Scrib­ble at Ste­wart has stuck with Stein­haus

Notes signed by Bush asked school to ex­cuse ab­sence of exec’s kids

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - Free­man staff

Former Dutchess County Ex­ec­u­tive Wil­liam Stein­haus says one of his fond­est mem­o­ries of Pres­i­dent Ge­orge H.W. Bush is from a visit Bush paid to the Hud­son Val­ley more than 25 years ago.

Bush, who died this past Fri­day at age 94, ar­rived at Ste­wart Air­port in Or­ange County on Jan. 5, 1993, two weeks be­fore then end of his term, en route to his fi­nal visit to West Point as pres­i­dent. Stein­haus, a fel­low Repub­li­can, made the trip across the river to greet Bush when Air Force One landed.

Stein­haus brought his wife, Susie, and their chil­dren, Julie, 14, and Matthew, 11, to the ar­rival event, and re­porters be­came cu­ri­ous when Stein­haus asked Bush to sign two pieces of pa­per.

Turns out they were ex­cuse notes for the chil­dren to miss a few hours of school that day. Stein­haus said his wife sug­gested giv­ing Bush prewrit­ten notes to sign,

and the pres­i­dent obliged.

The notes, writ­ten as if penned by the pres­i­dent, re­quested that each child be ex­cused for miss­ing classes “be­cause he/she came to meet me at Ste­wart Air­port.”

Bush signed each note with a large let­ter G and the word Bush.

“Pres­i­dent Bush gra­ciously con­sented [to sign the notes], and the story went, as we

would say to­day, ‘vi­ral,’” Stein­haus said in a writ­ten state­ment this week. “... That mem­o­rable oc­ca­sion was ac­tu­ally joked about on the Jay Leno show.”

Stein­haus, who was Dutchess County ex­ec­u­tive from 1992 to 2011, said he and his wife also met with Bush in Texas on Nov. 17, 2008, when the former pres­i­dent

gave him a na­tional award for be­ing an “ex­em­plary lo­cal leader” by pro­mot­ing and ad­vo­cat­ing for Dutchess’ “Com­pre­hen­sive Can­cer Con­trol Ini­tia­tive.”


Pres­i­dent Ge­orge H.W. Bush, left, signs school ex­cuse notes for the chil­dren of then-Dutchess County Ex­ec­u­tive Wil­liam Stein­haus, right, on Jan. 5, 1993, at Ste­wart Air­port in New Wind­sor, N.Y.

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