A new profile of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R), published in The Boston Globe on Friday, contains several stories of his years at the elite Andover boarding school in Massachusetts.
Apparently, young Bush liked to party.
Bush admitted his youthful indulgences to the paper.
“I drank alcohol and I smoked marijuana when I was at Andover,” he said. “It was pretty common.”
The story included several interviews with Bush’s classmates that shed light on what it was like to get stoned with the potential 2016 presidential candidate:
Bush liked to rock out. Peter Tibbetts, one of Bush’s Andover classmates who talked to the Globe, said the future politician made sure there was a soundtrack on one occasion when they smoked hashish together.
“He had a portable stereo with removable speakers. He put on Steppenwolf for me,” said Tibbetts, who specified that Bush played the group’s 1968 hit “Magic Carpet Ride.”
He had a hashish connection. Tibbetts said he first smoked marijuana with Bush. He also claimed Bush once sold him hashish.
“Please bear in mind that I was seeking the hash, it wasn’t as if he was a dealer; though he did suggest I take up cigarettes so that I could hold my hits better, after that 1st joint,” Tibbetts wrote in an email to the paper.
Bush didn’t philosophize. Though Bush was at Andover during the height of national debate about the Vietnam War, his classmates said he didn’t engage in much political discussion.
“He was just in a bit of a different world,” said Phil Sylvester, who roomed with Bush at the school.
He wore many hats. One student said the students at Andover mainly split into three cliques: “jocks, freaks, and zeros.” Bush, who was captain of the tennis team during some of his high-school career, was described as a cross between a freak and a jock.
Bush allegedly bullied a fellow student. Tibbetts said he and Bush teased a fellow classmate including one incident where they sewed the bottoms of the other student’s pants to prevent them from being worn. Tibbetts described this as “cruel.”
Bush denied taking part in the teasing, but admitted it would be difficult to know for certain.
“I don’t believe that is true,” Bush said. “It was 44 years ago and it is not possible for me to remember.”
He eventually sobered up. According to multiple classmates, Bush became far more serious and stopped partying as much after spending a trimester in Mexico when he was 17 as part of one of his courses. During that trip, Bush met his future wife, Columba.
Harry Chandler, another ex-classmate, said Bush became less of a “party guy” after the trip.
“He seemed pretty transformed by the Mexico experience. He was more serious,” Chandler said.
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