The President Known for Small, but Mighty Gestures Delivers His Final Gesture

By Susie Adams

Home / Interact Studio Stories & Articles / The President Known for Small, but Mighty Gestures Delivers His Final Gesture

We begin a recap of some of the most authentic moments of 2018 with a salute to President George H.W. Bush.

As President, he seemed to me a little stiff and formal, perhaps a nod to his New England upbringing. I only remember this authentic moment from him, but it was a doozy:

Bush 1924-2018“I do not like broccoli,” Bush once said to the press, tongue somewhat in cheek. “And I haven’t liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. And I’m president of the United States, and I’m not going to eat any more broccoli!”

Humanity, Humility, and Humor

After Bush left The White House, however, his humanity, his humility and his wicked humor were on full display. He jumped out of planes on his birthdays into his 90s.

He joined forces with Bill Clinton, who had defeated his reelection bid, to champion relief efforts after Katrina and in Haiti.

In the most touching of gestures, he reached across to grab his son’s hand after the 43rd president delivered a stirring tribute to the victims of 911.

George Bush Sr. and Jr.

He shaved his head in honor of one of his Secret Service agent’s children after he was diagnosed with leukemia, the disease that killed his daughter, Robin.

It’s Often the Simple Things

It became known that he wrote letters every evening in his study. A lost art, but one where the elder Bush could share what was on his mind and in his heart with those he cared about. We saw him at sporting events, especially in Houston, where he was, like us, a fan.

And as he spent more and more time in a wheelchair, we got frequent glimpses of his crazy socks. His burial socks are a tribute to his aviation background.

Gestures of Dignity

Sully at George H.W Casket

Earlier this year we saw him say goodbye to his beloved wife, Barbara, and a nation mourned with him.

And in recent days the world was moved by the images of his service dog, Sully, honoring his companion for the final times.

But perhaps the most authentic gesture that he leaves us with is one of dignity as he brought together the current and former presidents to sit together in honor and respect for a lifetime of commitment and service.

God Speed 41.

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