MOUNT CARMEL — In remembering former President George H. W. Bush who passed away Friday, former Mount Carmel Mayor J. Kevin Jones recalled his own personal interactions with the Bush family, some three decades earlier.
“It was 1980, and I was a Northumberland County campaign helper for then candidate George Bush for president. I spoke at Warrior Run and a couple of other places at the time, and then Bush’s son, Marvin, came to town and brought one of Bush’s nephews along with him. We took a tour around the area and went into various factories, Shroyer’s being one of them. Bush won Pennsylvania in the Republican primary that year,” recalled Jones.
According to Jones, after Ronald Reagan won the 1980 primary and picked Bush as his running mate later that year, he became the Northumberland County Reagan-Bush Chairman in the fall of 1980.
Jones also recalled his only meeting in person with Bush.
“In 1988, I met then Vice President Bush, who was the Republican candidate for president that same year, in Wilkes-Barre at a private gathering inside an airport hangar. He’s the only president (V.P. at the time) I’ve ever spoken with in person and I was struck by how tall he was. I’m 6-foot tall and he really towered over me,” Jones said.
Jones added that later on that same year there was a Bush campaign luncheon in Harrisburg. He sat at the same table with Sen. Paul Laxalt, (R-Nev). and they spoke about education.
“We took a group photo with Barbara Bush but I don’t have a copy of it,” Jones recounted.