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Local Author & Family Friend Reflects On His Time Knowing Barbara Bush

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FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Former First Lady Barbara Bush was no stranger to the state of Florida.

Her son Jeb served two terms as Florida's Governor.

Someone who knows the Bush family well is novelist Brad Meltzer.

"Mrs. Bush was a powerful mother and her power was unprecedented," Meltzer said.

Meltzer recalls the first time he met Mrs. Bush after she invited him to be a part of a fundraiser for her literacy organization in Houston.

"The first time I met Barbara Bush, two things were abundantly clear," he recalled. "One, the raw power that came off her. I knew instantly that the reason that the Bushes had two Presidents in their family was because of her."

Her support brought her to South Florida many times.

Mrs. Bush was at Miami-Dade College in 2016 as former Jeb announced his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination.

30 years earlier, Mrs. Bush is seen with then Vice-President George H. Bush waving from Air Force II, as they arrive in Miami in December 1986 for a fundraising dinner.

Always poised wearing her pearls, Meltzer said something Mrs. Bush was not known for to the public was her unmatched sense of humor.

Meltzer, who became a family friend, made a video where he and Mrs. Bush got to recreate Lucille Ball's famous chocolate conveyor belt scene from I Love Lucy.

He says as he remembers his beloved friend. He thinks of the loving marriage she had with President Bush.

"It was just so wonderful and you just saw right there, and this is the first 10 minutes we ever met them, that loving, laughing relationship that they had and that's who I think about right now," Meltzer said. "I think about President Bush and you know, we all lose our First Lady, but what he loses is his soul mate who was with him for all these 70-plus years."

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