January 19, 2019
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Bush’s ‘crazy’ socks, made famous in Maine picture with Clinton, donated to local fundraiser

Courtesy of Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland
Courtesy of Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland
Former presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush get a laugh out of Bush's colorful socks after a September lunch together in Kennebunkport.

PORTLAND, Maine — Former first lady Barbara Bush thinks her husband’s socks are a bit much, so a certain colorful pair that won increased attention last month has been exiled from former President George H.W. Bush’s sock drawer for good.

The first President Bush met with fellow former President Bill Clinton on Sept. 5 for lunch in Kennebunkport, and after the meeting was captured in a picture sharing a guffaw with his guest over his bright, western cactus-themed socks. According to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland, the goofy picture of the ex-presidents was “shared all over the world on social media.”

Now, after some nudging by the former first lady, who doesn’t share her husband’s enthusiasm for the playful attire, the socks — along with an autographed version of the widely distributed photo and a letter of authenticity — have been donated to the diocese for its Portland Harvest Ball silent auction.

“I absolutely love a crazy pair of socks,” President Bush wrote in the letter, according to the diocese. “Barbara, on the other hand, has had enough, which is why you are the lucky recipient.”

The Bushes have a summer home in Kennebunkport.

The Harvest Ball is an annual event that helps raise money for the diocese magazine “Harvest,” which is distributed free to a statewide readership of 70,000, according to the diocese.

The Oct. 26 event at Holiday Inn By The Bay will feature dinner and live music by The Tony Boffa Band, according to a Friday announcement.

Along with the Bush socks, other silent auction items include signed items provided by sports teams such as the Boston Red Sox, artwork, jewelry and gift certificates to local businesses.

Tickets to the ball are $50 per person, $360 for a table of eight, and $450 for a table of 10, and can be reserved by calling 773-6471 or visiting www.portlanddiocese.org/harvestballreservations.

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