Thursday, September 11, 2014

Jeanette Steadman was interviewed for her first job with the General Services Administration by then senator, Lyndon Baines Johnson.  She became a switchboard operator for the building and remembers that when LBJ became vice president, the Ranch was also connected through her board.  Many interesting calls came through those lines. 

Jeanette met her husband when they were both employed at the downtown Austin post office.  They worked side by side often and shared friendly conversations.  One day she smarted off to him that if he ever asked her for a date, she would fall over dead. 

Later that year, on a Sunday afternoon around Christmas, after they had been working the late shift, her mother woke her to take a phone call.  Jeanette wasn’t thrilled.  “Well, who is it?” she asked.  “I don’t know, just someone who wants to talk to you,” her mother replied.  Picking up the phone Jeanette was greeted with, “Well, are you going to fall over dead?”  They were married September 19, 1946 at Capital Heights Baptist Church in Austin.

Jeannette’s favorite color is green and her favorite activity is working in the yard.  When asked what she would tell a young girl today she advised, “Get your college education.  That’s one thing I wish I had been able to do but at the time of my graduation from high school, my father had been struck and killed by lightning.”  As the eldest, it was her duty to help support the family.

Two trips she remembers fondly are visiting the Holy Land and a cruise around the Mediterranean.  Although during that one, the water was very choppy and she became quite ill.  Her maiden name is Outon (oo ton), of German heritage but she never visited Germany and even though she grew up in Hare, Texas, a very German/Czech community, she and her siblings were raised not to drink.

Jeanette is currently residing at Buckner Re-hab while recovering from a broken hip.   She loves visitors and always has lots of entertaining stories to share.  Jeanette’s favorite restaurant in Austin is Cheddars.  So, feel free to call first and bring her a take-out treat when you visit.


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