Monday, February 16, 2009

President Thanks TCU Student for Welcome Home

Texas Christian student who created welcome home signs for Bushes gets thank you from W.


Patrick Bibb thought it would be nice to thank former President George W. Bush for his service.

That’s why the Texas Christian University sophomore created and sold "Welcome home George and Laura" signs that residents have bought and put up in the Preston Hollow neighborhood of Dallas, where the first couple will soon move.

He just never thought he’d get a thank you in return.

But he recently got a call from George W., even though some signs have been disappearing from yards.

"He said he was in town a while ago with his wife and they had seen the signs ... and he was happy there was a lot of support and that someone had taken the initiative to do something," said Bibb, 19, who stepped out of class to take the call. "I told him: 'No problem. I understand you’ve had some hard times, but I wanted to do this. It’s the least we could do."

After a short conversation, Bibb said, he told Bush that he didn’t want to be rude, but he had to get back to class. "He said, 'That’s where you should be,’ " Bibb said.

Bibb, whose parents live not far from the new Bush home in Dallas, said he got the idea of selling the signs during the campaign season, when Texans planted signs and wore T-shirts to support their favorite political candidate.

"There’s never really anything done when someone leaves office," he said. "I wanted to say thank you for doing the best you could and serving with everyone else in mind. It’s just a public way of saying thank you."

He initially had 100 signs printed but wasn’t sure he’d sell them all. Eventually, sales picked up and he now has sold more than 800, even fielding requests from people in Midland, Houston, New Hampshire and Arizona.

Some of the signs have disappeared from Dallas yards recently, maybe about 25. But Bibb said he doesn’t believe that they were stolen, more likely misplaced or moved as high school pranks.

Lori Tucker, who lives near NorthPark Center in Dallas, has bought signs and replaced them when they’ve been removed. She has told reporters that her goal in keeping the signs up, and replacing them, is to "show grace to the former president."

"It’s pretty amazing people won’t let some prank . . . affect their welcoming home the president," Bibb said.

The signs, at $20 each, are helping pay for Bibb’s tuition. From each sale, $2 will go to the nearby Pershing Elementary School library in honor of Laura Bush, a former librarian. Bibb said he has about $1,600 to give the library.

This Bibb kid is One of the Heroes. And a college student! He'll be a good footsoldier for the Movement. Somebody get him on the horn, or should I say, the horned frog?

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