My very Humorous Experience with Barbara Bush

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Image of former First Lady Barbara Bush with her cocker spaniel. 

Image courtesy of the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum, all rights reserved.

Click here to link to the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum.

In 1964 in the State of Texas the Republican Party was in its infancy. That year a young man from Midland announced his intentions to run for the U.S. Senate and a young man from El Paso announced that he would run for the Texas House of Representatives, both as Republicans.

Both men recognized that they would have a very difficult campaign in a state where being a democrat almost was tantamount to being elected. Because there were so few Republican candidates these two young men would spend several days together in El Paso County campaigning from sun up until late in the evening. George Bush had been the Midland County Republican Chairman while I had been involved in several campaigns helping my father be elected to office. On one of the several occasions that we campaigned together Barbara Bush was with her husband and the following humorous situation occurred.

As I mentioned the Republican Party was in its infancy so when both candidates were invited to speak at a Young Republicans monthly meeting they knew that there would be only a limited number of people present. The club met in the very small basement meeting room of the Pancake Cottage. There was only room for four people at the head table so the club president and George Bush sat on one side and Barbara Bush and I sat on the other. As I was being introduced to speak Barbara leaned over and quickly told me the following story.

She said that as a man was being introduced to speak at a meeting the lady beside him quietly told him that his fly or zipper was open. He quickly reached down and zipped it shut. When he stood up to walk over to the podium to speak he realized, to his chagrin, that he had zipped the tablecloth into his pants. She said he almost fell because he was dragging much of the tablecloth along with him. Seconds later my introduction was completed and I very cautiously stood up placing my folded hands in front of my pants to hide what I felt for sure was an opening. To say the least the few minutes that I had been given to speak were not used as effectively as they could have been.

After the meeting was over I went to Barbara and told her she had played a dirty trick on me. I told her that George of course had been given twenty minutes to speak because he was running for a state-wide office however I had only been given six minutes of which the first two to three had been spent getting my composure after her story. She broke into one of her tremendous laughs and we then laughed together. By the way upon checking my zipper it was closed all the time. Barbara Bush's humor helped George reach many Texans who were not receptive to the influence of his "Yankee" up bringing. Over the years I have had the privilege of seeing how Barbara's influence has made President Bush more like a native Texan.

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