I became a little pensive when I read former President George H W Bush ran his boat aground in Maine Monday. Personal history caused what you might consider an unusual reaction.
I am lucky enough to spend a lot of time in Southern Maine. Over the years I have seen both President George W Bush and President George H W Bush on numerous occasions around the area.
Let me say….From my observations Bush 41 (the father) is a personable, pleasant guy. His generosity is well know in Kennebunkport and he is considered part of the fabric of the small town.
I watched him race his boat up and down the coast as a Vice President, President and father of a President. And never once did he roar by that I didn’t get goose bumps. I intentionally use the words “race and roar” because that is just what Bush does. Let me say this, even from a distance you know its him.
Bush’s fishing/speed boat is named Fidelity. Actually, he has named four boats Fidelity since I have been visiting the area… each with larger and more powerful engines. I don’t know whether its legend or truth, but talk around Kennebunkport is the first Fidelity was used to run drugs until it was confiscated by the Federal Government (he was VP then). In October Bush purchased the latest Fidelity, Fidelity IV. Three massive 300 horsepower Mercury engines power it. I saw it last week. It is a beauty. The seats are stitched with the unique seal of the President of the United States.
And the word amongst locals is no one, absolutely no one captains Fidelity except George Bush himself (and this includes President Bush 43).
I witnessed this myself once… I was at an art show at the Kennebunkport Yacht Club and guess who walks in? You guessed it, former President George Bush, his wife Barbara and his daughter Dora. As the president strolled around the art show I noticed that Fidelity III was dock outside with a Secret Service boat stationed behind. When leaving each of the passengers boarded Fidelity but left the drivers seat empty until Bush climbed in. Within minutes he fired up the engines and blazed out of the cove.
For years I watched Secret Service boats struggle to kept up with this vibrant leader/captain. On June 12th Bush turned 86 years old and I wonder if his days as a captain are over. Yesterday morning George H W Bush ran his boat aground on Gooch Beach, Kennebunk an area he has been boating in “for years”. He had been cruising along the shore line of Wells and Ogunquit fishing for stripers when fog settled in. Fidelity floundered then bottomed out.
It is obvious the former president’s personal aide, Jim Appleby felt the need to make excuses for the 86 year old…”You couldn’t see two feet in front of your face. The fog was probably as bad as I’ve seen it up here”, he said. Then Appleby claimed he doesn’t know who was behind the wheel of Fidelity IV at the time of he accident.
Maybe Appleby doesn’t know who was behind the wheel, but the Kennebunkport locals sure do!