David Gruber, an Orthodox rabbi turned secular humanist, emails me:
I wanted to share with you what was a very interesting weekend on our end. On Saturday, I participated in the wedding ceremony of one of President George W. BushÂ’s current spokespersons, and a former aide to First Lady Barbara Bush. Both Presidents Bush and their first ladies were in attendance. They hardly ever attend private events, so this was very special for the families and everyone else who was in attendance. My wife, Liat, and I wondered if we would get to meet them or not. We ended up not only meeting them, but having some very pleasant one on one time with the forty-third president.
After the ceremony, President George W. Bush congratulated me for a job well done from about 12 feet away, and I thanked him. He then smiled and motioned with his finger that he wanted me to come over to him. I then had the privilege of shaking hands with the two presidents and their first ladies, who all congratulated me on doing a great job. That would have been an experience in and of itself.
Then the elder Bushes went to take pictures and talk to other guests, and I introduced Liat to President George W. and Mrs. Laura Bush. The former first lady then went to join the others, and the former president spent the next ten minutes talking to us! We talked about a number of different things. He asked how long we had lived in Dallas, where we were from, and about our children. He was specifically curious about LiatÂ’s ancestry. (Due to the fact that she is of both North African and Eastern European extraction, many people find her hard to Â“placeÂ”.) He was really tickled by the fact that our youngest, Jonathan, shared a birthday with him, July 6th, and playfully referred to him later in the conversation as Â“GeorgeÂ”. His older siblings are already giving him a hard time over that oneÂ…
I did a telephone interview with David Gruber Thursday afternoon.