George and Barbara Bush’s love affair is inspiring

The lovely love story of George and Barbara Bush is inspiring. I must thank their granddaughter Ellie LeBlond Sosa and Kelly Anne Chase for writing this wonderful story.

Their book, titled George and Barbara Bush, published by Down East Books, chronicles the Bush’s 77-year love affair that thrived despite their separation in World War II, the painful loss of a child, and their challenging times in the White House.

I especially enjoyed George’s many awesome letters to Barbara, always emphasizing how much he loved and appreciated her. And their trips to their Kennebunkport oceanside retreat, a place they l loved, were of special interest to me. Linda and I have gazed at that beautiful place from the nearby beach a number of times.

There’s a lot of history here, along with historical documents.

Barbara was the family anchor, through the good and the challenging times. In the introduction, Ellie shares this story:

My grandmother passed away just a week after conducting a final interview for this book, and she was still bright and candid – and in love with my grandfather. “You have to go 75 percent of the way,” she offered when asked for marital advice. “Be thoughtful and make things nice for your husband or wife… it’s a two-way street.”

She continued, “I believe I’ve had a very happy marriage and I’m having a happy marriage.”
Barbara had a great sense of humor too. In that final interview, Ellie asked her if she’d change anything.

“I would have been nicer, thinner, smarter, more beautiful, more educated, I mean, all those things,” she said, her voice slightly rough as she made everyone in the room laugh. “No, I wouldn’t have changed anything. You’re not going to talk to anyone any happier.”

I guarantee you will be happy and smiling all the way through this book.

George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website,, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.