A Tale of Two Childhoods

Dukakis and Bush: upper-middle-class drive vs. patrician noblesse oblige

Each summer of his childhood, George Bush went with his family to a sprawling shingle-and-stone cottage in Kennebunkport, Me., joined by assorted cousins and friends who could always find a spare bedroom, an extra tennis racquet. Days were crammed with sailing and tennis at the River Club, fierce games of backgammon and Scrabble at night. After Prescott Bush Sr., the imposing (6 ft. 4 in.) patriarch, arrived by sleeper car from Manhattan on the weekends, he would recruit a vocal quartet from the assembled company for after-dinner harmonizing. Family Friend Bill Truesdale describes those summers: "It's hard to imagine anything better."

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