Carbondale resident recalls meeting George H.W. Bush - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Carbondale resident recalls meeting George H.W. Bush

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WSIL -- As the nation celebrates the life of President George H.W. Bush, one southern Illinoisan, and current WSIL employee, remembers President Bush as kind and humble. It's the feeling Elizabeth Taylor got after just a two minute run-in with the president, that left a lasting impression.

"He was extremely nice, very sweet, just a pure Texan," said Taylor.

The Carbondale native calls it was a chance encounter, she'll never forget. Taylor was living in Houston in 2003 when a dinner with friends turned into a photo op with a well known Houston foodie, President George H.W. Bush.

Taylor explained, "So we get up to leave and suddenly a swarm of these men come and President George H.W. Bush and Barbara come toward us. He stops and says, 'Oh, hello ladies.' He was so nice and he offered to stop and take pictures with us."

Taylor's photo of that meeting is not so unique. President Bush's son, Neil Bush, says his father always took time to share his smile with others.

"They love the people here," said Bush. "Anybody who would ask my dad even when he was in a wheelchair for a picture. He would stop and graciously, he would treat everyone in Houston the same, with the same amount of respect. He loved Houston."

"He's been leader of the free world, he didn't have to stop to take a photo with us," said Taylor. "He's the one who suggested a photo. It's something I'll never forget. Might have been 120 seconds, but it's something I'll never forget."

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