by Victor Lopez
There has been a lot of talk about George W. Bush, the President. But not much has been said about George Bush, the boy. Having called the tall city home from 1951-1955, he was just another kid on the block.
Taking the oath of office as President of the United States in 2001, George W. Bush was miles away from his carefree days as boy, in Midland, Texas.
If it was baseball season, he was up pretty early, washing up, getting dressed and sitting down to a hot breakfast. Then it was off to school at Sam Houston Elementary. But according to Paul St. Hilaire, Executive Director of the Bush Childhood Home, it wasn't to get in some extra studying, "It was pretty typical for him and the neighborhood kids to get to school as early as possible and have a pick-up game of baseball. They always envisioned themselves being a World Series star when they grew up."
Getting to school was a chore in itself, whether on bike or on foot. Mark, the family dog, liked to tag along, meaning George had to go back home with Mark, then back to school, and do it all without being late.
Again, St. Hilaire says, it wasn't always about the learning, "George was known as a prankster at school. He, one time, was sent to the Principal's office for drawing an ink mustache, goatee and sideburns on himself. He got severely paddled for that one."
When not playing ball, you could find him and his friends, somewhere in the neighborhood, playing anything from ring toss to croquette.
But his first love was baseball. His favorite team, the New York Giants. His favorite player, Willie Mays. He wanted to be just as great. In his father's eyes, he was, especially after he earned a spot on a little league team. "It was a very proud day for him and his dad. His dad was especially proud of the fact he had made the Midland Cubs because he (dad) had been a very big ball player at Yale," explained St. Hilaire.
St. Hilaire says, all in all, young George Bush, was just a regular kid, dressed in jeans and a white t-shirt, "Back then, all the children played outside as much as they could, not like today."