|Jeb Bush on graduation day with his grandfather, Sen. Prescott Bush, a chief financier of the Nazis as head of Union Banking Corporation, crimes for which he could have been prosecuted for aiding the enemy in time of war.|
Jeb, as he was known, should have been an easy fit in that elite and ivied world. His much-accomplished father and his older brother had both gone to Andover; no one was surprised that Jeb had followed suit.
But this Bush almost ran aground in those first, formative prep school days. He bore little resemblance to his father, a star on many fronts at Andover, and might have been an even worse student than brother George. Classmates said he smoked a notable amount of pot — as many did — and sometimes bullied smaller students.
Resolutely apolitical despite his lineage, he refused to join the Progressive Andover Republicans club and often declined even to participate in informal bull sessions with classmates. In a tumultuous season in American life, he seemed to his peers strangely detached and indifferent.
“He was just in a bit of a different world,” said Phil Sylvester, who said he was a Bush roommate. While other students “were constantly arguing about politics and particularly Vietnam, he just wasn’t interested, he didn’t participate, he didn’t care.”
Meanwhile, his grades were so poor that he was in danger of being expelled, which would have been a huge embarrassment to his father, a member of Congress and of the school’s board of trustees.One of Jeb's more famous classmates was New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, who declined to be interviewed for the story. Bush acknowledged drinking alcohol and smoking pot while attending the school. "I drank alcohol and I smoked marijuana when I was at Andover," Bush said, both of which could have led to expulsion. "It was pretty common." The reporter comes close to getting an admission by one of his classmates, who got kicked out of school for drug use, that Bush was a drug dealer on campus. Peter Tibbetts' first experience getting stoned was in Jeb's dorm room:
“The first time I really got stoned was in Jeb’s room," Tibbetts said. "He had a portable stereo with removable speakers. He put on Steppenwolf for me." As the rock group’s signature song, "Magic Carpet Ride," blared from the speakers, Tibbetts said he smoked hash with Bush.
He said he once bought hashish from Bush but stressed, in a follow-up e-mail, "Please bear in mind that I was seeking the hash. It wasn’t as if he was a dealer, though he did suggest I take up cigarettes so that I could hold my hits better, after that first joint."His classmates' recollection of him being a bully didn't ring true to him. "Bush said in the interview that he has no recollection of this or other bullying incidents raised by classmates," "He said he never viewed himself as a bully." "I don’t believe that is true," he said, referring to classmates' recollections of specific incidents. "It was 44 years ago and it is not possible for me to remember."