Thursday, July 26, 2007

Shouldn't Austin respect Lady Bird Johnson's wishes about renaming Town Lake?

Burnt Orange Report and most Austin Democrats appear to support renaming Town Lake after the late Lady Bird Johnson, who by any measure was an icon who deserves recognition. As I wrote in the comments at BOR, though:

This would be great and the honor well deserved except for one thing: As I understand it the deceased opposed the idea for this eponymous honor for many years, including fairly recently if memory serves; this has been proposed several times.. I think they should honor Lady Bird's wishes and leave it "Town Lake" unless it turns out she specifically changed her mind and somebody can document it (allegedly whispering it into Will Wynn's ear on hear deathbed, e.g., doesn't count). Otherwise to me it feels a little creepy and opportunistic to use her name in a fashion with which she disapproved.

I really don't like that, at sort of a gut level. Maybe it's because I've lost quite a few beloved family members over the years, so I feel pretty strongly you should respect the deceased wishes to the greatest extent possible if you want to truly honor their memory. I wish they'd do what she wanted, not just whatever the two-bit wannabes on the Austin city council feel like doing.

5 comments:

Karl-Thomas Musselman said...

Read the article...

"It was only after daughter Luci Baines Johnson consulted with her mother that Lady Bird agreed she would not be opposed to having the lake named after her. Of all the name choices, including Lake Lady Bird Johnson and Lady Bird Johnson Lake, Johnson chose Lady Bird Lake as her favorite, Bailey said."

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Okay, fair enough - I just remembered she'd turned down on several occasions.

Gerardo said...

I agree with your point. If this lady suggested the TOWN LAKE should remain with that name, then we should respect her wishes. I am sure she is going to have schools named after her, and streets and stuff like that, but TOWN LAKE should remain as it is if that was her wish.

Scooby said...

She declined the offer over and over. She relented only after being weakened by age and a stroke. Why does one ambiguous "yes" (a smile and a "modest thumbs up") from Lady Bird carry more weight than 36 years of her saying "no"?

Going against someone's plainly stated wishes dishonors their memory. Shame on all those patting themselves on the back for "honoring" Lady Bird's legacy.

Aaron said...

She was a private and humble woman who didn't want that honor while she was alive. That doesn't mean that she wasn't comfortable with it after she passed.