fondest memories are of those games and the picnics that followed. He had a “completely magical, wonderful youth”.

When he first realized that his family had no money, he was nine or ten years old and realized that all his friends would soon be going camping. Camping fees were $250 for six weeks, and to make ends meet, young Clements went to work selling produce from a neighbor’s garden. He also cleared out his mother’s chicken coop, which he remembers as a “dreadful duty”. He became a Boy Scout and achieved the rank of Eagle. He went to high school and held all positions on the football team and annual editorial. He describes both scouting and high school as “absolutely wonderful experiences”.

We go back inside. It was a large house, a mansion, filled with Mrs. Clements’ graceful antique furniture and the governor’s manly beauty.

“I’m interested in art,” said the governor, “among the things you need to know.”

He pointed to a painting by a famous western artist. “This is really his best time,” he said. “It was painted in 1911. Before that I had several others. Prior to around 2005, his work was actually a stub. It has no flow. Most don’t know, but around 1900 he went to Paris and studied with the Post-Impressionists. Yes, of couse. You see, you come back here a little bit and the sage has taken shape. But up close it had no shape at all. It’s great, isn’t it? ”

The governor showed me a painting by what he called “America’s finest duck painter.”

“It is calledHaze,”he says. “You can see the mist coming out of the water. I asked him to draw me a companion namedEven week.Have you heard this word before? That’s a good word. That is when the sun rises in the east and the moon sets in the west and they are level. One day I was duck hunting and the sun was right behind me shining on the ducks and sure enough there was a damn duck in front of me. So I asked this artist to go to East Texas and paint these ducks for me. ”

On the stand is a piano with the music of The Impossible Dream. A small library on the first floor was stocked with leather-bound books from the Franklin Library, a book subscription service that sent books to the Texas governorThe bed is not made upby Françoise Sagan andprison birdby Kurt Vonnegut.

The governor showed me his upstairs study, which was filled with Department of Defense memorabilia, model airplanes, medals, and framed portraits of famous Americans. Then we went down to the dining room where a maid named Bessie served us breakfast.

During breakfast, the governor spoke again about Sam Houston. “He never recovered after Texas seceded from the Union. It broke his heart. You hear about it, but in this case it actually happened. He fought for independence in San Jacinto in 36, and we’re talking an act of secession here in ’61, so for 25 years he’s been a man with only one thing on his mind: head, and that’s Texas. ”

I wonder what attracted Clements to Sam Houston so much. Compared to the rest of the hard-line liberals who took over Texas from Mexico, Houston is almost a mystic. But Clements envisioned Houston as a clear, assessable figure, a man to do business with. Houston invented Texas; Bill Clements will have solid management to make it work.

Clements was scheduled to fly to Laredo that day to speak at a conference on frontier industrialization and to meet the newly elected governor of Mexico’s Tamaulipas state. He agreed to give me a ride and stop by his Sedco office on the way to the airport so I could look at his Texana library.

The governor was driving, and Ranger, who intended to drive, was in the back seat.

“Boy,” he said, nodding his head toward Turtle Creek, “I used to fish holes in this whole tank when I was a kid. Occasionally I catch a small perch. Mainly redfish. You know those lakes over there at the country club? We would dive these lakes at night looking for golf balls. The waiters there knew we were doing it. Seldon McMillin and I will go down and feel them in the mud. If you get one of those Spalding balls that some guy only hit once, you can sell it for fifty cents.”

Sedco’s offices are in an old school building that Clements bought at auction in 1969 and later restored. “The walls are solid brick,” he said as we entered the building, which is solid and beautiful. “They are called load-bearing walls. A building is a structure where the walls bear all the loads. ”

Clements points to a series of plaques on the wall. “Look, we’ve won every architectural award in the country, even the national award. We don’t even think about something like that, we just do our thing, so to speak. ”

Clement’s private office is in the southwest corner of the building. It is a paneled room, neither too big nor too small, dominated by a mounted kudu head.

“It’s really an antelope,” Clements said. “Insiders say it’s the most valuable trophy because of its horn profile. For this reason, the award of an honorary title is called kudu. ”

On his desk is a pendant engraved with a whale’s teeth and the design of a trident submarine. “Imagine,” he said, “a weapons system worth thirty billion dollars. I fought like a tiger for it and it made it into the Senate with one vote. And I’m the one who got the senator to vote on it.”

The library branched off from his office, rows of ten-foot-tall shelves filled with books about Texas.Bigfoot Wallace, The Kingdom of the Western Outlaws, The Bull with the Tail.Books are sorted by author and cataloged on file tags, and new titles have been secured to Clements from a bookseller. The governor was a very wealthy man at the time and it was clear that he had bought his culture in bulk. But it’s not hard to picture him 45 years ago, a young man from the oil fields reading a book by J. Frank Dobie, leafing through the book in his hand for an idea, and finally thinking. something like “Damn, I’ll buy that.” But maybe it wasn’t an accidental decision. After all, what would motivate a young man to create a library of Texas history more than the unconscious desire to one day be a part of it?

The industry conference luncheon was held in a purpose-built auditorium at the Laredo Convention Center. At each display was a stack of small packets of salt, salad dressing, and coffee mate, which the waitresses, wearing clear plastic gloves, pushed aside to make room for large, chewy plates of grilled meat.

The governor of Tamaulipas made a boring speech, and then Clements made a boring speech saying he was in favor of expanding and building international bridges and railroads. Then the two governors disappeared into a conference room for several hours.

“I like these friends,” Clements said after his performance. “I’m really impressed by the Mexican governors.”

Bluebonnets line the runways at Laredo Airport, and Clements admires them as he takes his seat. The plane took off so quickly that I barely noticed when we left the ground.

On the way back to the Capitol we had a lengthy discussion. The governor said his first memory was from the age of three, appearing completely naked at a party his mother was throwing in the backyard. He says he has no recurring dreams. He never thought of reincarnation. He believes his high energy levels have something to do with his ability to fall asleep within minutes. He is the actor. He likes to chat with meat on it.

There has been a break. The governor glanced at a newspaper lying on the chair in front of him, then looked up and made eye contact again.

“Now,” he said, rubbing his hands together, “ask me what you want.”

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