Former first daughters Jenna, Barbara Bush reflect on West Texas roots

Updated: Nov. 6, 2017 at 7:53 PM CST
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Former first daughters Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush speak with KCBD about newly...
Former first daughters Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush speak with KCBD about newly released book (Source: KCBD)

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Former first daughters Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush spoke to a sold out crowd at the Overton Hotel and Conference Center in Lubbock on Monday.

The Laura W. Bush Institute for Women's Health at Texas Tech Health Sciences Center hosted the event where the fraternal twins shared childhood memories of their grandfather being elected president, and then, 12 years later, their father taking the same oath.

Now, back on the South Plains for this event, we asked the sisters about the sweet memories they have of West Texas.

The sisters' maternal grandfather was born in Lubbock and then settled down in Midland.

"People will say, 'Y'all are so normal,' and it's because we grew up here in West Texas," Jenna said. "This is where we learned, really, the values we still live by."

Jenna and Barbara talked about their favorite childhood memories in Midland, like when their mother would take them over to their grandparents' home just a few blocks away. They would lie on a blanket in the grass and stare up at the West Texas sky as their grandmother pointed out constellations.

They also shared stories of when Jenna went on her first date with her now-husband.

Already intimated to pick her up at the White House, his Jeep ran out of gas and rolled backward into a Secret Service vehicle.

While the thee sisters shared some funny moments, they also talked about the more serious moments of their father's presidency.

Barbara recalls waking up in her dorm room at Yale University on September 11th.

She remembers waiting to speak with her father, mother and sisters who were all in different places when the attack happened.

The sisters kept a note from their father following that attack, which reads in part, "Yesterday I made the hardest decision a President had to make. I ordered young Americans into combat."

A topic both Jenna and Barbara said was difficult to write about.

"We wrote a chapter about the war, which I would say was more difficult to write, largely because writing anything about war is so difficult because it's personally impacted so many people's lives," Barbara said.

"It's complicated and was complicated for us to write, but we knew in order to write an authentic book, we needed to include it," Jenna said.

"When we decided to write it, we knew that we needed to be very authentic and vulnerable and share both the good and the challenging of our lives and those people that we love around us," Barbara said.

The sisters said their parents always supported the idea of writing a book.

"Our parents have always been really supportive in everything we've done. They want us to use our voices whichever way is authentic and true to us, so they were very supportive of the book," Jenna said.

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