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.”