HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - People around the country and here in the Tennessee Valley watched former President George H.W Bush’s funeral on Wednesday. One man in the Tennessee Valley has crossed paths with our 41st president several times.
Bob Jaques is a retired NASA-Marshall Space Flight Center historian. He’s also a volunteer at the US Space and Rocket Center. He has a lot in common with the former President. They were both in the Navy and Jaques commissioned a painting of Bush's World War II airplane and then he made a special request and that's when their paths first crossed.
“I mailed the painting with a letter and asked the president to sign it if he would and to include his squadron, years of service in World War II and I also promised it would not be for commercial value, but for my own use. And after about 6 weeks I received the painting back and as you can see, it was signed with all 3 things. I’m very proud of this and i appreciate him taking his time to respond to me,” said Jaques.
The one and only time Jaques met George H.W Bush was back in 1993 during a conference in Houston where Bush was the Keynote speaker. Everyone thought the president would leave immediately following the event, but he stayed and meet with Jaques and was kind enough to sign his autograph.
That autograph is something that Jaques has always treasured, especially today as he watched the President’s funeral. When it comes to that beautiful painting Jaques says he’ll keep his promise and not sell it. In fact, he hopes it will one day be placed in either one of the Bush’s presidential libraries.