BB 4 LTG Vanity Plate

Poetic license in the 1990s

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by Tom Wancho, Exhibit Planner

A clever code of letters and numbers, this personalized license plate did not belong to Bob Bullock (1929–1989), the Museum’s namesake, but to Stephen Rosales, a Bullock supporter and staffer.

A longtime special assistant for Bullock, Rosales worked in both the Comptroller’s and Lieutenant Governor’s offices for 23 years. He placed the plate on his vehicle to promote Bullock's candidacy for the lieutenant governorship and his subsequent victory. The plate is a reminder of the unending devotion of many staffers that remains intact years after their government service ended. As Texas Comptroller and Lieutenant Governor, Bullock believed his actions in office spoke for his principles.

Carolene English, a former special assistant for Bullock, writes a newsletter titled “BBX” that is distributed to 380 ex-Bullock staffers. “He cared about the people of Texas, the regular, average guy. And I think we all knew that,” English recalled recently. “He was fair and he cared about the future of Texas. He could be unpredictable at times but he was on the right side of things.”

From January through May every year, ex-Bullock staffers meet for lunch on the fourth Thursday of each month, then continue the routine in the fall. “We also get together around his birthday (July 10) each year at the State Cemetery,” where Bullock is buried. “We usually have 60 to 70 people show up, some from out of state,” English says.

Glen Castlebury worked as Bullock’s press secretary in both the Attorney General and Lieutenant Governor’s offices. “People who were there and who worked through controversial issues with Bullock…that creates a bond, a loyalty, and a connection that didn’t quit once you left the office,” Castlebury said. “A lot of our reunions look like nostalgia conventions,” he joked. “But the pride of what was done created a brotherhood and a union that just doesn’t end.”

See this and other artifacts on the Interactive Texas Map

BB 4 LTG Vanity Plate Artifact from Austin, Texas
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