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December 1, 2018

Photo: George H.W. Bush presidential library

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

Some of you are old enough to remember when all grown men wore hats.  Real hats, forwards — and not backwards.  The late, great 41st President who left us yesterday was one of those men — men of the greatest generation.  Although born into a life of ease, had he chose to live it, George H. W. Bush instead left his soft cushion and enlisted in the Navy at age 18, immediately after Pearl Harbor.  He became the YOUNGEST naval fighter pilot in history.  And, during one mission against the Japanese, his plane was shot down over the Pacific and he was miraculously rescued by a US submarine that happened to be patrolling in Japanese-controlled waters.  He didn’t go home; he rejoined the war effort and the fight.

He was also a star athlete, and after the war, he captained every major sport team that Yale University fielded.  Instead of relying on his dad’s clout as a longstanding US senator, he chose to strike out on his own, move to Texas and enter the oil business.  He wedded his longtime sweetheart, Barbara, raised six children and made his fortune in Texas oil.  To give back, he ran for Congress and was elected.  He later ran for the Senate but was defeated.  However, he did not nurse his wound, but rather used his talents to head up the Republican National Committee, and was later tapped to head the Central Intelligence Agency.

He ran for president but was denied the nomination in favor of Ronald Reagan, who – as a wise man himself – asked Bush to join his ticket as VP.  He did and later succeeded President Reagan, continued his predecessor’s foreign policies and oversaw the collapse of the Soviet Empire, the Warsaw Pact, the “forward march” of world communism, and the end of the Cold War.  And he cautioned our side not to gloat!

He ran for a second termbut was defeated because of votes split between him and the upstart Ross Perot, who had some personal agenda against Bush 41.  Some of my friends and colleagues refused to vote for Bush’s re-election because he had made the human error of succumbing to advisors who told him to disregard his pledge of “Read My Lips…” and actually approved a tax increase.  Those foolhardy votes for Perot gave us the Clintons and all that went with them and still dogs us to this day.  Foolishness? (ahem, I’m trying to be kind…)

George H. W. Bush was a great example to his sons, and each of them has his dad’s reserve and good manners.  They don’t self-aggrandize or suffer from the false pretense common to so many in politics.  Put another way: Dad never bragged about his remarkable accomplishments and neither should they.  So, when “Dubya” was president and being slandered daily by a vicious leftist media and midget-minded leftist politicians, he refused to answer in kind, as such would besmirch the high office that he held – and worse – neither Dad nor Mom would like it!

But, America no longer has many men who “wear hats” and have good manners.  Instead, we have a bunch of folks who exhaust their arm muscles patting themselves on the back for non-existent “accomplishments” they never truly earned.

A truly Great American passed from us yesterday, and he is already greatly missed.

Old Frank

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