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Barbara Bush in her own words: Quotes from the former first lady

Former first lady Barbara Bush will be remembered for many things, but being shy about speaking out won’t be one of them. 

Bush, who died Tuesday at her home in Houston, is being remembered as someone not afraid to speak her mind when asked and not shy about giving a blunt, straight-forward response. 

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Here are a few of Mrs. Bush’s best-remembered and refreshingly honest quotes.

  • “I married the first man I ever kissed. When I tell this to my children, they just about throw up.”
  • “Never lose sight of the fact that the most important yardstick of your success will be how you treat other people - your family, friends, and coworkers, and even strangers you meet along the way.”

>>Barbara Bush funeral set to begin Friday in Houston

  • “And who knows? Somewhere out there in this audience may even be someone who will one day follow my footsteps, and preside over the White House as the president's spouse. I wish him well!” – At a speech at Wellesley in 1990. Some students objected to her speaking at the college, saying she did not represent the values of the school because she left college to marry and never held a job outside of the home.
  • “One thing I can say about George... he may not be able to keep a job, but he's not boring.”
  • "Avoid this crowd like the plague. And if they quote you, make damn sure they heard you.” – Advice to Hillary Clinton on handling reporters.
  • “I don't think that's healthy for the country when anyone thinks their morals are better than anyone else's.” 
  • "I can't say it, but it rhymes with 'rich.'" – Describing Democrat Geraldine Ferraro, her husband’s opponent for vice president in 1984. She apologized for the remark and noted that the word she was referring to was “witch.”
  • “You have to love your children unselfishly. That's hard. But it's the only way.”
  • “The future of this nation does not depend on what happens at the White House, but what happens at your house.”

>>Condolences pouring in for Barbara Bush, ‘she had grit and grace, brains and beauty'

  • “The darn trouble with cleaning the house is it gets dirty the next day anyway, so skip a week if you have to. The children are the most important thing.”
  • “Libraries have always seemed like the richest places in the world to me, and I’ve done some of my best learning and thinking thanks to them. Libraries and librarians have definitely changed my life, and the lives of countless other Americans.”
  • “I do have the most marvelous husband, children, and grandchildren.”
  • “Raising five boys is a handful, trust me.”
  • “Why be afraid of what people will say? Those who care about you will say, ‘Good luck!’ and those who care only about themselves will never say anything worth listening to anyway.”
  • “I hate abortions, but just could not make that choice for someone else.”
  • “Nancy Reagan was a perfectionist, and I am not.”
  •  “It's been different. I started driving again. I started cooking again. My driving's better than my cooking. George has discovered Sam's Club.” – Describing to David Letterman her life after the White House.

>>What we learned about Barbara Bush from her famous granddaughters

  • "What I'm hearing, which is sort of scary, is they all want to stay in Texas. Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality. And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this is working very well for them." – Comments after visiting refugees from Hurricane Katrina and were being temporarily housed in the Houston Astrodome.
  • “Suddenly women's lib had made me feel my life had been wasted.”
  • “Raising George Walker was not easy.”
  • "At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child, or a parent." 

President Trump confirms via Tweet summit with North Korea

After it was confirmed that CIA Director Mike Pompeo secretly met with North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un, President Donald Trump announced that the U.S. and North Korea will sit down at a summit to hammer out a plan for denuclearization

>>Read: Trump acknowledges CIA chief met secretly with Kim Jong Un

Trump made the announcement via Twitter Wednesday morning.

>> Read more trending news 

Barbara Bush 'brought out the best in America,' Georgia policymaker says

In 1987, when then-Vice President George H.W. Bush was eyeing the White House, Eric Tanenblatt was manning an Atlanta phone bank when Barbara Bush walked in -- and got to work.

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“She actually got on the phone,” he said. “She started calling people in Georgia to thank them for their support. She was actively involved in the campaigns.”

Tanenblatt served in the Bush administration, later became Gov. Sonny Perdue’s chief of staff and now chairs the U.S. Public Policy practice at the global law firm Dentons. He recalled Barbara Bush, who died Tuesday at age 92 after a period of failing health, as sincere and welcoming.

“She brought the best to the White House, and brought out the best of America,” he said. “She was like everyone’s grandmother.”

The Bush twins were 7 when their grandfather became president, and they were eager to seize the mantle of First Granddaughter, ordering peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches to be delivered to the White House bowling alley. Ganny put the kibosh on the Eloise act, reminding the young ladies they were in the people’s house, “not in a hotel.”

Later, during their dad’s administration, Barbara Bush admonished the leader of the free world when he got too comfy. “I don’t care if you are the President of the United States, take your feet off my coffee table,’” she said. Bush 43 complied.

Tanenblatt chuckled at the twins’ anecdotes.

“She was sincere but she was clearly someone who spoke her mind,” he said. “There were no airs about her.”

In recent years, Tanenblatt joined the Bushes in Kennebunkport, Maine, for her 90th birthday, which served as a fundraiser for her literacy foundation.

“The good work of her foundation will carry on that legacy,” he said. During his time there, he recalled seeing Barbara Bush enjoying walks on the beach.

“She was very unassuming,” he said. “She was like every average person you see on the street.”

Family of Kyle Plush storms out of Cincinnati council meeting

The family of Kyle Jacob Plush, the Cincinnati teen who suffocated in a van last week after calling 911 twice, stormed out of a council meeting Tuesday evening.

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Plush, 16, was found dead by his father on April 10, about six hours after he made the first 911 callaccording to WCPO in Cincinnati. A preliminary autopsy report indicated that he died of asphyxia due to compression of his chest. 

Plush’s family sat through five hours of testimony during a Cincinnati City Council special meeting, WCPO reported. The teen’s death has been ruled accidental.

>> ‘Tell my mom that I love her if I die,’ teen pleads

During closing statements, councilman Wendell Young implied the family may seek financial compensation for the teen’s death, saying, “there’s no amount of money that’s going to make you happy.”

“It’s not about the money,” Ron Plush, the teen’s father, yelled from the crowd.

>> 911 dispatcher returning to work

Young continued to talk, replying “I believe that. There’s no amount of blame that is going to make this …”

Ron Plush’s brother, Robert, angrily stood up.

>> How did Kyle Plush become trapped?

“That’s the most insensitive thing I’ve ever heard,” he shouted. “You guys were doing great until this guy started talking. I’m sorry, you’ve crossed the line. You have crossed the line.”

The family then left the meeting.

Alabama storm shelter remained locked while keyholder watched movies

Residents in a northwest Alabama community said the town’s storm shelter remained locked during severe weather last weekend while the man who held the key was watching movies at home, ABC 33/40 reported.

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Nauvoo Mayor Dwight Byram said there are two people besides himself who have keys to the storm shelter. As severe weather moved into the area Saturday, one keyholder was out of town and the other had turned in keys days before, ABC 33/40 reported.

That left Byram, who was watching movies instead of cable TV and was unaware of the approaching storms. Residents soon called Byram, who immediately went to unlock the shelter. But by that time, residents told ABC 33/40, it was too late as the storm raged. Ten residents had been waiting outside the shelter.

Byram said he was embarrassed and took responsibility for missing the weather alerts.

“You try to cover everything, but sometimes you get caught where you didn't do it completely right,” Byram told ABC 33/40. “It's my fault because I'm the one where the buck starts and stops, and I'm sorry it happened. We're going to get some more keys out so that if we're out-of-pocket again like that, it won't happen again.”

Donkey basketball fundraiser criticized as cruel

Donkeys and basketball. It's a fundraising tradition to some, but cruel to others. 

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Deborah White shelters rescued animals at Winslow Farm in Norton. She criticized a Facebook discussion on the Norfolk Agricultural High School Alumni Association's page about a fundraising event called Donkey Basketball, in which players shoot for baskets while riding donkeys.

"It's just very unnatural. I can think of better ways to do fundraising," White said

But as a fundraising mechanism, donkey basketball has been around for a long time. What surprised some alums is that there was discussion about it among graduates of Norfolk Aggie, a school that preps students for such animal-caring careers as veterinarian. 

Some alumni expressed concern, but one longtime veterinarian in Walpole says that's not necessarily true, provided the players aren't too heavy.

"Donkeys have been pack animals for a long time. They're used to go down the Grand Canyon and take people and supplies, so I don't see why this would be cruel to the animals," veterinarian Marge McMillan said

Efforts to reach the alumni association were met with an apparent response on its Facebook page indicating "there have been questions about alumni fundraisers. Currently, there are no fundraisers being held."

The post then references an event in August, but a scroll down the page shows an older post alluding to the donkey basketball fundraiser. It ends with "concerns regarding the donkey basketball fundraiser have been noted and discussed and we will notify you all on this page of any updates."

White said she hopes that update won’t happen.

Indiana police find 78 pounds of marijuana in SUV

Indiana state troopers decided to spoil the party.

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“Somebody’s 4/20 celebration is canceled,” the Indiana State Police tweeted after seizing 78 pounds of marijuana Monday, WXIN reported.

A trooper pulled over a 2017 Ford Expedition SUV for a traffic violation on I-70 near Greenfield around 11 a.m., the television station reported. The trooper then found 78 pounds of marijuana.

Troopers arrested Christian Elie, 51, of Elbert, Colorado, and Austin Johnson, 42, of Indianapolis. They were taken to the Hancock County Jail and booked on preliminary drug charges, WXIN reported.

The street value of the marijuana is estimated to be around $250,000, WXIN reported.

Eva Longoria gets star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

Actress Eva Longoria said the unveiling of her star Monday on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was the culmination of a dream that began 20 years ago.

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"I feel like I'm still a little girl from Corpus Christi, Texas who had a big dream -- and big hair," Longoria told KABC. "And I want to say as a woman and as a Latina I represent a lot of communities, and I want to tell all those communities that this isn't my star, this is our star."

Longoria, who is pregnant, was joined by several friends at the unveiling of the star, including “Desperate Housewives” co-stars Felicity Huffman and Marcia Cross. Huffman called Longoria “extraordinary.”

“Not because she's raised over $40 million for charity, not because she's an actress, a director, a producer, a philanthropist, a restaurateur, a filmmaker, a documentarian,” Huffman told KABC. “No. But because she is kind and because she is hopeful. She is kind to everyone and she is hopeful for the world.

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