Past perfect

Frenchie Bush committed her life to preserving Augusta's history

Some people neglect and even despoil their surroundings. They throw litter out the car window, deface buildings, let their plots overgrow.

Others, though, spend their entire lives protecting and preserving their surroundings and leaving this world better than they found it.

That was Frenchie Bush.

In fact, she cared so much that she made history.

The founder, along with her husband Bill, of both Historic Augusta Inc. and the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation, Marie “Frenchie” Bush retrieved a number of pearls from the ocean of time, including the Old Government House, the Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art and the Old Medical College of Georgia.

She was such a passionate protector of Augusta history that they once scheduled the overlay of a brick street while she was out of town, for fear she would’ve prevented it. It was a valid concern: “Brick is romance,” she once said, adding that “man lost all of his civility when he started putting blacktop all over the world.

Frenchie Bush paved a different path, a garden path that led to a simpler, more cultivated time. She didn’t just preserve and protect, after all; she spent her life beautifying her world, which we were privileged to share. She was a constant gardener and former president of the Garden Club of America. She once said, “I love plants; I love people; and I love to bring the two together.”

She passed Monday at 85.

One of the few unfortunate aspects of a life spent observing movers and shakers such as Frenchie Bush is the inevitable task of saying goodbye to them – as her family and friends will today. But what a joy to tell you about them.

What a joy Frenchie Bush was.

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