Bush Sr.'s Ailment Stirs Memories Of Decision That Left Lasting Impression On NE Indiana

By Jeff Neumeyer

December 27, 2012 Updated Dec 27, 2012 at 6:51 PM EDT

HUNTINGTON, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) ---- With former President George H.W. Bush in intensive care, he is on the minds of many around the area.

It was a big decision he made during his first presidential campaign that forged a lasting bond with folks from Northeast Indiana.

Indeed, George Bush Sr. thrust the city of Huntington into the national spotlight 24 years ago when he settled on hometown son Senator Dan Quayle as his Vice-Presidential running mate.

The Quayle Learning Center in Huntington documents the political partnership that saw Bush-Quayle claim the White House for four years.

But Tina Bobilya, Executive Director of the Huntington County Visitor's Bureau, says the memories for Huntington will carry long into the future.

" We have the story of someone who lived among us and succeeded to the second highest office in the country which is amazing, and I think it shows us all that we have all the opportunities in the world," Bobilya said.

Bush's selection of Quayle brought a crush of reporters to town, and the county library became ground zero.

Those reporters descended on Huntington to learn more about the new star in politics.

Librarian Joan Keefer hastily dug up biographical information on Quayle to compose media packets.

She recalls Bush aides who came calling at her door.

" We would like 150 ready to go by five o'clock tonight for the plane, so therefore, we, at five minutes til 5, we delivered the media packets to the plane, and I laid down on the floor and collapsed," said Keefer.

The attention paid Huntington provided a rush for Allen County GOP Chairman Steve Shine, who MC'd a huge Bush-Quayle rally in Huntington barely one day after the nominating convention wrapped up.

Shine will never forget popping through the courthouse doors to face an adoring crowd.

" And seeing a sea of 12,000 to 15,000 people awaiting the arrival of the duo of Bush-Quayle. It was a very exciting time, " Shine said.

Shine, of course, hopes former President Bush makes a full recovery, but he's convinced all of Northeast Indiana will never get over what Bush did for it a quarter century ago.

For more information on the Quayle Learning Center, click here.

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