• 90°
franklin county times

The making of a dynasty

By By Buddy Bynum / editor
July 4, 2004
I've been reading a book that came to me courtesy of a Father's Day gift from my daughter, Sarah. "The Bushes: Portrait of a Dynasty" by Peter Schweizer and Rochelle Schweizer (Doubleday) is about the lives and times of a great American family.
I'm only about a hundred pages into it, but I can already tell you "The Bushes" published on April 6 is a very insightful account of an American family's rise to prominence. It is served up, thankfully, without any of the self-centered, self-serving drivel written by Bill Clinton as he cleanses his troubled psyche.
From the earliest, the Bush family looked at competitive sports as analogous to life. They learned sportsmanship and fair albeit tough play and the benefits of teamwork on baseball fields and tennis courts and golf courses.
Bush the 41st's maternal grandfather, a colorful Irish Catholic named Bert Walker, may have gone a little overboard when he took the measure of a man based on his golf swing, but Walker did go on to help found the U.S. Golf Association. The Walker Cup still carries his name today.
The flamboyance of Bert Walker contrasted with the solemn, stern austerity of S.P. Bush and, later Prescott Bush, who taught their grandchildren and children lessons in building businesses and public service.
Bush the 41st's mother, Dottie, was described as the most competitive of them all, excelling in tennis and once diving into rough waters off the family compound in Kennebunkport, Maine, and swimming two miles to show her sons they had nothing to fear.
In prep school, where they were not only expected to make good grades but also excel in athletics and the business of growing into responsible manhood, the Bushes were taught under the Latin motto, Non Sibi, "not for self." Among the usual academic subjects, they were graded on claiming no more attention than they deserved.
The Bush family has produced four generations of leaders in business and politics, four generations of men and women taught not to use the personal pronouns "I' or "me." That helps explain some of the tortured language that occasionally creeps into comments of Bush the 41st and Bush the 43rd. Most political figures can't resist the lure of "me" first.
That brings me to one of the fundamental things that is captivating me about "The Bushes." With few exceptions over the generations even the best of families have so-called "black sheep" they are disciplined, driven and highly-competitive, geared to make a difference. There's nothing wimpy or whiny about this family that has, so far, produced two U.S. presidents, a U.S. senator, governors and a host of innovative and successful business leaders.
I think the authors of "The Bushes" have it just about right for all the right reasons, the Bushes are an American dynasty.
Line of the week
Comedian Argus Hamilton on a new movie: "Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 tripled its number of movie theaters Thursday to accommodate the angry mobs. The Republicans counterattacked the movie quickly. Every thirtieth frame of Spider Man Two flashes the words "Buy Popcorn" and "Vote Bush."
Buddy Bynum is editor of The Meridian Star. Call him at 693-1551, ext. 3213, or e-mail bbynum@themeridianstar.com.

Franklin County

PROGRESS 2024: Veteran Spotlight – Tony Chard

News

Car show benefit helps raise needed funds

News

Russellville High School varsity cheerleaders attend UCA cheer camp

Franklin County

NWSCC receives $18,000 in grants from Dollar General Literacy Foundation

News

Russellville equine therapy visits library program

News

Steam locomotive delivery to Red Bay delayed, arrives July 1

News

Local author holds book signing at RPL

Franklin County

Former Russellville resident performs ‘Miracle Worker’

News

Presenting: Miss Phil Campbell

Franklin County

All American Tang Soo Do students recognized

News

Russellville High School students sign to pursue fine arts careers

Franklin County

Football Funday, special needs probowl take place June 15

Galleries

PHOTOS: RMS students take the stage for spring sing

News

Russellville member named among finalists for GFWC Jennie Award

East Franklin

East Franklin Junior High celebrates May 21 graduation

Belgreen

Belgreen Class of 2024 celebrates graduation

Franklin County

Local churches plan Vacation Bible School programs

Galleries

PHOTOS: Tharptown High School Wildcats graduate

Galleries

PHOTOS: Phil Campbell High School students graduate

Franklin County

NEMCC announces more than 400 to spring vice president’s list

Franklin County

UNA releases spring dean’s, president’s lists

News

Roxy holds June 15 concert, plans other events

Franklin County

Free summer meal program available at Franklin County Schools

News

PHOTOS: Red Bay High School graduates celebrate

x