HOUSTON – While George Herbert Walker Bush was working in the oil business, he and his family moved to Houston in 1958 and fell in love with the city he would come to call home for more than 50 years.
"People accept anyone who comes to Texas and loves it," former Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison said. "If you love us in Texas, we're going to love you, and that's kind of the way he was."
After moving to Texas, Bush's interests quickly turned to politics.
"He made some money (and) was comfortable enough to get into politics," said Warren Finch, director of the George H.W. Bush Library and Museum. "First (he ran for) the county chairman for the Republican Party -- Harris County -- and then ran in 1964 for the United States Senate."
He eventually became the 41st president of the United States, but Houston remained home, despite the fact that he was born in Milton, Massachusetts.
"Houston is their home," said Andrew Card, former White House chief of staff. "I know he was born in Milton, Massachusetts, but he always called Texas home, and Houston became his home. It's certainly where he went when he left the presidency. He put his roots down very, very deep. He got very involved with the community."
It wasn't unusual to see Bush out and about, at everything from church to sporting events to running everyday errands around town.
"He loved to be in the community, but he was also there to support the Astros," Card said. "He went to the Texans football games. He would be involved in every aspect of life in Houston, and Houston is his home."
"He chose to raise his family here," Hutchison said. "He chose to make his life here, because Texas had given him so much, gave him the chance, and he made it on his own."
The love affair was not one-sided. Houston has been proud to call the Bush family, well, family -- for many decades.