Hoffman's Houston
remembering barbara bush

Ken Hoffman recounts a quintessential and hilarious Barbara Bush moment

Ken Hoffman recounts quintessential and hilarious Barbara Bush moment

President Bush and Barbara Bush
Ken Hoffman was having a fun afternoon with the Bushes. Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Hoffman Barbara Bush autograph tennis George HW Bush 41
It took a lot of effort to get this program signed.  Photo by Ken Hoffman
President Bush and Barbara Bush
Hoffman Barbara Bush autograph tennis George HW Bush 41

Editor's note: As Houston bids farewell to Barbara Bush, Ken Hoffman recounts a less-than-stellar moment with former first lady.

Here's a funny Barbara Bush story:

In 2000, I was invited to play in a charity tennis event. In one match, I would be President George H.W. Bush's doubles partner against Channel 2 anchor Linda Lorelle and President Bush's son, Neil Bush. The president and I won, 6-2.

After the match, my buddy Reg "Third Degree" Burns went up to Mrs. Bush to ask for her autograph. We introduced ourselves, and she agreed to sign the program.

I handed her the program and realized that I didn't have a pen. I turned to Third Degree, he didn't have a pen, either. Mrs. Bush gave us a look ... like, "amateurs."

Third Degree hustled off a borrowed a pen, leaving me with the first lady. We made some small talk about our dogs. When Third Degree returned, he couldn't get the cap off. I said, "Give me the pen." (I left off the " ... you idiot" part.)

He gave me the pen, and when I tried to yank off the top, I dropped the pen. We both bent over to pick it up — and bonked heads. It was Three Stooges time.

Mrs. Bush said, "You fellas seem to be having a little trouble. Let me help you out."

She borrowed a pen from her assistant and signed my program. Then President Bush signed it. 

It's now hanging on my wall.


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