If you're a regular morning show listener, you know that I've kiddingly dubbed Omahan Art Jetter "The Official Evil Insurance Man" of KFAB's Morning News. That's because he's one of the most highly-respected people in the health insurance industry nationally and is a frequent contributor to the show. With the passing of former President Bush, Art emailed me this reminder of a special moment he had with "41":
In 2006, President George H. W. Bush was the keynote speaker at a meeting I attended.
Following his talk, we all had a chance to meet and have our picture taken with him. The line was long. Each person just had just a moment to shake hands and say hello.
As I stood in line, I remembered my father, Art Jetter Sr. often telling me how much he respected President Bush. He spoke about how President Bush handled himself during combat; important since both Dad and President Bush were World War II combat pilots.
So, I called my father from my cell phone to say I was standing in line to meet President Bush and said, “I’m going to leave the phone connected in my shirt pocket and ask President Bush just to say ‘Hello Art’ so you can hear him. I’ll only have a second.” Dad said, “Okay.”
When I shook hands with President Bush, I said, “Sir, my father was a World War Two B17 pilot in the European Theater and has a great deal of respect for you. He is listening on my cell phone in my shirt pocket. Would you just say, ‘Hello Art.’? He will hear you and it would mean a lot to him.”
President Bush said, “Give me your cell phone.” He took my phone and said to my father, “Art, this is George Bush. I’m here with your son. How are you?” He spoke with Dad like they were old friends for maybe five minutes. He asked Dad about his service and they talked about their experiences.
President Bush was awesome. Their short chat was wonderful for my dad and something for which I will always be thankful.
What a great gentleman.