"Bush remembers Bush": Then-Vice President George H.W. Bush visited Laurel County

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LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - The primary Presidential campaign came to Laurel County in the winter of 1988.

"I think part of that honor was that we were named Bush, and he was named Bush," said E.R. Rudder with the Bush Fire Department.

Rudder shook hands with the then-Vice President, George H. W. Bush, who later that year became the 41st President.

"The thing that strikes me most is that all say he was a genuinely good man," Rudder remembered.

Bush spoke right outside the fire department but with an elementary school right across the street, one can imagine the monumental day it was for those small school children.

"I don't think so, as a second-grader then, I grasped how big of a deal it was," said Elizabeth Cupp.

Cupp was a second-grader when Bush came to the fire department. She is now the principal of the new Bush Elementary.

"I don't remember what he said, just that there was a really big positive energy and he was really nice," Cupp remembered.

The school children did get quite the lesson that day, but one might say Bush learned a bit about small-town America as well.

"And I am told that this whole spirit of volunteerism that is so reflected, perhaps epitomized by the fire department, is community-wide," the former President said in 1988.

People who were there said Bush seemed like one of them, an ordinary guy, who anyone could talk to and relate to.

Bush returned to Laurel County four years later when he was President. That time, he spoke to high school students.

Dignitaries from around the world attended Wednesday's state funeral, including Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin.

"George Bush, the 41st president, was a class act. he really was. He was a man of grace and dignity. And he represented America well. And it was a privilege to be here and pay my respects," said Bevin.

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