Thursday, April 19, 2018

#461 Barbara Bush We're Proud Of You

Upon learning of the passing of Barbara Bush, I recalled the one and only time I saw her in person.  And at the time I had no idea it was her.

I was cycling through Kennebunkport on my last day of Bike Maine 2015.  The week had been quite enjoyable but the last day biking from Kennebunk back to Kittery was exceptionally glorious.  The sun was bright, and we rode along the coast for several miles. 

After passing the Bush summer home in Kennebunkport, my riding companion Duane and I stopped at the beach at Sandy Cove.  The tide was out, and it was a long way to the water, but we took our shoes off and dipped our toes in the cool water.  In the distance I noticed an elderly woman walking on the tightly-packed sand close to the water’s edge.  She used a walker and had a few people around her.  As I watched her move slowly along the sand I thought, “Good for her!  I hope I’m out and about walking on the beach with my walker when I’m her age.” 

I don't think that's her in the background but this is how far away she was
Duane and I returned to the sidewalk to put our shoes back on and continue our ride.  A couple walked by with their dog, so we asked them to take a photo.  We asked them questions about the area and they asked us about our ride.  Then the woman asked, “Did you see Barbara Bush walk by a minute ago?  She walks every morning on the beach.”  That wonderful elderly woman with the people around her was the former First Lady with her secret service!  She was far away, but I enjoyed my brief brush with Mrs. Bush. 

And after posting my trip photos on Facebook I learned that a high school friend spent several summers in Kennebunkport.  Her interaction was a lot more involved than mine – her husband worked security detail for the Bush family for four years.  Two degrees of separation!  Not bad. 

Mrs. Bush has left a legacy of faith, family and a love of literacy.  As a book-lover myself, I especially like that!  She even has a school named after her in Houston – Barbara Bush Elementary.  Every Friday morning the students sing the Barbara Bush Song. 

Barbara Bush is our school’s name, from a grand first lady it came.
Our school puts us to the test, helping us to do our best.
To our school we’ll always be true, Barbara Bush we’re proud of you.  Proud of you."

Barbara Bush, I’m proud of how you served your family and your country.  And I’m proud that you made the effort to get out on that beach with your walker.  Proud of you! 

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