When President Truman came to town

Claire Masters

It must have been 1948 when Harry Truman was running for re-election. He was to speak at Baylor and then ride in a convertible down Austin Avenue with a young Lyndon Johnson.

A voice on the loud speaker at Waco High School announced that all students were excused to run down and see the president of the USA. As I don't remember any warning that we were to return after the parade.

My girl friend and I scampered downtown, meeting her Baylor boyfriend on the way. We stood in the crowd just across from the Waco Theater.

It was a beautiful day, perfect for a parade, with excitement in the air. Every marching band in Waco passed by playing martial music, drum majorettes prancing back and forth, the sun flashing on their brass batons.

We spotted President Truman, smiling and waving to the crowd. Afterward, just as the things broke up, the familiar sidewalk photographer snapped our picture which I still have. Sentimental Journey, a two- handkerchief movie starring John Payne and Maureen O'Hara, was playing at the Waco Theater that day.

"Hey! Don't bother going back to school," my friend's boyfriend tempted us. "I'll treat both you gals to the movie." Guess who got caught and was punished for playing hookey?

A sidewalk photographer took this picture of Claire Masters (left) and her friends the day President Truman came to town

Return to First Person home page
Free Counter