President Johnson: I just wanted to tell you I loved you and I hadn’t heard from you and see how you’re doing.
Truman: Well, I’ve been all right. I had to go up and take some shots from the doctor a while ago and kind of a bursitis arm that I’ve got, but then outside of that I’m 100 percent.1
President Johnson: Well, I didn’t think that you had been out playing golf a lot. Keith told me he had a bursitis arm a few years ago, but I didn’t know you were a golfer.
Truman: [chuckling] No, I’m not. I don’t know where I got it. I picked it up somewhere.
President Johnson: How’s Mrs. [Bess] Truman?
Truman: Oh, she’s fine.
President Johnson: Looks like to me your son-in-law is doing pretty good.2
Truman: Yes, he’s doing all right. I’m very proud of him.
President Johnson: I’ll bet that grandchild is having some effect on him. Maybe that’s helping him, you reckon?
Truman: [laughs] I'd hope so.
President Johnson: I was sitting here talking to a couple of your old friends, about the best men I got around me these days, the ones that you left here.
Truman: Well, I’m glad [unclear].
President Johnson: Old Clark Clifford∇ comes in every once in a while. Dean Acheson had lunch with me. And Jim Webb is here with me, and he wants to say a word to you. Just a minute.
Truman: Well, all right. I’ll be glad to talk with him.
James Webb: Mr. President, I’ve been with you so many times in this office that I always think of you every time I walk in the door.3
Truman: Well thank you. Thank you. I’m mighty glad you feel that way and I hope you always will.
Webb: Well, I've told so many people that you always stood up and shook hands in the most polite way if I saw you ten times a day, and I [was] always embarrassed you to have to do that.
Truman: [laughs] Oh, well, why not? You know, when a fellow gets high hat after he gets a job that he didn’t deserve, why what do you think of him? I don’t think much of him, do you?
Webb: No, sir. But I'd say this: that President Johnson has certainly done a tremendous thing in this office since he’s been here.
Truman: Oh, he’s in a class by himself. He’s going to be one of the greatest of the great presidents.
Webb: Well, he’s going to be right in there with you in that regard.
Truman: Well, I think there are at least seven or eight ahead of me, and Johnson is one of them. [laughs]
Webb: Well, I don’t—I’m going to wait for history on that. Do you want to say another world to the President?
Truman: Yes, if you would.
Webb: Yes. Here he is.
President Johnson: Mr. President?
Truman: He’s setting me up on a pedestal where I don’t belong.
President Johnson: Oh, you do. You belong on the highest one around, and Lady Bird and I keep you on it all the time. Listen, sometime in the next week or so I want to, if you feel like it and you’re up to it, I want to fly up there and just sit around and gab with you a little bit.
Truman: Well, I'd like very much to have you do that.
President Johnson: All right.
Truman: And you set the date, and I’ll be there.
President Johnson: Well, I’ll just call you and the first afternoon I can get off. It won’t take long and—
Truman: Well, it’s all right; you can take as long as you want because I’ve got a lot of things I'd like to talk with you about, but I don’t want to introduce subject.
President Johnson: Well—
Truman: I want to be of help to you, that’s who I'm working for.
President Johnson: Well, you always help. What in the devil did you do to Roy Roberts to make a Democrat of out him?4
Truman: [laughing] He’s gone haywire, hasn't he? I don’t trust him though. If you've been at the [Kansas City] Star as long as I have you know better than to trust him.
President Johnson [laughs] Well, anyway it sounds good now doesn’t it?
Truman: How’s that?
President Johnson I say the editorial sounded good now, didn’t it?
Truman: Oh, yes. It sure did.
President Johnson: That’s the first one he’s said since Grover Cleveland they ever endorsed.5
Truman: Oh, that’s absolutely correct. He never said a kind word about a Democrat if he could help it. [with Johnson laughing] That’s the reason I look at it with suspicion.
President Johnson: Well, I want to come see you, and I’ll give you a ring in the next few days and run out some afternoon.
Truman: All right. I’ll be awful glad to see you.
President Johnson: All right. Will you buy me a drink?
Truman: I’ll do that, two if you like.
President Johnson: OK. OK. Goodbye.
President Johnson: Bye.