George W. and Laura Bush buy future home in Preston Hollow, Texas
Seems like our former LATimes.com blog "Countdown to Crawford" on the closing days of the Bush administration should have been named "Countdown to Preston Hollow."
George W. and Laura W. Bush have bought an 8,000-square-foot home on a quiet (what other kinds are there?) cul-de-sac in the swanky north Dallas neighborhood of Preston Hollow, named for a leafy local hollow and someone named Preston whose moniker went on a local road a long time ago.
Anyway, Preston Hollow, which voted to join Dallas in 1945, has some rundown shanties that go for $800,000, but most are in the seven-figure range, some well up in the eight-figures. Some of the wealthiest people in Texas live there and after Jan. 20 with a permanent Secret Service presence, probably in an adjacent house, annoying break-ins are even less likely.
Word of the purchase was confirmed today by a White House spokesman after everyone poo-poohed a September Cindy Adams gossip report on the impending purchase in the N.Y. Post.
Without mentioning the neighborhood, Mrs. Bush confirmed in a recent TV interview that the about-to-be-former First Couple would split their time between the 1,500-acre ranch near Crawford and Dallas, where the Bushes lived from 1988 to 1995, while George W. ran the Texas Rangers and for governor. (We have a news video on this down below.)
Dallas is a longtime favorite city especially for Mrs. Bush, who taught there after graduating from Southern Methodist University there and where the current Pres. Bush's future presidential library will be built.
While the senior Bushes always preferred Houston and their quarters at his presidential library at Texas A&M in College Station, George W. and Laura have many friends, favorite shops and restaurants in Dallas.
In 1995, the Bushes with their two daughters Jenna and Barbara, moved to the Governor's Mansion in Austin, which is more of an old museum with a cramped gubernatorial apartment upstairs. The twin girls attended public high school there before heading off to college as their parents headed off for the White House.
During those years the Bushes had a lake home in east Texas. Laura Bush was initially hesitant about her husband's Crawford ranch idea, which was hatched during his nascent presidential campaign in 1999. They would discuss the idea during their frequent cellphone conversations as they campaigned across separate parts of the country.
Until one day Mrs. Bush made her husband's primary campaign day by starting off a call with the simple greeting, "All right, let's do it."
-- Andrew Malcolm
Photo credit: L.M. Otero / Associated Press (house); Associated Press