Adele Hall, who died Saturday, and her husband Don were longtime, close friends of President George H.W. Bush and his wife Barbara.
Both Halls talked about that relationship in an interview with The Star in mid-December, when the former president was recovering from a lengthy illness.
Here's some of what they said, edited for clarity and length:
Adele Hall: It was in the 70s, when the Campfire Girls moved to town.
Don Hall: We helped move the Campfire Girls to Kansas City, and they had a big celebration. They wanted to introduce themselves to the public, and they invited a whole bunch of people. Most of them didn't show up.
They had invited George Bush to be the speaker.
We were in this screened-in place where they ate, not very large. There were just about 30 of us there, and the president (Bush). And we had, I don't know, two or three hours of conversation with him that afternoon, and it was delightful. And we kind of became friends.
Adele: A good sense of humor. That particular afternoon, I remember he had a lightweight sports jacket, and he took it off and rolled up his shirtsleeves, and hoisted himself up backwards onto a kitchen table.
And he said, 'what do you guys want to talk about?' And when he left, a lot of us said gosh, that is the kind of person who ought to be President of the United States...
He was in the primary (in 1980) and ran against Connally, and Reagan of course, it was a five- or a six-man field. And we were kind of hoping...and then of course we were thrilled when Reagan chose him as his vice-president.
Don: He's good at communicating. Adele has his private email, and when she emails him, she gets an answer right back...
Adele: That's one of the things that is so beautiful about our relationship, is that it was and is strictly social. We never directly asked him for anything. He never directly asked us. And that's one reason that we are such close friends, and that friendship has lasted over all these many years.
We visited them many times when he was vice president, at the Naval Observatory, and then of course at the White House. We had the privilege of being weekend guests, the first weekend he was inaugurated president, and then also the last. So that was a pretty poignant experience.
I asked him once when we were at Camp David, how did you decide to run for president? Did someone come and talk with you -- how did that happen? And he said 'I gathered my mom and all my family around me, and we just visited about it, and I asked by kids and my mom and Barbara what they thought about it.'
Don: I don't think (the presidency) weighed on him too heavily. He was so even-keeled. I didn't see much change in him, from the beginning to the end of his term.
Adele: I didn't either. I know he hated the politics of it. In April, before the election in November, he made one comment, he said 'I am just not going to get down in the dirt.' I think he wanted to keep it on a high level.
Don: He enjoyed the whole run. He was thrilled to be president, and thrilled to be in the White House. That first weekend there he took us around, he was kind of looking around himself.
Adele: He said, 'I wonder where this goes?'
We haven't seen as much of him as we did when he was in public office. But they came as a surprise for my 70th birthday party. That was a huge surprise.
I think he has thoroughly enjoyed working with Bill Clinton. I've heard him say that, the things they did for the victims of Indonesia and Malaysia. I know that he thoroughly enjoys receiving people, either in Kennebunkport or in Houston. I know Mikhail Gorbachev was just there and he really got a kick out of that.
He has taken his physical infirmities with so much grace. Never a complaint. He would show up at any kind of public event in Houston and he would be in his wheelchair, but he would have on these outrageous socks. He would give pairs of outrageous socks to his guests.
He has made light of and made fun of whatever life has given him. He stayed very active with his Points of Life, it will be one of his remaining legacies...
Honey, I've been doing all the talking.
Don: Well, you talk the most. (laughter)
One of the outstanding things about George Bush and his family is, he is an absolute family person. In fact at this 70th birthday party I introduced him, and I told the crowd that the one thing they should do is try to emulate the family feeling the Bush family had.
I have no doubt that he talked to each of his kids every day he was president. All five of them. An absolute family man, I don't know anyone quite like him in that regard.
Adele: I would hope and pray that another George Bush 41 would come along.
I asked him once, what are you most proud of? CIA, RNC, vice president, president? He looked at me and said immediately 'you know, all my kids still come home.'