Barbara Bush: I Overcame Depression

Posted: May 22, 1990

Barbara Bush was overcome by severe depression 14 years ago but beat it in six months by losing herself in volunteer work, and it has never returned. "I would feel like crying a lot and I really painfully hurt," the first lady is quoted as saying in the May 28 issue of U.S. News and World Report. "And I would think bad thoughts. . . . It was not nice." She added that the sickness came after a two-year stint in China by George Bush as U.S. liaison officer in Bejing, where the couple was together most of the time. That changed when he became CIA director back here. Bush said she went to work at Washington House, a center for the seriously ill, where she did such jobs as changing bedclothes and washing patients' hair. "I gutted it out and poor George Bush gutted it out." As to the Wellesley commencement flap, Bush said: "I'm not going to scold, I'm not going to cajole, I'm not going to apologize, I'm not going to explain. The poor girls, they're so bored with it now they could

throw up."

COMMENCEMENT TALK

"How did you come to live so long?" Bill Cosby asked University of Notre Dame seniors at their Sunday graduation in South Bend, Ind. "Because they (parents) let you live," he answered to much laughter. He added: ". . . I want you to understand that what you call the world out there is rough . . . not only in terms of your job but in terms of your personal relationships. You'll have many, many friends, but if your relationship with your mate is 100 percent of your heart, you'll never need a friend."

Former tennis great Arthur Ashe warned Sunday's graduates of the State University of New York College at Brockport: "You'll have to learn to get along with the rest of the world. Cultural diversity is something you'll have to deal with whether you like it or not. There are now several clusters of power in the world, and there are no longer advantages to being an American."

Gov. Casey was the biggest name at Sunday's Kings College graduation in Wilkes-Barre, but the biggest applause went to Mary Caruso, who at 68 was the oldest of 407 grads. "It's never too late to learn," said the truck driver's widow, newly degreed in gerontology. "Don't listen to anyone when they tell you, you are too old."

LOCALLY CONNECTED

If that's the Rocky Balboa statue atop the Art Musuem steps, does it mean there've been changes of hearts? No, a thousand times, no. It just means that the Art Commission has granted Sylvester Stallone museum rights until May 31 - and not a day longer - to shoot more Rocky V footage. After that, the statue gets carted off again.

Former Costa Rican President Oscar Arias Sanchez dined at Old Original Bookbinder's after last week's appearance at the University of Pennsylvania. And he left not with a doggie bag but with a painting of a ballerina he

admired, done by Bookbinder's co-owner John Taxin.

McLean Stevenson, Lt. Col. Henry Blake of the M*A*S*H TV series, attended a weekend reunion of the medical crews of the real 8055 Mobile Army Surgical Hospital unit in Lancaster. "Clearly, it was an anti-war message we were giving," said the actor. "But we entertained people. That's the bottom line. We weren't trying to save the world."

MARKINGS

Judith Durham, 47, ex-lead singer of the Seekers ("Georgy Girl," "I Will Never Find Another You"), was in satisfactory condition yesterday in a Melbourne, Australia, hospital following surgery for injuries incurred in a car accident. The Aussie broke a leg and arm in a Sunday head-on collision with another car in which a woman passenger was killed.

Leonard Bernstein will conduct Beethoven's Symphony No. 7 Friday to open the 14th annual Spoleto Festival U.S.A in Charleston, S.C. The festival's centerpiece will be a a five-hour production of Richard Wagner's Parsifal, directed by Gian Carlo Menotti.

Tevin Campbell, 13, is having sudden attention after singing on Quincy Jones' latest album, Back on the Block, and appearing on TVers such as The Arsenio Hall Show. Says he: "People come up and ask me for my autograph, but I don't feel like a superstar." Two or three more requests should do it.

THE ROCK(Y) ROAD

Milli traded punches with Vanilli after a recent concert in Rochester, N.Y. Witnesses said Rob Pilatus and Fab Morvan mixed it up as soon as they got offstage, tumbled down a stairway, broke up a TV, and busted a lip or two. No word on what the problem was, but a spokesman for the duo said: "The guys are like brothers, and brothers sometimes fight."

It looks as if Pittsburgh has decided to let the Grateful Dead back in after police battled with their fans 13 months ago at the Civic Arena. City officials said yesterday that promoters of the Dead's July 8 gig at Three Rivers Stadium have made the required promises - picking up $50,000 for extra police costs and discouraging fans from arriving until concert day - and need only final approval by the Stadium authority. "It's not the group," said Mayor Sophie Masloff. "It's the hangers-on."

Madonna was the pop artist of the 1980s, Michael Jackson's Thriller was the pop album of the decade and "Every Breath You Take" by the Police, best pop single, according to a readers poll by Billboard magazine.

COUPLES

Jane Fonda and Ted Turner did little to mask their mutual affection at Sunday night's 10th anniversary of his Cable News Network in Atlanta. He was seen fondling her hand while she was spotted with her arm about his waist and her chin on his shoulder. The do attracted about 3,000 guests, including Maureen Reagan and Larry King.

Milton Berle, whose wife of more than 30 years died 13 months ago, is reportedly keeping company with Raquel Rael, ex-wife of Patti Page's manager, Jack Rael, and daughter of the late songwriter Mack Gordon, who did "You'll Never Know." Friends say a marriage will come soon.

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