Dorothy Lawsom McCall, mother of Oregons late governor Tom McCall, was an energetic matriarch, not content to live vicariously through her sons achievements. She published two books after she was 80, announced for governor herself at 85 and had a lifelong love affair with the telephone that involved just about everybody in public power.
Naturally no one got more of her attention than her celebrated son. Despairing of his privacy, Tom McCall at last got an unlisted number and “forgot” to give it to her. He reckoned not, however, that he was dealing with his mother.
Word came one time while he was having his usual noon swim at the YMCA: The White House is calling. Awed and dripping, McCall picked up the phone. “Tom,” a soft, south-Texas voice said, “this is Lyndon. Ive just been talking to your mother.”
Amy Carter brought home one Friday night a homework assignment while her father was still President. Stumped by a question on the Industrial Revolution, Amy sought help from her mother. Rosalynn was also fogged by the question and, in turn, asked an aide to seek clarification from the Labor Department. A “rush” was placed on the request since the assignment was due Monday.
Thinking the question was a serious request from the Prez himself, a Labor Department official immediately cranked up the government computer and kept a full team of technicians and programmers working overtime all weekend at a reported cost of several hundred thousand dollars. The massive computer printout was finally delivered by truck to the White House on Sunday afternoon and Amy showed up in class with the official answer the following day. But her history teacher was not impressed. When Amys paper was returned, it was marked with a big red “C.”