GARDEN CITY, Kansas – Organizers of former president George W. Bush’s visit were very tight-lipped about the private event, but that didn’t keep the public from finding out about it and showing up to get a glance of Bush.
“I would love to see just a look!” said Sharon Comba, who waited outside of the Clarion Inn with her grandkids. “He’s my hero, I just think he’s a man of integrity and just a wonderful president.”
Local businessman Cecil O’Brate, with help from the Garden City Community College, put the event together. More than 300 came to the event, “A Conversation with George W. Bush”.
“You saw a different side of George W. Bush, you saw this relaxed funny, charismatic leader,” said guest Steve Dyer, President of the Garden City Chamber of Commerce.
Dyer said the conversation stayed away from the political side of things and focused more on leadership and Bush’s life after the presidency.
He also took some time to speak one on one with some GCCC students.
While the visit was for a private event, the former president did take a quick moment to wave to fans and thank local law enforcement for their help with security.
“I felt very enthralled, very ecstatic that I was one of the few honored to see him here,” said Candy Gamino, one of dozens who caught a glimpse of Bush as he left the Clarion.
While some outside the event shared their political disapproval of Bush and the state of the government, the overwhelming majority were honored to host the former president.
“It was monumental, honored, absolutely,” said Betsy Glunt.
Members of the Garden City Police Department and Kansas Highway Patrol were involved with the motorcade and security for Tuesday’s event.