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CAMPAIGN ’88 : Bentsen War Stories

Surrounded by vintage warplanes at a flight museum in Harlingen, Tex., on Wednesday, former bomber squadron commander Lloyd Bentsen told a campaign audience that the setting brought back memories.

In hushed voice he spoke of combat missions when “your stomach would tighten up in a knot,” then reminisced about a training mission in which he “lost my favorite picture of my wife and my wallet flying one of these things upside down with the canopy open over Alabama.”

But another scene from his past proved less fit for storytelling. A gallery of GI cheesecake art greeted him as he entered an airplane hangar, recalling flight crews’ ability to depict on airplane fuselages the woman or women of their dreams.

Bentsen ruefully confided that one such masterpiece, titled “Double Trouble,” looked “awfully familiar.”

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“I’m sure glad B. A. wasn’t there,” the still-blushing senator said later of his wife.


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