This happened probably 10 or maybe 15 years ago.

We were at a doctors’ office near Southern Maine Medical Center, waiting with my partner’s mother to have a routine checkup. There might have been five or six other patients waiting – for maybe two or three doctors in the practice.

The door opened and in walked an imposing young man in a suit. I immediately noted the headphone wire curlicuing out of his ear. Another, equally imposing young man in a dark suit stood in the door as both men canvassed the room with their eyes. The first man entered the bathroom, held the door and said, “Clear.” In walked President George H.W. Bush – also in a dark suit and tie.

A elderly gentleman across from us looked up and stared at the president for a long minute, trying to place him. He then said: “You know, you look a lot like President Bush.”

The president looked at the man incredulously and said: “You don’t say? I have heard I look like the president. I wonder why that is.”

“Really?” the man said to the president. “People tell you that?”

“All the time,” said the president. The man shook his head with satisfaction.

“You know why?” the president asked the man, who was now really looking the president over, from his hair to his shoes. “Because I am the president!”

“You don’t say!” And the man slapped his thigh. The whole office cracked up. Everyone in that office had a great laugh.

The president said, “I’d like to shake your hand.” And he did. Even the doctors poked their heads out and had a laugh.

What a genuine, warm, funny and generous person President Bush was. We’ll not see his like again, I am afraid.

Chris Queally

Scarborough


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