George W. Bush, the Renaissance Man

George W. Bush, the man who told Jay Leno that he named his cat Bob, “So I can remember how to spell it when I get older,” has been very busy.

Between rounds of golf, organizing and riding in 100K mountain bike rides with America’s wounded warriors, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston Texas, and personally refurbishing health clinics in Africa, through the Bush Center’s partnership with Pink Ribbon/Red Ribbon, whose mission is to screen women, in Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America, for cervical and breast cancer, the 43rd President of the United States has also become an accomplished portrait painter.

President Bush charged his painting instructor, Gail Norfleet, with a task. “There’s a Rembrandt trapped in this body. Your job is to find it.”

While a guest on the The Tonight Show on Tuesday, November 19, 2013, President Bush presented a portrait he had painted of Jay Leno to the late night television host.

Jay Leno portrait

Jay Leno portrait by President George W. Bush

President Bush has plans to paint portraits of 19 foreign presidents and prime ministers with whom he worked during his tenure at the White House. He has already provided the artwork for a Christmas ornament, which may be purchased through the Bush Center web site (which, incidentally, works).

Bush Center Ornament

Bush Center Ornament

See also:
As Bush Settles Into Dallas, Golf Tees and Family Time Now Trump Politics [New York Times; Nov 2, 2013]

George Bush Shows Off Painting Hobby, Shares Jay Leno Portrait [US Weekly; Nov 20, 2013]

George W. Bush Presidential Center

Memorial Day Reflections

Our debt to the heroic men and valiant women in the service of our country can never be repaid. They have earned our undying gratitude. America will never forget their sacrifices.”
President Harry Truman

A highlight of my recent visit to Washington DC was seeing the War Memorials on the National Mall. I took photographs one morning in early May 2009:

Vietnam War

Vietnam War Reflections

Vietnam War Reflections

The power of the Wall is in the reflections of the living superimposed upon the names of the dead heroes.

Reflections on the Vietnam War Memorial

Reflections on the Wall

Thank you.

Thank you.

Korean War

Korean War Reflections

Korean War Reflections

Korean War Soldier

Korean War Soldier

Gratitude and Remembrance

Gratitude and Remembrance

World War II

Three tour buses had pulled up at the World War II Memorial just before I arrived at the site. Elderly war veterans disembarked one by one. Many were in wheel chairs. A tall man, in his eighties, wearing a cap embroidered with the words “Top Gun,” sat down on a ledge and quietly wept.

World War II Veterans

World War II Veterans

World War II Reflecting Pool

World War II Reflecting Pool

Undying Gratitude

Undying Gratitude

3rd Annual GI Film Festival

The third annual GI Film Festival runs from May 13-17, 2009, in Washington DC. Emmy Award-winning actor Kelsey Grammer was a special guest for the festival’s congressional reception on Wednesday at the Russell Senate Caucus Room. Honorees include Senator Daniel Inouye (D-HI) and Senator John McCain (R-AZ). On Saturday night, Senator and renowned actor Fred Dalton Thompson will participate in the screening of Perfect Valor, written and directed by David C. Taylor and produced by David Bossie.

For more information about the films, directors and celebrity participants, visit the GI Film Festival web site.