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  •   In His Own Words: 'I Remember the Sadness'

    The Washington Post
    Monday, July 26, 1999; Page A11

    The following are excerpts of interviews with George W. Bush conducted by Washington Post reporters. The interviews took place May 11 and June 7, 1999, in Austin.

    Talk about your memories growing up in Midland.

    We were little swarms of little guys running around the neighborhoood all the time. We'd walk to school and I'll never forget being humiliated because our dog, I can't remember the name of the dog, but it would follow me to school and I had to walk all the way back home to take the dog back.

    Can you recall the day your parents came to tell you your sister had died?

    I remember they had a green, one of those round Oldsmobile cars. I remember carrying a victrola, a large victrola to the, from our classroom to the principal's office. I remember seeing them pull up and thinking I saw my little sister in the back of the car. I remember that as sure as I'm sitting here, it's like a visage.

    So you saw them and and you ran outside?

    I run over to the car and there's no Robin. And they had not told me she had passed away. They wanted to obviously tell me themselves and I remember hurt, and crying but I you know, I think it's one of those incidences where you know, my parents were so crushed as you can imagine. It was their child. It must have been just unbelievable for them and I think they were very, I've learned more about this when I read my mother's memoirs and her concerns about smothering me and you know in other words she didn't want to let me out of her sight. I just don't remember any of that.

    But you remember the sadness?

    I do remember the sadness, yeah. I do, I do, a lot. I remember being sad. I remember being sad for my parents. They were sad.

    Did it affect your outlook longterm, give you a fatalistic sense of of life that nothing worse can happen as losing a child.

    Well's interesting that you say that. I think two things about me when you try to describe, yeah interesting question. I need to be lying down here. [laughter]

    I am somewhat fatalistic is this sense. Take this potential run for the presidency. I feel like saying, God's will be done. That if I win, I say that, I told people, I mean, if I win, I know what to do. If I don't win, so be it. So be it. And I feel that way. I do. I feel liberated in that sense. ...

    I also have seen a good man, a person I respect a lot, lose. I was in the room in '64 and '70 and '92. And I realize life goes on. And so maybe that's part of what explains who I am. I think I'm more complex than one or two events. But I do have a fatalistic sense about me. I would ascribe part of it to my religion and part of it my life experiences.

    I will never forget the next day when everybody was moping around on election day [1992] in the Houstonian Hotel. Mother said it's over. Move on.

    It's over. Let's move on. And I've inherited a lot of my traits from my mother obviously.


    © 1999 The Washington Post Company

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