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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Memories of Ganny and Gampy

The+private+event+was+held+at+the+Annenberg+Presidential+Conference+Center+as+part+of+the+20th+anniversary+of+the+George+H.W.+Bush+Presidential+Library+and+Museum.
Photo by Photo by Meredith Seaver

The private event was held at the Annenberg Presidential Conference Center as part of the 20th anniversary of the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum.

“Ganny and Gampy: George and Barbara Bush as told by their grandchildren” was a private, invitation-only event held by the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library Foundation at the Annenberg Presidential Conference Center, where 10 of the 17 Bush grandchildren told stories about their grandparents.
George P. Bush, Sam LeBlond, Pierce Bush, Marshall Bush, Ellie LeBlond Sosa, Ashley Bush, Walker Bush, Lizzie Andrews, Robert Koch and Gigi Koch were the grandchildren speaking. The private 1 hour and 20 minute event included audience members former First Lady Barbara Bush, Neil and Maria Bush, and Dorothy and Bobby Koch, former Vice President Dick Cheney, former Secretary of State James A. Baker and his wife Susan, Alexander “Hap” Ellis and many others who worked in the presidential administration of George H.W. Bush.
The grandchildren began by sharing a few funny memories about their grandparents, from the time they were young children to their adult lives. They went on to discuss more heartfelt stories.
Each grandchild emphasized the support their grandparents gave them was clear through letters and other memories over the years as they told from their times of struggle and important life events. One of the stories included Sam LeBlond crashing a wedding with his “Gampy” and Phil Mickelson. The story starts on their speed boat, where they pulled over to a wedding hosted at one of the hotels in the area.
“Something you might not know is that Gampy is a wedding crasher,” Ellie LeBlond said as she introduced Sam LeBlond’s story.
“I’ve actually had the great privilege of crashing a couple weddings with my grandfather … there’s a long river into where he keeps his boat at the Yachtsman, it’s a bunch of hotels from kind of the breakwater in, so you’re kind of slowly moving in,” Sam LeBlond said. “One day he had his good friend Phil Mickelson on the boat, so it’s myself and Gampy and Phil Mickelson and we kind of sped around and we were headed back.”
Sam LeBlond said as they were passing the Strippers on a Saturday, former President George H.W. Bush made a decision without hesitation to pull over his boat. Seeing the former President pulling over with a Secret Service boat in tow, the wedding party immediately came down to the docking area.
“The whole wedding party comes down and they go ‘Mr. President!’ and he goes ‘Phil Mickelson!’,” Sam LeBlond said. “And I’m talking about blew people’s minds that they pulled up, took pictures with everybody, and took about 20 minutes. We get back in the boat, go down another five minutes, another wedding. He pulls over again.”
Sam LeBlond said he admired his grandfather’s impact and fun spirit, which he pointed out clearly from the wedding crashes he witnessed that day.
“I know those aren’t the only [weddings] he’s done, but what a special day it was to share that with him,” Sam LeBlond said. “These people’s weddings will never be the same, I mean, Phil Mickelson and the President pulled up on a boat, so, pretty amazing.”
Ellie said she still hears about the stories of her grandfather crashing those weddings to this day.
“That’s just how Gampy is,” Ellie LeBlond said. “He just brings joy to everyone’s life that he touches.”
Approximately 30 minutes before the program ended, George P. Bush said despite the lives they led, they always made time for their family, in light of the phrase ‘faith, family, and fun’ and having priorities in life.
“I’m truly blessed to know them both and to learn that very valuable lesson,” George P. Bush said. “We live in a very confused and busy world, and sometimes we lose sight of what’s important in life: Family, faith and friends.”
The event ended with short video about some of the grandchildren, including Lauren, Barbara, George P. and Pierce Bush, pursuing public service, followed by a collection of audience members in the lobby of the conference center mingling over small hors d’oeuvres and various drinks.

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