Paducah’s Meredith Schroeder recalls time spent with President George H.W. Bush

PADUCAH — Meredith Schroeder has experienced something many may only dream about.

“That’s my son, husband, and George, and Ray Scott,” says Schroeder. She and her late husband, Bill, met and spent time with President George H.W. Bush on multiple occasions. It was a relationship that started on the water when Bush was vice president.

The Schroeders founded the American Quilter’s Society, which has held Paducah QuiltWeek since 1985.

Schroeder says her husband and a mutual friend would bass fish on a private pond in Alabama. She got to meet the president too.

“One other time, he came and just fished with my husband and Ray on Ray’s lake,” says Schroeder.

“I shook hands with him. In fact on one of the last tournaments my grandson had just been born, and we took him along, and he has a picture in his office of George as he is an infant,” says Schroeder.

Their relationship with the president didn’t end with fishing. Schroeder and her husband were personally invited to Bush’s inauguration in 1989.

“It was very moving. It was a very moving event, you know, the inauguration. It was great,” says Schroeder.

Those personal fishing trips didn’t end after Bush became president. Schroeder says one of those fishing trips was temporarily interrupted when the president had to handle official business.

“Bill was actually fishing with him in the boat, and he said ‘I’ve got to go over here to the shore. You let me out just a minuet,’ So we took him over there and let him out, and he came back and he said ‘They’ve just captured Noriega,'” says Schroeder.

Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega was ousted by the United States in 1989. He was captured by U.S. forces in January 1990.

Schroeder says Bush kept in touch with them with handwritten notes, something many have said was a big part of who Bush was.

“A genuine person that loved his country and served his country,” says Schroeder.

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