A local man who used to work for President George H.W. Bush attended his funeral at the National Cathedral in Washington Wednesday.
Geneseo grad Curt Smith was a speechwriter for the 41st president. The now author and current University of Rochester professor worked for him for more than 10 years at the White House and afterward.
Smith returned home late Wednesday night from D.C. and despite the trip, he came by our newsroom Thursday morning to reflect on the funeral and the impact President George H.W. Bush had on his life.
Here are excerpts, and the full interview is available in the video above:
— "He was an exceedingly modest person. He hated using the word 'I.' You try writing a speech without using the word 'I.' His mother had once spoke to him about himility after a very young George Bush had hit a couple of home runs in a baseball game and had begun bragging about himself."
— "He was a dream boss. In more than 10 years working for him at the White House and afterward, him and I never had a cross word. And I think that was true for the vast majority of people who worked for him. One reason was, he had an enormous vision. He made fun of that vision, but he had a great vision both here and abroad.
— “You don’t replace George H.W. Bush. He was one of a kind. He was an extraordinary human being. He was a war hero. He was an accomplished diplomat. He was a wild cat. He was an entrepreneur who went to Texas to make his fortune, and he did, and then he went into politics.”
— "His mother Dorothy said, using the word from the great Protestant hymn, 'Now, George, none of this How great Thou Art business, well, properly chastened.' He never used any kind of braggadocio again, as he said. So, he was modest. He never bragged about his achievements, and he set an example."