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Cliff Carter

 

I personally knew Cliff Carter, President Lyndon Baines Johnson's right-hand man. My brother played catcher on the same Optimist baseball team in Arlington as Cliff's son, Lyndon Carter (who also happened to be LBJ's godson). I'll never forget the championship game against Arlington Motors when star pitcher Lyndon Carter ran out of allowable innings and had to be removed from the game. He was replaced by my brother, Bruce. 

While Bruce was warming up, I became so nervous I had to slip out of my seat in the bleachers. I found refuge underneath the stands where I tried to calm my nerves. Imagine my surprise when I was joined by Mr. Carter, who proceeded to chain-smoke one cigarette right after another. "I just can't watch - I'm too nervous!" he confessed.

I thought it was more than strange that a Little League baseball game would make a man nervous who also gave advice to the most powerful man in the United States.

I never forgot it, either.