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Schenectady County Judge recalls special moments with President Bush

December 03, 2018 11:55 PM

SCHENECTADY - The relationship Judge Vito Caruso had with President George H. W. Bush spanned three decades.

They shared many private moments including one Caruso calls the thrill of his life, in 1988.

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Schenectady County was the first in the state to publicly endorse Bush as the Republican nominee for president.

At the time, Caruso was chairman of the party.

"He said to me, Vito, what is it you actually want me to do here and I said, kind of sheepishly, well, I hope that you wouldn't eat breakfast, that you would work the roomand he said well, that’s what we’ll do," Caruso said.

Caruso says he'll never forget how gracious both the President and First Lady were, shaking hands with more than 450 of his supporters. 

Or the time the Judge and his wife were in Washington D. C. attending the Republican National Convention and were invited to an intimate gathering at the Vice President's home. When Caruso's wife exhibited some back pain, Bush was attentitive and treated her like family.

"He took her up to her bedroom, Barbara and the dog Milly, too, brought in some warm towels and put up her legs on the bed and said, you just stay here until you feel better," Caruso said.

Then, at one of the President's inaugural balls, Bush spotted Caruso and exhibited yet another moment of "just being a wonderful human being." 

"He saw us right by the velvet rope, we were very close, and he had the secret service agent lift the rope and pull us in there and we all danced around with him."

Over the course of their friendship, the Judge received many heartfelt messages from the President including family Christmas cards.

He says he learned a lot from the respected statesman and patterned his life after the President's ideals, who was committed to public service and his family.  

"We need to keep that concept alive that we're all part of the same family and we need to protect each other and support each other and I think that's with George H. W. Bush did," Caruso said.

Credits

Karen Tararache

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