Reporters: Good Times in Texas

Lyndon Johnson loves to escape the White House for his native Texas—where the prairies are wide, the sun warm and the livestock friendly. The White House press corps does not share the President's enthusiasm. Reporters look with loathing on extended Texas trips that take them away from Washington politics and parties and deposit them in the Driskill Hotel in Austin, some 60 miles from the L.B.J. ranch.

An ornate edifice studded with columns and fire escapes, the Driskill was built for another age. Reporters grumble about its rattling plumbing, roaring air conditioners and lack of a swimming pool. They also complain...