Billy Graham Recalls Wearing George H.W. Bush’s Swim Trunks

The nation mourns at news of former President George H.W. Bush’s passing on Nov. 30, 2018. He and Billy Graham had many stories together, one in which Billy noted as “another hilarious incident” in his autobiography, Just As I Am.

“. . . A Mexican businessman invited the Bushes and us onto his yacht for a picnic on the beach a few miles away. Not having a pair of swimming trunks with me, I borrowed a pair of George’s, which were white. Shortly after lunch, I got tired and wanted a nap. Instead of waiting for the rest of the group, I decided to walk back along the beach to the condominium.

As I turned the corner, I was stopped by an armed military guard. The beach where we’d had our picnic apparently was on the grounds of a Mexican naval base, and I was trespassing. To my horror, I realized I had no identification with me—I was still in George’s swim trunks—nor did I even have a key to the condominium. To complicate matters, the guard didn’t speak English, and I didn’t speak Spanish. He ordered me to sit on a bench until a superior officer could be summoned.

After much waiting and much explaining, the officer finally released me and allowed me to walk home, barefoot on the hot concrete. Only when I finally reached the condominium did I realize the bench had just been repainted and George’s trunks had big smears of green paint across the rear! No amount of laundering could get them clean, but George said it was well worth sacrificing a pair of swim trunks just to enjoy a good laugh over my dilemma.”

— Billy Graham


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