bush_50

Nice article from the Boston Globe about George Bush ’50.

George Bush was partying in the Gillette Stadium parking lot.

No, not that George Bush.

No, not the other George Bush, either.

This would be George F. Bush, a Patriots season-ticket holder for 44 years who was celebrating his 88th birthday with a marble cake before the Patriots and Bears kicked off on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

It wasn’t the first time Bush had seen the Patriots play the Bears. He was in New Orleans when the 1985 Bears throttled the Patriots, 46-10, in Super Bowl XX.

On Sunday, Bush proudly sported his hat from that game.

“It’s the only one in the whole stadium, that’s why I wear it,” said Bush, who sits in Section 108, Row 18, behind the Patriots’ bench.

Bush, a Turners Falls native and 1950 graduate of Williams College, proudly carries a flip card in his back pocket.

One on side is the picture he took with George H.W. Bush at a Williams College commencement ceremony.

When the lefthanded George H.W. played first base for Yale (Class of 1948) and faced Williams College, George F., a second baseman, was in the opposing dugout.

“I went up to him, and said I’m George Bush, too, can I have a picture,” George F. recalled asking the country’s 41st president at the commencement ceremony.

“He said sure, and the Secret Service allowed it. I told him I played baseball against him at Yale. He asked, ‘How’d we do?’ I said, ‘You beat us good.’”

When George F. mailed a photocopy of the picture to Houston hoping it would get signed, George H.W. obliged and sent it back.

On the other side of the flip card is a picture Bush took with another prominent George – the late George Steinbrenner, who graduated from Williams in 1952 before becoming owner of the Yankees.

“No, I didn’t hang out with him. If I had known he’d own the Yankees, that’d be a different story,” Bush quipped.

On Sunday, Bush was celebrating his birthday, which was actually Oct. 8., with 10 of his friends, some of whom were his students at Turners Falls High School, where he taught history for 30 years before retiring in 1982.

There was Terry Bernard, who graduated in 1981, and Jean Koldis, who graduated in 1961.

“These were the best students I’ve ever had,” said Bush, who also served in the Navy from 1944-46 and toured in the Pacific during World War II.

Terry’s husband Dave has been driving the two-hour trek from Turners Falls, with George riding shotgun, the last four years, and gets to sit with him during games.

Dave is the fourth driver because George has outlived the other three.

“He said to me, ‘You know what, Dave? All my other drivers have passed away.’ And I said, ‘Thanks a lot,’ ” Dave Bernard joked.

During the long rides, the conversations are extensive.

While Bush said he is starting to feel his age physically, his memory is as sharp as a tack.

“He’s unbelievable,” Bernard said. “We talk about whatever he wants. I just listen.”

Will someone be driving me around when I am 88? Will someone be driving you around, dear reader? Perhaps we should start living our lives the way that George Bush ’50 has led his.

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