The secretary to Lady Bird Johnson signs her name on this letter to
Barbara Norton, then head of the Public Relations department at the
Sheraton-Park Hotel, apologizing for not being able to join Barbara for lunch.
Typed letter signed: "Bess", in blue ink, 1 page, 6¼x9¼. The
White House. Washington. September 25, 1964. In full: "Dear Barbara: A
thousand thanks for your nice invitation. I'm so sorry I couldn't join you to
lunch! Please give me a raincheck after November-I've given up eating until
then. Sincerely". Bess Clements Abell (b. 1933), daughter of Kentucky
Governor and Senator Earle Clements, served on the 1960 Presidential Inaugural
Committee. She became the assistant to Lady Bird Johnson from 1961 to 1963.
During the Johnson Presidency, she served as White House Social Secretary
(1963-1969). She was Executive Director of the Democratic Governors'
Conference (1969-1975), and Executive Assistant to Joan Mondale in the Office of
the Vice-President (1977-1981). She founded her own public relations firm in
1982, and in 1990 founded with her husband Tyler Abell Merry-go-Round Farm, a
residential community near Washington, D.C. (The name comes from the Abell home,
formerly owned by Tyler's step-father, former Washington columnist Drew Pearson
("The Washington Merry-Go Round"). Tape on corners. Normal mailing folds. Fine
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