TAMPA (FOX 13) - After the news that former first lady Barbara Bush had passed, a career Florida politician is reflecting on his time spent with the Bush family and the impact Barbara had on her family and the country.
For all the years former Florida Governor Bob Martinez, who also served as Tampa's mayor and as a cabinet secretary under President George H.W. Bush, has been in politics and collected memorabilia, one of his most-prized possessions is a picture of Barbara Bush holding his then-newborn twin daughters.
"[It is] a real keeper photograph," he said during an interview Tuesday.
Martinez has known the Bush family for over three decades; a relationship with light moments, but centered on politics.
Martinez remembered an overnight visit Barbara Bush made to the governor's mansion.
"She said, 'What I really want is an ironing board.' My wife says, 'An ironing board?' She says, 'I like to iron my own clothes,'" Martinez recalls.
Then there was the time Mrs. Bush interrupted the wife of another governor at dinner.
"This former first lady probably had one glass of wine too many, and turns around and says to the president, 'Hey George...' So immediately Barbara says, 'Hold it one second. You do not call the President of the United States George. You call him Mr. President.' She sobered up real quick.'"
Martinez says Barbara Bush circulated at dinner parties, as opposed to waiting for people to come to her.
She was straightforward and never lost an edge.
"What more could you possibly hope for in life than to see members of your family make a major contribution to the United States, and to the world for that matter?" asked Martinez. "They have an incredible legacy. One that is tough to beat."
The last time he saw Barbara Bush was in Kennebunkport three years ago, as Jeb Bush began his own run for president.
Martinez says Mrs. Bush's devotion to literacy likely influenced her son, Jeb's focus on education.
And George W. Bush made that the key domestic focus of his own presidency.