Getting to know ‘No. 41’
The George H.W. Bush Presidential Library is on the sprawling Texas A&M University Campus in College Station.
July 10, 2013
Post a comment
By Harry & Linda Kaye Perez
Presidential Library reveals facets of George H.W. Bush and First Family
For some, summer travel plans take in a destination that is both enjoyable and educational. Here’s one recommendation.
When you think of George and Barbara Bush, I’ll bet you don’t think comedians, but they are. One exhibit, “Bushes Unplugged,” that we keep going back to at the George Bush Presidential Library is a cozy corner just beyond the First Lady’s exhibit.
Make yourself comfortable on one of the couches and enjoy a hilarious video playing on the television. It also includes Dana Carvey and some of his impersonations of “No. 41.” Believe it or not, President Bush loves being personified with a sense of humor, an attribute he often used to disarm his adversaries. He once said, “I have opinions of my own, strong opinions, but I don’t always agree with them.”
A great way to start your tour is in the Orientation Theater; showing there is a short film every 30 minutes, focusing on George Bush, from childhood to his presidency. Now you are ready to explore the entire museum and learn about this president: His days at Yale and his courtship and marriage to Barbara; his involvement during World War II as a pilot of a 1944 TBM Avenger (a restored Avenger hangs from the ceiling in the Duty, Honor, Country section); his oil business and his public life.
He had many titles in his career, including Texas oilman, congressman, ambassador to the United Nations, director of the CIA, vice president, and president of the United States.
Much to discover
There is so much to take in and discover at this library: George Bush’s childhood, World War II history, growing the Bush family and his oil business, international crises, and the trials and tribulations of the presidency. Here are a few exhibits that you should not miss:
Family Traditions offers a personal glimpse of the Bush family scrapbook and Making Our Own Way features a
restored 1947 Studebaker --identical to the one George drove to Texas in 1948. Both of these areas welcome you into the life of this family destined to be our First Family.
Duty, Honor, Country is dedicated to the history of World War II and the impact the attack on Pearl Harbor had on a young George Bush. While visiting the museum, kids of all ages enjoy trying their hand at landing an Avenger aircraft on the deck of the San Jacinto on the flight simulator.
The Literacy Outlook is filled with comfortable seating and books. Mrs. Bush was a dedicated advocate for literacy around the world. This is also the place to see the video, “Bushes Unplugged.”
Berlin Wall-Age of Freedom includes a 12-foot-tall section of one of the last symbols of the Cold War and the Iron Curtain that was torn down in November 1989 during Bush’s presidency.
Genome: The Secret of How Life Works, a traveling exhibit, was on display until July 5. This mapping of the human genome project identified more than 20,000 genes in human DNA. It was an appropriate exhibit for the Bush Library, as it was President George H.W. Bush who signed into law the appropriations for this project in 1989. “Who could have foreseen how the science of imagination would become the science of the possible?”
Inside and out
When you are finished inside the museum, exit the building and walk around to your right, to a magnificent sculpture, “The Day the Wall Came Down,” depicting five horses escaping over the Berlin Wall. According to the artist, Veryl Goodnight, the horses symbolize the personal drive for freedom; they represent humanity and a victory of the human spirit. History has shown that the spirit of the free will always triumph over those who choose to trample over the weak and humble.
From here you can continue on to the fishing pond, catch and release only, and the Barbara Bush Rose Garden. This is a beautiful and tranquil place to spend a moment, or stretch out on the grassy knoll. Walk around to the other side of the pond, past the gardens, and you will find an open wrought iron gate and a bridge leading to another section. This area is the final resting place for the Bush’s daughter, Pauline “Robin” Bush, who died of leukemia just shy of her fourth birthday, and the future resting place for George and Barbara Bush.
George Herbert Walker Bush is our oldest surviving former president and remains an inspiration to all Americans. No matter what your political persuasion, a visit to this Presidential Library will be educational and memorable and will stir your imagination.
Harry and Linda Kaye Perez are freelance writers from just down the road from Floresville. Together they share a passion for traveling and writing, and discovering the very best in all corners of the world. Enjoy their “Everyday Journeys” columns in the La Vernia News. Email them at Harry-Linda411@att.net.
About the library
The George Bush Library and Museum, located on the sprawling Texas A&M University Campus in College Station, opened to the public on Nov. 7, 1997. This state-of-the-art facility is dedicated to the preservation, research, and exhibition of official records, personal papers, and memorabilia of our 41st president.
The library is open every day except Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day; more than 125,000 people visit each year.
Admission ranges from $3 to $7. Active military and immediate family members, as well as Texas A&M and Blinn College students, are admitted free. Parking is free for visitors in Lot 41.
The George Bush Presidential Library is located at 1000 George Bush Drive West, College Station, TX 77845; phone: 979-691-4000; http://bushlibrary.tamu.edu.
For more information about the sculpture, “The Day the Wall Came Down,” visit www.verylgoodnight.com/wall.htm.
|Your Opinions and Comments
Be the first to comment on this story!
You must be logged in to post comments:
|Other South Texas Living
| AgapeFest to benefit ACTS Sept. 6 (August 27, 2014)
Back to School Bites (August 27, 2014)
Circus coming Sept. 11-14 (August 27, 2014)
Enjoy Sunday Dance in Geronimo (August 27, 2014)
Enjoy symphony, ballet Sept. 4 at H-E-B Performance... (August 27, 2014)
Healthy Living: Nutrients: Recover like a... (August 27, 2014)
Healthy Living: Psychic income: Poll shows... (August 27, 2014)
Heather’s miracle (August 27, 2014)
On-the-go yummy eats (August 27, 2014)
Reminiscing about living history (August 27, 2014)
Ride to Remember is Sept. 6 (August 27, 2014)
RSVP extended for ’74 reunion (August 27, 2014)
Sign up for cooking at Rhew Orchards (August 27, 2014)
Tickets on sale for Father-Daughter Dance (August 27, 2014)
United Gas played pivotal role in community growth (August 27, 2014)
‘The Legend of the Sand Dollar’ (August 27, 2014)
Art League seeks photography entries (August 20, 2014)
Artists called to enter art show (August 20, 2014)
Attend Constitution 101 class in Poth (August 20, 2014)
Barbecue benefit Sept. 6 (August 20, 2014)
Blue & Gold Gala Sept. 20 (August 20, 2014)
Celebrate in Bandera (August 20, 2014)
Free gardening seminars in SA (August 20, 2014)
Making memories at Beaver Roundup (August 20, 2014)
More about the church in Picoso (August 20, 2014)
Museum changes meeting (August 20, 2014)
National Lemonade Day, August 20 (August 20, 2014)
Pack 114 pancake breakfast fund-raiser (August 20, 2014)
Polished Edge: Another ‘Terminator’ in 2015 (August 20, 2014)
Polished Edge: Celebrity Extra (August 20, 2014)
Polished Edge: Soap Updates (August 20, 2014)
Protect pets from feline heartworms (August 20, 2014)
Sweet victory for Regency Manor residents, staff (August 20, 2014)
Three Oaks EEC discusses Senior Citizens Dinner (August 20, 2014)
Battle of Medina ceremony (August 13, 2014)
Bexar County Master Gardeners to meet Aug. 21 (August 13, 2014)
Comal County Music Show (August 13, 2014)
Enjoy church fest Aug. 24 (August 13, 2014)
Get a head start on backyard gardening (August 13, 2014)
Hammerfest volunteers to meet Aug. 20 (August 13, 2014)
Healthy Living: Low-cal summer refreshers (August 13, 2014)
Healthy Living: The pitfalls of dining out (August 13, 2014)
JK Memorial is Aug. 23 (August 13, 2014)
Master Gardeners to hold round tables in Seguin... (August 13, 2014)
Registration open for rodeo cookoff (August 13, 2014)
Searching for the roots of faith and heritage (August 13, 2014)
Strangerfest 2014 to benefit county’s youth... (August 13, 2014)
THC dedicates World War II historical marker (August 13, 2014)
The case of the wheelchair caper (August 13, 2014)
Veterans plan fund-raiser (August 13, 2014)
13th Floor seeks scarers (August 6, 2014)
A medley of memories (August 6, 2014)
Brisket, ribs, chicken … and gators? (August 6, 2014)
Church plans burger fund-raiser (August 6, 2014)
Early-bird tickets on sale for Czhilispiel (August 6, 2014)
Free historical marker webinar (August 6, 2014)
Gardening enrollment deadline (August 6, 2014)
Hammerfest volunteers to meet (August 6, 2014)
In-depth Bible study continues in Verdi (August 6, 2014)
La Vernia BBQ Cook-Off Aug. 8-9 (August 6, 2014)
Nonprofit organizations invited to THC workshops (August 6, 2014)
Polished Edge: An enticing proposition for... (August 6, 2014)
Polished Edge: LaNasa stars in ‘Satisfaction’ (August 6, 2014)
Polished Edge: Warren Beatty completes film (August 6, 2014)
Saspamco church’s prayers are answered (August 6, 2014)
See the stars on Aug. 16 (August 6, 2014)
Three decades in the U.S. Army – ‘but I wouldn’t... (August 6, 2014)