Bush 41's Jump, Library Upgrades Impress Visitors

By: Pachatta Pope Email
By: Pachatta Pope Email

The re-opening of the Bush Presidential Library came with great fanfare and the 41st president added a little flare of his own.

The former commander-in-chief surprised attendees at the reopening ceremony by joining the celebration via parachute.

Well into his 80s, Mr. Bush jumped out of a plane with the famed United States Army Golden Knights Parachute Team.

The former president says life for him has not stopped.

"You have got do things that are fun," George H.W. Bush said. "And besides that, it sets an example. You don't have to sit around drooling because you're 83."

After expressing his gratitude to library staff members for their hard work in getting the renovations done, he invited the public to see what was new.

"It's my distinct pleasure to declare the Bush Library and Museum officially re-opened," Bush said.

Present 10 years ago at the first official opening, Rob Havens made it a point to be at Saturday's reopening with his two sons, Tyler and Dan. Havens was only minutes into the tour and says the wait was worth it.

"It's amazing. I mean, they've really made it interactive," Rob said. "My kids are having a great time."

Ten-year-old Tyler found the aircraft carrier game that helped him give the renovations his seal of approval.

"There's a plane game and I played it, and I crashed," Tyler said with a laugh.

Tyler's older brother was much more impressed with the life-sized reproduction of the presidential office.

"I really like the Oval Office. That was pretty cool," Dan said. "I mean, I've seen it in pictures and stuff like that, but the replica was pretty cool."

The library's director, Warren Finch, says the $8.3 million investment in renovations yielded library officials reacts they wanted to see and hear.

"That's what we were looking for, and the adults seem to be having a good time, too," Finch said. "So far, they've really enjoyed the museum and I'm hoping they all come back."

Rob, who compared the library's current exhibits to the previous ones, says what the library is offering now could easily draw in crowds of visitors by word of mouth.

"If they haven't seen it they definitely need to come out and check it out because it's a fabulous experience," Rob said.

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