Beaumont -- They are both New Englanders who made Texas their home. They made names for themselves as politicians, and were gifted with longevity. Former Beaumont Mayor Evelyn Lord vividly remembers her encounter with Former President George H.W. Bush on January 10th, 2001.
Mr. Bush visited Beaumont to take part in the Centennial Celebration of the Spindletop gusher.
A re-enactment was held at the Spindletop-Gladys City Boomtown Museum, on the campus of Lamar University. As part of the program, a gusher of water sprayed out of a wooden oil derrick.
Lord says the weather that day was cold, rainy and windy, and the gusher made them even more wet. She says it led to a humorous interaction with the former President.
Lord said, "Of course when the gusher blew in, we all got wet. He helped me with my poncho, and I helped him with his poncho."
Lord agrees with all the accolades Bush is receiving since his death last Friday. She says in addition to his leadership and public service, Bush was fun. She says she enjoyed getting to know that side of him.
"I was so surprised that I felt so relaxed, because he made me feel that way, and he did that for everybody," said Lord.
Lord, like Bush, has stayed active in retirement. The former mayor will turn 92 on Saturday, December 8th.
Another interesting fact of Mr. Bush's 2001 visit to Beaumont is that it happened just days before his son, George W.'s, first inauguration.