Re­mem­ber­ing ‘a man of char­ac­ter’

New Mi­nas au­thor re­calls Bush was ‘real gen­tle­man’


A New Mi­nas au­thor who cor­re­sponded with Ge­orge H.W. Bush on a few oc­ca­sions says he re­mem­bers the former United States pres­i­dent as self-dep­re­cat­ing, funny and gra­cious.

Jim Prime, who has writ­ten sev­eral books about the Bos­ton Red Sox and their play­ers, wrote to Bush in the late 1990s, ask­ing if he could pro­vide a blurb for a book he was co-au­thor­ing on Red Sox great Ted Wil­liams. He also asked for his au­to­graph on a base­ball bat, and in one of Prime’s books.

Wil­liams and Bush were friends and had gone to pre-flight school for com­bat pi­lot train­ing in the United States air force. In one note to Prime, Bush men­tioned hav­ing cam­paigned with Wil­liams, who was a staunch Repub­li­can.

Cam­paign­ing with Wil­liams in New Hamp­shire “was a true les­son in hu­mil­ity,” Bush wrote. “I was run­ning for pres­i­dent, but it looked like Ted was run­ning for God. Every­one there wor­shipped the guy, and I can un­der­stand why.”

Bush also wrote, ref­er­enc­ing a book Prime and Wil­liams co-au­thored on Wil­liams’ list of the best hit­ters in base­ball, that it was “a list I’ll never make.” Bush said he was a ca­reer .250 hit­ter in col­lege.

Prime said he doesn’t usu­ally name drop but did on so­cial me­dia after Bush’s death was an­nounced Nov. 30.

“I wanted to let peo­ple know that he was a good guy, from my brief ex­pe­ri­ence with him,” Prime said Dec. 2.

He said when he asked Bush to con­trib­ute to the book, “he was very gra­cious and happy to help, and that’s just con­sis­tent with ev­ery­thing I’ve heard about the man since. He was just a real gen­tle­man.”

Prime said his in­tent was “not to get too po­lit­i­cal, but the pres­i­dency has cer­tainly dipped in terms of rep­u­ta­tion. As a Cana­dian ... I’ve seen pres­i­dents that were great and some that were less great, and I al­ways had that re­spect for the pres­i­dency, and I think it’s a real shame that things have changed in re­cent times.

“It’s nice to look back at a guy who ... was a man of char­ac­ter and sub­stance. ... It’s nice to look back and see some­body like that as an ex­am­ple of what the pres­i­dency could be and can be.”

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO New Mi­nas au­thor Jim Prime holds a signed base­ball bat and a let­ter from former United States pres­i­dent Ge­orge H.W. Bush, who passed away Nov. 30. Prime said Bush was “a real gen­tle­man.”

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