Barbara Bush Commemorative Book
When Barbara Bush passed away on April 17, the nation lost one of its most endearing and universally popular figures who seemed like everyone’s grandmother. In the Kennebunks, Mrs. Bush’s passing was especially difficult as it was the end of an era and a sad goodbye to one of our truly beloved community members. We lost a friend and a neighbor who has graced our shores since she first visited Walker’s Point during World War II. Here, she was more than the First Lady; she was one of us.
Since her funeral, the Kennebunkport Conservation Trust has received many calls and emails asking how we can honor Mrs. Bush for all that she has meant to the Kennebunks. You may recall that in September 2011, we dedicated Ganny’s Garden on the Trust’s River Green property in Kennebunkport in her honor. Inspired by a needlepoint carpet she created in which the initials of her grandchildren were hidden among a bed of lovely pastel flowers, Ganny’s Garden brings her love of family and flowers to life. This beautiful spot on the River Green truly captures her spirit. She was a frequent visitor. We felt this was fitting focal point for any local memorial effort.
During the month of May, we will be assembling a commemorative book in honor of Mrs. Bush. The proceeds from the book will benefit Ganny’s Garden.
We are seeking short anecdotal stories that capture her wit, her humor, and her love of family and community. This will be her story from a local perspective, shared and written by the many people she touched here in the Kennebunks. You do not have to be a close friend of the family; if you encountered Mrs. Bush walking her dog on the beach, sitting in a restaurant, or at a yard sale in Kennebunkport and you have a story to share, we would like to read it. This is a booklet written by all of us: close friends, casual acquaintances or even part-time visitors. The one key is that the story has to have taken place in the Kennebunks. If you have a high-resolution digital photo to share with the story, send that too.
We cannot guarantee that all stories will appear in the book but we can tell you that the Trust will share all stories with the Bush family.
Please email stories and photos to firstname.lastname@example.org and include your permission to use the story, the image and your name. The deadline for all submissions is May 18, 2018.
If you prefer to contribute to support the perpetual care of Ganny’s Garden, you can donate online by clicking the link below or mail donations to KCT, P.O. Box 7004, Cape Porpoise, ME 04014. A complimentary copy of the book will be sent to any donor contributing $50 or more.
We look forward to hearing your story and creating a beautiful commemorative book that reflects the deep love we all have for Mrs. Bush.
Sincerely, Tom Bradbury, Executive Director
About Ganny's Garden
At the end of September, 2011, friends and family of Barbara Bush surprised her with a special tribute, a wonderful garden on the Trust’s River Green, in the heart of Kennebunkport. Inspired by a needlepoint carpet she created in which the initials of her grandchildren were hidden amidst a bed of lovely pastel flowers, “Ganny’s Garden” brings that beauty to life. Ganny is the name Barbara Bush was lovingly called by her seventeen grandchildren, and their initials are randomly engraved in the stone walls which surround the garden. In addition, 17 trees have been included in the design, one for each grandchild. Once through a custom made arbor, visitors can follow a stepping-stone pathway past three beds of traditional, colorful flowers, including a rose named after the former first lady. Plaques and bronze features have been created including a copy of her favorite book, “Pride and Prejudice”, a pair of her famous mix-matched Keds and her iconic straw sun hat, all positioned as though she had just been there.
We at the Kennebunkport Conservation Trust are deeply saddened by the passing of Barbara Pierce Bush. The nation knew her as a beloved First Lady, with a warm smile, keen wit and the caring forthrightness of a grandmother. She was known for her tireless work for a more literate America and her steadfast belief in the benefits of volunteerism. That, after all, was the way she lived her life, a willing worker and advocate for cancer research, the homeless, the elderly, AIDS understanding and prevention and better schools. In Kennebunkport, we were blessed to also know her as a friend and neighbor. We could see “first hand” her deep love and devotion to her husband, family and those around her. We witnessed the joy she derived from her garden, her dogs and her community. For George and Barbara Bush, Kennebunkport was their “Anchor to Windward”, a place to play and pray and tighten the bonds of family and friendships. It was a place where love could be freely given and received, a place to relax from the burdens of a nation, a place to build up resources needed to meet the challenges ahead. We saw Barbara at the local market, at the library, walking the dog on the beach, even in the aisles of Wal-Mart. She was always patient, caring and gracious. We saw her wonderful humor, her generosity, her basic kindness, her decency. She was one of us, and she had earned our love, respect and admiration. May God bless you Barbara. Our lives were made richer for having shared a bit of your journey.
Support Ganny's Garden
A fund is being created to maintain perpetual care on both the “Anchor to Windward” and “Ganny’s Garden” to honor George and Barbara Bush and keep these memorials in their cherished community a source of beauty and pride. Donations to the fund can be sent to:
Kennebunkport Conservation Trust
P.O. Box 7004
Cape Porpoise, Maine, 04014
A card including your name will be sent to the Bush family acknowledging your gift.
We thank you!
You can enjoy this special property on Ganny's Garden Facebook page. Be sure to like us!