Houston Power Couple With Presidential Ties Looks Back on Their Amazing Bayou City Life
James Baker III and Susan Baker Spotlighted by the Heritage SocietyBY Shelby Hodge // 01.15.22
Susan Baker, Jim McGrath, James A. Baker III headline the Houston Heritage Society event in Sam Houston Park (Photo by Jenny Antill Clifton)
Libby & David Sims, Mary McNeely & David Sims (Photo by Jenny Antill Clifton)
John & Betty Cabaniss, Debra & Tom Perich (Photo by Jenny Antill Clifton)
C.C. Ensell, Kirin Wells (Photo by Jenny Antill Clifton)
Dianne & Fred Burns (Photo by Jenny Antill Clifton)
Minnette Boesel, James A. Baker III, Alison Bell at the Houston Heritage Society event in Sam Houston Park (Photo by Jenny Antill Clifton)
Frank Davis, Doris Davis (Photo by Jenny Antill Clifton)
Joanne King Herring, Truett Latimer the Houston Heritage Society event in Sam Houston Park (Photo by Jenny Antill Clifton)
Lily & Charles Foster, Jim & Jo Furr at the Houston Heritage Society event in Sam Houston Park (Photo by Jenny Antill Clifton)
Eric & Hague Bing at the Houston Heritage Society event in Sam Houston Park (Photo by Jenny Antill Clifton)
What: “Evening of Heritage, a Conversation with Susan Garrett Baker and Secretary James A. Baker III”
Where: Connally Plaza in The Heritage Society‘s Sam Houston Park
PC Moment: As honorees and Q&A headliners, the Bakers, one of the Bayou City’s most influential couples both at home and nationally, shared their Houston histories with moderator Jim McGrath, staff writer in the Executive Office of the President George H.W. Bush from 1991 to 1993.
Both were born in Houston, both have a connection to the society. Susan Baker was a docent. The former Secretary of State and chief of staff to President George H.W. Bush, James Baker often rollicked through the Baker Family Playhouse which is now part of the Sam Houston Park collection of historic structures on the western edge of downtown.
The conversation ranged from reflections on their lives as well as the former secretary’s view of the current political situation which includes the stance that both the Democratic and Republican parties need reform.
In answer to a question from the audience, James Baker replied: “The transition of power is a process that needs to be respected and observed. . . The defeated candidate should swear to the person who beat him. Refusal to acknowledge defeat is inexcusable.”
The event closed with a Sunday Supper of comfort foods including deviled eggs, chicken pot pie and strawberry shortcake — and with piano music from Jerry Atwood.
Key to the evening were chairs Betty and John Cabaniss, longtime friends of the Bakers; board president Minnette Boesel; society executive director Alison Bell; and society development co-director Harriet Latimer, who organized the evening and introduced the Bakers, close friends to Latimer and her husband Truett.
PC Seen: Barry Moore, Roxann and Tim Neumann, Doris Davis, Frank Davis, Chris Bell, Angela Caughlin-Cannady and Will Cannady, Peter Boesel, Kirksey Gregg and Shay Calhoun, C.C. and Duke Ensell, Jean Becker, Lily and Charles Foster, Joanne King Herring, Frank Rynd, Peggy and Ashley Smith, Tiffani and Devaron Yates, Marguerite Schwartz, and Mary Sage.