Does This Guy Rock or What?

By Dennis Hoey, Portland Press Herald Staff Writer 

George H.W. Bush, the nation’s 41st president, did not decide to go bald for style or even for comfort.

His spokesman, Jim McGrath, said the 89-year-old Bush went under the razor to show his support for the 2-year-old son of a Secret Service agent assigned to his security detail at the Bush family compound on Walker’s Point.

The boy, known only as Patrick, was diagnosed with leukemia earlier this year. The toddler is undergoing cancer treatments and started losing his hair earlier this month, McGrath said.

Patrick’s situation hit close to home for Bush, who served as president from 1989 to 1993. Bush and his wife, Barbara, lost their second child, a 3-year-old daughter named Robin, to leukemia 60 years ago this October, McGrath said.BP9y78_CAAIb445

When Bush arrived at Walker’s Point this week, he saw that nearly all the members of his security detail had shaved their heads to show solidarity for Patrick and his father, Jon — the boy’s family has asked that their surname not be mentioned.

So on Tuesday, Bush authorized one of his Secret Service agents to shave his head, according to McGrath.

The results became public Wednesday after McGrath sent out a brief news release with photographs of Bush and his new haircut, sitting in a wheelchair and holding Patrick on his lap.

“It has been gathering momentum and we hope it continues,” McGrath said in a telephone interview. “Everyone has nominated this for the story of the week. The public’s reaction has been very positive.”

Members of Bush’s security detail have also launched a new website in an effort to raise funds to pay Patrick’s medical bills.

The website — www.patrickspals.org — displays two photographs on its home page. One shows Bush holding Patrick, and the second shows 26 members of his protective detail surrounding Bush, all with shaved heads.

“Two-year-old Patrick is our little guy. For the last several years, Kennebunkport has been the seasonal home of little Patrick’s mom and dad,” someone posted on the website. “Patrick’s dad, Jon, is our dear friend and co-worker from the protective detail of former President George H.W. Bush.”

President George H.W. Bush with Secret Service agents after they shaved their heads in support of Patrick, a 2-year-old boy being treated for leukemia. Shared on Twitter by Jim McGrath, Bush's spokesman.

President George H.W. Bush with Secret Service agents after they shaved their heads in support of Patrick, a 2-year-old boy being treated for leukemia. Shared on Twitter by Jim McGrath, Bush’s spokesman.

“Earlier this spring, Patrick was diagnosed with leukemia. While his prognosis is very positive, there will be many years of treatment ahead. We are doing what we can to show our support and lend a helping hand to this amazing family and worthy cause.”

The website also provides details about a 50-mile motorcycle ride to benefit Patrick and his family.

The First Annual Patrick’s Pals motorcycle benefit will be held Aug. 10, starting at the American Legion Hall on Route 9 in Kennebunkport. It will include the ride, a lunch, a silent auction and a raffle.

Colleen Meyer, a Kennebunkport resident who is involved with the fundraiser, said several local artists, restaurants and lobstermen have agreed to participate in the auction and raffle.

McGrath speculated that the last time Bush shaved his head may have been when he joined the Navy in 1941 – he was 18 at the time – soon after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

 (P.S. — Former President Bill Clinton tweets: “41, you look great. Love what you’re doing.”)



Filed under: News


  1. Regardless of how one feels about his policies – or his offspring – Pres. Bush has always been a class act.

    My wife’s father served in WWII about the submarine Finback and was on the war patrol that picked up George H.W. Bush when he bailed out over the Pacific. Forty-four years later, after Mr. Bush was elected President, my father-in-law was surprised to receive a huge envelope from the Presidential Inauguration Committee. Every surviving member of the sub was invited to the Inauguration and had pictures taken with Pres. Bush.

    He rocks indeed….

    Comment by Dan Richard — 7.25.2013 @ 12:11 pm

  2. The embodiment of class.

    Comment by John Lovell — 7.25.2013 @ 12:37 pm

  3. H.W. is the embodiment of a class act.

    Comment by John Lovell — 7.25.2013 @ 12:42 pm

  4. Thanks for the up story. A wonderful example of someone who draws from the better angels of his nature.

    Comment by ThinkChick — 7.25.2013 @ 5:25 pm

  5. He is a class act. I disagreed with his policies but always respected him. That’s a whole lot better than today’s “Disloyal Opposition.”

    Comment by Steve Mehlman — 7.26.2013 @ 9:06 am

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