Remembering First Lady Barbara Bush

Her historic visit to Jacinto City recalled

Jacinto City, TX. – Saturday, August 27, 1988 — Jacinto City Mayor Allan Jamail, now a North Channel Star writer, had invited Mrs. Bush to an event named, “The Gift of Life Day.”

Jamail says, “My hope was to bring public awareness for the need of citizens to volunteer to pre-plan in the event of their death, the desire to donate their life saving organs to awaiting transplant patients.”

“The organ transplanting surgery was relatively new then, and I had visited the Medical Center to learn more about it. While touring the hospital’s transplant section, I met patients awaiting a donor organ and a few who had already received ‘The Gift of Life’ organ.”

“I recall an emotional mother and father who had come from Dallas to visit a patient who they had given their son’s heart to. Their son had been killed in an accident at a young age. The mother and father said, ‘Mayor Jamail, please feel my son’s heart beating in this man’s chest.’

“When I felt the heart beating, and heard the recipient and his family’s words of gratitude to the heart donor’s parents, I made a commitment to do whatever I could to make this life-extending surgery better known to the citizenry,” Jamail said.

Barbara Bush, well-known for her chartable help, was invited to a Texas style bar-b-q with Country Music in Jacinto City, where the Tensile Town Theater is now located. Television and radio stations advertised Barbara’s coming to the event, as did the newspapers, and it brought public awareness to the organ donating cause.

Mayor Jamail introduced Mrs. Bush before she spoke to over a thousand in attendance and gave her a key to the city.

“The US Secret Service took her to the awaiting car to take her to the airport. I learned later while on the plane to Washington she personally typed a thank you letter to me,” Jamail recalls.

Barbara Bush, the loyal wife of one U.S. president and mother of another, who was a champion of literacy, died Tuesday, April 17, 2018, surrounded by her family at her west Houston home.