Despite the initial glitch of not being able to find the parking lot (!) and having to PAY for parking, we got to the Center just as it opened at 9am.
Security asked me if I was carrying a weapon. No.
Then buy the tickets. $16 per senior!!!! Twice the cost of admission at Clinton Library.
First thing we noticed was the incredible quality of the volunteers. I mean they were superb, just superb.. no matter the question, no matter the problem, they were there, offering up stories and facts depending on what room we were in. A+++++++++ for the docents. A ton of them too, at every station. No agenda, just stories and facts. There’s a Bush Center app that is excellent, that logs you into their wi-fi and has an audio tour component. Maybe the Clinton Library had an app, but if so, we were never directed to it.
The first major display after family photos was 9-11. Video of the attack, footage of Bush bullhorn moment saying I can hear you and footage of Bush throwing the pitch at the Yankees game right after 9-11. All pretty moving.
What we felt was remarkable about this Center is how interactive it is. Every exhibit has a touch screen component as well as guides if you preferred an analog version.
But the best best best exhibit hands down is called Decision Points, same as the title of Bush’s post-presidency book. The gist is the visitor is presented with some of the many crisis decisions Bush had to make and we, the visitors, in an interactive mode with other visitors in the room, had to listen to experts on both sides of the coin then at the end, decide what we would do.Then the screen, with Bush on, told us what he chose.
The biggest difference I noticed in the Bush Center as compared to the Clinton Center is how the First Ladies were presented. Here, Laura plays an equal part, with much about her, what she did, her platform, and lots of footage of George talking to and with Laura and how George felt he’d be nothing without Laura at his side. NONE of that at the Clinton Center..None!!! But guys, it’s always the love of a good woman that keeps you in check, right?
The opposite side of the museum was the temporary exhibit with George Bush’s paintings of Wounded Warriors. Magnificent and the app walks the visitor through each portrait, that vet’s history, how he got hurt etc.
Yay, bathrooms for men and women. Texas is voting on a bathroom bill soon. I bet a steak it’ll stay as is.
Overview, no matter your political persuasion or what you think of Bush as president, this Center is superb. A true representation of the man, his family, his hard decisions, his mistakes, his love of Texas, photos of the ranch in Crawford. We were there 3.5 hours. A must see if you are in Dallas.