Part One: Letter from Lady Bird Johnson,
wife of Vice-President Lyndon Baines Johnson
In 1961, I was in the United States Air Force, stationed in Taiwan, as a Chinese language intelligence specialist, assigned to the Combat Air Command in Taipei. Because I had extensive pre-military experience as a photographer, the Air Force allowed me to be a part-time correspondent for USAFSS Spokesman Magazine. I did a few photographs of high-ranking officers who visited our installations.

In May 1961, President John F Kennedy sent his Vice President Lyndon Baines Johnson to visit Taiwan, and confer with Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek and members of his Nationalist government. I was assigned to take photographs of the visiting delegation in various places around Taipei. I was released from my work schedule and dressed in civilian clothes. I happily went off with my press card and cameras.
click on these letter images to link to their respective pages
This was a new world of excitement, getting close to one of the world's most powerful men. Above - the official welcome at Taipei's Sung Shan airport. Left - VP Johnson speaks to the crowd, accompanied by Chen Cheng, Nationalist China's VP. Below - VP Johnson greeting crowds of Taiwanese from his motorcade procession through Taipei. What a thrill to be in the middle of those activities! Click here for the next page.
This is the story about three letters sent to me in the 1960s, when I was living in Washington DC and New York City. Several years later, when I applied to work as a photography teacher at Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, I used these as my letters of reference.

Certainly, letters of appreciation from a Vice-President's wife, a newly-widowed First Lady, and from a United States Senator, will look good in anyone's personnel file. It was memorable when the obviously impressed FIT employment counselor asked me: "What did you do for these people?"

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