"In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps."

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Summer Fun: George W. Bush Childhood Home

Ok, so I don’t know if anyone remembers this, but George W Bush lived in Midland for a large part of his childhood and most of his siblings were born in Midland. Its also his wife, Laura Bush’s hometown, and her 90-something year old mother still lives here.

I am going to decline to comment on W’s politics or my opinions on “compassionate” conservatism because this post is not about this. He was a former two-term President, and deserves some measure of respect. Politics aside, I think that the Bushes are very, very nice people. I have met many people who worked with W, and everyone agrees, he and his wife are very kind, down-to-earth people. There are people that I have met here, around town and in my neighborhood who worked with the Bush administration and came home from Washington after his term ended, and everyone agrees, he is just so nice and genuinely interested in people. This makes sense given the family’s ties to Midland because I kid you not, you will never meet nicer people than the people in Midland. My friend Dawn is from New York, and she told me that it has “taken some getting used to” that people are so nice, lol. When I first met Dawn, she was still trying to get used it, and confessed that when she met someone who was so nice to her, her first thought was almost always along the lines of “what’s your grift!?!”.  I’m from Texas and used to nice people, but people here just really take the cake for sweetness.

Another interesting thing to point out, the Bushes originally came from Connecticut and were old money trying to make some new money in the energy industry. There are a lot of old money families that came out here in the 50’s and 60’s and it really shows. For starters there is a POLO CLUB. Seriously. Polo. In West Texas. There are a lot of older houses that look like they came straight out of Nantucket, and at one point there was apparently a Rolls Royce dealership. I think the old money mentality helped shape Midland into being such a nice, clean community. It might be the “town that oil built”, but it is certainly not the “town that roughnecks built”. Just compare Midland to Odessa right next door, and there is a big difference. It is really such a nice, clean, safe town. We were told when we moved here that Midland was more white-collar and Odessa was more blue-collar… after having ventured in to Odessa a few times, I think people really need to reconsider what blue-collar means because I do not think it translates to dirty, crime ridden and meth addicted… needless to say, I steer clear of Odessa whenever possible!

Another side note – Bush Sr. has his presidential library at my alma mater, Texas A&M (have I ever mentioned that I’m a fightin’ Texas Aggie, lol?) and we used to see Barbara and him around campus all the time and especially at baseball games. Very cool.

Anyway, we live here, George W Bush, our former President is from here, and my neighbor Dawn and I decided to take our girls to visit his childhood home that has been made into a museum.

Our tour guide, Louis, was 86 and just the sweetest little old lady. She had a pretty hefty limp but she had no problem proudly showing us all over the house and explaining all of the restoration work that had taken place. She also attends church with Laura Bush’s mother. She was so sweet to our girls too! The house was not as kid friendly as I would have liked, and the girls tried to be good… but still, they were 3, 4 and 5 and there were a lot of vintage toys that they were not allowed to touch! Very hard for any age, and Louis was so sweet and patient with them.

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I knew that the Bushes had lost their oldest daughter Robin to infant leukemia, and this was the house they lived in when she died. Honestly, I couldn’t get past that part of the tour without tears (and typing this now), I can’t imagine anything worse than losing a child. W was 7ish when she died and Barbara always said that his talking about Robin made it easier for them talk about her and get through their grief.

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The only other part of the tour that I will point out was that I learned about the Roy Roger’s club, which W was a member of, and that I did not know about before. The Roy Roger’s club was a club for boy’s with “Rider’s Rules” that all of the boys agreed to live by.
 
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  1. Be neat and clean.
  2. Be courteous and polite.
  3. Always obey your parents.
  4. Protect the weak and help them.
  5. Be brave but never take chances.
  6. Study hard and learn all you can.
  7. Be kind to animals and take care of them.
  8. Eat all your food and never waste any.
  9. Love God and go to Sunday school regularly.
  10. Always respect our flag and our country.

How I wish we still had something like that for our boys today! Sometimes I think that there is no hope for boys in America with so few role models for them and so few daddies who are willing to step up and show them what it means to be men. You can argue that those rules are hard to live up to, but I think there’s no harm in trying!

GWB’s childhood room.

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Anyway, Dawn and I really enjoyed it, even if the girls were a little antsy! It was very informative and I look forward to bringing visitors to Midland there to learn more about one of our Presidents.

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