Virginia Beach resident reflects on George H.W. Bush’s time in Hampton Roads


VIRGINIA BEACH, Va (WAVY) — Former President George H. W. Bush’s impact is being felt nationally and right here in Hampton Roads — where he and his wife, former first lady Barbara Bush, once called Virginia Beach home.

Mr. Bush died Friday at the age of 94.

A cottage in Virginia Beach just off of Linkhorn Drive was Bush’s home while he was stationed here in the late 1940’s. Brenda Rawls now owns the cottage and takes immense pride in its history.

“You thought about it and you thought, ‘Did they really? Is it really true?’ And so I started asking around. And some of the older people said, ‘Absolutely they did.’ And I was really proud, so when this property became for sale, I had to buy it,” she said.

Rawls took time on Saturday to reflect on Mr. Bush’s impact to the country 

“He set so many examples, he had such great character. He was calm in a storm,” she said.

Now she owns a home with history and a part of a love story between George and Barbra, who passed earlier this year.

“It made me think about the whole story of their love affair and it made me think about Selden Hall the history and i was wondering if their children were to ever want to visit here and see where their parents lived at one time before they were even conceived,” she added.

Barbara even wrote about their time here and with the Princess Anne Country Club in her memoir, stating in part: 

“We ended up with a tiny basement apartment in a really big private home right across the street from the club, and for six dollars we became members of this little gem of a place.”

Rawls hopes future generations remember the former president’s time here and the legacy he has left.

“I think being a Virginian, you know we love history, we love connections with our ancestors, and I think it’s just significant for the community to know that someone of his great character and what he has given to our country actually lived right her in Virginia Beach in this tiny little cottage,” she said.

Rawls hopes to keep the cottage in her family for as long as she can.

On Saturday, she gave condolences to the Bush family.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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