Bush Childhood Home Restored

There's a new tourist attraction today in Midland, Texas, with the grand opening of the George W. Bush Childhood Home. According to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the home has been restored to all of it's 1950's glory, with 'vintage appliances, light fixtures and even 1950s-era wallpaper and toys'.

The house is surprisingly modest by Bush terms, and shows that the future 43 lived far from the lap of luxury. For instance, this shot of the president's childhood bedroom shows that the president did not have many of the things that we all take for granted. No computer, no telephone - not even a television set of his own. (According to matriarch Barbara Bush, the family had to 'share' one.)

After looking at various pictures, I wondered how this modest restoration could have possibly cost 1.8 million dollars. The answer is simple - we didn't get to see any pictures of the downstairs, which is really the nicest part of the house..

For example, this is the president's childhood bowling alley. "George was really crazy about a good game of tenpins," recalls Barbara Bush. "Sometimes we couldn't even get him to come up for dinner until he got a few more frames in. Big George would go down and try to give him a few tips, but the boy was a true independent spirit, and he would throw that ball into the gutter all by himself. You can see from the picture that he was never going to be a world class bowler. It's a good thing he finally went into politics."

Although the demands of the oil business kept the senior Bush away from home the majority of the time, the rest of the family would spend many happy hours frolicking in the 'family swimming hole'. "We thought it was the most wonderful pool, and I guess it was at the time," says Mrs. Bush. "I had really wanted a pool, but big George thought it might seem a little too ostentatious, so we built it inside where nobody else could see it."

There is much more to see in the Bush childhood home - the wine cellar, the basketball and tennis courts, the underground horseshoe pit - but for Barbara Bush, her favorite room will always be the family cocktail lounge. "We called it Club Bush, and it was really just adorable. We used to do a lot of entertaining back then, and you absolutely had to have a cocktail lounge. Money was tight for us back in those days - we couldn't afford a live-in bartender, so we often had to make the drinks ourselves. Occasionally, I'd dress George junior up in a little waiter's uniform and he would come down and help bus the tables. He used to love that. It was a simpler time, but these are the memories that you keep forever."                                             


2006, Mark Hoback