Whenever Dubya visits his 1600-acre Prairie Chapel Ranch in Crawford, Texas, he goes bonkers for clearing brush, chopping down invading cedar trees and creating trails, according to a new book about presidential retreats, From Mount Vernon to Crawford: A History of the Presidents and their Retreats (Hyperion).
Author Kenneth T. Walsh, who is a White House reporter, says Bush has repeatedly told him how much he loves getting elbow deep in the hard labor of the bush sometimes to the point where he comes back with scratches all over his face and arms.
That doesnt mean his guests at the ranch are so keen on chopping and hauling. Early on during one of her many visits to Crawford, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told Bush, Nice Southern girls dont do cedar.
Bush isnt the only president obsessed with wood- chopping. Teddy Roosevelt was so passionate about swinging an axe that he once sliced into his own leg and only stopped briefly to have it bandaged before resuming his chopping.
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