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  • House passes tax breaks
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  • Barbara Bush shares her humor
  • Court keeps slot machines off the ballot
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  • The legislature in brief

  • From the state wire

  • Hurricane Jeanne appears on track to hit Florida's east coast
  • Rumor mill working overtime after Florida hurricanes
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  • Tourism suffers across Florida after pummeling by hurricanes
  • Key dates in the life of Terri Schiavo
  • An excerpt from the unanimous ruling in the Schiavo case
  • Four confirmed dead after small plane crash in Panhandle
  • Correction: Disney-Cruise Line story

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    Barbara Bush shares her humor

    The former first lady entertains a crowd with tales of Bush family life and her 10 tips for living.

    By ANITA KUMAR, Times Staff Writer
    © St. Petersburg Times
    published March 15, 2002

    TALLAHASSEE -- Former first lady Barbara Bush explained Thursday night the difficulties of having two presidents with the same name in the same family.

    What do you call them?

    In the Bush family, they've adopted No. 41 for former President George Bush and No. 43 for President George W. Bush.

    Mrs. Bush, 76, the mother of the president and Gov. Jeb Bush, shared that and other anecdotes about her life in a 30-minute speech, full of humor, advice and praise for her two sons in public life.

    "As adults, they support each other, love each other," she said. "When they were children growing up, I never believed they would grow up to be best friends."

    The first lady, clad in her trademark pearls, spoke to hundreds of people at the Leon County Civic Center, including several state legislators, in an event staged by the Junior League.

    She had no problem joking about herself and her family, even the pretzel that caused the president to pass out and the parachute jumps her husband had taken since leaving office. He plans to take a third on his 80th birthday.

    "I told him either way that would be his last," she quipped.

    She gave out 10 tips for life, including not taking life too seriously, don't be afraid of adversity and don't forget to have fun. She even threw in tips like never asking people over 70 how they feel.

    She and son, Gov. Jeb Bush, will host a coffee at the Governor's Mansion for women from around the state this morning in celebration of Women's History Month.

    And she will appear in Naples tonight to promote her foundation for family literacy.

    Her foundation has given more than $10-million in 305 programs across the nation, including Florida. Promoting literacy has been a pet project of hers since she was wife of the vice president.

    "Like the experts, I truly feel ... so many of our social problems could be solved," she said.

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