Miss Lillian

No doubt this should have been titled

“Missing Lillian”

Keeve, somehow your OP got eaten by the hamsters that run the server. Could you repost, please? … and my apologies for whatever the hell hiccup hit you.

I believe it would have been in reference to this column: Was Julius Caesar born by cesarian section? in which Cecil makes the comment that Caesar’s mother Aurelia was “something of a Miss Lillian of her time.”

This leads me to guess what the OP may have discussed. I have two hypotheses.

  1. Keeve wonders who Miss Lillian is. In answer, she was the widowed mother of President Jimmy Carter, who was much adored by the press during his term in office.

  2. Keeve knows who Miss Lillian was, and wonders why Ceci would have written such a comment in a column supposedly published on “13-Aug-1976,” two months before Carter’s election to the office of POTUS. I guess Miss Lillian was known at the time, but she wouldn’t have been analogous to Caesar’s mother yet. Unless you equate the state of Georgia to the Roman Empire, this doesn’t seem apt to me.

Both are good questions. I wish I had the answer to the second one myself

Of course I know that the '76 election was actually closer to three months after August 13th. I was just testing you all.

Cecil’s columns are often edited when they’re re-posted to the Web, in which case the Miss Lillian comment could have been added well after Carter’s presidency. But then the question becomes not why it was mentioned so early, but why it was mentioned so late: By the time AOL came around (the first time the Dope was put online), Carter’s presidency would have been a decade in the past, and hardly at the top of the public’s consciousness. Why add a reference to Miss Lillian years after she was significant?

I suppose that Lillian Carter was the most recent well-known Presidential mother that wasn’t better known as a First Lady herself (Barbara Bush). Clinton’s mom was seen during the campaign, but the cameras didn’t find her all that often after the election. I assume Reagan and G.H.W. Bush’s mothers were no longer around during their terms.

However, if one were reaching into the past for someone comparable to Caesar’s mom, I’d say Rose Kennedy would be better known by the general populace, though her son was in charge a lot earlier than Jimmy.