Monday, March 18, 2013

Presidential Side Trip..George HW Bush's Library

In the soundtrack of my life last week’s feature hit was…On the Road Again.  Apropos considering I was on the road again and heading to Texas…and who doesn’t like a little Willie Nelson every now and then running through their head.

So off to Houston I headed with 3 full days planned…but I knew that the George (HW) Bush Library was in the area so flew in a day early and drove 1 ½ hrs to College Station to spend the afternoon revisiting the politics of the 1980’s & early 90’s.

First off, when I was planning this little side trip I had no idea that the library was 1 ½ (each way) outside of Houston.  I’ve been in New England too long because I forget not everything is as geographically compact as New England.  Heck I could hit 3 states in 1 ½ hrs….

In 1 1/2 hrs I could be here...Walkers Point Kennebunkport ME

George H.W. Bush Library on Texas A&M Campus in College Station TX

Anyway, even if I was clear on the distance it would not have changed my plans.  I don’t get to Houston often and am definitely on a mission to visit as many of the presidential libraries as I can by adding on to already planned trips.

Love this pic....thank goodness he's not in a middle seat next to me :-)

So, after landing I headed off to College Station.  My flight landed at 11 am and the library was only open until 5pm so I was a little worried about the time and not having enough time to see everything I wanted to after factoring the travel time.

Very young and very good looking George & Barbara (Pierce) Bush

Don't they look happy?

Wow was he handsome or what?  He was voted most handsome at Andover Academy...I never would have guessed

Luckily the 4 hrs that I ended up having was just the perfect amount of time. I had plenty of time to stroll leisurely through and look at every exhibit I wanted to and even go back and re-look at the Reagan years twice.  There is a Genome/DNA exhibit that I decided to skip so I really just spend my time learning about the man, the family & the politician.

Can you believe this is where the new family lived in TX after Mr Bush graduated from Yale?

Bush I was the first president I voted for so he definitely holds a special place in my heart but since he was a single termer it’s sometimes hard to consider what a significant impact he had on our world.  I had forgotten that the Soviet Union broke apart during his presidency.  Also, the Berlin Wall came down and the beginning negotiations of NAFTA (although Clinton did sign it into law).

Part of the Berlin Wall...there is one in Reagan's library as well

We all remember his legacy of Desert Storm as the precursor to today’s Iraq war and there is a very moving exhibit honoring the Desert Storm experience in the library.  There is a tent set up to replicate those our soldiers lived in with a first-hand account of their experiences told by several of our soldiers including visual, oral and physical cues to their experience (the benches shake as bombs are going off & stories are being relayed on the monitor).  I will never really know what it was like for my friends and family to fight this war but it definitely reminded me how much impact Desert Storm had on my generation.  This was of course the first real war experience us Gen Y-ers had.

Amazing Desert Storm exhibit....doesn't look like much in these photo's but it certainly was touching

I think the thing I mostly came away with was really how impressive George (HW) Bush is as a man. He was well educated (he graduated in 2 ½ years from Yale with an Economics degree), deeply devoted to his family and driven to success.  Yes, he came from a life of privilege but the man really worked too.

The Vice President's official residence.

The Bush official china

And did you know that there are only 3 presidents that were taller than President Bush (Lincoln, LBJ and believe it or not Jefferson).  The library does a wonderful job of presenting who he is man, myth and politician.

You too can have your photo taken in the Oval Office at the Bush Library

Bush's Oval Office

If you are heading to Houston anytime soon I highly recommend taking a couple of hours and revisiting the 1980’s-90’s.


  1. How fun! I really enjoyed seeing the pics from your trip to the library. You're right! He was handsome. It's neat to see pictures of them when they were young.

  2. Oh thank you so much for sharing your visit with us! I am SO glad I clicked on your thumbnail at Make it Pretty Monday. I know these type of posts often don't get the visits they deserve, but yours is well written and full of so much information that I never knew. I almost feel like I've been there myself. I'm certain in a few years, with my bad memory, I'll be claiming I had ("I remember specifically looking at those pictures!") ha ha. What a delight. Thanks for sharing and enjoy the rest of your week.


  3. Neat pictures! Lovely blog....

    Have a Beautifully Blessed day!

    Jayma |

  4. OM Gosh! Love you at the Oval Office!!!

  5. What a great trip!!!!! Love the photos. Barbara on the beach is so cute:)


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