There probably haven't been many people who could say their first flight was on Air Force One. It helps if you have inside connections, and Dewey Roussel does. She's the 87-year-old mother of White House deputy press secretary Peter Roussel. (Her name "Dewey" comes from a headline her parents read in the newspaper when she was born in April 1898: "Dewey Takes Manila.") She had recently sold an article to Reader's Digest and Roussel decided that partly in celebration and since he would be in Dallas with President Reagan last week, it would be a special treat for his mother to fly back to Washington with them.
"She had said she'd never fly," Roussel said yesterday, but when she learned that he had found her space on the president's plane, she came to meet them in Dallas from her home in Houston. "She didn't even notice she was in the air," Roussel said. "The president came back to visit with her and she chatted with the press pool. We rode in from the airport with Larry Speakes, who pointed out the sights of Washington for her. I told her that after all that, it's all downhill from here. I can't do anything else for you."