Lady Bird's bluebonnets
No, not the 2017 movie. Before the coming of age flick staring Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird meant Lady Bird Johnson, first lady of the U.S. during the mid-1960s. That Lady Bird was a native Texan and somewhere mid-twentieth century she grew sick and tired of the refuse piling up along America’s wide open spaces. Yes, litter used to be a thing. A big thing. Trash was as common along roadsides as it was in the town dump. People, as a matter of course, tossed bottles and fast food bags out car windows and dumped everything from unwanted sofas to busted refrigerators along the side of road. I can’t imagine our little ones throwing a juice box out the window once they’ve drained the last sip. That behavior change can be traced to Lady Bird and her war on the trashing of America. She helped make active beautification part of our national agenda. And she planted flowers, along the highways and also in cities, because Lady Bird felt - rightly - that a cleaned-up America was good for each individual psyche. For those just in it for the buck: remember that tourism is one of the leading industries in every state – and no one wants to take a road trip through rusted car carcasses
and broken bottles to sit alongside a brown foaming river and watch fish float belly up among
half-submerged tires. I call this photograph Lady Bird's Bluebonnets. If you’re lucky enough to visit Texas in the spring, as I was this week, you’ll see millions. Because it’s Texas. And Lady Bird lived there.
Copyright RC 2018