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319 When writing a book of one’s life, particularly when that that life has been as varied and full as mine as been, it becomes impossible to fashion a complete acknowledgement of one’s debts. While some have contributed more than others to my life, occasionally an offhand comment from someone has sparked a major act of discovery or rediscovery. Here I will acknowledge many who contributed to my life story, with the full knowledge that I am neglecting many. Without my Scots-Irish-German parents and grandparents I might have missed the opportunity of literature and the base foundation of storytelling. My maternal granddaddy , W. S. Donoho, shared the classics with me and helped shaped my view of them. My dad, Lambert Bristol, left a poetic bent and a billfold filled with signposts of his short life, and these became the initial motivation for telling my story. Lottie Donoho Bristol was the classroom door that was always open for my continuing education. Not only did she love books, she also loved to tell a good story. She did so in many ways, but especially through the copious photo albums of her travels, something she put together over seven decades. Paging through them I came across evidence of many people and events that molded my life. I hope my children will strive to keep those albums intact. They are a small history of the twentieth century. When linked to all her later work in family genealogy, these become a reference guide of the past and perhaps the inspiration for a future book. Practically every other member of my family—including children, cousins, and aunts, as well as near relatives—helped verify my memories and frame events with their own recollections and photographs. But special thanks must be given to my daughter, Jennifer, who has become the unofficial keeper of the family history and memorabilia. What is more important, she has been able lay her hands on just the right information for me in almost no time at all. Many former staff members, family, and friends of Jake Pickle, Bob Strauss, and Lloyd Bentsen helped me give dimension to these mentors and friends of mine. Jake and his daughter Peggy Pickle wrote a marvelous book of his life and times. Not only did it give me added insight into him, it also reminded me of events in which I played a part. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 320 Vera Murray of Bob Strauss’s staff clarified a number of dates and personalities who came and went throughout his career. Katherine McGarr, Bob’s grandniece, was an invaluable source of fact checking. She was for a very special reason. After several attempts failed to find a suitable Strauss biographer, Katherine took it upon herself. She did find a publisher. The book, The Whole Damn Deal, is a great read and has been well received. B. A. Bentsen and Senator Bentsen’s sister, Betty, were always available, and if they didn’t have an answer they suggested someone who might. Marina Weiss and Mike Pate, both of whom played major roles in aiding the senator in making law, related their experiences and insight, which was particularly invaluable since my role with Bentsen was not legislative. I had been part of his inner circle, and knew his accomplishments and failures and his impact on Texas and Texas politics, but not the day-to-day Washington maneuvering. Jack Martin was not only an advisor on the Bentsen years, but a wonderful sounding board on a broad range of topics. It didn’t hurt that he not only is a good storyteller but also a good listener to stories. We shared a great deal of both. Although I have known and been influenced by many complex characters, and even known many of them well, I only knew them within the context of my time with them. Other eyes and ears were indispensible for me so that in painting more rounded portraits. My years of work in Texas on parkland and conservation matters are a case in point. I came to know a great deal about the pieces of that complex puzzle, but it was comforting to have Andy Sansom always at the ready to verify or challenge. Andy has been around in the thick of the conservation fray for many years and in many venues so that he has easily been able to fill in and flesh out details for me, doing so with patience...


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MARC Record
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