President Lyndon B. Johnson helps himself to barbecue. Next to him in line are Mrs. Guillermo Sevilla-Sacasa and Nellie Connally.

Barbecue tradition at the LBJ Ranch

May 01, 2012

For a big party at the LBJ Ranch during the 1960s, the Hahne family served thousands of plates heaped with barbecue and sides. At night. Without full electricity. When it was all over and the family had returned home, pater familias Kermitt Hahne turned on some music. "Everybody was so tired," recalls Tillie Ahrens Hahne, his widow, now 91. "But they danced and danced."

From their cafe in Stonewall, the Hahnes catered scores of Johnson family events, from banquets with dignitaries at the Texas White House to Christmas affairs at the nearby Reagan House. Later, after both of their husbands had died, Tillie Hahne (say it like "Donny") worked for 11 years as a cook in Lady Bird Johnson's household and sometimes traveled with the former first lady.

Saturday, the grand LBJ Ranch barbecue tradition will be revived by Friends of LBJ National Historical Park to salute the centennial of Lady Bird Johnson's birth. read more