With the recent passing of George H. W. Bush, North Carolina artist Robert B. Dance fondly recalls meeting the 41st President of the United States when his National Park Stamp painting “‘Hatteras Standing” was presented at the White House and then shown in the Great Hall of the Smithsonian.
At the time, according to the artist, Bush shared his own memories of one of the most famous and recognizable lighthouses in the world – our own Cape Hatteras Lighthouse.
“My late wife Carolyn and I were privileged to meet George Bush in the White House when my painting of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse was used on the First National Park Stamp,” said Dance. “My first impression of him was how tall a man he was at about six feet three or four.”
“Next, I was surprised how open and nice he was when he volunteered the information that he used to fly over the Hatteras Lighthouse during his training out of Norfolk, Virginia to be a WWII Grumman Avenger pilot,” he continued. “I believe he was the youngest naval pilot in WWII, and his Grumman Avenger was shot down during a bombing run. He was the only crew member who survived and was rescued by a submarine.”
“With the rest of the nation I mourn his passing, and firmly believe he was one of the most genuine and nicest presidents who has served our country.”
Robert B. Dance is known as one of America’s premier nautical artists and a master of technique. He has won the David Thimgan Award in The Mystic Maritime Gallery International Exhibition – the hallmark exhibition of marine art in the United States including two Awards of Excellence.